Listening to My Life: My Journey Through Fear to Trust
by Ardine Martinelli

Heron and Turtle Publishing, Tacoma, WA, 2018. ISBN 978-1-732-18600-2.
Reviewed by Trilla Pando
Posted on 08/03/2018
Review of the Month, August 2018

Nonfiction: Memoir

Listening to My Life is a double-barreled book—as Ardine Martinelli recounts how she learned to listen to herself instead of just about everyone else in the world, the reader gets a chance to listen to her fascinating story.

Martinelli built a powerfully successful career as a teacher, counsellor, principal, sex-equity coordinator and more, all roles that required her to listen to others, and she was excellent. But there was one person she didn't listen to: herself. And, it seems, neither did others.

A child of an alcoholic father and a perfectionist mother, Martinelli's childhood was a mix of falling short of others' expectations and being invisible. As an adult, in spite of her professional recognition, she was unable to take her own advice. She did not listen to herself. While counselling others, she remained in a painful and abusive marriage. When she was 55, things changed and she began a journey to freedom. It was truly a journey that culminated in a personal success that mirrors her professional one.

While Martinelli's explorations and experiences are all well reported and interesting, it was when I reached the book's final section that I became riveted. When I reached the book's end, I turned back to page 137 and read it again, as I have several times since that day. In her descriptions, I can see myself in some of the same situations she has conquered. She describes practices and attitudes that I know but forget about from time to time. I am keeping this book for those final eight pages, and will review Ardine Martinelli's advice often. I'm going to listen to myself.

For those like myself who are contemporaries of Martinelli, there is an added bonus to this book. In telling her own story, she takes us an a tour of the times of our lives. From her early 1960s' romp through Europe and anti-Viet Nam war marches to living in a commune—I am reminded of the turbulent times that helped to form who we are today.

Ardine Martinelli lives in Tacoma, Washingon where she works as a spiritual advisor. She enjoys life in her home state spending time gardening and hiking, but occasionally she leaves because she also loves to travel. Share her life and adventures on her blog.

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