A prism of spiritual gifts

Josephine Carlton had never dreamed of writing a book. Then, after the divorce from her high-school sweetheart, best friend, and partner of 24 years, she thought she wanted to write about women who have successfully picked up the pieces and moved forward after a marriage has ended. Now, five years later—and after more than 2,000 pages of taped interviews—Carlton has written a book about courage, strength, and spiritual power. Life Messages—Inspiration for the Woman's Spirit, she says, "took on a life of its own."

Carlton started by interviewing women who had successfully navigated the storms of life. Some had bounced back after hardships, with courage and conviction, to find the unique gifts they had to offer. Some had recognized their gifts early in life and persevered through obstacles, sustained by something outside of themselves. Either way, Carlton perceived these women as unselfish and eager to inspire other women who were facing difficulties. Out of Carlton's hours of conversation with these passionate individuals, bliss, maturity, intuition, and spirituality.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, author Isabel Allende, NASA astronaut Nancy Currie, and Holocaust survivor Irene Zisblatt Zeigelstein are just a few of the 30 women who offer personal stories of triumph and who attest to the importance of summoning spiritual resources, or cultivating new-found moral integrity, to conquer obstacles in life. "Spiritual beliefs, religious beliefs, and a belief in a higher philosophy of life have inspired these women in many different ways," Carlton writes. "Perhaps the majority did not align themselves wholeheartedly with a traditional church, yet each spoke eloquently of the role of the spiritual in their lives.... Taken together, their messages are like a prism breaking a single ineffable radiance into a multitude of unque colors."

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