Barbara H. McNeely
Lessons of an Opening Heart: Thriving after Open-Heart Surgery
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What is your book about?
In 2015, I rather suddenly found myself facing open-heart surgery. Lessons of an Opening Heart is about that journey through surgery and recovery during the first year following surgery. In my book I share how open-heart surgery saved my life and led me to a new awareness of surviving and thriving in life.
What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve known for years that I was to write. In the first few weeks following my surgery I began writing down some of my experiences and quickly realized this would be my first book. I knew that many others experience similar surgery and I felt that my book could provide encouragement for them.
Can you describe your writing process?
This book was a challenge to write for a number of reasons. At first, there was no real process for writing it. I would write knowing that one day it would be shaped into a book. Then, about 1.5 years after my surgery, I went away on a retreat, alone. I spent that week putting all of my writings into a cohesive book.
How did you come to do what you’re doing today?
I have worn many hats in my life. I began with a love of all things science. I got away from science for many years as a computer programmer and then a web designer. Eventually, health issues led me back to science, especially health and cooking.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
My days start at 5:15 as I cook breakfast for my husband and myself. This is followed by quiet time for meditation; and at some point yoga and aerobic activity. I prefer to write in the mornings. And my afternoons are filled with various activities in support of my business and my blog.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Interaction with my readers. I love the idea that others are inspired or encouraged by my writing.
Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?
There are many people who have inspired me. Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, Marie Forleo, Deepak Chopra, Mike Dooley, Mark Batterson, to name a few.
Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?
I spent the summer of 1985 watching trucks being built in a GM plant in Pontiac Michigan. Our job was to report on those times that the line stopped. I like to see how things are put together so I really enjoyed it. It totally amazed me how all the different departments or lines managed to get the right trucks through the line at the right time. That took some amazing engineering work!
What’s next for you?
My next projects are all related to cooking. I have a veggie cookbook I’ve been working on, Veggies 101. It was just a few years ago that I really learned to cook fresh vegetables and I believe more people would eat vegetables if they knew how to cook them. I also have a couple of journals planned to help the novice cook.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
My current blog can be found at: https://barbaramcneely.com/
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