Recently, I had the opportunity to read Veronica Carrera’s beautifully written memoir 140 Miles of Life. When we sat down to speak, I knew our conversation would be interesting. It was a revelation.
Veronica, you have had a series of events in your life that sparked tremendous change, beginning when you were just 4 years old. Where do you think your resilience comes from?
Veronica Carrera: It’s a combination of wondering why some people find their way and some have more difficulty. I think in observing my mother when I was a child, she was so strong. No matter what circumstances we faced, she always found a way forward. Somehow, [through] many moments of instability, she just went right through it. I have the imagery of her standing there. I remember once, before she died, she said she didn’t know what to do with me anymore, although through it all, I knew I was loved.
The second part of the answer is when you have to face one thing after another, I felt I was not alone. I felt in my heart, and deep within my body, that there is this bigger reality, this higher being, this Presence, that is within me and part of me. And that first awakening continually expands. And the larger my challenges, my sense of the larger reality expanded as well. I am in a place of harmony and peace, and I truly feel I have made it to the other side of the storm. This life is like an assignment, and that is what has been entrusted to me…. What is the message that comes through my story that can help other people? Have hope that others will wake to a higher consciousness, to come back to who they truly are – which is life and love.
Your book is very conversational. When did you first begin to develop your writing style?
VC: This is my first book. Gay Walley is my mentor and the primary thing she taught me is go back and write it in the form of a dialogue. I am a successful sales leader, and as a public speaker, I always wrote everything from first-person perspective. I wanted to describe the events so that the reader is part of what is going on. I had to go back and relive so many of the moments that I share. I wouldn’t allow myself to just write. I used an extrasensory ability that I would not begin to write until I was feeling again what I felt in that moment.
For me, what made it so important to me in relaying the sense of leaving an institution that offered so much but that was tearing me up inside should I remain. It is why I go so strongly into the dogma, so that people understand what it means — how deeply the dogma goes into the psyche that makes it so difficult to leave. The dark night of the soul. What led me to consider suicide. I believed all my life that I have been given this “right path”, and then having another reality inside that conflicted with all that I thought was right from the outside. I invested myself, to the best of my abilities, to help people understand. From the other side of this, there is truth and the right perception that led to knowledge and more compassion. More light. For those who are going through it, to help them find their way to self-acceptance and health.
When you write, is it more free form, or do you apply a discipline similar to your math and physics studies?
VC: It is part of my creative side and part of my mathematical brain. I studied French literature and writers from Senegal. Senegalese writers write as if someone is beating on a drum. That rhythm is part of my creative approach. French literature is multi-layered. I use those disciplines to create depth and texture to what I’m writing. I am a very disciplined person, that’s how I was able to do the Iron Man race. It is why I am successful in business and why I finish what I begin. I have been in classes with people who have richness in their written language and yet they never finish what they write. Me, as I was taking a plane to see clients, I had two choices — I sit in the airplane for hours and either watch a movie, or I write. Which one has a better outcome and a better purpose? I want to live my life with purpose, so I write. I rarely watch a movie on a plane. That’s where the discipline and structure comes in. To write of [what] the Book of Mormon [says] and what they believe about people with dark skin, I need to take the reader into the linear so they understand the concepts within the belief system.
When did you first realize that you were different from most of the young women around you?
VC: I feel like we are in a big spectrum. Labels are hard for me. I was a little child, and I felt like a warrior. I just remember this feeling like I wasn’t like other girls — my energy was more toward playing outside, full force in the world. I was not the kind of girl to sit at home and play with dolls. My grandmother told me “your Mom spoke to me one day when you were a child and said ‘I think my child is different, I am not sure what I am going to do’.” I was a warrior, because I needed to be.
We set up a path that in order to be the highest expression of yourself, and how we get there. What does it take to be the truest to yourself and to be free?
What’s on the horizon for you?
VC: I am very grateful; I work for an amazing company for an amazing boss. I have an excellent sales team that I motivate. I am also building a holistic retreat in Costa Rica. One of the biggest events in my life is meeting shamans in Costa Rica where I participated in ceremonies that helped me forgive my family and myself, as well as transcend a number of challenges. I have identified one of the most beautiful spots to build a space for people to walk, experience nature, connect with Mother Earth, and to offer sound healing, education, and yoga, with a meditation area as well as other professional services. The retreat is being planned and built right now. I expect it to be online in the next two years or so. Also, my book has seen some interest with Hollywood producers and screenwriters. I will update you when there’s something more definite.
Veronica Carrera’s book 140 Miles of Life is available wherever books are sold. (ISBN: 9781956635041) It makes excellent beach reading and even better gifts for grads and friends.
Read a review of the book online