Prince Siddhartha, raised behind palace walls and showered with every extravagance, abandoned his protected life to embark on a spiritual journey. He ultimately reached enlightenment, and became known as the Buddha--which means one who is awake--and spent his life teaching that everyone has the potential to awaken…
2,500 years later in the cloistered world of suburbia, meet Syd Arthur! Syd is a middle-aged woman who is potentially awake, but likes to start her day with a strong cup of coffee, just in case. Her daughter has just left for college, she’s starting to feel the empty nest and searching for meaning in her life. Ellen Frankel’s new novel chronicles the mid life adventures of her heroine, Sydney Arthur, as she struggles with the issues that women face today from diet fads and weight obsession, women’s friendships, to the search for more meaning in life. Frankel takes Syd to higher levels as she takes her out of her secured suburbia and enters the bigger world she yearns to discover. And once she finds out how to sift through the fluff and reach to the core, nothing can stop her journey toward Nirvana, not even the hottest sale at Nordstrom’s.
Using humor and style, Ellen Frankel brings Syd Arthur to life, a life that woman today can identify with. As many of us approach the empty nest and loneliness that comes with our children moving on and out, we struggle to find purpose and fulfillment within ourselves. Frankel makes Syd’s search a universal one that all women will relate to and get some hearty laughs in all at the same time.
About the Author:
Ellen Frankel, LCSW worked in the field of eating disorder treatment and prevention for over fifteen years. She has been interviewed by national newspapers, traditional and online magazines, as well as national radio programs across the country, and has appeared on local and national television including NBC's Today Show, CBS's Early Show, Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto and The Dr. Phil Show. In addition to her latest book, Syd Arthur, Ellen is the author of Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature and Inner Growth (Pearlsong Press 2006) and is the co-author of The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care (Sourcebooks 2006) and Beyond A Shadow of a Diet: The Therapist’s Guide to Treating Compulsive Eating (Brunner-Routledge 2004). She has also published in professional journals and has been featured in local newspapers including The Boston Globe, The Jewish Journal North of Boston and The Jewish Advocate. Ellen lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her husband, Steve, and dog, Karma. She has recently experienced the empty nest first hand as both her daughter and son are currently in college.
Happily for her, they both accepted her friend request on Facebook.
Topics of discussion from the book Syd Arthur:
- Women’s Friendships:Women’s friendships occupy a special place in the world of relationships. From “Girls’ night out,” to the Mah Jongg table, to long walks and deep talks that cover every topic imaginable, a close girlfriend reminds you that you are never truly alone. But what happens over the years when dear friends begin to move in different directions? Can space be created to allow for diverging paths? What are the elements that sustain such friendships, and what is it that threatens those friendships?
- Empty Nesters:The children have flown the coop. One moment, the all too quiet house wraps around your heart with a crushing force, and the next minute, you’re savoring the space you’ve waited 18 years for and singing Broadway show tunes on top of your lungs while dancing as if you’re the star of the show. Learning to live in the empty nest, or spreading your wings to become a free bird, often means reexamining who you are outside of the role of “mother.” One of the best tools to carry around during this time of self-reflection and construction? A good sense of humor is a must, and a glass of wine couldn’t hurt…
- What the culture sells: We live in a culture that sells the idea that happiness can be found on the outside – by finding the perfect diet or wearing the perfect outfit. The culture has trained most of us to be good consumers, and with a steady diet of commercials and advertisements, we digest these messages as we continue to search for fulfillment. But true contentment doesn’t come from the product du jour. Instead, it comes from a life of inner balance, of nurturing one’s truest self, and of knowing one’s inner heart.
- Spirituality: At certain points, the quest to understand life more deeply and to see our place in the universe more clearly becomes front and center in our lives. We yearn to know that we are part of something greater than ourselves, and strive to find meaning in our daily existence. This has been the human experience since the beginning. So how do you sort through the fluff to reach to the core? How do we avoid getting caught in the spiritual trappings, and mistaking that for spirituality itself? In a culture where there are clothes and jewelry and home furnishings masquerading as a spiritual path, how do you discover your truest self, rather than losing it in a sea of spiritual merchandise?
- Women: Dieting and FoodFor many women it’s not baseball that serves as the national pastime, but dieting. Despite the fact that almost all diets result in weight loss in the short term, it’s estimated that 95%-98% of all diets will fail in the long-term with many people ending up heavier than before they started the diet in the first place. Despite this, the history of women’s relationship with food, their bodies and themselves has been long documented. For many women, it is as if they’ve pressed the “pause “button on their lives, only willing to hit “play” again when (and if) they reach a weight they’ve determined will make them happy. The faulty logic goes that reaching the perfect weight will result in offering the perfect life.
- East meets West: Today, we are at the intersection of East meets West. Yoga and meditation, both which have numerous positive affects physically, emotionally and spiritually, have become part of the fabric of our hurried Western lives. Once we sit on the meditation cushion, light our incense, and realize our western minds are now adding reaching enlightenment to our: To Do List For The Day, it’s time to take a deep inhalation, exhalation, and return to the beauty of the present moment. The East has much to teach us, if we can only slow down enough to pay attention.
To learn more about Syd Arthur and author Ellen Frankel please visit: www.authorellenfrankel.com
To schedule an interview with the author, please contact Newman Communications at (617) 254-4500.