Research scientist; engineering consultant; vice president of corporate development; certified Concept-Therapy instructor; author.
(With Tami Coyne) The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything: Learn to Risk, Release, and Soar, Red Wheel/Weiser, (York Beach, ME), 2002.
Karen Weissman began her career as an engineer and research scientist studying noise and vibration concerns. She eventually became an engineering consultant, then a vice president of corporate development for a technology startup company. However, delving into metaphysics and spirituality changed all that. After meeting Tami Coyne, coauthor of her book, The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything: Learn to Risk, Release, and Soar, and discovering they had similar spiritual philosophies, the two women began writing articles for a webzine on metaphysics and spirituality, which culminated in their book. Weissman left her engineering career and now teaches Concept Therapy seminars.
Weismann's educational path led her to the study of physical phenomenon. Her career path led her to investigate vibration and noise problems in consumer products and during space shuttle launches. Just before completing her doctorate, however, she became ill with mononucleosis, then developed an infection that put her in hospital. Her illnesses put her on a path that ultimately led to the study of metaphysics and spirituality and her new career as a Concept Therapy instructor.
After becoming ill, Weismann took a serious look at her life and her philosophies. A writer for Princeton Alumni Weekly said Weismann—a self-confessed health food snob at the time—realized she was focusing on "not getting sick rather than maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle." Weismann therefore decided to pay less attention to what she put into her body and more to what she enjoyed—like interests and friends. She also decided to redirect her beliefs and energy.
The more she studied the physical phenomenon, the more convinced she became that the same energy drives everything in the universe. So, in 1994, she enrolled in a "Concept Therapy," course in Brooklyn, New York, investigating the underlying similarity between spirituality and science. In that large New York metropolis, at one of those very small seminars, she met Coyne. The two women discovered not only did they have a similar interest in metaphysics, they lived just a block from each other in Greenwich Village. They also discovered during long sidewalk conversations that they had similar philosophies to life and the concept of spirituality.
As their friendship developed, so did their future. In 1999 they began collaborating on articles for a webzine site and, being self-confirmed spiritual women, called themselves "The Spiritual Chicks." After the Web site's demise, the women collected their articles and sent them to Red Wheel as a book proposal. The proposal was accepted, but more material was necessary to make their work book length. In the process of writing additional essays and articles, they started their own Web site, SpiritualChicks.com, to field test their new material. The book was written with the deliberate intent of relating to the real-life experiences of its audience.
While the women come from entirely different backgrounds and admit to having entirely different personalities—Weismann is left-brained and analytical; Coyne is right-brained and passionate and a French literature major—they declare their writing styles are similar and collaboration has been a positive experience.
The basis of The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything is the "One Life Principle," the idea that a single universal power manifests in all things and holds the universe together at the same time. Coyne and Weismann formatted their book in a question-and-answer style, with short essays on real-life experiences wherever they felt it necessary to bring an answer to life. Those essays may be hard hitting, or humorous, just as real-life experiences are. Many answers, however, have no corresponding essay, the reason being—according to the authors—that readers need the opportunity to apply their own life experiences rather than just reading those of the authors. "Otherwise it would just read like the 'Tami and Karen show!'" the authors commented on an Internet interview for girlposse.com.
In her review in Awareness Magazine, Maryel McKinley described their work as "a refreshing, if not mind-blowing, book that will open your heart and help you dispose of junk thoughts one might be holding onto unnecessarily." Leslie Gilbert Elman, in Healing Retreats and Spas Magazine, called the book "savvy, affirming and enjoyable," and Trixie for girlposse.com called it "Sassy, saucy and completely insightful." Jan Suzukawa in Science of Mind magazine, said this is a "delightful and irreverent book" that counsels its readers to "(1) question everything; (2) condemn nothing; (3) and then, align ourselves with what we want."
In their online interview with girlposse.com, the authors wrote: "Spirituality is such a loaded word. Many people think it's just for goodie-goodies, the really desperate, or people who otherwise don't have a life. We wrote this book to dispel the myth that we have to be something other than who we already are to be spiritual. This book is for everyone, because everyone is already spiritual. We hope that when people read it they recognize this aspect in themselves."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Healing Retreats and Spas Magazine, November-December, 2002, review of The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything: Learn to Risk, Release, and Soar.
Publishers Weekly, September 30, 2002, review of The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything, p. 66.
Science of Mind Magazine, February, 2003, Jan Suzukawa, review of The Spiritual Chicks Question Everything.