Get Satisfied Authors

Peter C. WhybrowPeter C. Whybrow, M.D., Los Angeles, CA

Peter C. Whybrow, M.D. [book foreword] is Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California in Los Angeles. He is also the Judson Braun Distinguished Professor and Executive Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Born in England, Dr. Whybrow received his training in endocrinology and psychiatry in London and North Carolina and was a member of the scientific staff of the British Medical Research Council before migrating to America to join the faculty of Dartmouth Medical School where he served as Chairman of Psychiatry and later as Executive Dean.  He was subsequently the Ruth Meltzer Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania before being recruited to direct UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute in 1997.

Dr. Whybrow is an international authority on depression and manic-depressive disease and the effects of thyroid hormone on brain and human behavior.  A founding member and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Psychiatrists, and the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Whybrow has lectured widely across the United States and Europe, and is the recipient of many awards.

He is a frequent advisor to universities, foundations, and government agencies and is the author of numerous scientific papers and five books, including A Mood Apart: The Thinker’s Guide to Emotion and Its Disorder.  Now published in paperback by Harper Perennial A Mood Apart has been translated into several languages and is widely acclaimed as the definitive guide to the experience and science of mood disorder written expressly for the general public.

Peter Whybrow’s most recent book, American Mania: When More Is Not Enough, is a provocative neurobiological analysis of the origins of the instinctual and social behaviors that balance a market economy. American Mania explains how in America’s affluent and reward-driven migrant culture we are in danger of losing that balance, making ourselves sick in body and mind as we push the physiological limits of our evolutionary inheritance. Combining in lucid prose science, philosophy and history, and the personal stories for which as a writer Whybrow is well known, American Mania tells why this is happening in America and what can be done about it.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“I believe that the publication of this book by Postconsumers is vital evidence that the tide of sentiment is now turning in America, as in Europe—that there is an awakening to the knowledge that a satisfying personal narrative must unfold with an awareness of each precious moment and a true appreciation of others. A series of natural disasters and the skyrocketing price of oil may have helped focus this awakening that it is not technology itself that will deliver personal happiness, or achieve social progress, but rather its wise and intelligent application. If a free market society–an ownership society–is to work then part of that ownership must be held in collective responsibility, as an investment in the “common wealth” that nurtures each of us. In these troubled times it is important to remember that human beings became dominant on this planet not because of our individual intelligence, but because of our collective social savvy that harnessed that intelligence.”

Carol Holst, Glendale, CA    (photo by Thurman Couch Photography)Carol Holst

Carol Holst [book introduction] is founder of Postconsumers, an educational company helping to move our society beyond addictive consumerism. She is an advisory board member of the Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska national public television series and a liaison member of the Sierra Club Sustainable Consumption Committee. Based in the Los Angeles area, Carol especially enjoys hiking, modeling, and chocolate-covered nuts. She adores her two grown daughters in the ultrafast lane, both born on her birthday five years apart. Someday she hopes to Get Satisfied.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“There is an important perspective to emphasize about joyfully dropping needless wanting in a desperate world filled with extreme wanting, and in a confused country obsessed with wanting for the sake of wanting: everyone’s ideas about wanting are different. These twenty authentic stories cover a spectrum of those underlying ideas and a range of self-styled, personal solutions—no one size fits all.  It’s ultimately up to me to decide where my peace of mind lies, as each of you may decide yours.”

J. Eva NagelJ. Eva Nagel, Stillwater, NY

J. Eva Nagel is enjoying the journey in upstate New York. She is a psychotherapist in private practice, consultant, writer, and storyteller. She has been following in the footsteps of her ancestors, working for young people and social justice most of her life. In 1983 she founded the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs and in 1986 cofounded Side By Side, a youth leadership service program. Her written creations have appeared in magazines and journals, and on public radio. Her gardens and murals beckon. Most important, she is famous as the wife of one, the mother of four, and the head-over-heels proud grandmother of two.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“‘We will live simply,’ my sometimes simple-minded husband said the next morning, over instant coffee. ‘We don’t need much.’ Explain to me, I thought, how to live simply with three jobs, two offices, doctoral thesis deadlines, volunteer responsibilities, three rental units, a hungry teenager, two cats, a dog, and a turtle? Someone better break it to him gently: those carefree, Woodstock days are gone.”

Todra PayneTodra Payne, Harrisburg, PA

Todra Payne writes articles and produces photo shoots for lifestyle and inspirational magazines. She has also coauthored two career guides, Fabjob Guide to Become a Makeup Artist and Fabjob Guide to Become a Spa Owner. Her first novel, Chasing Jesus through Greenwich Village, is complete and seeking a publishing home. It’s a funny tale about a spunky young woman’s search for self while juggling her on-again, off-again love life and her quirky, demanding job as a fashion stylist for the rich and famous in New York City. Todra lives in Pennsylvania, but escapes to New York often.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“Today, we are living in a tiny city in central Pennsylvania that is far less glitzy and sexy than The Big Apple, but we are satisfied with it. We’re living more sensible, intentional lives. We’ve mapped out where we are versus where we want to be in the near future. Because of my crazy spending habits from the past, we still owe a huge sum in back taxes and some other consumer debt, but we’re paying everything back, dollar by dollar. We’ve had to learn to live moderately, but it doesn’t feel like we’re deprived. Instead, we are empowered by the decisions we make. As a result of our experiences, we’ve learned to ask ourselves questions that help us reach our goals.”

Michael BeckMichael Beck, Glendale, CA

Michael Beck, a retired schoolteacher, lives in Glendale in the Los Angeles area, not ten miles from where he was born. He enjoys travel, especially in nature, and has never met a national or state park, monument, forest, or wildlife preserve that he didn’t love. He relishes foreign languages, with a soft spot for English in which he writes for fun; he reads history and popular science for pleasure and devours science fiction. He joins friends for good conversations over meals (healthy food these days) and heads a local Sierra Club program, Dine for Your Health and Your Planet’s Health.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“That Sunday I hiked into my favorite canyon, pulled up a rock, peered at sycamore leaves fluttering against the sky, and opened my mind to major reassessment. Five more years. I’d long planned to retire at sixty-two by putting away enough so I could live comfortably on pension and savings. I’d even dreamed of luxuries like an epic trip to New Zealand. . . . Except that now boarding a plane was doubtful—first they’d have to let me out of that nice, white, padded room.”

Tamsen ButlerTamsen Butler, Papillion, NE  (photo by Cole Settle Photography)

Tamsen Butler is a freelance writer and editor. Although she now resides in the Midwest with her husband, Scott, and her children, Monet and Abram, she has been fortunate to live all over the world.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“One night in the hospital led to another, then another, and yet another.  My son was not getting the oxygen he needed, and he was to remain in the hospital until he could breathe on his own.  The first couple of nights I worked feverishly on my laptop while my son slept.  It began to dawn on me eventually, however, that I had put myself in a ridiculous position.  When had working become more important than my own well-being? I realized that the ambulance ride to the hospital had been a metaphor for my life…instead of clutching my son with only one arm I should have had both arms wrapped around him, embracing him like only a comforting mother can do.”

Andrew VietzeAndrew Vietze, Appleton, ME

Andrew Vietze is a park ranger and Maine-based freelance writer. The former managing editor of Down East: The Magazine of Maine, he's written for a wide array of publications, from Time Out New York to Offshore to AMC Outdoors to Hooked on the Outdoors (among many others). He's the author of a guidebook to the coast of Maine, and he’s working on a nonfiction book about a famous Maine guide who played a huge role in the making of Teddy Roosevelt. He writes a blog about life as a park ranger ( and spends as much time as he can adventuring with his wife, Lisa, and son, Gus.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“I couldn’t help but look up from my desk and watch this particular bird, flying in graceful arcs above our building. For much of the year he'd be there, crying his raptor cry, as if imploring me outside. I'd sit bound to my chair and stare longingly through the glass, remembering what it was like to run around without any walls, without anything overhead but the sky. The osprey did this for years, and eventually it forced my hand.”

Katherine HauswirthKatherine Hauswirth, Deep River, CT

Katherine Hauswirth is a writer (technical by day, creative by stolen moments) who lives near the Connecticut shoreline. Her blog, Inching Toward Simplicity: Pragmatics and Prose (, includes both real-life tips and philosophical musings on the effort to simplify. She has been published in The Writer, The Writer’s Handbook 2003, Pregnancy, Pilgrimage, Snowy Egret, Funds for Writers, Writers Weekly, and many other print and online publications. Her first book, Things My Mother Told Me: Reflections on Parenthood, is available on

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“Radical simplicity—you know, the quit your job, grow your own food, live off the grid type of existence—works for some. But it scares most of us. It scares some of us so much that we even shy away from not so radical simplicity, where the move toward a simpler existence can mean very gradually weaning ourselves from the comforting teat of complacency while we awaken to the natural world. The start of this personal growth can be nothing more than happenstance—no manifesto involved. My first steps toward simplicity were more like stumbles in the dark.”

Galen WardenGalen Warden, Rockaway, NJ

Galen Warden was raised on a slim budget by a single mother who was active in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. She also spent vacations, complete with yacht clubs and sailing trips, with her father in the Connecticut suburbs. This dual citizenship, of privilege and humble means, provided Galen with a rare opportunity to develop an informed opinion of the world and her place in it. Always eager to travel, always ready to help others, this poet and writer is also an artist and designer—seeking to make her loving mark on the world, beyond providing it with her six wonderful children.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“Window shopping is a healthy adventure for well-behaved children six to twelve years or a little older. They are still young enough to have their values shaped, to appreciate that everyone doesn’t have the same taste, and to recognize that stuff is just stuff—and that very little is essential stuff. Every item in every store merely has the purpose of providing revenue to those who present it. There is no need to buy it. However, it is amazing how items themselves are somehow infused with the spirit of those desperate to possess them. There is a strange satisfaction in conjuring up that sensation in ourselves, recognizing it for what it is, and then watching it evaporate.”

Brian SimkinsBrian Simkins, Chicago, IL

Brian Simkins lives in Chicago , Illinois, with his wife, Jamie. They spend as much of their free time as possible enjoying the outdoors and traveling to see friends and family.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“Our plane touched down in Chicago at about eight-thirty on a Sunday night. When the captain announced that we could turn on our cellular phones, I cringed to see that I had accumulated a mass of voicemails over the course of the week. One problem after another would demand my attention from the moment I picked up my baggage. I knew I had to address the issues that were waiting for me in the heat of that moment, but I also knew that I had one additional call to place. After dealing with all of the pressing issues, I hit the speed dial button that linked my cell phone to my boss. ‘Meet me tomorrow morning for breakfast,’ I said. ‘We need to talk.’”

Liz MilnerLiz Milner, Annandale, VA

Liz Milner is a native of Washington, D.C., and a reforming clutter queen. When she is not sorting through her stuff, she works as a freelance writer, with articles published in the Washington Post, Renaissance Magazine, Old Time Herald Magazine, Green Man Review, and the Alexandria Gazette. She is a founder of the Reston Community Center’s Writers Group in Reston, Virginia. Her hobbies include folk music, running, and cooking.  After twenty years in northern Virginia, she just moved to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area where she is feverishly unpacking.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“What's missing in all the puritanical, hyperorganized, feng shui, simple-life rhetoric is that spontaneity and a touch of randomness are a necessary part of creativity. ‘Mess for success’ was my mantra for most of my adult life. I even wrote a song about my clutter, ‘Good Enough for Me and All My Debris,’ to the tune of ‘Me and Bobbie McGee.’ A little clutter is fun. What I've learned over the past twenty years of accumulation, however, is that a lot of clutter is just trash.”

Jon MyhreJon Myhre, Ojai, CA

Jon Myhre practiced architecture and landscape architecture in Los Angeles and Pasadena for over forty years before retiring to Ojai, California, after the passing of his wife. Among his hundreds of projects are city and county parks, college campuses, airports, historical preservations, and residential work of every description. Since moving to Ojai, he has turned his major creative efforts to writing. His short stories, columns, and poetry have been published in major newspapers; he is currently working on his first novel. He travels extensively and spends quality time with his two daughters and two grandchildren.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“During my wife’s first pregnancy we were forced to confront a dilemma—she wanted to continue with her career rather than be a full-time mother, but every prospective nanny we interviewed took one look at our home and declined. When the baby came, my wife had to stay home.  Although this initially produced enormous stress, in spite of the love we shared for our beautiful new daughter, it proved to be a blessing in disguise. Because my wife was no longer employed, we were forced to stop our compulsive buying of things that added to the chaos. It was our first step toward a lifestyle of elegant simplicity.”

Stephanie BartonStephanie Barton, Kailua, HI

Stephanie Barton is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and a small, fat dog.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“We requested Germany for Lee’s next assignment, and for this move we had to sort everything we owned into three separate shipments: necessities for when we first arrived in the country, a larger shipment that would come a month later, and everything else that we wanted to store for three years. I had to walk through the house asking, ‘Do I love these garden tools so much that I want to store them for three years? What do I absolutely need when I get there?’”

Fred EcksFred Ecks, South San Francisco, CA

Fred Ecks worked as a corporate software engineer for many years before happening upon the program in the book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. He diligently applied the steps in his own life, paying off his debt and eventually becoming financially independent when he was thirty-five years old. Since then, he has enjoyed a life blending a variety of volunteer work and personal enrichment. Fred can usually be found doing something outside. He's an avid ultramarathon runner, backpacker, and sailor. He lives with his sweetie and a curmudgeon cat on a small boat on the San Francisco Bay.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“I quickly grew bored with the relatively stagnant day-to-day office life. The toys I bought didn't make me happy. In fact, my beloved Corvette turned out to be a piece of junk. It suffered breakdown after breakdown, and eventually caught fire one day and burned to a crisp. Yes, that was me on the traffic report that morning when the fire trucks had traffic backed up for miles. I replaced the lump of charcoal with a new Honda (again on credit).”

Derek Donald HambrickDerek Donald Hambrick, Decatur, GA

Derek Donald Hambrick, father to Gabriel and husband to Carmen, tries to keep his priorities straight. Five years after realizing he wanted to write for a living, Derek completed his bachelor of arts in communication and rhetoric studies at Oglethorpe University, ten years to the day after earning his first degree, also from Oglethorpe. Between degrees, he married his sweetie pie and welcomed their son to a world that the couple is intent on improving, one family (and one publication) at a time. Derek works with youth across the United States and Canada through Sukyo Mahikari, a nonprofit, community service organization. The Hambricks reside (for now) in Decatur, Georgia, but yearn for the Pacific Northwest.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“During the tribulation of 9/11, I came to understand that I wanted to write for a living, so I did.  Just about every time I wrote, I was grateful for doing so.  Soon, I was able to contribute to an employee publication.  Then a monthly employee circular.  And then I was asked to be editor for the circular.  Then I was awarded a position working in employee communication.  Today, I’m working with employee communications for another airline at the executive level, a position which has finally brought our income up to a pre-9/11 figure.  What’s more, I’m meeting with success in writing freelance, not to mention getting published.  Sure it’s been a few years in the making, but, in short, I’m doing what I love and it’s making the ends meet.  Tracing the questions ‘Why?’ or, more appropriately, ‘How?’ we find ourselves surrounded by a divinely created concept: enough.”

Bob HinschlägerBob Hinschläger, St. Marys, OH

Bob Hinschläger enjoys the simple pleasures of life in rural Ohio where, as a boy, he scoured fields for Indian artifacts and woods for natural wonders. Today Bob, an engineer with a Fortune 500 company, is blessed to share a Christian home with his wife, Becky, and their family, where he enthusiastically pursues freelance writing, designing and building wood furniture, vegetable gardening, and discovering history. He recently completed the chronicle of his father’s World War II navy experiences.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“I smile now, thinking of my parents’ struggle to keep a lid on my collecting urge.  To their annoyance, there was a landfill next to the road I walked to and from school. Not a garbage dump, this was more a pond-filling project where old sidewalk slabs, paving bricks, and dump truckloads of other solids were interspersed with real treasures – maybe a broken tool box, an old office chair, or other such jetsam.  After school, we boys would scurry down the crumbly dirt bank, stepping carefully through the continuously replenished supply of stuff, in search of underrated finds. Then, along with my gym bag and books, I’d tote home any castoffs I believed were too good to throw away.”

Teena Hammond GomezTeena Hammond Gomez, Shelbyville, KY

Teena Hammond Gomez is a journalist who has been on staff at many top magazines, including being a correspondent for the Los Angeles bureau of People magazine, West Coast retail editor for Women’s Wear Daily, writer of features and fashion for W magazine, and senior writer for In Touch Weekly. She is currently a freelance writer, living in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and writing for various national and local publications, both print and online. In 2006 she moved back to her native state of Kentucky after living in Arizona and California for seventeen years. She lives with her husband, Joe, and their three golden retrievers, Clifford, Neil, and Moses, as well as their cat, Streak.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“I worked at various publications, including People magazine, interviewing celebrities and reporting on what was hot and what was not. I spent my time at black-tie affairs and award shows such as the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. Lunch at The Ivy, a famous Los Angeles eatery, was commonplace. Scoring that all-important one p.m. lunch reservation at The Grill in Beverly Hills was essential. I never parked my own car. It was always valet, even at the doctor’s office. If I wanted to go shopping, I went to the hot spots in town on Robertson Avenue and Third Street.”

Ruth PittardRuth Pittard, Whidbey Island, WA

Ruth Pittard is a native North Carolinian, baby boomer, and trained teacher who learned to live simply from watching her grandmother and mother, and from reading visionary writers. After thirty years in higher education, Ruth now delivers life coaching, creates transformational menopause workshops, and teaches people of all ages and stages how to live lightly on the earth. She is also a trained facilitator for the Awakening the Dreamer symposium created by the Pachamama Alliance (  Mother of two, grandmother to three, and family for many, Ruth practices living an intentionally peaceful, holistic existence. She is at home wherever life sends her.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“My key ring has two keys on it now, not the nine it held less than two years ago, but still one more than the single key to which I aspire. I have come to judge the complexity of my life by the number of keys on my ring, itself a single round circle with no grocery code readers, no symbols, and no ID card entry attached. One of the two remaining keys opens the office door where I volunteer three days a week; the second opens the front door to a tiny furnished house I am renting on Whidbey Island, Washington. Nine keys reduced to a duo represents a long journey, but one that has been eminently satisfying and life enhancing at every turn, even with surprises and challenges.”

Beth HerndonBeth Herndon, Murfreesboro, TN

Beth Herndon is a twenty-something southerner who works as a neurology nurse at a large hospital in Tennessee. She loves helping people every day, as well as the challenges that come with the health care field. She also loves the outdoors and takes part in adventures anytime she gets the chance. Reading e.e. cummings, C. S. Lewis, and the newspaper are other passions.  Most of all, she enjoys all things natural.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“I sat at the nurse’s station often during my shifts with Ben those nights, as one of my tasks was to watch the seizure patients’ video monitors located there at the desk. Ben’s room was right across from the station, and when his door was open, we were within a few feet of each other. He could spy on me from his bed. Several times throughout the evenings, when I would turn in my chair to check on him, he would meet my eyes, clasp his hands together, laugh, and then blow me a kiss. Pure, free love. Kids are so good at giving it. Joy is as much a part of Ben’s makeup as are his hair and eye color.”

Erik RichardsonErik Richardson, Milwaukee, WI

Erik Richardson lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his wife, his daughter, and a really worn-out car. When he isn’t outside playing, or writing about how he should be outside playing, he works as an independent management consultant helping small business owners spend less time and make more money.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“The approach to a life of happiness through simplicity is often portrayed as the result of a movement counter to the trends and reasoning of the modern, profit-driven society. For many of us, then, the possibility of exploring such a lifestyle has seemed risky. I always felt as though I was being asked to give up a mode of thinking that I have depended on my whole life. As it turns out, in the course of some work I was doing on corporate environmental ethics, I started to realize that this whole way of framing the options builds upon a mistake in reasoning. Instead of setting aside the traditional mindset that told me my goals should be to maximize profit and live a life driven by value calculations and cost-benefit analyses, I found that these tools were exactly what I needed to map out a life of simplicity and satisfaction.”

Emily HoustonEmily Houston, Brooklyn, NY

Emily Houston has been telling her stories ever since she can remember. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, freelance writing and working an eight-hour day. This is her first published essay, and she couldn't be happier that it's for a concept as true as this—live simply.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“Often I find myself asking the questions, What am I doing with my life? Am I wasting precious time? After all, it’s gone in an instant. But then I remember the beauty of simplicity that surrounds me every day. Taking a walk in the park on a warm spring day just when the cold weather has broken. Getting off the subway in Times Square every morning and seeing the Chrysler Building right in front of me. I get the chance to attend some of the greatest shows on Broadway because of the little extra money I’m making. I love going to movies so I can get a huge tub of popcorn buttered in the middle.”

Steven FisherSteven Fisher, Hartford, WI

Steven Fisher is married to an Angel, is a father of three, and lives happily in the north central United States. He has successfully started over ten companies and currently owns a computer service franchise in which he still works as a technician. He now has ample time for God, friends, and family.

Excerpt from Get Satisfied: How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough:

“Eventually, we ended up selling our apartment complex and, painfully for me, we were obliged to sell our airplane as well. If you knew the passion I have for aviation and knew how difficult it was for me to sell it, you would begin to understand the seriousness of the situation we were diving into. Though I felt I was walking with God throughout, I was still headstrong and was sure that I could make mergers and acquisitions work for us. However, I did begin to realize that you can have your cake and eat it too—unless the cake is too expensive to afford.”

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