“The pandemic,” explained vocalist/entertainer and now author Gloria Carpenter as to how and why her new book “Power Up Your Dreams: Moving From Self-Defeat to Self-Belief” came to be. “I had a chance to slow down and sit with my thoughts. I’m usually going and going as I’m sure you know for yourself; we are just constantly doing and with the pandemic everything just stopped and here we had all of this time. I’m in a really great spot in my life right now; I have a really supportive, wonderful, giving, loving husband who is my rock and things are going really well in my singing career and writing the book was just another aspect of joy for me and having joy in my life is huge and that was another way other than music of expressing myself and as serious as things are and were with this COVID crisis, I just made the best of it. That is what we have to do in life; accept the “What is” and work around it.”
Carpenter’s life journey began in Milford, CT and after a two decade stop in Manhattan, she is currently settled in Verona, NJ where as we read above, this Amazon “Best Selling” author has seemingly found contentment. However, things were not always the case and this foray into the publishing world reveals her struggles, trials and tribulations in an effort to help others through lessons learned.
“The book is “Power Up Your Dreams: Moving From Self-Defeat to Self-Belief” and I wrote it over the pandemic because all of my (music) gigs were either cancelled or postponed. I figured that I wanted to do something that would benefit others while I was sitting at home twiddling my fingers,” she said with a laugh. “So, one day, instead of scrolling through my Facebook messages, I opened up a Word Document and I wrote the title “My Book.” I had never really intended to write a book until that very moment when I realized, as I was writing every day, that I had bits and pieces of my life and stories and lessons learned from my life experiences that I wanted to share to help others. This book is a self-empowerment book, it’s a guide to help people live their most happy, peaceful and fulfilling lives and to get out of their own way. I mention get out of their own way because people sometimes get stuck in their disempowering thoughts, they self-sabotage, they get into self-defeating patterns and most of the time this is caused by subconscious beliefs and self-limiting beliefs that they have from their childhood. That’s where I start out the book, with my story of where I came from, from a very dysfunctional family, a child of neglect and abandonment and I didn’t feel lovable. I didn’t feel worthy, I didn’t feel like I deserved to be on this planet, I had no sense of self-awareness and through my life experience I came to know that it’s a combination of your mind, your body and your spirit. I go into depth in each of those categories as well as practical advice on how to deal with fear, how to deal with challenges; there are so many facets in my book that I cover as well as trusting in your life and your inner guidance.”
When one meets Gloria, none of what she describes of her childhood is evident. She is as vivacious, engaging, authentic and incredibly personable as the talent and persona she exudes when on stage as the performer who has entertained audiences at Lincoln Center, on cruise ships, in jazz clubs, country bars and at major festivals all across our country but even these accomplishments have roots in her past
“Music is definitely therapy for me and my father was a musician so I have that genetic aspect in me,” she began, I knew at a very young age what I wanted to do and it wasn’t singing; it was dancing. Do you remember a show from the 1960’s called; “Million Dollar Movie?” They used to show musicals from the 40’s and 50’s with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire and dancing girls with great choreography and I was watching these chorus girls singing and dancing in their glitzy costumes; I was hooked on those shows and there was something in me that said I want to do that and I knew that I wanted to perform. When I found that I could sing, it was really helpful as a therapeutic expression to alleviate the pain. I was born with a very positive personality that helped me get through; people that I know, they know me as smiling through my life but inside I was hurting. I try to live in the now and where I am now from the higher story of my life rather than going back to ”Poor me;” I don’t want people thinking that at all.”
With a strong desire to help others she has taken things to another level and in addition to the book she has become a certified Dreambuilder Life Coach; the key word here being “Life.” Carpenter strongly believes that it starts with one simple, “Thought.”
“The entire book runs 233 pages, it is a paperback, there is an E-book version and I’m currently recording an audio book as well. There are 13 chapters and I use a lot of inspirational quotes from a lot of the new-age teachers that I’ve learned from and have been inspired by. This book is motivational, inspirational and it’s a way to encourage people to focus on what it is they are here for and what their purpose is in life. I think a lot of people go through life on automatic pilot and they don’t take the time to really look inward to see what it is they really want and what kind of life they would truly love living and it all starts with a thought. In the first few chapters I talk about; what makes you feel live? What brings you Joy? You hone in and give yourself a blueprint of where you want to go and that’s where it all starts. I also address the concept of just being you and embracing the uniqueness of who you are. We tend to compare ourselves with others rather than being exactly who we were born to be and loving ourselves fully. So, this is a book about becoming self-aware as well and staying true to yourself and who you are and why you are here.”
Most times that comparison wanes but there are those who go through their entire lives attempting to accommodate others wishes or visions for them and never realize their own potential. Many times we as individuals sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of others and often this starts as she stated earlier in “Childhood and far too often children wish to please their parents based on their upbringing and parental expectations; which usually carries over into adulthood. When asked if this book can empower youth to follow their dreams and passions when others have a predetermined path for them; she was hesitant at first but once again cited an example from her past.
“I’m putting the book out there knowing that there are junior high and college students or perhaps adults who are still floundering about and not doing what they really should be doing; I hate to say the book is for everybody because it’s not. This is for people who are not happy with their lives, for people who live with doubts about themselves, people who live in fear or are constantly worried or don’t take risks. I definitely want to affect kids who need guidance. I know when I was growing up I had absolutely no guidance; no role models or mentors. I went to college to teach elementary school students and I didn’t want to do that. I knew my heart was in performing but I was too fearful to take that risk of not knowing what was ahead and if I could make a living out of it. So, instead I went to college, I hated every second of it, I got a B.S. degree that was simply BS. I didn’t do anything with it because teaching jobs were not available; I’m not even good with kids (laughs). I don’t have my own kids and went to college for teaching because I wanted my summers off. So, if I can prevent college kids or teenagers from doing the same thing I did; that would be amazing.”
“As an adult,” she continued, “You can speak your mind and say, this is what I want and this is what I’m going to do but as a kid living in their parent’s house and having the dynamic of disappointing your parents and having conflict with them if you do not think the way they do; that is a tough one and a very difficult decision for a kid to make. My gut is telling me to just be honest with the parents and say look, this is not what I want to do and trust that I’ll be OK. Have a heart to heart with your parents so that they know where you are and that you don’t want to do this. I didn’t have parents to talk to so I never encountered that situation; I was in a daycare center growing up but I think that even if the bond between the child and the parents is strong and if the child has enough confidence to tell their parents this is where my passion is, this is what I want to be doing; will you support me instead of living the life that you want me to live mom and dad? I think that any normal, decent human being would say OK, we love you, we are behind you.”
Writing a book of this nature can be thought provoking for the author as well as the reader and in Gloria’s case it opened up some old wounds for her as well.
“Anything that had to do with my father was very emotional for me; I loved him to pieces but he was not ready to be a father. My parents divorced when I was five and when I was around age nine or ten he moved to California and I saw him maybe once every five to six years after that. There is a moment in the book where I talk about the night before he left for California and he came to say goodbye to me; I pretended that I was asleep because I couldn’t face it, I couldn’t face saying goodbye. So, the word goodbye has always been a trigger for me and that always gets me. That was the hard part, my father was a great guy who died young, a musician that I didn’t get a lot of time with; he never heard me sing and that was the emotional part. Everything else was really easy, I felt like I was just downloading everything and it came really easy; the life lessons that people can get value from and I’m hoping to get the book in the hands of the people that need it.”
As individuals, we go through life making choices daily. We choose what we drink in the morning; is it coffee or tea? Sweet or unsweet? What should we have for breakfast, lunch, dinner? What to wear? We make choices that affect who we are, what we do and how we live and Carpenter says she can’t stress this enough; that we are in charge of our lives.
“We get to choose how our life goes, we are 100 percent responsible for our lives; nobody else can do it for us and I think people need to keep that in mind. The thoughts they think, choices they make, everything that they say and do all matters; they matter and their life matters. I just want to plant the seed in them that they are here on purpose and for a purpose; they are not here randomly. I’m not religious but in my late forties I began to get more into the spiritual nature of who I am and I think that this is a crucial part of the mind, body, spirit connection and a lot of people do not tap into that. I think it would be very empowering for people to just take a moment sit in silence and listen. I talk about meditation, journaling, developing habits that empower rather than dis-empower you; so, this is a guidebook, a reference book, a resource book and a motivational and inspirational kind of book and I want my message to get out there to as many people as possible.”
“Power Up Your Dreams: Moving From Self-Defeat to Self-Belief” is available through Amazon or to obtain a signed copy please visit www.powerupyourdreams.com and to find out more about Gloria Carpenter and her career as an entertainer, please go to www.gloriacarpenter.net .
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!