Environmental Factor, May 2009, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
NTP Staffer Writes of Inspiration, Faith and Encouragement
By Eddy Ball
National Toxicology Program (NTP) Administrative Specialist Carolyn Hall doesn't advertise her extracurricular talents, but the word is getting around on campus about her new book, Intimate Journey: A Guide to Your Spiritual Path.
Frequently writing in the second person, Hall punctuates her introspective motivational narrative and poetry with extended journaling sections that make her book an interactive and personalized experience for the reader. From the first page, when readers can sign their names as someone with "a purpose for living this life," they have many opportunities to write down their own thoughts about Hall's meditations on how she found greater meaning and happiness in her own life and to strive to improve their own experiences in life.
iUniverse, the publisher of Intimate Journey, has classified the book as "Religion/Spirituality," and at the center of Hall's story is her personal relationship with her creator. But Hall's faith is more than doctrinal or denominational. Instead, it focuses on the ability of each individual to develop a positive attitude and live a life of service to fellow human beings.
Hall's faith in God is a faith in the rightness of the universe and the power of unconditional love. She envisions the journey toward serenity and self-confidence as a journey also to a heightened sense of responsibility toward others. "What really matters [ultimately]," she said, "is how you treat people."
Hall reminds readers of the seemingly little things - such as telling family members regularly how much they are loved - as well as the challenge of becoming a person who controls his or her emotions and everyday life, rather than being controlled by the negativity of others, regret over past failure or loss, and the uncertainties of life.
Hall is confident her story can be an inspiration for others, but she warns that there are no easy answers or shortcuts to happiness. She also won't rule out the possibility of a sequel as she continues on the next phase of her own intimate journey. "I think that faith is like anything else," Hall said of her experience. "You have to constantly work at it."
(Intimate Journey is available in print and electronic formats: ISBN 978-1-4401-1360-4, ISBN 978-1-4401-1362-8 and ISBN 978-1-4401-1361-1.)