Lucille Zimmerman – Counselor, Professor, Author and Blogger

[quote style=”boxed”]I typically have about 20 books in my reading stack at all times, working my way through them simultaneously. I befriend a wide variety of people on social media, and I listen to podcasts. Whenever a good idea flies by, I try it. I don’t over think it or wait for perfection. Life is too short.[/quote]

Lucille Zimmerman is a counselor, professor, author, and blogger. Two events changed her life: the Columbine High School shooting in her hometown of Littleton, Colorado, and visiting firefighters and police officers with the Billy Graham Prayer Center at Ground Zero shortly after the 9/11 attacks. She was a stay-at-home mom but had a passion for people who are suffering, especially those experiencing trauma. She went back to graduate school and started a private practice.

Check out Lucille Zimmerman’s new book which is coming out in March of 2013.

What are you working on right now?

When I went back to school, I immersed myself in my studies and reflected a lot on my own trauma history. Between school and the emotional work, I was on the fast track to burnout. My mentors told me to slow down and do self-care. They might as well have been speaking a foreign language because I had no idea what self-care was. Eventually, I learned what would bring joy, peace, and balance to my life.

Where did the idea for Self Care come from?

In my work with clients, I noticed they too struggled to nurture their physical, emotional, and spiritual selves. When I asked how they cared for themselves, they looked at me in the same crazy way I had looked at my mentors.

Whenever I posted something on my Facebook page about the topic of self-care, I got lots of comments. Comments ranged from, “Gee, I wish I had your life” to “You are such a good role model.” In the secular market, the topic of self-care has saturated the bookshelves—the secular world understands the need for self care, and may have even taken it to excess, yet I found very few books which spoke to the Christian audience.

Christian women yearn to give themselves permission to step off the treadmill, to take time to do the things that give them passion, and to nurture themselves. But many Christian women feel guilty doing anything that might look selfish and self-indulgent. My book provides clinical research, story, and encouragement for women to put themselves on the list.

What does your typical day look like?

I wake up around 5 or 6 a.m. and brew some coffee. I sit at my kitchen table, watch the sun rise, and do my Bible-in-a-Year reading from my iPad. Then I head upstairs to my office computer and do a bit of social media. I skim about 50 blogs on my reader and breeze through Facebook and Twitter. I’m also co-administrator for my literary agent’s writing blog, The WordServe Water Cooler. Next, I go out for a run – really it’s a drag – with my son’s dog. A few times a week I do a yoga class. I frequently write some blog posts or go see clients. Each day is different. Currently, I’m doing book edits and teaching an online Psychology course for Colorado Christian University. Throughout the week, I meet friends for lunch or coffee, and attend clinical supervision, training, or seminars. I’m constantly trying to learn and grow.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I typically have about 20 books in my reading stack at all times, working my way through them simultaneously. I befriend a wide variety of people on social media, and I listen to podcasts. Whenever a good idea flies by, I try it. I don’t over think it or wait for perfection. Life is too short.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

You featured a smart gal named Jenny Blake. She mentioned an online learning platform called Ruzuku.

I immediately created a course using my book research, but I could be much more creative in the online course.

I added YouTube clips, online sources, etc. The folks at Ruzuku were so helpful and encouraging. Online courses are a way for creative people to offer their expertise to anyone all over the world. Plus, they are a great way to bring in revenue.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I had two jobs where I had no personal power or voice. At the first job, I worked a night shift at a hospital. The security officer would make phone calls to his wife, degrading her and me in the process. He was responsible for walking me to my car late at night. He tried to kiss me and I was too afraid to tell anyone. I had another job where my supervisor would blow cigarette smoke right into my eyes when I was pregnant. When I would tear up, he would berate me and tell me I had a low tolerance for abuse.

I was meek and insecure. I’m nothing like that now. I have found self-confidence, peace, and my own power. There are people like me who are experiencing situations like what I’ve described. My passion is to help clients find healing, confidence, and power.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I don’t think I would do anything differently. My journey and my own suffering have carved out a wide space in my heart that enables me to empathize and help others.

“There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; suffering has to enter in for them to come to be.” – Leon Bloy

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Don’t be afraid to ask people for help. I believe everyone wants to help someone else. They don’t always have the time, energy, or means to do so, but many times they do. No one becomes successful by herself. I feel guilty putting my name on my book because so many people have supported and helped me make it a reality. I have a motto: “Strong people ask for help.” One person who has helped me over and over is Kelly Diekmann at KDesign.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

When I first started trying to write a book I sat in my basement and plucked out words. This was not good; very little gets achieved in isolation. I needed to expand my support. Eventually I found a writers group, critique partners, and an entire network of people online that share in my sorrows, failures, and achievements. I’m finding out more and more the importance of vulnerability, imperfection, and saying, “I don’t know how…”

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Here’s a suggestion for writers: If you want to write a book, get started on the right foot. I recommend reading blogs for writers such as Rachelle Gardner’s or WordServe Water Cooler. Also, learn the right way to submit a query and a proposal to a literary agent. (Agents can spot a newbie in an instant!) Michael Hyatt and Mary DeMuth both have excellent sample templates that will help you do it well.

And here’s a tip for speakers: I have been to several speaker conferences, but the very best is SCORRE (used to be Dynamic Speaker Workshop), headed up by internationally known speaker and comedian, Ken Davis, and Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael Hyatt. The conference is small, extremely professional, and it offers superb accommodations and the chance to network with some amazing people. The conference in Vail, Colorado, will fill up quickly.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

I would tell more people to find their passion. If more people focused on their strengths, they would lose themselves in the state of “flow.”

Research shows that the happiest people aren’t lying on a beach somewhere. Instead, they are happiest when they are caught up in something challenging, using their gifts. Even if you can’t give up your day job, find an activity that absorbs you. Make time for flow.

Tell us a secret.

Every year I tell people I’m running the Bolder Boulder 10K but the last few years, instead of running, I walked it. I also ate bacon and donuts that were offered to me along the course route.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

– (mentioned above) for easy creation of online courses. Miriam and the gang will help you.

– When I Google something, I type in the words “site: edu” after it. That helps me get to the most helpful material, bypassing all the wacky people who are just paying to get to the top of the search heap. So it looks like this in my browser: stress site: edu

– iPiccy is a new photo editing site. It lets you make collages and other fun creations.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I loved Mary Pipher’s book, Seeking Peace. Her book about adolescent girls, Reviving Ophelia, spent months on the New York Times Best Seller list. She is a compassionate therapist and professor, yet she had never learned to put herself on the list. She was speaking and traveling and finally came to a place of spiritual and emotional bottom. Then she learned what it meant to care for herself in all the ways she cared for others. Each of us can benefit from her wisdom. Her son, Zeke is a pretty good writer himself.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

@IanCron – Ian Morgan Cron. He’s an author, storyteller, and retreat guide. He makes me think and points me closer to God.

@shaunaniequist – Shauna Niequist. She is a Christian leader, author, and speaker. She is candid and funny.

@michaelhyatt – Michael Hyatt. He is Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, a business guru, a blogger, and speaker.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

About an hour ago. My hair is getting too long to hold a style simply by blow-drying. While I was working on this questionnaire, I stuck lime green Velcro curlers in my hair. I left them in too long and burst out laughing at the hairdo reflected back at me from my mirror.

Who is your hero?

I have many. You can see them on my Pinterest page.

What advice do you have for busy professionals?

Take time for a mini vacation every day. No, I’m not talking about a trip to Aspen. But do take time for small acts of kindness towards yourself throughout the day. Perhaps you can take a walk around the lake during your lunch break. Nature and exercise help with inspiration. Or pick up your favorite snack and sit in your car with some good music. Or treat yourself to a massage or pedicure. Learn to say no, stop people pleasing, quit multitasking and be mindful, savor beauty, notice the mysterious world watch “murmation” video below, and make time for solitude. Studies show that happiest people don’t try to do it all. They focus on their area of strength and make time for their passions.

How to be alone video:


What song is stuck in your head?

Thanks to author Shauna Niequist, the song “Some Nights,” by Fun.


Lucille Zimmerman’s Website:
Lucille Zimmerman’s Blog:
Lucille Zimmerman on Twitter: !/LucilleZ