May 8, 2005: Headlines: COS - Benin: Writing - Benin: 2theadvocate: Benin RPCV Jennifer Read Hawthorne writes "The Soul of Success"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Benin: Peace Corps Benin : The Peace Corps in Benin: May 8, 2005: Headlines: COS - Benin: Writing - Benin: 2theadvocate: Benin RPCV Jennifer Read Hawthorne writes "The Soul of Success"

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Benin RPCV Jennifer Read Hawthorne writes "The Soul of Success"

Benin RPCV Jennifer Read Hawthorne writes The Soul of Success

Benin RPCV Jennifer Read Hawthorne writes "The Soul of Success"

Author transformed by her work on 'The Soul of Success'
Advocate staff writer

The book Jennifer Read Hawthorne ended up with wasn't the one she was trying to write. But, as almost any writer can attest, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Hawthorne, the Baton Rouge native who is co-author of four books in the best-selling "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series, was conducting interviews for a book on women transforming some aspect of their lives. The more she interviewed, however, the more the conversations dealt with success. As it happened, somebody else had that in mind for a book subject.

"When my publisher started talking to me about success, I knew I had a gold mine," Hawthorne said. "I knew that the transformations that the women I'd interviewed so far really did represent something extraordinary about success."

The result was "The Soul of Success: A Woman's Guide to Authentic Power," which features the stories of 27 women and attempts to redefine how women view success. The stories include that of Jacqui Vines, a single Baton Rouge executive who agreed to raise a niece's two small children.

Hawthorne will speak to the Women in Media luncheon at noon Wednesday, May 18, at Juban's Restaurant, 3739 Perkins Road. The event is open to the public, but reservations must be made by calling (225) 926-6015 by Monday, May 16. The luncheon cost is $20 for nonmembers.

Hawthorne is acquainted both with transformation and success. After graduating from Robert E. Lee High School in 1965 and LSU in 1969, she moved to Washington, D.C., because of her interest in politics. She worked in temporary jobs, including one with the President's Aviation Advisory Commission that she especially liked.

But, starting to ask if there was more to life, she dropped off an application to the Peace Corps, whose building she passed every day as she walked to work. She was accepted and taught high school English for two years in the West African nation of Dahomey, now called Benin. After that, she traveled for another year, visiting East Africa game parks, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Seychelles Islands, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Nepal and learning about their cultures.

"I just had an extraordinary experience," she said. "It was one of those peak life experiences, I would call it. I learned so much."

When she returned to the United States, she had become interested in personal development and became certified in stress management, teaching courses in that subject and meditation. She has lived in Iowa for the past 25 years. She taught business writing, became a public speaker, and, in 1993, formed The Esteem Group with Marci Shimoff, who was one of her co-editor/authors in the "Chicken Soup" series. Those books

compiled inspirational stories featuring ordinary people.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, who originated the series, approached Canfield and Hansen about doing such a book aimed specifically at women. Two of the four books Hawthorne worked on became best-sellers. She produced a similar book titled "Diamonds, Pearls and Stones."

The success wasn't all Hawthorne thought it might be.

"I didn't have to take the mortgage payment off a credit card, any more, which was a point that I reached in my life, my husband and I, but it did not mean that I had inner peace," she said. "The process of working on 'The Soul of Success' was extraordinary for me because in writing about my own personal experiences -- this is the first book in which I have done original writing out of my six books -- that process along with interviewing the women I personally interviewed and whose stories I wrote for this book, it really transformed me and gave me a model of what I call a new paradigm of success."

Hawthorne's paradigm is that people -- not just women -- should consider success not just in terms of doing but in terms of "being." By this, she means a commitment to principles like honesty, intuition, compassion, faith, accountability and 22 others. Hawthorne said there is a difference between recognizing these as qualities and setting them up as principles to live by.

"When we allow them to operate as principles in life, then what happens is all of our outer achievements get deeply connected to what I would call a soul purpose and destiny," she said. "When I say soul purpose, I mean our deepest purpose in life. Everything starts to connect up. When that happens, all of a sudden we're not living life in a frenetic, frenzied, out-of-control way, which is very easy to do in our country, especially if you're a smart, active woman doing it all. Life takes on a really, really different character and nature.

"I still care about women and women being empowered and women using the gifts that we innately have to be the best people we can be and live the most balanced and fulfilled life that we possibly can. I think that we've gone about it in the wrong way. Everything has been an experiment, of course, but I think that the superwoman myth that we have sought for the last 30 years really hasn't worked. Even though we made tremendous strides in the workplace in terms of equality, in terms of being recognized as capable of doing many jobs that for a long time were considered to be the domain of men, the bottom line is at the end of the day we're the ones who are still managing our homes and our families and our primary relationships and our friendships. I think we're recognizing now as we mature collectively -- as women mature collectively, we see that we have to make some very important choices about the way we live our lives."

When this story was posted in May 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

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May 7, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: May 7 2005 No: 583 May 7, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
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Director Gaddi Vasquez visits PCVs in Bulgaria 5 May
Abe Pena sets up scholarship fund 5 May
Peace Corps closes recruiting sites 4 May
Hill pessimistic over Korean nuclear program 4 May
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Tim Wright studied Quechua at UCLA 2 May
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May 7, 2005:  Special Events Date: May 7 2005 No: 582 May 7, 2005: Special Events
"Iowa in Ghana" on exhibit in Waterloo through June 30
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RPCV Writers scholarship in Baltimore - deadline June 1
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RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

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Story Source: 2theadvocate

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Benin; Writing - Benin



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