Saturday, December 7, 2013

RETURNING TO THE CIRCLE, A Book of Loving Support for Young Women

It's always an honor and delight to welcome other authors to my site and to share the gifts they are offering to the world. Today though, I am especially happy to make you aware of the book Returning to the Circle, by Rev. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

Her book is intended as a gift of nurturing support, positive affirmation and inspiration to young women. We all remember how hard it is to grow up, but I think that most of us can look at the world today and say a prayer of thanks that we grew up when we did, and do not have to navigate all the complexity, pressures, expectations and unhealthy "role models" that today's world thrusts upon young people. 

Filled with inspiring quotes and real life stories, Linda's book will be a wonderful gift to any young woman suffering from low self-esteem or feeling confused, lost and uncertain about her path. I hope you will read on to find out more about this wonderful book and consider buying it for a young person in your life. 


First, here is some background on Linda: 

Rev. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas is an educator, writer, poet and interfaith minister. She has two books, Winter of the Soul, (2008) and Gogo’s Dream: Discovering Swaziland, (2010). On January 1, 2013, her story, “The Angel in the Bright Green Jacket,” was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us. She teaches English as a Second language, writing and poetry throughout New England. Rev. Neas lives in an enchanted cottage with her beloved husband, where she gains great insight and inspiration from her four daughters and growing number of grandchildren. Visit her blog at: Words from the Heart

Read on after the photo for an excerpt from the book and all the links:


Returning to the Circle

by Rev. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

           After hearing, again, the story of another young woman who had few life skills, low self-esteem, and no clue where to go for help, I began to wonder how it was that my generation seemed to be able to do so much in spite of our own dysfunctional upbringings. Pondering the question, I quickly began to recall the amazing women in my life that lead by example, shared words of wisdom and poured their selves into all they did.

          To begin, I remembered the two women who touched my heart and soul as a very young child - Miss Foster, my kindergarten teacher and my Aunt Mary. 
Miss Foster was a quintessential fifties beauty. She had black hair, fair skin and a warm smile. She wore ponytails, full skirts, white blouses cardigan sweaters and red lipstick. She taught me that singing was a great way to start any day, police officers were there to help us and anything shared with a friend made life special.
My Aunt Mary looked a lot like Miss Foster. She took me to the L Street Bathhouse, where I learned how to swim. When I was sick, she would come and play with me. On her days off, she would take me to the Boston Commons and during Christmas, to Filene’s and Jordan’s to see the store windows and the holiday lights. She smelled of Jean Nate and always looked neat and put together. My Aunt Mary taught me style and grace. She was the heroine of my formative years.
Later, I remember several Sisters of St. Joseph with fond admiration. They were most definitely teachers of life skills as well as English, Math and History. Sister Margaret Delores (first grade), Sister Clare Denise (fifth grade), Sister Ralph (sixth grade) and Sister Marillac shared their love of music, poetry, dance, humor and theology. The accumulation of their wisdom has seen me through many a dark moment.
Then there was Pat Venuti, my college psychology professor, who taught me the “warm fuzzy/cold prickly” rule. This is a concept I still follow. Pat was one of those people who could light up a room. Her sudden death when I was still a young mother, helped me realize how important it is to say, “I love you” to people we care about. Gratefully, Pat knew the difference she had made in my life.
Another champion in my life was my college English literature professor was Mary Beaudry. She introduced me to Arthurian Legend, which gave me the pleasure of knowing that even grown adults believed in magic! While sharing her love of the written word, she inspired me to develop my skills. She believed in my dreams of being a published author and still is one of my most faithful supporters.
Of course, no list of influential women would be complete without mention of my mother and mother-in-love. You could not find two women that are more different anywhere in the world, but each has blessed my life in ways they could not imagine. My mother was an amazingly strong woman. She shared her love of the arts with me and taught me to look at the little things in life. She gave me a healthy disrespect for conformity. If everyone were wearing blue, she would wear bright red. She took the road less traveled, often and heard a different drummer, which was OK.
My mother-in-love was the opposite. The wife of a Baptist minister, she is a most gracious Southern lady. Our times together have been filled with laughter interspersed between soul-searching discussions about life, faith and dreams.
As far as friends go, there are too many “sisters of my soul” to mention each individually. Suffice it to say, that each one knows how much I value her friendship and love. Each knows how special she is to me. Without them, the rocky parts of life would be unbearable. With them, even the bluest of blue days sparkles beyond belief. I would not be who I am without each of them.
The difference, I came to realize, was the time spent with these women. Whether it was sitting around the kitchen table sipping tea, walking the beach on a gorgeous fall day, staying after school simply to talk or gathered around a campfire, we shared our lives, our dreams, and our wisdom with each other.
As my girls grew, I continued the tradition. However, for this new generation, it seems that IPads, cell phones and texting have created a disconnect. This situation has left today’s young women without the wisdom and lessons that can be learned when we sit across from someone and listen to their stories, which is why I put together the eBook, Returning to the Circle, a virtual gathering of women, who share their wisdom in a thirty-day meditation.
          As I say in the introduction of Returning to the Circle, “I pray that those who read and use this book will be blessed by the words - the wisdom - of the women who appear on these pages. May they help to guide, inspire and affirm who you are and why you are in this life.” 
Linda's BLOG


  1. Dear Melissa, thanks so much for letting us know about this book. We all need to help other authors get the word out about their writing. You are so generous to do so. Peace.

    1. Thank you for coming by and saying hello Dee. I think the intention of this book is a lovely and kind gesture and I am so pleased to do what I can to support it.

  2. It is so important to help others and girls do need strong female role models. I often am thankful that I grew up when I did because there seems to be so much pressure nowadays and there is so much to think about.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jess, I agree totally. I think Linda's book is a wonderful gift to young women.


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