Women go through many changes in their lives: from girl to woman, wife to mother, career person to retiree. These are far from easy transitions, but they are made smoother with a helping hand.
That's where CJ Golden comes in.
The author of two self-help books, "Tao of the Defiant Woman" and "Tao-Girls Rule!," addresses in her work how to imbue a modern American lifestyle with the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Her books address female concerns involving changing bodies, evolving relationships, finding positive role models and doing one's personal best.
She will speak over lunch at Bernard's on Thursday, Feb. 25, addressing the tenets illustrated in her books with a focus on the newer title, "Tao-Girls Rule!" which is directed at preteens.
According to Golden, of Newtown, the philosophy in her books teaches women to be accepting of transitions and challenges, because everything is a part of nature and all of nature is changeable.
Golden explains her philosophy like this: "Taoism isn't complacent. It doesn't ask you to accept bad situations but to recognize challenges and to do the best you can with what you are given. It asks you to find your strengths and weaknesses. It's like being stuck in a burning room—you have to face the situation and find a way out."
The author advocates acceptance of one's strong points, forgiveness for shortcomings and defiance of stereotypes, negativity and self-defeating behaviors. She is also quick to note that she is neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist but a woman who has lived her life with Tao.
"If you can take these principles and make them work for you, that's great," she said.
Though Golden's books share strong philosophical advice, they don't prescribe steps out of specific situations. They offer more of a groundwork for living and a strong base to help women figure out their own solutions.
And this groundwork has developed quite a following; Golden's Web site has busy discussion boards, and she travels all over the country speaking to, mostly, women's and girls' groups. Her newer book has made her a regular with large girl scout groups regionally.
Though Thursday's event is a speaking engagement, not a workshop, Golden said she expects to open it up and make it as interactive as possible.
Her books will be available for sale and signing at the event as well as at Books on the Common. The lunch is at noon and costs $25. There will be a three-course meal with a few choices for appetizers and entrees. Call 203-438-8282 for reservations.