Chasing Miracles

The bookis a story about three women on a search to understand the mystical, namely miracles. It is also a story about a gorgeous friendship. It remains solid and supportive during serious health problems, a divorce, and a father's death.
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Perhaps you are drawn to the mystical. You are wondering if those small things around you are just coincidences or maybe they are miracles. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."

The book The Miracle Chase is a story about three women on a search to understand the mystical, namely miracles. It is also a story about a gorgeous friendship. It remains solid and supportive during serious health problems, a divorce, and a father's death.

The book is authored by Joan Luise Hill, Katie Mahon, and Dr. Mary Beth Phillips. Each of the women wrote their own chapters, describing their own personal journey, and yet the book is seamless. Ms. Hill describes it this way, "I was the impetus for writing the book. The purpose is to empower others to think about their lives in a different way."

The trio's journey occurs over a decade. During this time they also write about their collective miracle chase. They discuss everything from an 1884 book, titled A Dictionary of Miracles, to a Deepak Chopra book. At one point, Ms. Hill reflects, "With Hindu gods, miracles happen all the time because all this is, is of god." Not only do they turn to historical and religious material, two of the women visit a Shaman healer.

During this decade long search for miracles, the journey is not without sorrow. Ms. Hill is treated for breast cancer. She is now cancer free. In the book, she is quoted as saying, "Somehow, suffering is shared by everyone."

Ms. Mahon experienced her own suffering when her father died. She shared her the grief, and discussed her change of heart post loss. She writes, "I changed in meaningful ways because my father died when he did. I grew a heart. Maybe some people are born with true empathy, but I would not have counted myself among them. All of a sudden, I understood -- not just intellectually, not with a grasp at sympathy, but I understood hardcore grief: 'the dark night of the soul'. "

Dr. Phillips and her daughter, Elizabeth understand this darkness. As an infant, Elizabeth was tragically shaken by a babysitter, resulting in serious medical damage. Elizabeth was blinded and struggled with serious developmentally delays. She was paralyzed in her right arm. Dr. Phillips recalls, "She came home like a newborn again."

After discovering that the babysitter might not be automatically incarcerated, Dr. Phillips was horrified that this could happen to another infant. Dr. Phillips, who was working at the time to obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology, also found that there was not a national registry for parents to check and determine if a caregiver is safe. Dr. Phillips, on her own, decided to make an entire nation aware this problem. She wanted to write legislation to create a caregiver registry so others would be able to choose a safe childcare provider.

Without the help of social media and smartphones, Dr. Phillips said she printed up flyers, handed them out to strangers, made cold calls, and spoke at local civic groups. She describes it as "a true grassroots movement. I wasn't afraid to ask. Everyone has something to offer. People believed in this cause and would help out."

During the time of her advocacy work, legal proceedings regarding the babysitter who shook her daughter were still open. In 1985, by the time, Dr. Phillips was due to testify, she was very pregnant with a son. She thought she may go into labor while in court, but she was determined to testify. "The news covered the trial and we (her grassroots organization) were already working on legislation for what would eventually become law."

This law is now known as the California Trustline. It is an authorized database which lists in-home child care providers who have cleared criminal background checks. When asked about how Dr. Phillips took on such a monumental task, which raising small children, she admits extensive hours of multitasking were involved. In the book, she chronicles this amazing journey.

The work Dr. Phillips did has not gone unrecognized. She appeared on the Oprah show, spoke at the White House, and gave interviews to several national magazines.

Dr. Phillips also experienced a significant loss when she discovered her husband was having an affair. She writes, "I am devastated and ashamed. I have lost my voice. I tell no one." They have since divorced. She still does much of the care giving for her legally blind daughter; however, Dr. Phillips is not bitter. "I have a lot of gratitude."

The trio frequently talk and attend book tours together. It is on the book tours where they hear stories from others who have encountered the mystical. Ms. Hill offers, "A gift comes back to us as people tell their own stories and talk intimate things. The book has become a vehicle for conversation."

To learn more about the book go here

You can follow along on Twitter at @Miraclechasers

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