YOP087: Confessions of a Middle Aged Hippie with Beverley Golden

By January 28, 2018 Podcast Episode No Comments

Bio: Beverley Golden is a writer, raconteur, peacenik and self-professed guinea pig, who loves testing unconventional ways to shift paradigms in the playing fields of health care, storytelling and creativity as a path to world peace. She courageously uncovers the humour in life’s crazy situations, offering hope, while promoting inner wisdom through the written word. “Trust your intuition even when no one else sees your point of view” is her signature mantra.

Her best-selling book, “Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie”, bursts with anecdotes from her years in the entertainment industry, coupled with her stories of survival from a life lived with health issues. Her passion is turning the “impossible” into the possible and she shares her thought-provoking observations on the Huffington Post, among others.

Beverley lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her on: www.beverleygolden.com


Zephan: “Zephan Blaxberg here with another episode of The Year of Purpose Podcast. Today, I’m joined by Beverley Golden. Beverley is a writer, raconteur, peacenik and self-professed guinea pig who loves testing unconventional ways to shift paradigms in the playing fields of health care, storytelling and creativity as a path to world peace.

She courageously uncovers the humor in life’s crazy situations offering hope while promoting inner wisdom through the written word “Trust your intuition even when no one else sees your point of view,” is her signature mantra. Her best selling book “Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie,” burst with anecdotes from her years in the entertainment industry, coupled with her stories of survival from a life lived with health issues. Her passion is turning the impossible into possible. She shares her thought provoking observations on The Huffington Post among others. Today, she’s hanging out with me. Beverley, how is it going?

Beverley: Pretty great. I’m really happy to be here. I mean, I love your energy, I love what you’re doing and I think this could be an interesting mixing or meeting of two different places in time but having the same view of how to live life and to really make each day, each year the best one yet.

Zephan: Yeah, absolutely. It’s very cool to get different perspectives especially from the different generations and so that’s one of the big things I really do like about this is being so young. I get to see all the different points of view. You grew up in a totally different time period as I did. I’d love to dive right in, maybe share a little bit about your history and ultimately what’s lead you to write this book that you just released.

Beverley: Yeah, I think from the inside out it’s a different situation because I had health issues from a fairly young age and undiagnosable health issues. At times people would say it’s going to be impossible to heal. I was always a writer. I like to say I arrived on the planet this time as a writer. There were just something in me that always wanted to express things through words. Reading at early age and really fascinated with stories like people stories which I still am. About 13 years ago now, I had probably my lowest health in my entire life and it was the prognosis wasn’t very good. I was told a lot of things would be impossible.

That’s where that idea of I don’t like the word impossible because I don’t think really anything is impossible. I think there’s always another way. With my health, I did something rather unconventional, I flew off to Germany when I barely could walk up a flight of stairs. Again, the prognosis was “I mean, I think you should pray,” was really what they said to me. That was what they had to tell me. It’s like “You know, this is very, very complicated. You’ll probably never travel again.” Knowing what just came to me is knowing how much you are passionate about travelling. That was not something I wanted to hear that it would be impossible for me to ever travel again. I started travelling again my own path.

This had been my thing throughout my life as someone would say to me “That’s really not going to be possible.” I would set out and see what is possible. How can somebody predict my future or my life because of a set of a scientific statistics, in this case to do with my health? The book was worn I guess out of a moment in my life where I was really out of very, very low point and I just started writing these anecdotal stories. There were more memories of different periods in my life and I’d spent a lot of time in the music industry so I had some pretty—I don’t know if you’d say wild but interesting adventures. They might have been wild to some people but they’re just interesting adventures in the music industry and its desire to make it in the music industry and rubbing shoulders with a lot of fairly well-known people.

My former husband had been in the music industry as well. It was these collections of stories where they intertwine my health issues with the music industry or the entertainment industry and I don’t find linear time very exciting to be honest with you. I wrote the book in rather it came out in an unorthodox-ed way. It was just these memories that came out and they were self-contained memories that happened in specific periods of time. They could have happened in the 60’s or then jumped to the 90’s or then back to the 80’s. Just these interesting maybe stories of my life that I thought “I’ve survived some things that I was told I wouldn’t, perhaps there are some thing of interest to other people here.” I certainly don’t have a prescription.

It’s not like if you do this, this will be the result because what I’ve realized is we are all highly individual and that’s one of the things I love so much about people’s stories, everybody finds their own way or creates their own life based on what’s interesting to them or what their challenges are in life. The book was born out of that and I almost I think channeled this title, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie. It was like “Okay, that’s a really interesting title.” As my brother pointed out to me not too long after I had finished the book he goes “Beverley, you weren’t really a hippie.” I’m like “What do you mean I wasn’t a hippie?” Right?

Because when we think of hippie I do think the media has portrayed hippie as very much a lifestyle where it was sex, drugs and rock and roll. That phrase goes with hippie so I had to do some pretty deep soul searching. I thought, how do I call my book “Confessions of a Middle-Aged Hippie,” when I actually wasn’t a hippie? What I realized is I was a hippie because what I was mentioning I think to you just briefly is if you look at what was happening in the 60’s it was fairly revolutionary times which I think we are living in again now. During that time, so many of the things that are part of our popular cultural conversation that were born and they were considered like I said revolutionary or counter culture.

If we look at the hippie movement it was really about community. It was about organic living. It was the peace movement, it was born then. It was about love. It was about music and art. It was about having compassion and meditation was introduced. When I talk to people about this it was really more about the value system and the lifestyle. The hippie values, what I realized are at the core of who we all are as human being. I can talk to someone as young as you. I can talk to people who are in their 20’s, in their 30’s and when I talk about hippie values people inevitably go “Wow, I’m actually a hippie.” Because people realize this is a value system, that’s a human value system.

Then I thought, great, I am a hippie so it’s okay. It’s okay to call my book that. The book was born out of just these stories and I think people love creating story I mean about their experiences and about their life and I’m sure having trouble. You have some amazing stories and memories that will live with you forever. It was just sharing these stories in a rather unusual way first of all not only non-linear but I did it as an interview as if I was talking to this very famous talk show host and we’re just sitting having a conversation because that’s my thing. It’s having conversations with people.

It’s told in an interview style and I since been told that no one has ever written a book like mine in my genre that way. What people love about it is they feel they are part of the conversation and they want to know the answers to the questions that the talk show host is asking me which are really my stories about everything and anything from the music industry. My daughter also was in the entertainment industry so we got to travel a lot. It’s really these life stories and that’s what I think is most fascinating about human beings is we have this incredible stories to share with each other. Through those stories hopefully people have some resonance or maybe take away a little tid bit that will influence them in their life.

Zephan: Yeah, absolutely. Much like you are saying with this hippie culture, a lot of this stuff is making a resurgence. Meditation is making a huge comeback. Mindfulness, yoga, eating super healthy. I think they are just calling them hipsters now. I think that it hasn’t really I think it’s making a huge comeback. I think that it was a great mindset and a great frame of reference for life and how you should approach things. Part of my question to you would be why do you think it went away in the late 80’s or late 90’s and then what is it that’s making it come back so easily?

Beverley: When I was writing an article about the astrology behind the time and I don’t know if you want to talk about that but there certainly an astrological support for the 60’s then being mirrored again now. Then this will carry through for the next 50 years so we’re at this middle point where things that were considered revolutionary then are now like they are not fully accepted but they certainly are part of the conversation. Like what you said everywhere you go people talk about meditation. I mean back then it wasn’t necessarily well-accepted and then you had the Beetles, right? Who went to India and brought it back to over to North America and to England so it is interesting but I don’t know if it went away. That was the big question. What happened to the hippies?

That was the big question I was looking for and then people said “They became environmental lawyers,” right? They became people who were at the forefront of the peace movement so if you really look they are still there. They just maybe spread out. Did that make sense? They spread out. It was funny, somebody just sent me an article recently, the 10 Places in the U.S. that you’ll find hippie, that hippies live. I don’t know if they are hippie culture but it was interesting to see so there’s places on Oregon or places in Arizona or in California or in New York. There are still people who are living both the lifestyle and I think were all living the value system. Did it go away?

I don’t know because you’re in the generation—again, my daughter is in the generation and I would say that the hippies with the quotes around it who grew up in the 60’s have passed that on in their own ways. Right? Here I am saying I wasn’t officially a hippie because I wasn’t that kind of hippie, the lifestyle but I was the value person so that’s what I’ve infused in my life and that’s what—it’s funny because somebody who knows me and she’s in her early 30’s, she was “Of course you’re a hippie. What do you mean? I would never not think you’re a hippie.” It’s interesting on people look at other people and she said “Of course you are because you live that.

You’re totally the peace person.” I have the word peace in my license plate on my car. You know what I mean? Just stuff like that where you’re really spreading it. Not necessarily in a counter culture way or where it’s not being accepted. I’m sure you’ve read enough about what was going on in the 60’s and how it was not a very accepted lifestyle we’ll say. Hippies were considered whatever they were considered and whatever the media wanted to portray them as. If you look at like I’ve said, these values, the peace movement. People still say I’m quite naive and of course the rose-colored glasses are my little emblem because I love to look at the world through rose-colored glasses.

It looks amazing. It this idea of spreading the value system and I’m sure you embody them too. Do you love music? Do you love art? Are you a compassionate person? Do you care about other people? That’s the main thing. It was really basically about community. I see that happening so much more now. I mean, the online world really does create virtual communities and these opportunity for you and for me when we’re travelling to immerse ourselves in other people’s communities and other people’s culture. It’s interesting. I don’t know if it went away. I guess I’ve always thought it was just with me because that’s who I am.

Zephan: Yeah, I think part of what you said there something clicked for me was that everyone is looking for their tribe and their community, right? I think that when technology came out it was a bit of a double-edged sword because we all started to separate ourselves. It was so much easier to break up with someone over a text than face to face but at the same time the technology allowed us to be able to call somebody halfway across the world within seconds and see their face. I think that there’s a bit of a double-edged sword there but I think at the end of the day everyone still craving that tribe or that group that sense of belonging because we’ve loss sight of a lot of that through the last maybe two decades or so.

Beverley: I think that’s why you will see people coming back together and I’m sure you have communities with people that you want to hang out with. I meet tons of people online because I’m in this online world like all of us. Then, one of the greatest joys for me is if for example I was just in Arizona. It’s actually making the effort to meet someone I’ve connected with online lives in Arizona and get together and meet them face to face and have a conversation that’s not just a call, an online silent conversations. When you’re constantly typing little comments and putting emoticons and all that but what happens when you meet people face to face? I do think there’s a lot of people in the younger generation who have lost or maybe they never had the ability to socialize.

Their socialization has been around technology and they’re much more comfortable like you said texting a message rather than “Oh my God, what happens when I have to meet someone face to face in person?” That I think is sad. I think that’s something that I would love to see becoming the new norm where people want to get together and I am seeing that to some degree. Some of the movements that are happening in the younger generation I mean there’s some that come to mind where large groups of people come together and the reason they come together is because that’s what as human beings we are about. We’re about interaction, social interaction.

Zephan: Definitely. Definitely. I mean, even at conferences. When I go to conferences one of my big things I love to do is I love taking pictures with everybody only because it’s like this social proof that my internet friends are real and they are not just this made up thing that I email and talk to on Skype all day long. I think that we really crave making that connection again. I know conferences for me are a huge way to do that. I’d love to shift gears real quick only because you brought up some good stuff even before we jumped on the recording. It was all about making the impossible possible. A quick little story that I always say is that I’ll never forget being on a family vacation.

We’re on a boat and we see this cliff with a bunch of people diving off the cliff. My dad turns me and says “I bet you won’t do that.” Before he could finish the sentence I had already jumped into the lake and starts swimming over to this cliff. You hear on the video camera from our family vacation many years ago and he says “Holy crap. He’s actually going to do it.” For me I’ve always been one of those people where I don’t really accept you telling me that it’s impossible. I’ve just realized that I’m going to have to go about it a different way. I’d love to hear your story of turning impossible into possible. I know that you’ve dealt with some medical things but also just personal experiences in life.

Beverley: Yeah, I mean I think for me all of us we have our areas where we—if we were complete and whole all the time I guess, not that we’re not but we all have our areas of minor insecurities or minor doubts. I guess I’d have to take in some ways take the lead when it came to my health so that’s my area that I have absolutely no doubt. When you just do something you just know. You just know within you that this is what I’m going to do. It was tough when I was younger because when you’re really young you depend on other people to make the choices for you which is what happened when I was really sick, when I was young. My parents listened to the doctor and of course the doctors always had all the answers, right?

They were the “Gods.” I think it was through that experience when I was young that I learned to ask a lot of question so I’m one of these people who—I don’t take everything at face value. I will ask a lot of questions. Right? Somehow I seem to assimilate these things that maybe don’t seem to fit together but I come up with my own intuitive way of making choices for myself. Especially when it came into my health. Believe me, it was grim. I didn’t even have my family supporting me when I just said I flew off to I think I said I flew off to Germany to a clinic there because there’s no other person here who even knew what to do with me. Even there when they’ve said “This is impossible.

You’re never going to be able to travel again.” It’s just what will you accept at face value. Who determines your life? At what point you say “Yeah, I might have some fears and maybe I don’t know how it will turn out.” If I don’t do something or don’t try something like you’re saying jumping in the lake, if I don’t try it then I will never know what the experience is.” That’s what I think my health issues have given me it’s I’ve always been like that also when it comes even writing my book. Just somebody share something with me and if something resonates I’ll always go towards it. It’s like the future is coming towards you and then are you going to say yes to life or you’re going to go “Yeah, no, no. I’m not that person. I can’t do that.”

My book I mean it’s the same thing. I’m in a swimming pool in Sedona and a woman is telling me she just came from this book writing retreat and she had never been to anything like it in her life. She’d been ready for 25 years and everybody who goes writes a book in eight days. My ears perked up and I went “What?” Everyone writes a book in eight days? That sounds like my kind of experience. From the moment I heard it it was like it spoke so loudly to me. Does that make sense to you? When something speaks so loudly to you that you can’t ignore it but then you’re doing yourself a disservice. How do you just live your life and say yes and just keep exploring it, what is it that resonates for you?

I just met a bunch of people who are just fascinated with this idea of walking the El Camino. It never occurred to me but I went and met with them and it was so fascinating because once it grip them, once the idea came into them they juts could not do it. That’s the double negative but they have to figure out a way to do it. That’s really what I’ve done in my life it’s like when something resonate so strongly even though all my resistances and the fears come up because that’s who we are as human beings. I mean it’s usually the fear that stops us from doing something, right? The what if and, oh, my God, so I’ve learned to say what’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s usually not quite as bad as what you’ll imagine, right?

Yeah, I mean I’m sure you’ve had that too and it’s “Right now I want to go to Amsterdam,” and yet I haven’t gone to Amsterdam yet because I don’t want to go there myself. That’s me being vulnerable here saying, there’s a fear for me to travel overseas by myself but I’ll go to Arizona or to California or to anywhere like that by myself. It’s getting to know yourself, like you said wanting to get to know yourself to see “Where do I stop myself?” Because believe me it isn’t the outside world that stops us, it’s us who somehow puts us kibosh or just says “No, I don’t know if I could do that.”

The thing I can only encourage people is really if something resonates just keeps saying yes and then I heard this thing “Say yes until you have to say no,” because as long as you keep saying yes you’re exploring, right? You’re taking what somebody would say is impossible for you and you’re going “Well, I don’t know.” It might be more possible than you think and that has to do with any area of life. That’s not only to do with health which is my expertise but it could be anything, just stretch yourself. There’s a great quote from Neale Donald Walsch “Life begins outside your comfort zone,” and that’s really the truth, right? Because too many people I believe live within a very small comfort zone because it’s easier to live within a comfort zone than to actually say “Let me just take one little step outside and see how amazing my life can be.”

Zephan: Yeah, and I was actually going to ask, I was going to say, where is that balance in making sure that when you do say yes that it’s not just like—someone saying “Hey, go jump into that fireplace.” Obviously that would be a no but I think you answered that very well when you said “Question yourself what is the worst that could happen,” and that’s actually a big thing that I do. When it came time for me to quit my job which was one of the scariest things I had ever done. It really came down to what’s the worst that could happen? I’d still lived at home at that time so I had a roof over my head.

It was very easy to say “Well, the worst that could happen is I’m stuck at home with my parents for a little bit until I find something else.” Then you realize it’s really not all that bad. I think that you brought up a very good point there as far as determining the balance and knowing when to say yes and when to say no. I’ve done a very similar thing with saying yes until I have to say no. I’ve said yes to quite a lot of things and then you get to a point where you can feel the overwhelm settling in and that’s when you know that it’s time to take a break for a little bit. I think that that’s not a permanent thing, I don’t think that’s a forever you have to say no. I think it’s just that “Hey, you need to calm down just a little bit. You’re moving a little too quickly.”

Beverley: It’s also being discerning for yourself and this is where the knowing yourself. What is it that’s too much for you? Because we are all really different, what might work for you is very different than what might work for me and it has nothing to do with age that’s the interesting thing, as a little bit. It also has to do with who you are as a person. I love to regenerate, I call myself an in-outrovert, I’m like an extrovert and introvert. I love people but my recharging is done by myself. Other people who are pure extrovert they got charged up by being around a lot of people. It’s about this fine tuning and who you are and knowing yourself, that’s really what it’s about.

Because there’s a lot of noise out in the world now and there’s a lot of opinions and for everything you choose to do you’d probably find 50% of the people who will give you all the negatives and then 50% who would go “Yeah, yeah, do it.” It’s really okay but what is it that’s really I want to do and that’s what I learn. Honestly with my health there’s many things right now that I have no doubt about at all what choices I would make with even a very critical diagnosis. It is that and I think that’s what life’s about, it’s a bit exploration, right? It just keeps going and but you don’t actually reach a point where you go “Okay, well that’s it,” some people might. It’s this giant playing field in a way. It’s like “What would you like to explore this year?”

Zephan: Yeah. It’s constantly changing. You have things that suddenly you didn’t even know where opportunities come at you and say “Hey, you know, you can actually do this or try this.” It’s crazy, for me I never even saw writing a book is a possibility until much like you’re from with the eight day program. I had a coach come up to me and said “Hey, I’ve got a program that gets you totally published in 90 days,” and that to me was very attractive. I actually I am finishing up my book here at the time of recording this.

Beverley: Nice.

Zephan: It’s called Life Re-Scripted. I think that’s definitely up your alley too. It’s all about looking at your life as if it were a story in a movie script and picking out the pieces that you want to rewrite.

Beverley: Yeah, and I mean a lot of things too for people is not buying in so heavily to the story because whatever happened in the past obviously influences us but so many people really keep bringing those past. I don’t know what they—they’re cellularly ingrained themselves but it’s just really leaving that past behind and say “Today is the day that I am going to create this.” I mean we call it coming from this place of just nothing where everything is possible. You live in this world of all possibilities and it’s such a different way of being in light and limiting yourself by everything that happened by the what if this happens. It’s just a healthier way to be and probably happier, right? I’m sure you’d say definitely happier way to live.

Zephan: A hundred percent. I mean I don’t think that any year has topped this year so far for me.

Beverley: Nice.

Zephan: I think that it’s really the best way to go about things. I’m actually, I’m a little scared for next year because who knows how much I’m actually going to accomplish if I keep that same mindset but it’s exciting at the same time. As we’re kind of rounding up the episode here, I didn’t want to miss on the opportunity to ask you a little bit about the astrology. I wanted to jump back just a step.

Beverley: Sure.

Zephan: Maybe just to round things off just to hear a little bit about how astrology affects the times that we’re in right now. The times that you are raised and maybe if it’s something for the audience and listeners to look into going forward to maybe predict where some things might go for them.

Beverley: Yeah, and I’m certainly not an astrologist but I’ve already had this keen interest like the first that go “Okay, when were you born?” I have no idea what that meant to me but somehow it meant something like I knew something that I didn’t know I knew, I’m sure you’ve had those experience. Back in the 60’s what you have was this conjunction of Uranus which is the planet of revolution and sudden change. Uranus and Pluto which are really—Pluto is the planet and some people would talk about the underworld or very darkness. It’s about institutions and when things are changing. If you think of the 60’s things were pretty radical and were changing, you had war, there is many things people can look up historically what was seeded.

Uranus and Pluto were conjunct, during conjunction things are seeded meaning new ideas, new seeds are planted and then they grow. Then just recently between 2012 and literally March of this year we had seven exact squares of Uranus and Pluto. This is why we’re seeing so many of the world events that are happening. Also, quite revolutionary, right? A lot of things, institutions in some ways crumbling. If you think of 2012 to 2015 all the things that have happened between the banking world, within the religious world and the political world. All these huge institutions that we’ve grown to know and love and think are be-all and end-all, things have been tumbling apart, things have been falling apart.

We’re at this halfway mark and I don’t know too much but they say the next 50 years is when we can actually bring to fruition all of these things that were seeded in the 60’s. This is why for me I see it’s so much in part of our cultural conversation, none of what we’re talking about is considered revolutionary. The question is how do we get to the place where we live on a planet that’s peaceful and some people would say again I’m this rose-colored glass optimist but why not? If more of us hold a possibility of peace and love as the values that we lead from then it becomes more of a possibility in the world. Yeah, and creativity like all the entrepreneurial people and all the people who are doing creative work.

What they’ve discovered is we’re not only hard wired for language, we as human beings are hard wired for creativity. Nobody can say they’re not creative because in their own way every single person is hard wired for creativity. Look at all the new things that have been born, I mean the technology age in some ways is part of this Uranian revolution, right, which is what’s been going on. It has some amazing parts to it but then where we live polarities. I won’t say good and bad, there’s a light and there’s a dark, there’s a high and there’s a low. Think of life it’s always about polarity. We’re seeing that in some ways I guess to extremes, that’s the way I would describe that.

That’s a little bit of what was going on which is really fascinating to me because it was kind of right on target. Those who don’t believe in astrology, if you really look at how it lined up you’ll see “Wow, that was actually happening,” because it was in some ways predicted as above so below, as in the heavens here on earth, yeah.

Zephan: Very cool. It’s neat to see how all these things line up. I didn’t want to reveal too much of your story because I know you have an awesome book out that reveals a lot of that. Just to round things all up maybe share with everyone what’s the best place they can really listen to the story and learn about the entertainment industry, the music industry and some of your life experiences.

Beverley: Yeah, I mean my website has a lot of things, my website is BeverleyGolden.com. You’ll find me pretty much online. I write a lot and publish on the Huffington Post, I write a lot about of lifestyle topics and current things that people are talking about like I said and part of the cultural conversation. My book is available everywhere, if you go to my website and you go to the book page you’ll be lead to wherever you love buying the book whether it’s Amazon or Barnes & Noble or whether you’re in Australia or the UK. It’s available everywhere around the world. I’m in Canada, it’s at Chapters.

Yeah, it’s been really great because I think one of the things for me is to it’s not specific like when people said “Who’s your target market?” It’s like “People,” and I know that sounds general but people who really want to live I guess this value system and that’s what I’m finding. like I said I’ll have people in their 20’s who totally relate to all the stories even though they have a very different generation. It’s not only for boomers or people who grew up during the hippie era although there’s references of course, it’s not that kind of book. It’s a book really about being human, having resistance is an overcoming odds that people say you can’t overcome. Overcoming the impossible in the light of some dire situations that you’re faced with.

Zephan: Yeah, definitely and I know that this is going to resonate with quite a unique audience which is cool. I know that a lot of our listeners are very into this type of thing. Once again what’s the best website for everyone to check that out?

Beverley: It’s beverleygolden.com and my first name spelled with an L-E-Y. Beverley—B-E-V-E-R-L-E-Y—Golden—G-O-L-D-E-N.com.

Zephan: Perfect. Beverley, this has been a great conversation, I know that we could go on and on about all sorts of things.

Beverley: Indeed, yeah.

Zephan: It’s been a great talk so far. I definitely look forward to staying in touch with you.

Beverley: Okay, how can you travel? I can’t wait to hear what the next few months and then what next year. I have the feeling next year is going to be pretty monumental for you so enjoy.

Zephan: Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to it. A little scared but very, very excited for everything ahead.

Beverley: Keep going. Keep saying yes.

Zephan: Beverley, thank you so much for being here.

Beverley: Okay, thanks Zephan. I appreciate it. Okay, we’ll talk again.