An Interview with Dr. Harriet Kimble Wrye: Author, Psychologist & Entrepreneur
Sylvia: Welcome Harriet. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Harriet: Hello Sylvia! I’m Dr. Harriet Kimble Wrye, author, psychologist, adventure traveler, mindfulness practitioner, wife and mother. I am also a horsewoman, yogi, backpacker, cyclist, skier and hiker. In private practice for over thirty years, I am a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst Emerita at the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies. I have been ordained by Buddhist Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh as a Core Member of the Order of Interbeing.
I have published over twenty-five articles in psychoanalytic journals, written several book chapters and co-authored a psychoanalytic book entitled The Narration of Desire and lectured all over the world. “Pulling Up Stakes: Stepping into Freedom” (April 2012 release) is my first more personal story.
My husband Jim Wheeler and I live on twelve acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California with our five llamas, two horses and two dogs.
Atop Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, I was inspired to create a sabbatical. Then on a High Sierra pack trip with my husband and our llamas, it took shape when I felt a millennial call to “pull up stakes” in my life, as we did with tent and llama stakes each day as we moved along the trail. Inspired, I closed my Los Angeles psychoanalytic practice of thirty years; we leased our house at the beach and set out on a journey to the “back of beyond.” Creating a sabbatical from the familiar, taking a step back to sculpt my life with renewed passion and purpose, this journey became a life-changing spiritual pilgrimage that led me to a deep practice of letting go of assumptions, habits and patterns, and stepping into freedom.
This book is a find for those who love adventure, bits of hilarity, vision quests and soul searching travels into the back of beyond, all rolled into one great read echoing Bill Bryson’s Walk in the Woods, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love, Peter Matthiessen’s Under the Mountain Wall, Frances Mayes’ Under The Tuscan Sun, John Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Karen Armstrong’s Through The Narrow Gate.
Sylvia: Wow Llamas… Sabbatical… Exotic trips… such an intriguing life! What inspired you to write your first book?
Harriet: My first book, The Narration of Desire was born of a passionate interest in psychoanalysis, feminist studies, and early mother-infant relations as the basis for healthy (or unfortunately unhealthy) erotic life. It is aimed for therapist with a psychodynamic understanding and went from hard back to several additional printings in paperback, indicative of its success in the field.
Pulling Up Stakes: Stepping Into Freedom was born out of my love of writing, the enormity of changes I was facing in creating this sabbatical from everything familiar, and setting out into the world with my husband who has only so much interest in “processing” conversations—so, to his great relief and delight, I took refuge in writing the book as we went along.
Sylvia: I admire that you were able to take a sabbatical and live life… breathe fresh air and travel to adventureous places. ls there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Harriet: The theme and message of the book is about “Stepping into Freedom”: letting go of attachments (too many material “things”; dependencies and unfruitful relationships and commitments) and unexamined assumptions—(the “should” and “have to” that can ultimately burden us into a kind of constraint). It is about consciously sculpting our lives as we might an artwork, and doing it with intention, passion and purpose.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Harriet: My advice to other writers is to write about something that you care deeply about, feel fully interested in and challenged by, and to establish and maintain a steady writer discipline in your work.
Sylvia: Great advice! Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Harriet: I write mainly at my desk overlooking a meadow where I can see my horses and llamas grazing. I also enjoy writing “on the fly” while I am traveling, fostering an opportunity for close observations and presence.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Harriet: I am currently doing just that, writing my blog: Truly, Kindly, Madly at www.pullingupstakesbook.com
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Harriet: I think I have used many of my own power words in this presentation: Truly, Kindly, Madly are three and Sculpting (as in sculpting your life) as well as Passion and Purpose.
Sylvia: Good choices in words! So, Harriet, this has been great. Thank you for your time. I enjoyed learning more about your wonderful life and your book. Please let our readers know how to contact you.
Harriet: You are very welcome. See below.
- Website: http://www.pullingupstakesbook.com/home/
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pulling-Up-Stakes-Stepping-Into-Freedom/197901333607426