Your Charmed Life

Your Charmed Life

I wasn’t at Woodstock, but…

The Top 10 Events of My Life Thus Far
Tonight, watching a History Channel documentary on Woodstock and lamenting that I missed it, I started pondering what I didn’t miss: the amazing events that have shaped my life. I share my list in hopes that it inspires you to recall your Top 10 — the first ten of many.
1. First spiritual experience. In my stroller, just before my third birthday. It’s nighttime, with a new moon and a sky filled with stars. I think, “That’s home, up there. I’m here now. This is good. But it’s not home.”
2. A bigger world. Age 6. We drive from Kansas City to Miami and I see the ocean for the first time. I’m amazed. Then we take a ship to Cuba, pre-Revolution. I see a culture that isn’t mine. I get it: there’s more here than I realized.


3. The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. I’m catapulted at 13 into the larger culture and into identity with a generation. Nineteen months later I attend my first Beatles press conference (the story is in Living a Charmed Life, chapter 6). I come to see that absolutely anything is possible.
4. Move to London at 18. I discover yoga, the Quakers, Spiritualism, theosophy. I date a veger at St. Martin’s in the Fields and get to ring the church bells. I stop eating meat. A friend of mine, the Beatles’ equipment manager, tells me, “I’ve been everywhere and done everything, and the spiritual, ya know, it’s really all there is.”
5. First round of surrender toward overcoming compulsive eating. I’m 28. I’m in a diner, contemplating pie. The one and only time in my life that I “hear a voice,” it says, “If you eat that, I’ll never help you again.” I don’t have any pie. I start on the path of recovery. There’s a heavy relapse a couple of years later, but eventually, it deepens and stabilizes and, a day at a time, sticks.
6. My daughter, Rachael Adair, is born a week after my 33rd birthday. I know she’s a baby but that first twenty-four hours—we’re together without interruption, she and her dad and I; it was a home birth—she seems very old and very wise. My sense of her is: “Chinese man, long life, highly respected.” When she’s 8 and wants to study Chinese, I think of this again. (Here’s a photo of her in Tibet, age 8.)
7. My first book comes like a second child, for my 35th birthday. It’s called Compassion, The Ultimate Ethic: An Exploration of Veganism. It’s the result of fellowship I’d received in college six years before, and once it’s a book with a cover, I’m an author.
8. I meet Patti Breitman, my first literary agent. I’m 40, and this marks the beginning of a new


life. Meeting Patti is the closest thing to being discovered at a soda fountain in my experience. The subsequent 9 books, and all the ones I’ll write in the future, are seeded that August day in Eureka, California. (The photo is Patti signing her own book, How to Eat Like a Vegetarian, Even If You Never Want to Be One, co-authored by Carol Adams.)
9. I answer a singles’ ad. It turns out to be William’s. I’m 46. This is before 9/11 so the conventional wisdom is, “A woman over 40 has as much chance of getting married as she does of being attacked by terrorists.” Well, so much for statistics. Ten-and-a-half years after my dear Patrick’s death, William and I tie the knot. I’m still in love.
10. The move to New York City. I’m 50, when some people start thinking about quieting down. I’m just beginning to make noise. This town is tough. There is so much excellence you have to have your wits about you every minute. I live on this energy. I’m so lucky it fills me in floods and flows over.
Make your list. What has molded you and shaped you and made you who you are? I think you’ll find the exercise incredibly enlivening.
Victoria Moran is a certified life coach. Her company, Charm-Your-Life Coaching, is dedicated to spiritual-life coaching and bringing about your best life from the inside out. Read more at, and if you write or call to inquire, ask about the blog-reader’s discount.
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posted August 18, 2009 at 12:03 pm

This is such a great list.

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posted August 18, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Interesting blog. Arguably, the biggest legacy of Woodstock is its huge impact on the real children of the sixties: Generation Jones (born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Generation X). This USA TODAY op-ed speaks to the relevance today of the sixties counterculture impact on GenJones:
Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report forcast the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.
Here’s a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones:

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posted August 18, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Whoa…where did those 40 years go! It really does seem like yesterday. The energy of that time was…so positive and loving. It was everywhere I went in 1969. We were happy all the time whether we were high or not.
What do we do now…just sit back and “Retire” or do we finish what we started in the 60’s? I say we get on with it.
We want an end to greed and selfishness and especially the attitude of profit over people..where did THAT idea come from?
We want peace not just the absence of war but a perpetual state of cooperation among people for the mutual benefit of all. Violence is never allowed to be a solution for ANY situation.
We are smart enough to develop renewable energy sources using the sun, wind, water and geothermal, feed everyone of the planet and provide health care for all. It’s time to provided these basic human needs.
In 2009 Woodstock is the perfect concept to germinate those ideals from 60’s in the soil of the 21st century and digital age and fertilize them with the ideas of the progressive-thinking youth of today.
And of course there will be a lot of great music!
Spread the word. Join
Peace, love, music, one world,

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posted August 18, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Dear Victoria, I love this post… it brought tears to my eyes..
Thank you, Love, Linda oxo

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posted August 18, 2009 at 8:09 pm

I’ve been reading your books for years and years, but this had some wonderful things that I didn’t know about you. Thank you so much for sharing.

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posted August 18, 2009 at 10:11 pm

i love this list. thank you!

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posted August 19, 2009 at 10:15 am

This one is a keeper! Yes, I print (to PDF) and keep some of your blogs because they are so moving or funny or informative or all of the above that I must have them handy.
I don’t think I’ve ever had someone share their key life experinces in a way that touched my soul. This is absolutely beautiful!
I happen to be 46 and single. So number 9 was personally inspiring me. I have not given up on finding my love but I also appreciate being inspired to keep the faith.
Thank you for sharing this and being so generous to always share youreslf with us!

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Victoria Moran

posted August 19, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Linda, Kari, Carmen, Christina, all of you — Love and thanks. And great expectations. Victoria

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posted August 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm

i’m writing my own list for my 25th bday in 2 weeks!

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