Zen Ase

What motivated you to write your book Plenty of Guppies and Other Dating Misadventures?

It wasn’t a book I wanted to write or planned on writing. I woke up on 10/3/21, my mom’s
birthday. She had passed two years before. I really felt stuck. I couldn’t do any of the things I would normally have done with her. I sat at my computer and begin writing. I looked up and five hours had passed. When I looked back at what I had written, I realized I had begun writing the book that people had said I should write for the past 6 years.
I had a strong intuition that I needed to reflect on all that had passed. Seven is a number
of completion. And it was seven years since I divorced, seven years since I decided to remake my life. Then I felt inspired to chronicle my journey- using the journals and poems I had written as well as my reflections on that time. It was my chance to show how I freed myself from so many boxes, and unlearned so many negative programs that society had placed in me. Once the book was written I was really glad and proud, and I thought my journey would help a lot of people. Whenever it got hard to
write it, I pictured writing to the me of 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 years ago, or someone in a similar situation: someone who had just gotten divorced and felt like a failure and had lost self-confidence, someone dealing with the ups and downs of online dating, someone dealing with aging/sickly parents, someone dealing with grief, someone dealing with boomeranging children, opening a business, changing their
business model and more. I wanted them to see the lessons I learned on this journey in hopes that those insights would help and encourage them. And I wanted them to laugh.

You also do a Postcast, What is the name of it?


What is the focus of the podcast?

Zennurgy is about embracing what you have rather than focusing
on what you lack. We cover a topic each week that is inspirational. The focus is self actualization. What makes it rather unique is that it’s organized alphabetically- the A- Z of living a life of peace and fulfillment. I have a podcast guest form with ten topics listed at a time. The first thirty minutes is on a topic that the guest picks. The second thirty minutes is on the guest. We’ve covered topics like Attitude, Abundance, Alignment, Accountability, Balance, Boundaries and more. We discuss our personal struggles, triumphs and lessons with these topics, the tools we use including role models, books, strategies, affirmations, tips and more.

What do you like to express in your poetry?

Truth. Freedom. Love. Growth. The complexity and simplicity of life. My poetry is lyrical and practical, and common sense and metaphysical. It covers all aspects of life, both the good and the bad.

What inspires you to continue to showcase your craft?

Many things. I have a mantra- Get Zenned!
Stay Zenned! Spread Zen! Getting Zenned means getting my mind right, getting to peace and balance, releasing stress- poetry helps me do that. It helps me process the world around me and gain wisdom. I believe we were all placed on Earth to spread/share our talents and skills, so sharing my craft helps me Stay Zenned (it’s a rush and gives me a sense of purpose).

Who motivated you to share your spirit when you started writing poetry?

I’ve had many friends, mentors and inspirations in my life. Many of these people- my parents, my kids, my mentor etc are mentioned in my memoir.

What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book but doesn’t know where to start?

Everyone’s journey is different. Some people write to make money. If that is the goal, then do the research to see if there is a market. Build your writing skills. Decide who your target audience is and how you plan to publish.
If you’re writing out of sense of mission or purpose then to me the first step is to clarify the message. Then decide how to organize it. Then write being as true to that message and purpose as possible. I’d still do research on the top books in that genre. What makes yours stand out?

What’s one topic you think that you couldn’t see being brought up on your podcast? And why?

I don’t deal much with pop culture scandals. The point of my podcast is challenging yourself to grow and seeing the best in yourself and others.

How do you juggle your crafts and your day to day life?

That’s something I struggle with at times. One thing that really helped me was buying a Passion Planner. Each week it provides a table that looks like this

Personal To -Do List Work To -Do List
Top Priority Top Priority

Priority Priority

Errands Errands

Every day has a box titled
Today’s Focus:

I use stickers for whatever I finish. Prioritizing things per week helps me know what to schedule each day. It also helps me realize what’s most important. At the end of each month, there are two reflection pages where I can reflect on how I used my time, and what I want to do differently in the following month.

What went through your mind when you sold your first book?

I actually wasn’t surprised. My first book was a guided journal. It was actually created because so many people who listened to the podcast asked me how to journal, and if I could teach them, so I actually had 8 people who got the prototype
and didn’t even wait for the fully edited version. I was grateful, honored and felt amazed that something I had done since 5th grade was now something I was teaching and selling. In Zennurgize Your Life, I fixed the problems I saw in all the guided journals I’d ever bought. They were repetitive- the same prompt over and over. Mine included 5 different prompts. They only included writing prompts. Mine included
scrapbooking, using movies, songs, books, role models and mini vision boards. They were too long-usually 365 days/pages. Mine was 29 pages/20 concepts. If you did one concept per week, it would take 5 months.

Where do you want to see your life in the next 5 years?

That changes day to day. Some days I think I’ll focus on consulting, podcasting and writing. Other days, I see myself performing and leading conferences. So much has happened in the past 4 years, I can’t even imagine the next 5.

For you, what is the meaning of life?

To find and spread beauty, harmony and community.

How do you handle conflict when someone comes at you about something you’re doing?

I listen and tell them my reaction. If I agree with their assessment, I fix the problem.

Who would be your dream guest on your podcast?

Iyanla Vanzant or Oprah Winfrey

What’s a funny memory you have when it comes to promoting your book and podcast? Having comments on my show

What do you want your legacy to be?

That I encouraged people to live unapologetically, fully, and purposefully.

How do you want to impact women to leave their mark in this world?

I want women to realize that our society is patriarchal and has oppressed women. Many of the lessons we were taught are just methods of control. As one famous person said, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” So I hope women develop their own standards that are not oppressive or limiting so that they can reach their full potential.

What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

Everyone is surprised to learn that I went on 147 dates in 7 years.

When you think of change in this world we live in, where do you see where it needs to be focused on first?

I think everything is interrelated. But change starts within first, in the mind, the mindset.

What’s the positive and negative aspects of being an independent artist?

I think indie authors have to work harder to become well known and sell lots of books. But on the other hand, we have more freedom with our subject matter.

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