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 WOW Gal Angel

Dr. Jane Claypool (Shelley/Miner)

Dr. Claypool founded the Center For Spiritual Living in Carlsbad, California in 1989 and during her years as a minister  trained over 35 ministers, wrote much of the training curriculum for Religious Science International. (Centers For Spritual Living) and served on the RSI Board of Education and Board of Directors. In 2002, RSI gave her the Raymond Charles Barker Award for her spiritual writing.

She is author of Science of Mind Skills and Wise Women don't worry, Wise Women don't sing the blues.

Her careers included teaching, real estate and freelance writer. She wrote over 80 books for teens and was chosen as Writer of the Year in 1981 by the Society of Children's Book Writers. Her writing names were Jane Claypool Miner 

and Veronica Ladd. Her best selling book, Dreams Can Come True  sold over a million copies and was translated into seven languages.

Dr Jane was a person who truly cared about people.  She did not have an easy life, but she pulled herself up out of despair and changed her life in such a way that she changed hundreds if not thousands of others. Before becoming a minister Dr. Jane had been a retail manager, an art teacher, an English teacher, a union leader, a newspaper reporter, and a real estate marketing director as well as a successful author. She was also a non-anonymous member of Alcoholics Anonymous and credited that organization with saving her life. 

Born in Texas she moved to California as a child during the Great Depression. She was married twice and widowed twice. Her first husband was her high school sweetheart and law student, Dennis Shelley. Her second husband was physicist, Richard Miner. Dr. This wise and wonderful woman, a loving mother, grandmother, sister, a prolific writer and artist, an exemplary colleague, and a most trusted and loyal friend. Dr. Jane made a difference in the world. She lived the Principles of Science of Mind, authentically and powerfully, sharing Truth as she experienced it. This woman called us all to higher standards and transformed the New Thought movement with her actions: both within herself and by serving others. Throughout her life, she maintained an intellectual curiosity, an earthy sense of humor and a keen love of life itself - all the while having a high priority of loving her family and her friends. 

 (Her story continues in her own words... the last blog she wrote.)

I've been spending a lot of time talking about my life because Amanda, one of my dear helpers, asks me many questions. I suppose any life is fascinating when the audience is sixty years younger.

I was born in 1933, and as I talk to Amanda she can't imagine growing up without TV. She can't imagine doing the wash before clothes dryers, or heating up food before microwaves. She is fascinated with black and white movies.

Since I am on a diet of happy stories, we often choose old movies. She loves the 1930 screwball comedies we watch in the evening and says they are better because the stories "have more talking." I agree.

Of course, the very best movies were made in 1939, when I was only six years old, and Hollywood was at its triumphant height. I've told her that my three siblings and I went to the movies every Saturday afternoon and paid 12 cents to be admitted but I haven't been clear on the dates. I started going to the movies alone in the 1940's after World War Two. The films we saw as children included nasty propaganda pot boilers. I had nightmares about Germans chasing me until I was a woman in my thirties.

I imagine Amanda's idea of my war years in the movie house is filled with Clark Gable tap dancing in a European castle just before World War Two breaks out. Or maybe her favorite is Cary Grant taking practice falls or Charlie Chaplin impersonating Hitler just before World War Two breaks out. We know history is unreliable. For starters, it is written by the winners and winners see the picture from their viewpoint.

Our personal histories are also unreliable. We tend to romanticize our memories. When I talk to Amanda about my early years during the Depression, I don't remember much but I speak as if it were a charming story. My parents become delightful young kids who struggled to keep their four children alive. I say things like, "They kept us together in the midst of the Troubles. They kept us alive!"

That's true, of course and it is a fact that plenty of men left their wives and children behind to become hoboes. It is also true that some women starved to death and many children were sent to orphanages because their parents couldn't feed them.

In the current version of my childhood, there is nothing about the humiliation of poverty and nothing of the shame when relatives brought groceries and deposited them on the table without a smile. That was also there but the story of the Depression years skips straight to a happy ending. World War Two broke out and there were plenty of jobs!

When I told this personal history story during my twenties and thirties, my story sounded very tragic. The reasons why my life was so tragic piled up until they took the form of a long, and twisted litany of despair. In those days I believed I was marked for tragedy.

It is true I had a difficult beginning with the early death of my young husband but it was also true that I had sixty or more years ahead of me. I wasn't doomed to anything. I had plenty of choices along the way. In my twenties, I thought my story was over but it was just beginning.

That's a common mistake. We tend to see wherever we are as the end of the story even though the story goes on and on. And Life is always presenting us choices and if we miss the brass ring the first time, we usually get another turn to catch it.

One of the most delightful discoveries about my current age is the fascinating changes and insights that present themselves. I've enjoyed many personal discoveries as I've moved along life's pathway. In fact, I am now at a place where I understand that life is always presenting possibilities.

There is a famous poem by Robert Frost called the The Road Not Taken and it talks about taking the road less traveled. It ends with, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

It's a great poem that says you always get more than one chance. If you have the consciousness to attract a choice of true love, you will have another chance later. Same is true of making a fortune. You'll have more than one big chance.

I missed my chance to be a famous writer in the 1960's but the chance returned in the 1980's. The same pattern was also there in my search for true love. Life is a series of wonderful repetitive choices.

My life still offers plenty of choices. Last week, I wrote a blog about my stay in a nursing home. I had a choice to tell it like it was or simply be grateful to be home.

I might have skipped over the whole experience and written about any number of subjects including gratitude, or the power of supportive friendships. That would have an expected road for a retired minister of a Center For Spiritual Living Center.

When I started these blogs, I promised myself I'd be honest, as positive and helpful to readers as possible, and that my essays would be mostly about Science of Mind.

Most of all, I promised myself I'd be honest. All of those choices would have been honest. However, the stay in the nursing home was top of my mind and I was full of energy about how dreadful that place was.

I had some other choices that would have been slightly less honest; I could lie and say everything was wonderful, or I could write about some unrelated subject.

I chose the road less traveled by! I didn't want to skip the subject because I was still steaming full of energy about my stay so I wrote what I wrote. You can read the blog, Miss Me?, in the archives.

I had other choices. I could have named the place but my understanding is that it is one of the best so the issues were generic. I could have called the nurses lazy but I could see they were trying hard and overworked.   As of now, I have received more comments about that blog than any I've ever written. They were all in agreement and several were interested in participating or starting a drumming circle. If you get a chance, take a look at the comments since they are truly honest and intelligent.

Looking back on your choices is always interesting. As I look back on the choice I made last week, I can see that I made a good choice and I'm glad I did. Maybe several readers will work on starting or participating in a drumming circle. I do believe that will help clients, their loved ones and nursing homes.

While we can't always predict the outcome of our choices, an honest, well meaning choice can be effective. And if it doesn't turn out well, you always have plenty of other choices to follow.

Dr. Claypool made her transition out of physical form on 10/31/14. She was a wonderful woman who overcame many obstacles in her life and helped thousands make a difference in theirs.  She was my mentor and teacher during my Ministerial Studies.

Compiled & Contributed by Her Student & WOW Gal Rev. Gail Ingwall


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