Gail Hudson is an internationally certified life coach and NY Times bestselling writer whose career is built on elevating women’s stories and exploring the feminine experience.
My writing career started when I was working as an advocate for women in prison and began asking, "How did you get here?” In response I heard stories of abusive homes, runaway escapes, assaults, life on the streets, drugs, lost children, racism, prostitution, welfare fraud, “crimes” of desperation. I scribbled their answers on a notepad, typed them up, then handed the women back their stories of resilience, sorrow, and survival against all odds. The women saw themselves as the heroines of their own stories—and my journey as a feminine empowerment writer began.
I took my fascination with feminine empowerment into journalism, where I honed my focus to the stories that reflected my concerns as a woman. I wrote essays and feature articles examining our relationships with children, partners, friends, lovers, nature, and most importantly ourselves. As a national magazine writer, I interviewed and wrote about leading storytellers and spiritual influencers: Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Anne Lamott, John O'Donahue, Dianne Ackerman, Gary Zukov, Richard Bach, and Gabrielle Roth.
Books were soon to follow, including I Wanna Be Sedated, an edited collection of essays about raising teenagers, and Quarreling, a book about helping children resolve conflicts, which landed me on the "Today Show" with Katie Couric.
In 2005 I began a writing collaboration with the renowned primatologist and UN Ambassador of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall. Through the lens of the feminine we offered inspirational stories about how we can build healthier relationships with food, with animals, with plants, and with humanity itself. Our books include Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating, Hope for Animals and Their World, and most recently, the New York Times bestseller, Seeds of Hope, Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants.
All this while I also worked as an editor, writing teacher and coach. I especially loved midwifing books while helping writers meet the criteria of strong writing—creativity, voice, ruthless honesty and courage.
Within the last decade an exciting development occurred when I expanded my relational work with writers by pursuing a life coaching training and certification. Nowadays the rivers of my passion for feminine empowerment and writing mentoring have converged into a robust coaching practice, helping women all over the world actualize their ideal careers, relationships and writing accomplishments.
When not working directly with clients, I'm usually pursuing my passions for yoga, dance and cooking or working on my next book, a memoir about my own empowerment journey in the realm of feminine sexuality.
"The lightbulb turned on and my mind clicked into understanding. If you aren't connected to yourself, you will never feel connected to your partner.
The loneliness I'd been feeling during sex wasn't just about losing connection with my partner; it was mostly about losing connection with myself."
From Part Two
"I started digging up all the hidden narratives in my body and rinsed off the years of muddled shame that kept them concealed.
I polished them down to their essence, and could finally see them as precious artifacts that formed me. Not unlike all the broken, misshapen rocks, shells and sea glass I'd collected over the years—treasures all the more interesting because of the way time and the ravages of life have shaped them."
From Part One
"We’d been through eighteen years of marriage. We’d repaired so many hurts, righted so many wrongs, and yet here I was broken again. Was I about to deal a fatal blow to us?
Standing naked that night in our bedroom, I didn’t know the answer. All I knew was my discontent felt so much deeper than any one hurt, any one wrong. There was no getting around it. The sex we made—what I once considered to be one of the best parts of our relationship—was over."
From Part Three
"One day when I was out for coffee with myself after visiting a museum exhibit where I’d seen a lot of disappointing portraits of nude, ghost women posed by a famous male painter, I wrote these questions:
'What if my sexuality wasn’t dependent on my ability to be desired by another? Or dependent on my ability to seduce another? What if I started to be more interested in what I desired than being desired?'
The questions sat there on the page. They didn’t seem abstract or lofty or rhetorical. They came from inside me and I was beginning to live them."
From Part One
"He stayed in the hallway. Huffing and puffing. I watched his massive boots skulking back and forth under the doorframe—the shadow of them blocking the hall light as he paced. Before he left, he gave the door a solid kick.
It didn’t occur to me to call the police. Nor did I tell anyone I knew. I created this mess. I had started something with a man that I hadn’t wanted to finish. I got myself into this and I had to get myself out of it, which. at that point in my life, meant I had to endure it."
"A part of me, my younger self, instinctively wants to cover my mouth.
Another part of me, the part that has gone on a long and defining journey in pursuit of what was missing, is patiently smiling.
'Settle down,' she says, 'and tell the story.'"
And then I started to read these stories aloud – to my husband, to my safest friends, to myself. Gradually they became the writing I love the most, and the stories my readers most favored. Importantly, they began to form themselves into a memoir. They are the stories of my own heroine's journey; they are the stories that changed my life. My goal is that it'll be a book that changes yours.
One day I started writing down all the shame-coated stories inside me. Like many women, I began to awaken from the trance of my sexual conditioning. I looked at who I thought I was supposed to be, how I was supposed to act, how I was supposed to look and even what I was supposed to want. I became an archaeologist of the self, carefully unearthing buried relics from my past.
You could call this a parable of our times. But I told myself, I can never share these stories with anyone.
From the Introduction
From Part Three
Enjoy these excerpts. I've begun a conversation about conscious sexuality, living authentically and the power of the feminine. Join me: