She considers it extraordinary good fortune that allowed her to evolve her love for the mystical into a successful career. It began when she founded her own public relations agency in 1987, The Ford Group, specializing in representing leaders in the areas of new thought, human potential and mind-body medicine. Today, her expertise and acumen in these fields is legendary.
She is credited with launching the high profile careers of many top-selling authors and speakers, including her sister Debbie Ford, author of several books including the Oprah favorite, Dark Side of the Light Chasers. Her clients, current and past, include New York Times Best-selling authors Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (co-authors of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series), Neale Donald Walsch, don Miguel Ruiz and Marianne Williamson, as well as Dean Ornish, M.D., Gary Zukav, Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., Ram Dass, and Wayne Dyer.
She launched her own career as an author in 1997 with the publication of herfirst book, Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul and followed with More Hot Chocolate for The Mystical Soul and Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Teenage Soul, Hot Chocolate For The Mystical Lover: 101 Stories of Soul Mates Brought Together By Divine Intervention and her latest, MAGICAL SOUVENIRS (all available from Plume Books).
Additionally, she and her husband, Brian Hilliard, run Dharma Dreams, a management firm that develops multimedia projects for publishing, electronic media and movies. Their joint venture continues to introduce exciting new projects that bring healing, empowering and mystical concepts to life.
For more information, log on to www.fordsisters.com.
A: This book is about all kinds of travel from visits to foreign places and sacred lands to trips across town, journeys through inner dimensions and even multiple dimensions. For me, travel is about leaving the familiar here and now and going forth on an exotic journey. So, the title is about bringing home a souvenir that is a constant reminder of the unusual and mystical adventure you have had. This can be as simple as a rock found in a special place, at a special moment, to a piece of jewelry that when worn, will always trigger special memories. One of my favorite souvenirs is a gold anklet I bought in India that had once been worn and blessed by Ammachi, a living saint.
Q: What is it about traveling that opens us up to adventure and mystery?
A:Leaving our everyday lives and our everyday routine behind is part of the allure of travelling. Suddenly all of our senses are filled with new and different stimuli. No longer are we robotically buying and drinking our Starbucks on the way to the office or watching the same TV shows night after night. Our days and nights are surprising us with new things to hear, see, taste, touch and feel. Travelling to certain places can even trigger emotional and physical healings.
Q: What are some of the most exotic and magical places to travel to and why?
A:What is exotic and magical to me may not hold any appeal to you. I find that it is best to let your heart lead the way when selecting travel destinations. Often a country in which you have had at least one past life will be someplace you have a strong desire to visit. I have found that when there is strong desire, magic is not far behind! A few years ago I spent two weeks in Egypt seeing all of the ancient pyramids, tombs and sites. I even rode a camel in the desert. And, while the entire experience was fun and interesting, I doubt I would ever return. But, for many of my friends, Egypt calls to them and they visit over and over again. Some of my personal favorite spots include Santorini, Greece, just about all of India and several islands in the Caribbean.
Q: Are there any elements that are common to most mystical experiences?
A:Yes, I believe so. It is unlikely that you will have a mystical experience while sitting in traffic on the freeway while you are talking on your cell phone and having thoughts of road rage. Many mystical experiences happen when you are not in your ordinary, usual environment. Since travelling takes you to new and unusual places, your senses and your awareness are heightened. On one trip to India we went to meditate in a cave of Rishikesh where legend had it that a holy man had meditated for dozens of years. The cave was the darkest, quietest place I had ever been and just silently sitting in it felt like a holy experience. When I left the cave I began to walk up the hill to where our car and driver were. I saw a cow chewing on a green plastic bag. Without thinking I shouted to the cow, “Hey cow, stop eating the plastic bag, it will make you sick.” The cow turned and looked at me for a moment and then spit out the bag and walked on. I know for certain that when I am at home in San Diego I cannot communicate with cows.
Q: Where would you suggest someone go if they were looking for a fabulousadventure in the United States?
A:Two places: the first would be their own home. One of the wildest ridesyou can take is into your own deepest knowing. You can accomplish this bylearning how to meditate. The other would be ANY place in nature. A walkalong the beach, a hike in the Redwood Forest, a rowboat on a quiet lake,rock climbing, anything that takes you away for the constant bombardment of the electromagnetics of modern life will set you up for a new and possibly magical experience. The early Goddess and Native American religions believe that all animals and plant life have spirits. Spend some time with them in nature and find out for yourself!
Q: Do you have any tips on how to get the most out of a vacation?
A:I think it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to explore the places you are going. Even if you only have two days in Paris and you want to visit all the major museums, give yourself four hours to just get lost walking the neighborhood streets so that you can explore and allow the Universe to present you with a unique opportunity. If you take a guided tour, be sure to ask the tour guide if they know about any local legends of magic and mystery. Several years ago I went to Hong Kong for the first time. Since my friend and I only had a day and a half we decided to take a bus tour. Some of the tour was really fascinating and informational and some of it was clearly aimed to have tourists spend money in certain souvenir factories. We chatted a little with the tour guide and told her of our interest in the metaphysical. She in turn told us about the “fortune-telling birds at the night market,” a local custom that isn’t written about in guidebooks. Our adventure with these birds is told in MAGICAL SOUVENIRS and is still one of my fondest memories of Hong Kong.
One last thought: When travelling, give yourself permission to do things you normally wouldn’t do. Stay up later, try new things, be courageous (without being stupid) and keep an open mind.
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