Meet Maura Sweeney.
As a small child growing up in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City, Maura dreamed of traveling the world to make new friends . . . but she was most often indoors or tethered to the front stoop. She imagined a very happy, free and whimsical existence, but often felt pigeonholed.
Groomed for a career in law to follow in the footsteps of her late grandfather, Maura tried her good girl best to comply. After graduating from Boston College with a degree in Political Science and working for the late Senator Ted Kennedy in Boston, she trudged through half of her law school studies until she could trudge no longer.
"I looked and felt like a zombie," she confesses today, remembering the fateful day she literally could not wrest herself out of a chair and drive herself to school. "It was a very scary moment for someone like me who was always pleasing, always working toward her next achievement."
Maura took a permanent sabbatical from legal studies and set out to rekindle her childhood spark. "I needed to find a reason to jump out of bed every morning, to do something purposeful for at least the next forty years of my life."
Since then, Maura's done plenty (executive recruitment, a decade in corporate leadership, several years as a home schooling mom, volunteering at nursing homes and juvenile detention centers, doing public advocacy media work, developing a computer rep firm with her husband, caring for a playful boxer named Buster and a 200 pound English mastiff named Lily who was afraid of anything that stood taller than 6" high, playing host mom to several foreign exchange students and traveling in sometimes off-beat fashion to nearly 60 countries).
If it sounds like a lot of experience, realize that Maura left law school in 1982! In each new phase of life, she discovered new skills, learned something about others and herself, and curated life lessons.
These days, Maura is known as the Ambassador of Happiness(R). She laughingly admits, "I made the position up! I just kept doing what I loved and sharing my own ideas. Eventually, I gained the goodwill title."
Most of all, Maura enjoys referring to herself as a "Helper" and "Advocate" for others everywhere.
Speaking under her own name and purveying her own ideas, she's a Podcaster, Author, Huffington Post contributor and International Speaker. Using her "Living Happy - Inside Out" mantra, a concept she developed while growing up, she loves speaking on topics like influence, leadership, emotional intelligence and authenticity.
Waiting a half century to debut in a profession that can't be acquired through university degrees, corporate promotions or public accolades, author Maura Sweeney introduces The Art of Happiness.
It's a DNA-driven series of reflective questions and anecdotal stories. The books are designed for anyone seeking insightful, engaging and hopeful content that will help them reconnect with their true nature and enjoy a happier and more fulfilling life.
With wit, wisdom and self-deprecating humor, Maura unwraps a half century of life experience. In this self-empowerment series of short stories, she captures familiar issues like Comfort Zones and Competition, Influence and Values, Judgment and Nonsense.
The Art of Happiness reflects a lifetime of the eclectic. Maura's experiences range from corporate sales management to suburban housewife and from home schooling mom to publisher and entrepreneur. She's counseled incarcerated teens in Florida and brought medical relief to coffee growers in the mountains of Honduras. Her perspectives are honed by visits to Rome and Paris, Bosnia and Romania, Cuba and Morocco, Israel and Uganda.
The author and her husband Jim met while in Boston College and have been married since 1981. They've worked together three times in business and still manage to smile! As Maura develops her own content, she also serves as editor (and sometimes punster) to her husband Jim's Mike on Sports series of sports comics books -- also available on Amazon.
The couple travels often and resides on Florida's west coast. They have one daughter, an international journalist who loves living in chillier, northern cities, yet keeps in touch nearly every day.