Patty is not adventurous by nature. While other kids were out climbing trees and skinning knees, she was inside reading books about people climbing trees and skinning knees. (“I guess I was more of an armchair kid.”) That, plus a Chinese-American fear of failure and losing face is how she grew up never really learning how to ride a bike, do a handstand, or dive into a swimming pool. And why she started blogging Facing Forty Upside Down three days after turning 39. The mother of two and a yoga teacher, Patty realized she couldn’t expect her children and students to go outside their comfort zone if she wasn’t willing to do it herself.
“We don’t let our kids ‘opt out’ of trying new things and we don’t let them give up if it doesn’t come to them easily. I realized I was giving myself a free pass to say ‘I’m too busy or tired to do that’ when what I really was, was scared.” Patty started doing, writing, and talking about the things that frighten her, and Facing Forty Upside Down was born. It soon became apparent that she was not alone, and that many in midlife are searching for ways to live bigger, braver lives.
Patty’s first book, Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave - an inspiring look at how ordinary people face their fears – will be published by Riverhead Books this fall. Some Nerve draws on Patty’s interviews with teachers, therapists, coaches, and clergy to impart both practical advice and profound wisdom. Through her own journey and the stories of dozens of others (many of whom she helped to triumph over common fears), she conveys with humor and infectious exhilaration the most vital lesson of all: Fear isn’t an end point, but the point of entry to a life of incomparable joy.
Patty is a former Director of Media Relations for The New York Times and veteran book publicist for W.W. Norton, Taunton Press and Basic Books. Her campaigns include the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series “How Race is Lived in America.”
She is a certified yoga teacher, Thai Yoga Bodyworker, and Reiki practitioner who believes in the power of yoga to uplift and heal. She is certified in prenatal yoga and yoga for children with special needs, and is a sought-after teacher, workshop and retreat leader.
Patty’s media appearances include a live interview on Martha Stewart Living Radio “Morning Living,” and she is thankful she does not have a fear of public speaking because she loves motivating people to live fuller, more joyful lives. Although she does still have a fear of clowns.
Patty lives in a village north of New York City with her husband and two daughters.