Anodea Judith answers the question:
What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?
Well, thanks for the opportunity to tell this story, Phil. You know, when I was down and out as a single mother, I had a three-year-old and I was suffering from Lyme disease and I'd been living in the country off the grid, trying to come back to the city to make a living, didn't have a place to live. Marion Zimmer Bradley, the author of science and fantasy, and also the author of... oh, her bestseller was The Mists of Avalon. She had just come into some money and she said, "Well, first of all, you can come live here," and gave me some work. And then as we talked and I said, "Well, I'd really like to go to back to graduate school, but I don't have the money." She said, "I will put you through graduate school and you don't have to pay me back. You just have to pay it forward sometime. Later in your life when you're more successful, you can help somebody else if you have the money."
And so I had done that, but that allowed me to go and get my master's degree at the time, and after that I went on to get my PhD, paid for that on my own. But she paid three years of tuition for me. I had to support myself while I went through school, but it was something that literally changed the course of my life. Because there was no way as a single mother that I could have pulled that together without amassing huge amounts of student debt. And so here it is, many years later, and I'm helping some other people go through school, and I'm eternally, eternally grateful to Marion Zimmer Bradley for that gift.
Anodea Judith, PhD, is a worldwide spiritual teacher and the bestselling author of the seminal Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System... Charge and the Energy Body: The Vital Key to Healing Your Life, Your Chakras, and Your Relationships... and seven other books. As a yoga specialist and somatic psychotherapist with trauma specialization, her work is a unique combination of techniques useful to therapists, coaches, teachers, and those on their own healing journey.
Anodea is the founder and director of the teaching organization, Sacred Centers. She holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a doctorate in Mind-Body Health, with advanced yoga certifications.
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This article appears in: 2019 Catalyst, Issue 15: Thriving in Your Third Act Summit