Dancing In The Heart Of Life - Jane O'Brien

Dancing In The Heart Of Life

"Jane shares her journey candidly. Briskly and humorously she charts its myriad challenges, heartbreaks, absurdities and joys. 'Dancing in the Heart of Life' has the gripping narrative of a novel, full of page turning suspense, whilst never losing those roots which are firmly embedded in the wisdom and expertise of a life enriched by the desire to heal.

Mystical soarings of the spirit sit companionably alongside practical common sense advice. Jane's dance is generous, inclusive and expansive, never more so than in the darkest moments, when the dancing leads us defiantly to light and joy."

Annabel Knight, Writer, Actor and Drama Coach

Introduction

I have written my story as a celebration of my life, which has been enormously dramatic and challenging. I hope that by reading about my experiences, you might realise that I have faced similar issues to the ones that you might be facing right now so you are not alone. I have always most enjoyed finding a little piece of wisdom and sharing it with others in hopes that it will help them. That is why I enjoy reading autobiographies because usually I can pick up some little gems to help me along my way.

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What are the types of situations that I have encountered? I had a life threatening illness at age 14 that left me with after effects that I addressed through dietary change and psychology because doctors didn’t have answers. I became a Bahá’í and met the love of my life at age 19. Being a Bahá’í inspired me to live the best life I possibly could, to listen to that still small voice within me and to value myself as a human being even when I had lost confidence and felt worthless. I married my husband, American actor, Philip O’Brien, once in 1965, divorced him in 1987, and married him again in 1998. I wouldn’t have married him once never mind twice if he hadn’t really been the love of my life! I had five children, four live births, and tragically one baby who died at four weeks, and one miscarriage. I raised three children to adulthood.

I inherited money from my mother and grandmother, first at age 21 and in various amounts for about 10 years after that. Then in 1979 I received approximately a million and a half dollars as a windfall from an investment that suddenly became much more valuable than it had been. Ten years later I was on a slippery slope of financial loss until I eventually lost my home. Shortly thereafter I experienced the deaths of three of the closest men in my life, my eldest son who committed suicide, my husband who died of cancer, and my father who died in his 91st year from pneumonia following Parkinson’s disease. I didn’t know how or if I would come back from all that or even if I cared that I did. I didn’t then. I do now. I studied health and healing, counselling and psychotherapy, and after not having ever needed to work for a living before, I trained as a counsellor and began to build a part-time private practice in counselling, showing that it can be done even later on in life. Later I got my Masters Degree as a psychotherapist. I have lived in four different cultures and six American states, which means that I don’t have a regional accent that people can identify. That adds to a sense of mystery about me that I enjoy.

That is just an appetiser, a kind of taster of what is ahead of you in my story. There is much, much more to it than that. I hope you enjoy and benefit from reading my story. I love both the highs and the lows of my life. I have learned so much, and have been privileged to experience such a wide variety of events and emotions that even the enormous pain and despair of some of the hard times have opened in me greater depth and understanding. Whatever we do, life passes by in an instant, and what then? Therefore I suggest that one of the most important things that we can ever do in our life is to decide how we are going to live, what we want to do, and how we would like to be remembered, so that despite our inevitable mistakes, we may make choices that reflect our values and make our life meaningful to us.

Jane O’Brien

Jane O'Brien

Author of Dancing in the Heart of Life

Dancing In The Heart Of Life

Dancing In The Heart Of Life - Jane O'Brien

"Jane shares her journey candidly. Briskly and humorously she charts its myriad challenges, heartbreaks, absurdities and joys. 'Dancing in the Heart of Life' has the gripping narrative of a novel, full of page turning suspense, whilst never losing those roots which are firmly embedded in the wisdom and expertise of a life enriched by the desire to heal.

Mystical soarings of the spirit sit companionably alongside practical common sense advice. Jane's dance is generous, inclusive and expansive, never more so than in the darkest moments, when the dancing leads us defiantly to light and joy."

Annabel Knight, Writer, Actor and Drama Coach

"Jane has always been the person ahead of me on the road, the one who carries the lamp and tells me what she sees, who has the nerve to be the first." 

- Dearbhla Molloy, Actor

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'Dancing In The Heart Of Life' is available at Amazon UK In Kindle and Paperback Versions.

'Dancing In The Heart Of Life' is available at Amazon US In Kindle and Paperback Versions.

Reader Reviews

Beautiful Autobiography

“This autobiography is both beautiful and simple. I felt that it was such an interesting and important story that the author was sharing directly with me. Some of the events were so devastating and deeply moving that they gave me a lot of food for thought about my own life. I have a renewed faith in the depth of the human experience and the ability to triumph with grace and dignity. This is one of the best books I have ever read and it is a story that everyone should read. It deserves to be told on the stage as well as in movie theaters.”

Robert

Reviewed in Amazon UK

A beautifully touching read.

“So touched by Jane’s book. She manages to beautifully take the reader on a journey through her life whilst spending moments of reflection to ask how it relates to us. I found each chapter related to my own life and the themes explored gave me permission to open up questions and reflections I had felt too scared to look at. A deeply sad story at times as Jane bravely explores some of the tragic events in her life with gentleness and compassion.”

Gregory Donaldson

Reviewed in Amazon UK

Wild at Heart but with a deeper message

“This book left me feeling like I’d been washed in a washing machine without soap and wrung dry through a mangle. It was exhilarating and thought-provoking. Only a spiritual warrior woman can be this honest with their reader and Jane O’Brien is such a writer. I’m grateful for the knowledge you lovingly shared. Thank you for publishing your memoir.”

Roxana

Reviewed in Amazon UK

A clear and beautiful account of the stages of life of a soul …

“A clear and beautiful account of the stages of life of a soul determined to grow and transform through all even the most difficult events. Reflections to help the reader to understand and act. Easy to read. Covers belief, marriage, sex, money, life and death, bereavement, finding fulfilment and joy.”

Em

Reviewed in Amazon UK