April Kirkwood

What a 30 year love affair taught April Kirkwood on survival, love and breaking cycles of betrayal

Posted on Posted in Blog, Sassy Girl Spotlight
“Standing gazing into the pool at my “perfect” life I wondered how I got this miserable. Through many tears and soul searching,  I finally found the courage to dig deep in the darkest places of my mind and soul and find how and what went wrong.”  

April Kirkwood, author, and therapist shared with me how realizing her “perfect” life was far from perfect and how she turned years of betrayal into a powerful force of wisdom and guidance that has helped others find themselves and love.

You are a busy lady! Author, Speaker, Therapist plus you have a blog and podcast! What topics do you focus on? 

My topics involve assisting others in the process of becoming awake and aware via a holistic perspective  Presentations guide listeners to a path leading to the answers about life that have left us bewildered and lost for too long. The message is simple.  Self-understanding is the most important work of our lives.

As a therapist, writer, and speaker, together we investigate this adventure from an adult perspective rather than a wounded child who is lost and afraid.  It is from this intensive introspection that we can safely shift through our personal stories. This is the pivotal juncture allowing us to discard what no longer resonates to the soul’s purpose. With eyes open, healing can begin and a plan for the rest of life is created to fulfill an individual’s path and passions.

My presentations include but are not limited to: The Debauchery of Believing Our Own Fake News, Finding Love After Trauma, What Is The Message Of Loss, Healing Strategies After Heartbreak, and Renewing Dreams After Forty.

 

What led you to become a speaker? 

As an English instructor and guidance counselor, I spent most of my career in front of the community inspiring them to see life’s lessons from a larger perspective. The focus of character development and communication skills is a benchmark of all of my interactions with students, parents, and staff.  My goal was and still is to entertain while leaving crumbs of bread for them to discover and digest the complexities and beauty of our world.

After twenty-four years in the education field, I received my LPC and started the second half of my life as a mental health therapist.  This decision grew after my own healing process and the writing of my memoir. It was a game changer for me at so many levels of my mental, spiritual, and physical state. This fall, I’m heading out on the road with TedX. I’m presently launching ‘Daily Living Tips’ about love and relationships via Alexa.  I’m here to help others answer the question that keeps them up at night; “How did I get here?” I know that It is possible to heal at any age, get back on track, and find peace and bliss in both the past and the future. 

What is the name of your latest book and what is it about?

Working My Way Back to Me is a vivid and raw memoir that sheds light on universal struggles involving love, sexuality, addiction, and mental health.  The adventures within these pages lead to betrayal and suffering, and fate depending, in part, to a complex story of struggles to break the generational cycle of abuse and dependent women. The eccentrically strong women in Working My Way Back to Me are filled with enormous love that offers protection, but also intensifies the hurt. Their pain overshadows their judgment and their desire for a different life for themselves blurs their judgment.  Frankie Valli of The Four Seasons is one of the central characters in my life. As a young girl, I ran to him for over three decades seeing him as my savior from the hellish environment that kept me on pins and needles always waiting for the next blow out.   He was my emotional blanket. Little did I realize that this affair of the heart stifled me from finding true love.  

What inspired you to write this book?

I finally hit a dead wall in West Palm where it looked like I had everything any woman would want.  Standing gazing into the pool at my “perfect” life I wondered how I got this miserable. Through many tears and soul searching,  I finally found the courage to dig deep in the darkest places of my mind and soul and find how and what went wrong. I traveled back to my story and looked at the events from an adult’s vantage point. Each step I forced myself into those parts of our lives and family issues we never really discussed.  As a therapist, I begin to put the pieces back together. One of the practices I used to do this was journaling which grew to be Working My Way Back To Me. Somehow telling my truth gave me permission to process so many conflicting feelings. It’s not an easy journey but one well worth it. Today, I know why I’m here and what my life is about.  

  • Nominated: ☞ April was featured as a contributor to Taegan Lion’s list 18 Books For Women In Their 50’s AND Taegan’s list 16 Books for Women in Their 40’s for her newest book, Working My Way Back to Me. 
How many books have you written?

I’m a virgin author.  I am proud of my second book.  My third is going to be better yet.  It is a learning process and I’m proud to be willing to put the work into making my passion come to life.  In short, I love writing. As an English teacher, I never thought of competing with the masters but here I am carving out a little history for others to read and enjoy.

What lessons did you learn while writing the first one that you did differently with the most recent one?
  •            The most important piece of advice I would give to my younger self is to SLOW down.  I felt such pressure to release a book, Big Girls Do Cry,  in conjunction with the movie, Jersey Boys, that I put out nothing more than a mishmash journal of random thoughts.  Now the ‘team’ that pushed me is now long gone and I have my name on a piece of work that I’m not proud of. It still makes me cringe to know that I gave my power away so cheaply.
  • I would also recommend considering whether it is best to use your real name versus a pen name.  I think in retrospect, I would have taken more risks in writing if used a pen name. I battled with this and still do.  I also wanted to use this story as a therapeutic healing message. I felt for that to occur, I needed to be transparent. Now I feel naked wherever I go.  It’s great for mental health purposes but awkward at times. 
  • The third piece of advice is to get a good editor.  Watch how you spend your money and who to trust. I failed into success wasting valuable time and money on ‘nothing’ great at all. I could have remodeled my bathroom for the money that went down the toilet.
  • My fourth piece of advice is to be careful if you name drop.  I had a huge publishing house sign me. When they heard it was about Frankie Valli, all of a sudden they changed their mind.  It was very disappointing and once again a waste of time. Get a lawyer as well to check what you can say without risk of litigation.  Be aware that others in the story might not be thrilled about sharing their dirty little secrets. Some members of my family no longer speak with me.
  • Lastly, keep in mind that with social media, it has become more difficult to make enough money to live on writing alone.  In short, don’t quit your day job. I had to dip into my savings a few times. If I had realized the challenges, I would have done things differently.  Live and learn!
You’ve been featured in quite a few media outlets. Which one has been your favorite so far and why? 

 Well, I’m still trying to pitch to O Magazine but that hasn’t happened.  That is my dream. But, back on earth, where I write and work, I like being featured about spirituality.  Although I’m getting known for my writing about romance, I sometimes feel the message I’m trying to convey in a covert way is overlooked.

How do you stay organized?

I am NOT very well organized.  A soul chart was done on me and they reported that I was born of ‘faye’ energy.  I have this inquisitive need to learn and love life and it gets me off my path. This is by far my very worst quality. My dream is to have an assistant that will keep things straight for me.  UGH, The worst!

 What was the biggest struggle when starting out?

It’s tricky this public appeal issue.  When you’re popular you’re accepted and everyone wants to work with you.  They know your name and doors open everywhere. When no one knows you, you can find the address to the house where all popularity trends are decided; let alone open the door. 

 Where do you see yourself in 2 years?

My boyfriend of eighteen years is terminally ill so that is a huge game changer for me.  Two years from now I will probably be spending half my year in New York City and my winters in Florida.  I will be traveling doing speaking engagements and who knows where my Amazon gigs will land me. My third book will be out and I would love my first book to be picked up for a movie.  I see myself fulfilled and at peace with who I truly am and the part I play in the world. Who knows, love could dizzy my mind and butterflies in my tummy. We’ll have to see!

 What’s the best part of what you do?

I love the solitude of life more and more. Writing offers me the opportunity to do my spiritual work while still being a part of the world. For me, it’s the perfect marriage.

What’s the most challenging part of what you do?

I find it difficult to manage my personal life with my professional life.  It’s a true balancing act. If I get caught up in a project I hate to stop. As a writer, it takes me a while to get it going and then boom…reality hits.   Groceries need to be bought, bills need to be paid, and kids are calling. Multi-tasking is a must.

What does your typical day look like?

I have two little puppies and I actually mean puppies.  They are both under the age of two so kisses, water, and walks are a must.  Now, I’m not one to jump out of bed running. I need coffee. After my vitamins and my motor get running with my B12,  I put the song on, “I can only imagine” by Mercy Me. I stand, stretch, do a sort of dance. Then I visualize myself in a circle of purple light around my feet and my trunk grows into the ground where I am grounded. 

I love going out for a moment of praise in the grass. Grounding helps me accomplish each day providing a deeper sense of calm and clarity. Three days a week I go to barre classes. I am getting certified as an instructor.  Then it’s to work. I check emails, get my to-do list of interviews and podcast information, respond to social media, and set out to writing. In the summer I spend less time at work. I must be outside. So I manage three hours a day.  When it’s cold I can write eight to ten hours. I know, it’s another issue with this damn fairy spirit of mine. However, seriously, balancing my life is very important. I want to be both happy and successful!

What is your favorite podcast/blog {other than your own} and why?

I love anything with Deepak Chopra.  He is a spiritual guru and I find his work in whatever form enlightening and inspiring.  

What is something about you that most people don’t know?

 A professor from Berkeley California did my natal chart and asked if he could keep it. Since it was written in ayurvedic I inquired why. He said, “I’ve never seen anything quite like this.  “Did you know that your first house is exactly the same as Marilyn Monroe’s?” I said in shock, “Well, that speaks volumes doesn’t it?”  

You can follow April Kirkwood:

Website:  https://aprilkirkwood.com

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https://www.ayrial.com/online-counseling-with-licensed-therapist/

https://www.ayrial.com/strengthen-your-relationship-with-your-soul-program/

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