Peyser, Randy 1955-
PEYSER, Randy 1955-
Born November 17, 1955. Education: University of Connecticut, B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Art, instrumental music.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Red Wheel/Weiser, P.O. Box 612, York Beach, ME 03910. E-mail—[email protected].
Freelance editor. Catalyst, former editor-in-chief.
Crappy to Happy: Small Steps to Big Happiness Now!, Red Wheel/Weiser (York Beach, ME), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
More Steps to Happiness; What Sign Are You In Dog?
Randy Peyser told CA: "My purpose is to uplift people who are navigating the stormy rapids in their lives and help inspire them to their greatest good, whatever that may be. I uplift people whose hearts are broken. I give hope to those who have given up hope that real love exists and that if this love, indeed, does exist, that they could ever have it. I help people deal with intimidation, resentment, illness, grief, divorce, loss, and the multitude of circumstances which cause us to have meltdowns in our lives.
"I also inspire people to keep on going for their dreams, even when life feels tough. For example, from the moment I first sat down at the computer to write my stories, I experienced a great sense of happiness. However, since I been spending all of my time passionately at work on my book, money was trickling in slower than an intravenous drip. I had also been looking for a publisher, but to no avail. I knew I had to create a better financial flow.
"An amusing idea popped into my head. I couldn't imagine myself actually doing it, but this crazy idea wouldn't leave me alone. Finally when the only thing left in my refrigerator was a box of baking soda, I decided to just go ahead and do it. On a Wednesday afternoon during the height of rush-hour traffic, I stood on a meridian at one of the busiest intersections in Mill Valley, wearing high heels, my best dress, a new permanent wave, makeup, and holding a giant cardboard sign that read 'Author Seeks Publisher.'
"The response I received was overwhelmingly positive. Drivers cheered me on, smiled and waved, and shouted encouragement. It was an exceedingly powerful experience to realize that I wanted my dream so much. A publisher stopped and gave me his card. In the end, it turned out he wasn't interested. A funny thing did occur that day, though. In the evening a publisher called to offer me a job as the editor-in-chief of his magazine.
"Even though I needed the money, I really didn't want that job. I didn't want to compromise my truth, and my truth was that my book was my unfolding dream. Then the publisher asked if I'd be willing to work at the job until he found the right person. This time I accepted. It occurred to me that perhaps I could make a connection for my book by working at this magazine. I made tons of connections and furthered my writing career, but by age forty my body no longer could handle the wear and tear of deadlines and pulling allnighters to run a monthly magazine. I knew that this job no longer served my highest good and that I had to move. Beyond that, I didn't know which direction to pursue, but trusting that things would work out, I made my exit.
"Around the same time a long-term relationship came to a grinding halt. Shortly thereafter, a voice on the phone informed me of the suicide of a former, dearly loved employer. The crises in my life were multiplying, and I had a meltdown—not a mere, dark night-ofthe-soul kind of meltdown, but more along the lines of a dark year-and-a-half of the soul ordeal. In the midst of these multiple losses and changes, I isolated myself, spending much time in nature, talking to God, and I grieved with the kind of tears that feel like they have no end.
"For the next year-and-a-half, I remained in virtual solitude. A most mysterious thing happened when I allowed myself to feel every painful feeling. I discovered that the pain would come in waves, but that moment would in time give way to another moment. Eventually I would find myself transported to a calmer shore. I came to understand that sorrow digs the well and joy fills it. As I allowed myself to experience and express the wave of painful feelings swelling up inside me, I was also increasing my capacity to feel more joy.
"As my journey of emotional healing progressed, I wondered what it would take for me to be truly happy. I wanted to know if it was possible to find happiness in spite of the often difficult outer circumstances of my life. I decided that for the entire next year I would live my life as an experiment, in which I would constantly make choices that I thought would lead me to happiness. I started to ask myself the question, 'What's the most loving thing I can do for me right now?' Sometimes the answer was to take a walk, or cry, or clean my space, but often the answer was to do nothing. So I learned how to sit and do nothing.
"It was a time to be, to reflect, to breathe, to just sit and be present in the moment. I watched the flames from a few Chanukah candles until the last wisp of waxy smoke vanished into the air. Each day the chatter in my head began to diminish until eventually I could hear only the silence of the flame. One day, in the silence, a compelling urge to sit in front of the computer and write overcame me. Then every day after meditating, I'd type and watch my fingers fly as the stories flowed out of me. One month and a hundred pages later, it occurred to me that I was writing a book, and this was the new direction in which I needed to be going.
"My being became absolutely permeated with creativity. By having isolated myself for such a long period of time, the creative energy had emerged full force. This creative force not only gave me the will to live then, but it has continued to inspire me to share my passion for life with others. By harnessing this energy, I was able to create a book that is now helping people to break through their walls of insurmountable pain and find greater happiness.
"When people are happy, they not only feel good about themselves, but they also treat others better. In my own way, by inspiring others toward their greatest happiness, I believe I am helping this world to become a better place."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, May 6, 2002, review of Crappy to Happy: Small Steps to Big Happiness Now!, p. 49.