Time to introduce you to another talented indie author. Today, fresh on her global blog tour, is Tia Shurina, author of the memoir Everything and a Happy Ending. Take it away, Tia…
A blessed begin in gratitude to Beem Weeks for sharing your sacred spotlight… your blog space with me & to the Rave Reviews Book Club members who organized this tour.
From the moment I closed the cover of EAT PRAY LOVE, I somehow sensed it would be made into a movie… so important was its message about staying true to self I felt. That book ending was also a beginning for me, of a challenging time, as I faced myself in my mirror everyday day, moved in a very sad way, by my cowardice & lack of courage to be true to my own self. Who knew where the start of that particular reflection would ultimately lead & how the Universe would guide that cowardice inside…who knew?! I not only didn’t, but detoured, delayed & deterred that journey for a great deal of time.
Years passed, & gratefully, my reflection slowly passed some important seasons as well.
Quite a bit of time later, an old friend & I re-connected. As Ray & I began to round an old sacred circle of friendship that birthed something new & beautiful together, we both also moved through our own challenging times separately. Our new story, already a bit complex in its roots, grew more complicated as our circle rolled ‘round. I had already been trying to release the last little grip I was hanging onto in a relationship that was ready to die, so that I could finally, fully, honor my own self above all else. As I struggled to let go, my husband struggled to hang on to our marriage, with all his might. Ray’s wife was sick with cancer. Who he was, & what his celebrity symbolizes in the world, called for a hyper-sensitivity on our part to those around us as we tried to stay sensitive to our own wants, needs & desires at same time. That very important career, & who he is, along with our holy honoring of those other important people, also “set the stage” tho, for a fantastical love story, fueled by a most unique way to be able to communicate. It is an extraordinary, beautiful story, yet, balanced by an ordinary, bittersweet sadness.
Since I feel so strongly that the struggle to honor our own selves is so hard for so many of us, for so many reasons, &, as a longtime lover of movies, feeling equally as passionate about the power of Hollywood to inspire & influence so positively, I was especially thrilled to be invited recently to a Q&A with Matthew Welsh of SpiritualMediaBlog.com, a site devoted to spirituality in entertainment in Hollywood. I’m honored to share it with you here.
1.What is your book about & why did you write it?
My book, Everything and a Happy Ending, is a memoir that shares my journey with 3 separate, different, yet similar & very interconnected relationships & love stories with the 3 most important men in my life. I share a very full circle journey with each man which details that connectedness & sheds light on how each impacted me & has helped move me around my circle of life.
I wrote the book, & published the book for 2 different reasons. I wrote it to be another tool for one of the men, the 3rd of the special trio, that had been using my writing for quite time some very privately, with a beautiful, almost heavenly, holy, success. He’d been struggling to shed the persona he had created for himself & our relationship was the key he needed to unlock the hold from a role everybody loves for himself. The 3rd part of the trifecta is an extraordinary spectacular love story along the lines of the Oscar winning movie, Marty. He’s a writer himself & was wanting to do the re-make but still needed a little more help from me at that point, so I decided to ghostwrite it. I still felt strongly it was his story, & his desire, to tell, along with his own equally moving story about his relationship with his own dad. He’s the writer & the one I felt most would want to hear it from. At a certain point, though, I started to gain clarity & accept the possibility that maybe the story was meant for me to tell, from my perspective. I began to realize it might be “meant to be”, for me, to be the one to share it & communicate it in order for it to have the impact it’s meant to have & to be seen in a different light than if he was the one to write it. I began to understand that him telling it actually held potential to do a dis-service to our story, simply because of his name…. who he is might taint the story for many, before it could be told through in its entirety. I felt many would judge it, criticize it & label it for no other reason than his identity. I also realized as a young woman petrified of ever being looked at or stared it, for fear I was surely being judged, it might be an important opportunity that was being gifted to me to step outside my comfort zones that I had realized along my way I was desperate to do in my life.
I decided, eventually, to publish the book as a way to help me regain the financial security I gifted to him along our journey together. It was an incredible gift of trust that I’d never been able to give in my life before that I felt strongly I not only wanted to give another, but finally felt the confidence in myself & had the tools, the faith, & the strength, thanks to my father, who is one of the men I share about, to give another. In giving him “everything”, I showed him, the Universe, & most importantly, myself, I was capable of giving the exact kind of love I wanted to allow myself to receive in my life. To experience a mature, healthy, adult, romantic relationship with a beautiful balance rooted in a true love, not in guilt or entitlement or fear or obligation…just pure desire & free choice to be in the relationship. And with that, I handed him my heart, my soul, & my wallet too …I offered up my mental, emotional, spiritual & physical well-being as I risked “everything”, in an “All-in” act of complete & total trust. Our re-connection, & my influence, moved him powerfully, & I ultimately decided it was powerful enough to move another, if one was wanting to move themself, to a metamorphosis & transformation like I had helped my dad with, then he helped me with as I moved myself through one & then held the 3rd man’s hand through his own after his own dad passed.
When I ended my 20-year marriage, a 25-year union with a very important man I loved very much but was not “in love” with, on the heels of my dad’s death, I was ready to move on to a new start & a new “mini life” as my old boss used to say. I put that new start on hold to help an old special friend. I am thrilled for him for where he is at this point in his life. His happiness is very, very important to me. But, so is my own, & I would like the same for myself & I’d like to re-turn to the new start I had taken a big step towards but then stuck myself in a standstill of stagnation after re-connecting with him & committing myself very privately to him. Stillness & stagnation are two very different things & I allowed myself to blur some lines while I waited which was a very unhealthy thing for me to do. Publishing my writing, my story, was a firm faithful step towards moving in stillness again, allowing myself to be led out of an unhealthy standstill as I re-committed to myself, 1st & foremost, & going with the flow of my life instead of trying to push against it in fear.
- You have written your journey almost destroyed you. How did your journey almost destroy you?
When I ended my long marriage, it was a complete flip of almost everything that had been put in place in my life up to that point. I had chosen, when I was much younger, a very safe life because I was scared of so much. I was afraid as a child & I grew into an afraid adult. Ending my marriage was part of a process of reversing a lot of choices I had made as a younger woman, of my own free will, but wound up in my life, as a woman of a certain age, with a lot of dissatisfaction & sadness. The life of security & protection I had chosen as a younger woman, I realized along my way, may have protected me from SOME certain things that I felt strongly at the time I wanted & needed protection from, brought a whole different set of worries, pains, & insecurities that I had not had the maturity nor the health of body mind & spirit to help me understand would be waiting down the line for me as my choices caught up with me. When I made the flip, I turned everything on a dime as I rounded a soulful circle & in order to balance out a life of safety I had lived up to that point, I wound up out on an incredibly lovely, but very scary, unsafe limb. It would have been challenging enough, given my age, & statistics that surround long term committed couples splitting, & society’s view of divorce equaling failure for the most part…but, the story took an incredible turn that upped those stakes with risks worthy of a Las Vegas casino & craps table when I crossed paths with an old special friend at the exact precise special moment I embarked on that change for myself. The story, & our journey is detailed in the book, but I’ll share here that at a certain point along the way, a very private, very personal, very intimate prayer for him was shared with God, & with him, & what unfolded, as the Universe answered my prayer is our extraordinary story. That it came on the heels of his own prayer, a very public, very specific prayer, shared with his fans &, of course with God, makes our story that much more spectacular. Our journey together “almost” destroyed me, as I gave every single sacred spec of trust I finally felt safe enough & intimate enough with another to give & made the choice to leave myself totally, completely vulnerable, for the 1st time in my life, at an age when many are deepening their footholds on security & safety. The shit really hit the fan for me & my life as I went All-In, and stayed all-in instead of folding, but I kept my faith, thanks in good part to my dad, a real & true gambler, & my story wound up my saving me, not destroying me.
- What did you do that helped you through your journey and make it so your journey did not destroy you.
I leaned on my dear, but very dead dad, in the same way I had finally allowed myself to lean on him as an adult in the few years before he passed as our relationship changed. And I prayed, with the same faith, to the same Universe & life force that I had prayed along my way in my story…the perfect power that my dad was now a part of. The unbreakable bond of love reached through time & space & would not let me give up. I gave up so easily as a young woman. My dad came to know this, as well as the why’s that was as we forged a new relationship later in our lives & I opened my soul to him. And he truly reached from heaven I feel, to hold my hand through a very challenging transition & metamorphosis long in the making for me. The power that our transformed relationship held, changed my life, my “story” & then that same unbreakable bond of love changed another’s.
- What is your—or the book’s—connection to Ray Romano? How does he tie in to the journey or the book?
Ray is the 3rd man in the trio. He is called by another name, Emilio, a private nickname between he & I that he gave himself many years ago, when we were much younger. An amazing faithful foresight the divine gifted our story at that perfect time as a special seed was planted given who he would eventually become & the need for such privacy many, many years later. I lived a few years with his need for complete & total privacy and discretion at the very top of my list. Unfortunately, it came at the exact time I had finally felt ready to put myself 1st & foremost in my life. And there was a clash as I tried to do what I felt was best for myself, for my ex & for my old special friend at the same time. And, that clash came with incredible consequences to me. Trying to juggle all 3 wants & desires exhausted me. I used his nickname as I wrote as a way to stay in the authenticity of the way I had lived my life for those few years, & stay true to the spirit of the life I had been living …. very privately, very much committed to keeping the identity of the very special man in my life private, at all costs.
- What advice would you give to other people who are trying to love themselves but are often too hard on themselves?
I will share my athlete dad’s most profound advice to his children as we were growing up, “hold your form”, as I offer up that in my case, the gift of patience & fortitude I finally gave myself made a huge difference. When I finally started to be gentler with myself & take the time to “just breathe” through some certain difficult times instead of feeling a failure because I had allowed them in the 1st place, it was then that “everything” started to change for me. I baby-stepped through a complete & total transformation, with a few faithful fantastical leaps thrown at the right & perfect time to balance those baby steps, but, for the most part…I moved slowly, & thoughtfully & instead of losing patience & scolding myself for all the things we can usually find to berate & betray our own selves, I decided to keep the faith. Whether it’s a new weight, a new job, a new relationship, or a whole new life one is wanting for themselves… it can be daunting & overwhelming & certainly discouraging when only focused on the end result. Holding your vision is so important, yet, holding your form the best you can through each & every day is what moves you to that vision & often, just zeroing in on the baby steps necessary to make it through one beautiful but brutally challenging day is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. If anyone had told me after my dad passed how long, how challenging, & how much heartbreak & sadness I was going to have to move through to make it through to the other side I feel quite certain I would have turned around & ran the other way, as I did for much of my life. Suffering is different than sadness though, & when I began to give myself some patience as I committed to “holding my form”, I began to see the difference & was able to start inching through the sadness as I released my grip & my choice to stay & suffer by shutting the uncomfortable down or ignoring it or trying to move through it quickly as if it didn’t exist.
- Anything else?
As a piggyback & a p.s. to #6, I’d like to share the importance of gratitude. It is so challenging sometimes when we are faced in real life with the pains & struggles & sufferings we are witness to as well as have to move through ourselves in our human life. But, in my own story, when I began to search for the blessing, & the meaning that might be held for me through any given experience, especially the hard & painful ones, instead of allowing myself to play the victim as I asked “why me” as I had done often in my younger years, it was a powerful gift & shift that helped me immensely as I embarked on the journey to change the ending for my story.
Everything and a Happy Ending, an award-winning memoir published by Mascot Books, details the soulful shift of a story as Tia shares her holy grail & trail she took to transform her life. After moving through her own metamorphosis, she then helped an old friend, Ray Romano, move through his own transition, going with the flow very privately, but most profoundly.
“My journey almost destroyed me.” Almost. Boy, have I come to like that word. What a pleasurable word “almost” can be. You may almost be ready to buy my book. You may almost be ready to begin an exciting new journey of your own. You may almost be over that rainbow Judy Garland sings about. What great potential “almost” can hold if you can flip your way of thinking. Just imagine, controlled pessimism, doubt & fear flipped into blind optimism, faith & love.
That flip helped Tia move to a place where heaven meets earth…the pearly gates of her own happy ending. Changing the ending for her story brought a pure, precious peace of heart, but kicked her butt a bit as she made her way… committed to keeping her faith. The book was a plan C, maybe even D, but Tia was determined, after a dedicated intention & divine decision to start swimming more with the current of her life, instead of bucking that flow. Her ordinary, relatable story took an extraordinary, fantastical turn when she showed the Universe she was committed to her intention & her desire to be given an opportunity to make some new, different choices for herself. EAAHE is a memoir that shares the “how’d that happen?” & the “how’d she do that?” in a holy hope of helping others to see life in a new way.
EAAHE recounts 3 interconnected relationships & stories that enable Tia to love truly, deeply, & most of all, love herself. Three special circles she rounded with Ray, her dad, & her ex-husband. A woman’s full circle journey to learn how to really trust, how to “thine own self be true,” & then, the “real & true” love it led her ‘round back to. It shares how the power of love & a journey to intimacy helped her make a faithful flip which began a sacred circle and new chapter… one that would allow a different ending for a story she had begun writing for herself when she was much younger. One that Tia feels strongly will inspire other women of a certain age keep faith that it’s not too late to write a new ending for their own, as they embrace their history, not try to re-write it.
Tia is, most days, filled with joy. She is, every day, filled with peace. She looks forward to a happy ending each new day now, however it unfolds, whomever it holds, & whatever way the Universe molds, as she continues to create a new “happily ever after”, staying committed to rising above her fears, moving out of her comfort zones, & going with the flow of her life.
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