Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 00:00
Hi it’s Marissa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include health care practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialised fields to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 01:16
Our guest this week on a voice and beyond is Patricia Crisafulli who is an author, New York Times Best Selling storyteller, Communications Consultant and founder of faith, hope and fiction.com. As a former journalist, Patricia has been published in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, as well as the Christian Science Monitor. The Trisha tells us that as a child, she had a terrible stutter. And through writing, she discovered her voice as it gave her a means to authentically communicate what she needed to say. Her first published book, remembering mother, finding myself, a journey of love and self acceptance was featured in the national media, including Cosmopolitan magazine. In this book, Patricia writes about the tragic loss of a mother being one of the most traumatic experiences of a woman’s life. Since then, the Tricia has gone on to becoming an award winning New York Times best selling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books. Patricia believes that fiction and nonfiction are the intersection between the ordinary and the extraordinary. Within each of her stories, she discovers pieces of herself, and she finds safety and empowerment in that acquired knowledge. In her latest work secrets of a Anita harbour, Patricia explores the miracles and mysteries that occur in ordinary life. Her mission is to help people discover and embrace the story of their own lives and uncover the extraordinary within the ordinary. The Tricia explains that in our lives, just like a mystery story, signs are like clues. And if we follow the signs, we will come to understand that we are exactly where we are meant to be. Other topics, Patricia speaks about our the importance of self acceptance, our gut being the rudder that directs us to the truth in our lives, the empowerment and safety that comes from knowledge, and much, much more. This is a beautiful and empowering interview with Patricia Christopher Lee. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 04:10
Patricia Crisafulli all the way from Oregon. Welcome to a voice and beyond. How are you going?
Patricia Crisafulli 04:19
Doing very well. Thank you so much. I’m thrilled to be on the show today.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 04:23
I am extremely thrilled because we had a pre interview meeting a few weeks ago, and literally we didn’t shut up. No. It was like we’d known each other for years. It was one of those meetings where you meet someone for the first time but you feel like you’ve known them your whole life. So I’m really excited about what we’re going to talk about and hopefully, we we do come up for air sometimes throughout this interview. But Patricia And I will call you Trisha from now on but the Trisha if people want to find you, Patricia Christa Foley. Trisha, you’re an author, a New York Times Best Selling storyteller, communications consultant, and founder of faith, hope and fiction.com. You hold a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Northwestern University. Okay, so tell us what what do you do?
Patricia Crisafulli 05:31
Well, it’s very simple. I write, no, okay, I’ll explain. So
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 05:37
you do write a lot, I
Patricia Crisafulli 05:39
do write a lot. So in the big part of my world, the one that, you know, pays the mortgage and consumes an awful lot of my time. I’m a Communications Consultant. I’ve done this for 23 years after being a business journalist. So and I consult with companies, I’m sort of adjunct to their corporate communications staff. So I’m doing white papers and speeches and articles and blogs and helping with communications that companies need done more and more, you know, especially during the pandemic, we found that good leadership needed good communication behind it. And I’ve been honoured to work with a lot of fabulous organisations. But that’s my business world. And then I have my creative world, which is equally important, although it may not match our for our, and in that world, I am truly a storyteller. I’ve been an author of nonfiction and more recently, fiction books, including my mystery series, which launched a few months ago, I write short stories I like to write in the fiction world between in the genre of mystery, but also literary fiction, about the intersection of the ordinary and the extraordinary, because that’s the moment that that inflection point when change happens. So I write business, fiction, nonfiction. It’s all storytelling. And that’s what defines me and gives me purpose.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 07:09
That’s amazing. So what has led you to that journey of all this storytelling and writing? You know,
Patricia Crisafulli 07:18
it was inborn. I’m not saying that, like, I had this raw talent, but I had broad desire, I can remember being like five years old, and I wasn’t a good sleeper. So lying awake in bed and looking at the ceiling and telling myself stories to the top. And then when I got a little bit older, and I had this big epic in my head, right, I wanted to write it down, I got out my pencil and a piece of paper. And I wrote and I wrote, and I wrote, and four whole sentences later, I looked down and said, There must be something more to this writing business. But it felt like magic to take a thought in my head and make believe thought and put it down on paper. And I was hooked. And from seven on I, all I wanted to do was write, it’s been my joy, it’s been my business. I, like everybody struggled with it, and I had to get a whole lot better. But I found my voice, which in writing is so important, right? To what you know, what I authentically want to say, even if it is fiction. And I found my way to express my ideas, my beliefs about the world, and what makes us human and what makes us connected.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 08:32
Yes. So this sounds some of this stuff compared to your corporate world can be rather like going this is the academic side of me. And then this is what some people would consider the woowoo side. And that’s a word that I’ve learned on this podcast. I’d never heard of the word woowoo.
Patricia Crisafulli 08:53
It’s very clear. It’s a very clinical term. I’m sure it’s in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Whoo. Desh Whoo.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 08:59
I think we should make it the next new word in the dictionary because they always add a new word every year. Yes. Yeah. Did something happened to you then in your childhood? Where you felt that you were silenced? You didn’t have a voice that you felt that writing was the only way you could express yourself or or speak up?
Patricia Crisafulli 09:24
Yes. Yeah. And it is about speech. When I was a kid, I had a speech impediment. I talk way too fast. I still talk quickly but I enunciate. And I mumbled and so you know, it was like, little little scared little girl who was tripping over her words and and and then wouldn’t come out and the kids made fun of me and bullied me. So but when it came to writing, expressing thoughts to paper, I had a fluency but I didn’t have any place else. So writing B came a refuge and a main place where I could truly get all of my ideas out. Speed didn’t matter, right? i If it was pouring out of me, you as long as my hands could could keep up. So that is what I think helped me find my voice, but maybe more to the point preserve my voice. Because throughout my life, what do you mean by that? Well, if we, if we, you know, I love an expression, right expression is about what we are sending out. And if the mouse for whatever reason, is not able to fully express our thoughts, you know, I felt it was like a dam building up, right. I mean, it was just water, you know, like, it was overflowing. And by keeping the flow of words on paper, and, uh, finding that, that joy, I was able to preserve my voice and in time decide that I simply didn’t need to be held back by the nervousness and the anxieties that were holding me hostage and holding my words hostage. Now I give speeches and whatever, and it’s no problem people go you. And I go, Yeah, yeah. And I always tell younger people you never know, who is some, you know, if you have something that you think is holding you back now doesn’t mean it has to hold you back forever.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 11:26
Did you do therapy? Or did you naturally through your writing, become empowered or feel empowered to use that voice and not be afraid?
Patricia Crisafulli 11:37
See all of the above. Okay. I love therapy, I think therapy is great, I would encourage anyone and everyone to to, especially if they’re at a point of decision, or introspection, or things aren’t going well like to reach out and a good therapist is, is someone who helps you find the answers not delivers them, you know, and I was, so I’ve been really, really blessed over the years to have worked with a few really good therapists. And in addition, you know, writing, or you did a lot of nonfiction essays, and a nonfiction book that’s quite introspective about Mother Daughter relationships after the mother has died. And all of these, these pieces of writing, even my novel now, I tell myself, I write the stories that I need to read in this moment. So I’m my number one audience, and I always think I’m not the only one who needs this. So yes, yes.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 12:36
Do you learn about yourself while you’re writing? Like, I have read through the list of the books that you’ve written? And one, I would think that you’re a highly curious person? Yes. And then it came to mind that, I’m just wondering if this is like, therapy, but But you are learning about yourself, as you write and the words are appearing on paper, you’re having aha moments.
Patricia Crisafulli 13:10
All the time. You know, in nonfiction, you know, there’s there’s certainly the learning and the curiosity that goes because I’m writing about subjects and sometimes it was like the leadership or the financial industry during the crisis, which isn’t, isn’t so self reflective. But even in the the lessons that I wanted to explore, there was some part of me to what I needed to learn about what it was like to to handle upset or crises and what happens in who we are in those moments. In fiction, you know, I’m creating characters that I hope are three dimensional, and my new book, The secrets of Anita harbour, I have a protagonist, Gabriella Domenici, she’s younger than I am, but I know her real well. She’s not me, but I have endowed her with a lot of my insecurities, and flaws and quirks. And when I have to give her a rationale, you know, I only have to dig into myself, and it really helps. And I’ll give you a little example. Gabriela is a librarian and our hometown library, out real stepped down from the beautiful job she had in New York City. And so those circumstances are different than mine. But she she reflected one day on why she loved libraries, and she’s realised that having access to all the knowledge in the world has made her feel safe. Wow. Because I knew as a journalist, I loved knowing stuff, because knowing stuff makes me feel safe, really. And so that not smart, not smarter than somebody up the word safe and when I typed it out on the screen, to get this is Gabrielle is motivation. I said to myself, Oh, wow. I just told the truth. about myself that I hadn’t really fully expressed before. Knowledge equals safety. Yeah.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 15:06
And in academia, we always say knowledge is power. Right? We don’t say it’s safe, we say it’s power. But I mean, when someone feels empowered, right, I think that you do feel safe, don’t you there is a safety in that.
Patricia Crisafulli 15:23
Knowledge is power, it can, it can be like, you know, one person is trying to get the upper hand on another. And that’s not what we’re talking about here knowledge as empowerment, so I can join the conversation so I can get the step up and be more fully myself. Knowledge is safety. So that if I have the deep answers that are if I require deeper answers, I know where to go, I can go and ask those questions, I know that my voice will be heard, when I seek out someone else’s expertise.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 15:56
It’s interesting, because I know that you’ve there are some biographies that you’ve you’ve written. And it’s when when you ask people about their lives, as much as I do through this podcast, I learned so much about myself. And with all that knowledge, you’re right, there is a safety because since embarking on the journey of hosting this podcast, I have felt that I have a voice that I didn’t have before. Like, I’m discovering my authentic voice. And I’m more prepared and more empowered to speak my truth in a way that I never did before. By speaking to people such as yourself, the singing teachers, the healthcare experts, I find that through doing this work, through you writing, you’re writing about yourself or parts of your personality, and I’m kind of revealing parts of mine through this in a way that even my children say to me, Mum, I had no idea about that. I didn’t know that you did that in your life. I didn’t know that you felt this way. So it’s it is? It’s the only way to express it for me is in those words, I don’t know how else to put it unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
Patricia Crisafulli 17:25
Right? I think it opens the doorway for us. When it’s like when somebody says in a very simple example, oh, we went on vacation to the beach. And it was great. So somebody says, Oh, I’ve been wanting to go to the beach, where did you go? Like they they make a statement and it opens the door for conversation. And that’s a very, very light example. Yeah. So when someone says, you know, I suffered a loss, or I had a health issue, or they express something, it also opens us up to be vulnerable, to either share what we’ve also experienced, or even to hold space that says, This doesn’t need to be about me, I’m going to open this space and be vulnerable and find strength and compassion that maybe I didn’t even know I had in order to let this other xpreshan Come in. And you know, I try to create that in my stories is my characters are all you know, going in different directions. And I because I experienced it in our pre interview and I’m an experience it now you’re excellent at holding that space for other people to express their truth, and to step into it. And I’m hoping that everybody hearing us is nodding away going Yep. Yeah, that makes sense to me.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 18:42
Yes. Thank you. I would like to talk to you about loss, you just Yes, mentioned the word loss. And your first book was remembering mother, finding myself a journey of love and self acceptance. Now you lost your mum at the age of 26. I lost my mum last year. So it’s coming up to the first year anniversary. And I know that there’s a lot of people out there who have gone through loss, especially through COVID. But yes, so through a lot of other illnesses and other things that that people pass away from and some way too early, just as yourself. So you talk about this as being one of the most traumatic experiences that a daughter can go through. How traumatic was it for you and how did it impact you and your life moving forward?
Patricia Crisafulli 19:43
Well, my mother died before I had a chance to really become a peer with her. You know, I was 26 and living in New York City and having my life and she and I were at a point of not really getting along all that well. You just say mama There loves me, but she doesn’t like me very much. And I was very different. I was very driven. I was often a career and I was off in a big city, and she worried about me and, and then suddenly she got a traumatic cancer diagnosis and died. Wow, like real quick, real quick, within a couple of two, three months and but I have some very pleasant memories of art paint poignant but pleasant, because they’re very sustaining. But what I realised was, and she died, and then I had just live my life without her except she, she didn’t go. I found that I had a relationship with her that went on. Because from my case, I had unfinished business. You know, I wanted to know where she left off. And I began, and we didn’t have that moment of, of maybe true separation. It was we did, but it was kind of fraught. So anyway, I decided, being the journalist, I wasn’t the day to turn to run a research project. So remembering Another finding myself was a book I wrote that looked at stories of women like myself, who had lost their mothers at some point in their lives. From the age of one the earliest was a woman whose mother died when she was six days old. So she never knew her mother.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 21:20
Well, my father was two weeks old. When he lost his mom.
Patricia Crisafulli 21:26
Yeah, so there’s a photograph, there’s a story, but yet there was still a something. And the other on the other end, there was a woman who was her mother was in her late 90s. And she was in her 60s When her mother died. So they had gone the full circle, including to becoming her mother’s mother, because of the caregiving involved to a person. I discovered that every every woman I interviewed, regardless of philosophy, religion, lack thereof, devout, agnostic, didn’t matter. Every single person said, Oh, my mother is still around me. She’s still within me. She’s been my thoughts, and there’s a relationship that went on. So yes, what else? For one thing, either you’re saying, I mean, we, sometimes we say, Oh, mother could see me now she’d roll over in her grave. Like we make jokes about that. Yeah. But think about what we’re saying. We’re still perceiving her observing us, or, Oh, wouldn’t mom love to be here to see, you know, my garden or my puppy or the kids doing something? I mean, we say these things. And and I think it’s truly another lens for us to look at ourselves. I wonder how mom would see me as see this time. So finally, I went with it. And just talk to women about experiences they had and connections that remained. And indeed, there is a connection. And I found at the end of that book, that I felt that she had truly written it with me. Wow. And there was permission at the end. Wow, you go, be you, Trisha. I was me. And the best thing I’ll share, and I know we have to lots of topics, but the best advice I ever discovered in this book was, go ask your friend, your best friend who knew your mom, her or his impression. And other words, my friend Joanne, I said, Joanne, tell me about your mom. Oh, your mom, Trisha. Oh, your mom. Oh, she was a fashion like, do you remember when she got that beautiful jacket, and she let me walk around the high school gymnasium with it. And I remember my friend Joanne, like modelling my and my mother laughing at Joanne just what she said, you know, your mom was fashionable, and she was fun. And she was these things, which is true. But that wasn’t always the disciplinarian that I experienced. Yes. So what I saw from my friends story was the woman, not the mother. And I began to enjoy her and asking her sisters, what was she like, as a little girl and people would tell me stories that they would tell an adult daughter, they maybe wouldn’t have told a little daughter when I was a little girl. Anyway, it’s the best thing. Ask people who knew her especially your own best friend who remembered her over remember this individual as a woman, not in a parental role. And it’s liberating. Yes.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 24:27
It’s really interesting because yesterday, I found the church where my mum used to go to twice, three times a week because she was a devout Catholic being Italian. And they said oh, we really missed your mum. She always sat in the same spot and we still visualise her there. She was quite a woman. And I instinctively out of my mouth came. Yeah, she was quite a woman. She was very Are you Nick, and I’ve had a very interesting journey with my mum, when she passed away, I felt a great sense of responsibility, because I had to make some very powerful decisions about taking her off life support. So I was grieving. But in I had a lot of guilt for quite a number of months and didn’t allow myself to grieve. I wasn’t thinking about how I felt in that moment, all I could do was imagine how she was feeling in that moment. And that was really hard to, to get over. And then I went through anger. I went through abandonment, but not the older version of myself, but as a child, because I felt that I was the one that’s always been taking care of her. And I’ve had to heal that. So it’s interesting when you say how other people perceive your mum, as a woman and not as a mum. And you have to heal that, don’t you in order to move forward.
Patricia Crisafulli 26:06
Because, like any of us, doesn’t mean that my mom and your mom work, all those other things that we experienced. But there’s there was more just like there’s more to us. And in seeing all sides. It’s like picking up a beautiful crystal and suddenly, you know, it’s multifaceted, right? When we look at our mothers in that light, we understand why sometimes we can see it generationally. And what is it do? I think it’s a benediction for them, and it’s a blessing and a freedom for us. Go be you, you know, you have to make a tremendously difficult decision. But you know, she’s at peace. I truly believe she sees you and loves you. Love doesn’t die. Love is energy. And it’s continual. Yes. That’s always flowing. Yeah. And and yes, happened to that. I think it’s the ultimate healing.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 27:01
Do you believe that? Sometimes there’s signs do you see signs
Patricia Crisafulli 27:05
crazy all the time?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 27:07
Because I’m gonna say something really? Woowoo All right, please.
Patricia Crisafulli 27:15
You come to the right person.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 27:17
I had, I had a session with an intuitive coach some weeks ago, and she was talking about angels and people, people around me I was surrounded by people that were looking out for me, including my mum. And I live quite high up. And there are shutters that are closed outside of my bedroom balcony. And in the morning, I woke up and there was a feather. Now I there’s no way that feather could have got there. And it was about a day after I’d I’d had this session with this coach. And it was a grey and white feather. And I went and looked up what that meant. I don’t remember now, but it was pretty much saying it’s a sign that you’re being taken care of.
Patricia Crisafulli 28:09
And also that you noticed it that you notice Yes. Also a sign. It was
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 28:15
weird. It was weird. It was the weirdest thing. How could have got through there is no way. There’s just no way. And then the next day, I went to my car and there was another feather behind the back wheel. Love just gone. Okay, someone’s trying to tell me something here. And for our audience who thinks this is really woowoo? That’s okay. Just go with the flaws. Go with it. Hey, I promise. I promise you. We’re going to move on.
Patricia Crisafulli 28:47
I don’t know. I think there’s a lot of us out there. And you know, signs are? Well, I’ll bring it back to my genre signs are like clues, right? When I write a mystery, there’s a clue, right? My Gabriella is my protagonist and she’s trying to solve a mystery that involves library and and mediaeval artefact, and the hometown murders and whatever. And she’s looking for one piece of information to the next right
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 29:12
the clues. Yes, like a puzzle, like a puzzle.
Patricia Crisafulli 29:15
I think that’s a metaphor for life, is that we know, the next step to take and the next one and the next one and the same thing with signs. I found a feather and it made me think could this be and then I saw another one and I said, it’s all about how it made you feel in that moment. Those clue? Yes, the feather in and of itself was a clue was an attention getter saying hello, pay attention. Something is happening here. It’s calling you up into a higher awareness or consciousness. That’s how you follow those flows. So you know whether it’s something you do in meditation or a song on the radio kind of smacks you or me out of the out of our reverie. It’s all saying, Pay attention, you’re alive. There’s something for you to do. You’re loved, you’re blessed. There’s purpose, what’s your next step?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 30:11
And in life, okay? Would you say that you travel through life, following your heart, your head or your gut? Because I think our gut feeling is way smarter than our brain most of the time, our intuition. So where do you kind of put those in order for you? What’s most important for you?
Patricia Crisafulli 30:35
Oh, boy. Well, I It’s. So I like to think that I follow my head, you know, and because I like to be, I like that knowledge, you know, and I like to strategize and whatever. And I try to follow my heart. And, you know, and be purpose driven. But I can lie to my head, I can lie to my heart, I can’t lie to my gut. And I know over and over in life, personally, financially, in business with clients decisions, you know, if something doesn’t sit right in my gut, like, I can talk to myself all day long. It’s not going to happen, or I got to pay attention to something else, or it’s a do this. Yes, yes, yes, go, this is the right thing. And so the, as much as I like to try to integrate the three, that God will just literally come up and say, either you look at this, or I’m gonna wake you up at two o’clock in the morning and make you think about this.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 31:44
Good. So do you feel then that when we don’t follow our guard, that we start to become misaligned? And we’re not living in congruence? Is that is the gut sort of like the gauges the temperature of the room and, and the destiny and where we should be heading in life? Yeah, and I
Patricia Crisafulli 32:04
also think it’s a gauge, but I also think it’s a bit of a rudder, you know, like, it’s going to help to steer us. So, you know, I mean, and, and, you know, very often in life, you know, left and right, if they’re going to take us the same thing, the life path is going to loop around, and we might take, it might take the scenic route, right, yeah. And, like, you know, I wanted to go back to graduate school, I could argue with myself all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. I want to get a graduate degree in creative writing. What I’m nonsense, that wouldn’t be but and the more I talked myself out of it, the more my gut wanted to do it until a postcard, a postcard arrived in the mail from Northwestern University. I’ve never seen a piece of marketing material for that before one time. And I kept it for four years before I sent my application. Really?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 32:56
Wow, that’s a long time.
Patricia Crisafulli 33:00
And I was like, yeah, so our gut, I think is the rudder that kind of brings us back to truth. We know when we’re in misalignment, we know when we’re doing know, maybe it’s, maybe it’s a relationship, a friendship, a work relationship, just really, it really, it’s time for this to go. Or maybe it’s, you know, a, you know, a time to move, I really feel like, you know, I’m calling all to be closer to one location to another, or just the way we treat ourselves, you know, too much coffee or whatever it is or not, we, our gut will tell us, and it’ll remind us and I think it’s like that rudder to say, Okay, now I’m back over here. And in keeping that gut level that gut check, people talk about this in business all the time is a gut check, right? It is a gut check. How do I feel? Am I feeling like I can sit in this decision? Or do I really need to re strategize here and say, someone’s gonna?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 34:05
Yeah, I feel off. Like I feel off physically. And I feel tired. Especially around people that have a certain type of energy or they give off a certain type of energy. I just know, I’m not meant to be around those people. And even a decision can feel really off. I had a really interesting experience. It was last November, I received an email from one of the most amazing thought leaders and life coaches. Brendon Burchard, who works with people like Oprah and fortune 500 CEOs and Olympic athletes, saying that he was holding an event in Orange County. It was a coaching Summit. It was not us being coached, but learning about the coaching industry and I just knew I had to go Oh, I didn’t know why. But I knew I had to go. And I told my husband I was going and he just kind of went, Okay, well, if you feel that you need to go, just go. And I did. I didn’t know what I was doing there, the first two days, but I followed my intuition. And I kept saying to people who were asking me, What are you doing here? Because they’re all high level coaches. I just kept saying, I’m a singing teacher. I don’t know why I’m here. But I’m sure the answer will reveal itself over the next couple of days. And it did. And it actually has been life changing. So it’s interesting. I mean, I travelled all the way to Orange County, it was over 24 hours to get there, and to get back home for a three day event. But it was life changing. And I did learn the reasons why. And and sometimes in those moments, there are hidden treasures aren’t there? When we follow the true path, and when we’re in alignment, everything does reveal itself don’t use their
Patricia Crisafulli 36:08
does as you were talking, I’m smiling more and more, because I’m thinking you follow the mystery. You knew one thing that was this, notice this, this invitation resonates with me on a really deep level, intellectually doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Because you know, it’s three day event. It’s the all that way, and all the way back and timezone change and all the disruption in my life and the expense and all that, but I know, I need to go. You didn’t know why. And when you got there wasn’t like what? Oh, well, of course, look at this session, look at this, you left in the mystery. And you went through the steps for it to be revealed. Because you got to be in it, to understand it. And you did that. And I think that’s why, you know, I love the mystery genre to write about because you have to be engaged, it’ll pull you in the mystery pulled you in. And it is a metaphor for how we can live our lives, clued a clue, getting pulled into the mystery, and allowing it to reveal the little treasures along the way. Because they they can sit there waiting for us, but we have to put the first foot forward toward them.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 37:23
Hmm. So when you’re writing a mystery, then this is fascinating. Because I’m thinking You’re the writer, you’re in control of the mystery. Do you know what’s going to happen in the end? Or do you just let it unravel? Like, how does how do you write a mystery? Well, I laugh when you’re the one that’s writing it, you already know that people will do they does it? Or is it a process like me going to Orange County?
Patricia Crisafulli 37:55
Yes. And so I know basically, what is going to happen. But my characters always surprise me. Now you’re like, Trisha, they are the ones you are creating in your head. But when I’m in the zone, and I’m in there, and I’m writing and writing, suddenly, someone will say something. And I’ll put on a piece of dialogue, or there’ll be a decision, or I’ll walk out and I’ll say to my husband, this terrible thing just happened. And you’ll look, I’m like, no, no, in my book that I realised that this person is going to be accused of this thing. And he’s like, You didn’t plot this out, like, no, it came, it happens out of the story. And I think most writers experiences, I have a basic idea. Like, this is my setup. And this is going to happen. And this is going to accelerate the thing, the plot and this is going to be the next thing. And then I’m going to have this wonderful, everything’s gonna tie up here, and it’s going to go off. And usually somewhere along the line, I make a discovery or the story starts speaking to me, and telling me where to take risks. And sometimes that means the person who’s the bility party is actually the second murder victim. So you got to come up with a different one that happened on the one I’m currently writing. And it’s the breathe into it. So in my mysteries, which is the only ta Harvard mystery series, I have to say that a couple of times, you know, yes,
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 39:25
no keep saying Oh, Anita harbour mystery series. And
Patricia Crisafulli 39:31
the second ones coming out this fall. There’s always there’s two mysteries. There’s there’s a modern day who done it right, you know, and but one opens with and this lovely library and there’s a little you know, the Gabriella is swirling around being much too busy and someone invites her to lunch really, really, really invited lunch, Ellen. And she’s like, you know, Alan, I just can’t do it. I’m just really too busy. And so much other things are going on going on and Alan is dead eight three pages later. Bouncing Loading in the harbour and Gabriella lol Gil, poor Allen for Gabriella for everyone. And so it starts the who done it so we’ve got that one going on and is is that unfold? And but there’s also a second mystery involving an artefact every book in my series has an artefact in book one. It is a mediaeval cross that somebody donates to a rummage sale, and Gabriella things. Oh, look, it’s a little tchotchkes, put it on the Christmas decoration table for you know, five bucks at the library? Turns out No, no, no, it’s from the 14th century. And, and she, as an as an authenticator begins to explore the clues around it. So we’ve got two mysteries, you know, who killed Ellen and who killed the next person? And what’s going on here? And why? What is this cross? What is this artefact? Where did it come from? Where does it belong? And these, these two mysteries eventually intersect? Well to same thing, we’ve got some mystery, some, some, you know, classic murder mystery going on. What’s happened and because Gabriella comes across, she actually discovers the body. And then we’ve got an A nautical artefact, I’ll say that much. Book Three, there’s a map that goes back to the American Revolution, and student is, is killed and heartbreaking. And so we’ve always got these two mysteries, and Gabrielle is caught between them. Okay,
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 41:29
so there is a link between all the books, when I call that being in flow. This is just language that I would use when you’re in creative flow. Anything is possible, yes, on a very small scale, compared to what you’re doing, I totally get it. Because sometimes when I’m shooting a video, I just give myself the first two or three words. The next thing I’ve spoken, two minutes, minute and a half, whatever, however long it is. And when I listened back, I don’t even remember saying any of those words. And it’s the same as when I create a podcast episode. I’ve just finished writing an e book. And I read it back. And I go, wow, this is actually good. You know? How did I do that? I don’t remember putting any of those words on paper didn’t have that feeling to you go back, you don’t remember. You’re just in their flow, and you allow things to come through you. Sometimes I say to myself, just let the words come through.
Patricia Crisafulli 42:46
Right? That’s exactly right. Because there’s I think there’s some deeper part of us that the conscious mind, which is also the critic like oh, no, I you said the word. But three times oh, I have to go we fix that. And like, oh, when no at minimum, like the sometimes the conscious mind is kind of like, okay, this is first draft sit down and have a cup of tea conscious mind. And we get into it. And suddenly the movie plays in my in my head in my case, or the thoughts just flow or you hear it like music. And suddenly it’s as if something is speaking through you and to you. Right? Yes. It’s kind of like yeah, here it just kind of like put a little pop the cap and pour it in and out. It came and and I do think that is what inspiration is right? It’s Yes, it’s coming through us. It’s
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 43:38
breathing, allowing breath to come through you and allowing everything that comes through you with that breath. Yes, to be. That takes I believe. Like for me, it’s taken me to get to a point where I trust myself. And I accept myself that I am imperfectly perfect. And it’s okay to say but three times it’s okay to have those little trip ups because I’m being real in that moment. And accepting all of that has given me the freedom to allow me to go into state of flow. So what do you think about self acceptance and how it impacts all of us?
Patricia Crisafulli 44:26
Oh, man, I think I think it’s everything because you know, I’m sitting here you know, judging myself or wondering like, I Okay, this is really silly. I’m like, Why did I wear this turtleneck today? I should have worn something nicer. You know, I I liked the way the collars looked. But I don’t like the way the neck and like my head is like fixating on the neckline of my turtleneck instead of saying B but I mean it’s silly things but those kinds of little tiny things can pick it up and pick it our confidence. And the next thing you know, or somebody has something in their eye, and they do this, and we go, oh, no, they have this funny face when I was speaking. And we judge, we judge, and we judge almost always ourselves. It’s taken me a long time, I don’t know what will what will finally happen true self acceptance or death. But it’s a race at this point. But it is a process of saying, like, I’m okay. And I’m enough, but now need that. And this is what came out of the mother book, remembering mother, finding myself was not only that, I have a purpose. And there’s a reason for my story. And now, you know, I’m writing mysteries. And I say, Well, you know, that is the perfect genre for me to deliver my ordinary and extraordinary intersection stories, like, all this is acceptance of where I am, what I’m doing. And then it has a purpose. And, and, and I can work with it. And I think spirit can work with it, like we are exactly where we’re supposed to be, where we are. And, you know, expression comes from acceptance.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 46:08
It does. It does, it’s trusting and believing that you are worthy. And what you have to say, is important. And you are worth listening to. Because how can others accept us if we don’t accept ourselves, right? That’s going to come through in relationships, if we want a sustainable relationship, we have to be able to accept ourselves don’t right.
Patricia Crisafulli 46:40
And it comes through in creative endeavours. I mean, every writer is experiment experimenting, and every writer has self doubt. And every writer, you know, wonders wants to run behind the truck coming, pulling away from the printing by going, No, I want to change something on page 17, right, like we all want to improve. But accepting that what I’ve created is good and has purpose and has meaning to me. And I wrote it with the best of intentions, or perhaps the singer who has performed a song and given an interpretation. And in that moment, this is what I, I could feel in my body and in my mind, and my spirit to express. Like those moments, we can only do that when we say I am enough, this is my time. And I’m giving it as a gift. So I’m not elbowing my way in, it’s like I have this gift I would like to give to the world, to those who are listening to those who are reading. And that can only come when we say I accept that I’ve been given a gift and I want to give it back in this form.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 47:45
Yes. And I think the problem with people and especially teenagers growing up today, is social media. And everyone’s putting forward the Instagram version of their lives and of themselves. And so people are comparing themselves to other people’s perfect lives. So the problem today is with teenagers that they’re seeing other people’s Instagram versions of their lives, they have the perfect life, they had the perfect wardrobe, the perfect figure, they have all their makeup, they have what seems to be an amazing life. But people aren’t being authentic on social media, because I guarantee you that if you went and had a cup of coffee with that person who’s portraying that life, they’re probably quite miserable. And so they’re not showing us all facets of their lives. Do you believe that with social media, people are not being authentic, and it’s not allowing others who are observing and comparing themselves to those people, that they feel that they have to live up to a certain expectation, you know,
Patricia Crisafulli 49:03
it’s I I think social media posts are like those Christmas card portraits we get, you know, at, you know, people take they go out and they take a family picture, and they’re all in matching sweaters or cute little things. And the girls have both and they’re adorable is right there have their back the greaseball Yes, like the gross walls, or it’s myself on my wedding day when you know what, you know, and this big dread whatever, like it’s, it’s a version of ourselves, we want to present and it’s it’s in that moment, but it’s not everyday life. And so what you know, my mother used to have this this expression, she’d say, a poor workman blames his tools. And I don’t think we can put all the fault on social media, but on ourselves is saying, you know, we’re using this as like, this is telling me how I should manage my life. No You’re looking at the Christmas card version of someone’s life, you know, you know, I’ve been I put on 47 pounds of makeup and done one of these cute pictures on social media too. And that’s not what I look like when you come up to my door and I’m putting out the recycling, okay. And, but, but we need some discernment to say, you know, I understand, you know, what these posts are like and what we do, and not to into use them for either for entertainment, maybe there’s some inspiring quotes. Maybe there’s a good blog, if I’m doing something, though, that makes me feel bad. I need to stop doing that. Yes, you know, there’s an old, there’s an old joke that says, doctor, it hurts my arm when I do this. And the doctor says, so stop doing that, you know, and, you know, it’s a very, very, very old joke. But truly, it’s like, I’m on Instagram or on Facebook or social, any kind of social media and, or the, the, the TV, you know, reel whatever’s of whatever. And all I say is, I don’t look like that. And I don’t have that person, I don’t have that car, then don’t do it. It’s not serving you. That’s not a tool that’s going to help you get where you want to go. instead. be discerning and to know that yes, you and your wonderfulness can enjoy be entertained, be inspired. And, and in SNAP. This don’t make it the Main Menu.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 51:28
Exactly. Now you have written so many books. You’re writing this series of mysteries where Paul Allen
Patricia Crisafulli 51:41
and Gabriella yeah is always in danger. Brianna was always in danger.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 51:46
I don’t want to be Gabriella. What would you say is your greatest legacy? Out of everything that you’ve done? What do you think is the most important for you, or important to other people when you leave this earth
Patricia Crisafulli 52:05
I hope I’ve been a good friend, a good mother, and a good partner, to my husband. If I have hit any of those things to the best of my very flawed human capability, if I made my friends feel loved and seen if I supported my son, and now his wonderful wife and and going for their dreams, if I’ve loved my husband enough and accepted His love back, like that’s the only legacy that matters and with my sisters and you know, my extended family, but like this core of just the who of me. Because that is all we have is it’s the who we are not the what we do.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 52:51
Yes, or what we have. Oh, and
Patricia Crisafulli 52:55
as for stuff that’s perishable. Yeah.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 53:00
So, where can people find your books? Well, I’m
Patricia Crisafulli 53:05
the usual places where we’re, you know, especially online, it’s Amazon’s and Barnes and Nobles, but also independent booksellers. Right. And I do believe I’m in a cross the US I’m in I think I am in Australia. I think there is a bookseller in Australia that has me and also in the UK. So it’s the old you know, if Google, you know, if you can spell it, Patricia festivali, you’ll find me. You can find it through my website, faith, hope and fiction.com. Or if you can spell it the secrets of Onita Oh, H and it a harbour? And you’ll find me?
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 53:46
Well, we’re going to share all your links in the show notes anyway, just in wrapping this up. What advice would you give to those who are living life with limitations of what their possibilities are,
Patricia Crisafulli 54:03
I would say, stretch out the boundaries, stretch them out. Sometimes it’s too scary to say make that big leap, right? of going back to school or taking that graduate course or doing this it’s just too big and it’s just too daunting. But there is a step that pushes the boundary a little bit to the right and a little bit to the left and a little bit forward and a little bit back is to kind of push against it. Because sometimes there is a limitation that is real, it might be physical, it might be logistical it might be health issue. It might be just the way life is because of circumstances and okay. But there’s usually a workaround. And sometimes in accepting that what looks like a limitation and amazing door opens up and we can find purpose in some meaning that pulls us through to the other side to something that we didn’t even know, was possible. So my advice is live in the maybe, and see if you can push it to a yes.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 55:13
So rather than living life in the black or the white, live life in the grey,
Patricia Crisafulli 55:19
give it a little push a little push one if you could, I used to know a very wise person would say, Oh, I go, I can. I can. I can’t, I can’t, which was always one of my favourite things to say. And she would say to me, okay, you can’t but But what if you could? What if you could and next thing, you know, yes, suddenly that it gets a little grey in the boundaries get pushed back a little bit. And there’s a little more space and a little more breathing room, and a lot more possibility.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 55:48
Amazing. Well, we’re going to share the links to everything to you, your books, your website, so people can go and go and buy your fabulous books learn more about you. What are you up to next? I know you’ve got this book. Is there another book? Yes.
Patricia Crisafulli 56:07
In the pipeline? Yes, there is. So I look one is out. Book Two is coming out Book Three. I’m racing to finish. And I want there to be a book for because I’m not done with these wonderful characters in my head yet. And they’ve got at least one more misadventure to have.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 56:29
Amazing. Well, thank you so much, Patricia, thank you. It’s been such a joy having you here and sharing some really profound conversations, some of which were a little woowoo, probably for our listeners. But hey, there’s a lot to learn here. And I hope that everyone receives this with an open mind and an open heart and open to the possibilities. So thank you so much. And I hope the weather starts warming up for you and and looking forward to book number four.
Patricia Crisafulli 57:05
Thank you so much.
Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 57:06
Thank you. Thank you, Tricia. Much love to you. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of a voice and beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow, so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of a voice and beyond.