About Me

KarunaG

My name is Karuna and I was born in 1948.  I grew up as an “army brat”, traveling from place to place, for the most part moving every two to three years.  My family retired in Florida when I was in high school.  As soon as I graduated from high school, I headed to Seattle to go to college and have lived there ever since, except for one year in the 70’s.  I have Bachelors and Masters degrees in Nursing and have worked in hospital Labor and Delivery Room  and  Postpartum units.  I also was an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, and a Maternal Newborn Clinical Nurse Specialist at Swedish Hospital Medical Center in Seattle.   I married in 1971 and had two wonderful children, Sreejit in 1974 and Chaitanya in 1977.

 

My life took a profound change when I began my own personal therapy.  During those years, I worked through most of the anger, fear and sadness that had kept me tied to the past.  I, for the most part, stopped my obsessive thinking and my negative self talk.  I learned to parent myself and my children in healthy ways.

After finishing my own therapy, I started volunteering in our therapy community.  I loved my volunteer work much more than I liked my job, so did what it took to qualify to take the credentialing exams in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing.  I began a private psychotherapy practice (www.karunapoole.com) and  have been doing that rewarding work ever since.  I love participating in clients’ journeys as they make their way to a full and abundant life.

My life took another major turn in 1989, when I met Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi), a world renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader.  At the time I met her, I had absolutely no interest in anything spiritual. I couldn’t understand why “Yes” came out of my mouth when a friend invited me to go to Amma’s Seattle programs.  My world changed that night.  Six weeks later, I attended Amma’s retreat in New Hampshire, and six months after that I was at her ashram in India.  I have traveled to India every year but two since then.

Amma and me

In the last few years I’ve developed additional major interests:  Litter pick up, cigarette butt pick up, gardening, vermi-composting (i.e. worms!), learning to read, write and eventually speak Sanskrit (संस्कृतं पठामि लिखामि च), and now this blog!

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For many years, I have focused much of my attention on watching for and learning the lessons life sends my way. I love the process of receiving and learning these lessons, whether they be very challenging or easy.  In this blog, I will share my own stories and reflections, past and present, usually taking into account both psychological and spiritual perspectives. My hope is that we will dialog with each other about living, learning and letting go.

199 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I find your life so fascinating! I look forward to reading more. I left my “day job” to return to university after experiencing so much pleasure volunteering, listening, helping in a post-postpartum group for years.

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  2. Thanks for following my blog, Karuna. I went to school with lots of army brats in elementary school since I grew up in Farnham, Quebec where we had a military base. I found them so friendly and socialable and always felt sad when they moved since I didn’t have many English speaking friends in our small town.

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    1. Interesting. So different in the U.S.. I only went to military base schools until I was in 9th grade. At that point I was living in Hawaii. It was tough being in a regular school for the first time. Military kids had problems there, both because they were military and because they were white. But, now that I think about it, I have some special memories of that time in my life too.

      I have very little memory of my childhood, just a glimpse here and there.

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      1. I lived in a predominantly French town, so perhaps there were not enough teachers…I went to a French Catholic school and we English kids took up 2 classrooms for Grades one to 7. I think the kids whose parents were in the military did go to school on the base when they were in Europe…we had a few that got transferred to Germany.

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  3. My husband grew up in Seattle, and I grew up on the other side of the mountains — such a small world!

    You have so many interesting stories to share, and I look forward to reading them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right…. it is such a small world. I discovered this week that someone else I have been “talking” to for some time lives in Portland!!!! I’m glad you like my stories. I am having so much fun with the blogging.

      I’m looking forward to yours as well.

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  4. You overcame the fear that most have when stepping out of their comfort zone. So happy that your new profession is rewarding and fulfilling. So many choose to stay within their “controlled comfort zone” rather than following their passion.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was so touched by your comment that I went to your blog and loved what I found there. I pressed “follow” immediately! I look forward to “talking” with you in the future.

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  6. Hi Karuna – your gentle and kind personality is apparent. Your bio works well if its purpose is to promote your book. If you’re aiming toward the Blogging101 day 8 lesson, then it may be a little long. This is my first encounter with you and your writing, and as a first impression, it was a lot to take in at once. Personally, I would like to learn some of those facts about you from personal stories in your posts. That’s just my opinion though; take it with a grain of salt. ~Nathan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate your feedback. This #8 lesson has been a hard one for me. It may take days to figure this one out! Luckily it is fine for me to take my time and know I will get to clarity.

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      1. If you’d like a suggestion, I want to hear a story from your interesting life that led you to focus on “living, learning, and letting go” and what that phrase means to you. Was it an epiphany you had at the ashram? Was it from caring for clients in your days as a therapist? I hope that’s helpful. I have confidence you’ll get where you want to be; your blog is written very well.

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    1. I’m glad that you liked what you read in my blog and that you want to read more! I look forward to interacting with you in the future.

      Thanks so much for nominating me. I received a nomination from someone else a week or so ago, so I won’t be answering all the questions again, but I really appreciate the acknowledgement. I will be sure to read your Liebster post though so I can learn more about you!

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  7. The focus of your blog is so refreshing and enjoyable. A great way to look at life! I think we definitely have many common interests, and synchronization, just from reading this. I look forward to getting to know you better!

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    1. I’m confused by the Hi Inspiring Max……….was that a way of saying the post was very inspiring? 🙂

      My children’s names originally were Michael and Kristina. At some point in their lives they asked Amma for Sanskrit names. That is where Sreejit and Chaitanya came from. Chaitanya still uses her birth name in some places, but Sreejit changed his legally when he was 16. That is how I received the name Karuna as well.

      Each name has meaning. Mine means compassion.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, your post is inspiring but the name I addressed you by was a copy and pasting error; me juggling between varying windows. I apologise for that.

    I’ve been involved for a few decades in Tibetan Buddhism, Dzog Chen and as such also received a Sanskrit name during one of the initiations. This is where my interest came from.
    I have however returned to my first love and don’t use this name any longer.

    I like the name they picked for you and judging by the few posts I’ve read, it is well chosen.

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    1. I’m glad that you like it. I look forward to “talking” with you more in the blogging world!

      I’m curious…. did you react to your army brat life by traveling from place to place as an adult, or staying put?

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      1. By the time I was 13, I had lived in 14 places. I stayed in one place as a teenager because my parents divorced and my father was on the move. It was very weird to stay anywhere long. I wanted to move. I still do but for now I stay put because I share parenting time of my 7 year old son. I will be moving when I’m guided to, though. 🙂

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  9. It is interesting that we connected when you liked and commented on my post about Chet Baker’s music – and then about smells, mothering and such. I enjoyed reading about your “army brat” childhood and learning about your ” writing straight with a crooked line” journey since then. I am eager to read more. Thanks.

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    1. I’m glad you are enjoying reading my posts. I look forward to connecting with you more through our blogs.

      The “writing straight with a crooked line” doesn’t sound familiar to me though. Do you by any chance remember what post that is from?

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  10. Hi Karuna. Thank you very much for visiting my blog as it led me to your world of insightful thought. Sometimes spirituality can change person and it could be anything, for me spirituality is travelling, I feel content with that. Good to know the work you do, truly appreciate that.
    I will be following you to read more from you and gain some knowledge

    Cheers
    Aanchal

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    1. I am so glad to hear that you enjoy reading my blog, and that you enjoy it enough to put me on the list of people that you have nominated for the award Thank you so much!

      Know I have received the award before so I won’t be doing the write up that is part of the process, but I have added you to my award post as one of the people who has nominated me. https://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/thanks-for-the-very-inspiring-blogger-award/

      I look forward to talking with you again via our blogs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There was no doubt about nominating you, you have a lot of great posts to offer which cover a variety of topics which is great as all types of bloggers can enjoy your blog 🙂
        Thank you for adding me to your list and I look forward to reading more inspiring posts in the future 🙂
        Mac x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for nominating my blog for the award. I’m so glad that you like my work enough to give it that honor.

      Know that I have received the award before so won’t be doing another acceptance write up but I will add the link to your blog to the original one.

      Thanks again!

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  11. I am so pleased to meet you, and its so good to meet another Spirit sister Karuna.. Self healing often takes us through some major mirror work.. as we learn to let go.. Letting Go is one of my own Major lessons this time around..

    You are most deserving of Dreamwalker’s Hearts as One Drumbeat Award.. Congratulations.. I look forward to browsing your blog..

    Love your Spiral rockery garden. by the way.. 🙂
    Blessings
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks for liking my comment which in turn has connected me to your wonderful life story my dear compassion, as that’s what ‘karuna’ means… I look forward to reading your posts and exchanging views…best wishes… Raj.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad that you visited and liked my blog enough to decide to follow it. I look forward to looking at yours today too. I was delighted to find your comment on the other blog.

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  13. Hello to you from Brisbane, Australia. I came to your blog by way of the WordPress weekly photo challenge — as I always do, I read your “About” page. What a rich life you have had so far. I’m going to follow your blog and come back and read some more soon, but for now wanted to say hello. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad you decided to follow my blog! I look forward to getting to know you through the blogs. I’ve gone to Brisbane numerous times when Amma does her programs there. Australia is such a special place.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Your blog is beautiful. I can sense that you take the time to self reflect and introspect alot through your posts. It obviously produces good fruit because of the amazing things you do haha. I would love to see more from you and your work. Please keep the posts coming !

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi,

    What an amazing blog you have. It is filled with interesting content, unique stories and it is so diverse yet with very eye-catching posts. It’s really thought-provoking to read your experiences.

    Keep up the great work!

    All the best,

    Giulia

    Liked by 1 person

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