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Published:September 7th, 2008 18:17 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with Jean Boyd, Author of The Greatest Escape

Judyth Piazza chats with Jean Boyd, Author of The Greatest Escape

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

Now here`s my story, which will explain how I developed the techniques in this book. It begins with a classic tale of a dysfunctional family and childhood trauma.

One of three children, I was born into a Catholic, blue-collar family, and grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. Although it has become a Freudian cliché to blame the mother,  my mother bears primary responsibility for creating the dysfunction in our family. I was an adult studying psychology in graduate school, when I finally understood my mother`s behavior "she had a borderline personality disorder. Some examples of her bizarre behavior were that she would punish me for sneaking next door to visit my grandmother, and she once took my father to court for playing the piano (the judge threw the case out).

Consistent with classic Freudian psychology, at age five, some traumatic experiences triggered the onset of neurosis. The particulars of what happened aren`t important. What is important is that I was too young to make sense of the experiences. Frightened, and motivated by a desire to avoid future harm, I set out on what turned into a life-long quest to figure out how the world worked. My search began in earnest, at age six, when I discovered the local library. From then on, libraries were my sacred places, and books were my way of making sense of life.

Traumatized, and in need of healing myself, I chose nursing as a career. I obtained a bachelor`s degree from the University of Buffalo, married a physician, and had two daughters. In addition to work and family, I participated in the political movements of the day, and even achieved elected office in my small suburban town. Although my life appeared to be normal and successful, beneath the surface, as it had throughout my life, my body never stopped generating intense, unrelenting stress "mostly fear.

I was in my mid-thirties when, with the help of a Gestalt therapist, I recovered my repressed memories and learned why I was so fearful. A few years later, feeling better, and thinking that I was cured, I went on to obtain a master`s degree in psychiatric nursing, acquired additional training in Gestalt therapy and hypnosis, and entered the mental health field. Subsequently, from the other side of the couch, I employed a variety of psychiatric treatment methods, including: individual and group therapy, art therapy, behavioral therapy, and the use of psychotropic drugs.

I thought I had it all: family, career, and a comfortable upper middle-class life. However, when I turned fifty and reviewed my seemingly good life, ? a disquieting question occurred to me: Is his all there is?  Then, one day, I noticed a tiny newspaper advertisement for a yoga class that was just starting up. I signed up, and for the next five years, I meditated, took classes in yoga and karate, chanted mantras, burned incense, read books on Eastern philosophy, and went to a Chinese Buddhist nun for acupuncture. One day, in mediation, I felt a tingling in my fingertips and a current of energy running through my spine. I concluded that while Western therapy had made me mentally healthy, Eastern practices had made me enlightened. However, I soon discovered how wrong I was "on both counts.

Read an excerpt of The Greatest Escape, read about Jean Boyd`s quest, or read stories of those traveling the Quantum Path.

Or email Jean: