Rolling Out magazine spoke with black author Laureen LeNoir. Her book “A Soul’s Journey” exams life, career and spiritualty.
You have a background in finance can you tell us a little bit about your background and corporate experience?
My background is in finance and accounting and I’m a certified CPA. I’ve spent my entire life in finance and accounting. In my last position I was in control of the credit underwriting. Which meant writing deals for up to a hundred million dollars in the United States to purchase vehicles. Pretty much everything about accounting I’ve done at one point or another.
As I talk about in the book I’m basically a very analytical person, studying different books and religious systems. There’s more in my life than being on a corporate treadmill. My life at a certain point was good in a material way and a lot of prestige and approve big deals and in my heart I wasn’t happy.
I think at a certain point people need to decide what is important. For me I decided something else. What I did, and I don’t suggest this for everybody, is take some time off from work and find out what it was that I was supposed to be doing because the way my life was going I was becoming someone else. You know, like the Wolf of Wall Street.
How did you as a black woman find the experience in corporate America?
I started out in the beginning and there weren’t that many black executives and really not that many black women executives. Basically you had to be what they wanted you to be. That’s basically how I ended up in the position I was at. Putting on a mask and being somebody different than you really are. My job was dealing with different CFO’s and with that kind of job. It’s not really about authenticity it’s about the money.
This book is a definite departure from your background. What position did you have that inspired this book?
Well as I said I’ve been studying truth principals and it has worked for me. I spent a lot of time talking to people, reading different books, going to different churches. I knew there had to be something more than this. It can’t be this constant treadmill. There had to be something more than this. I had to take some time away from work because it wasn’t conducive to my spiritual growth. I asked God what it was that I should do and it lead me down a path to find out who I really was and it lead me to the books. Basically what the books are about my journey because I had gotten so far away from myself that I became someone that everyone else wanted me to be. I started from the beginning, trying to figure out what I was worthy of. Everybody has a different journey and I’ve read many books that take the expert stance of telling you what to do and what you really need to do is ask God what to do.
I never thought to write a book, I’ve done a lot of technical writing and this wasn’t in my game plan but what I have found that when I asked God what to do with my life I was lead in the direction of writing and design type of work. I actually have produced some movies and I’m working to get those out. I found that I really enjoyed writing. This journey has taken me to a place that I can do things I like to do and that are enjoyable to me. It’s about doing something that brings joy to your soul.
Let’s get into your books, first book, “A Soul’s Journey” starts off with “Awakening” and ends with “The discovery of my true place” how did you get to your “true place?”
I decided to let God show me the way to go as opposed to being a manager of God. When you let go and let it come out. This book was written in a matter of three months. The book just came to me. It brought about a lot of self-reflection. When I started to listen to God, it all came back to writing, the thing I like to do.
What I really like to create things that are useful to people. It’s not an easy process. Everyone else kept telling me their definition of their success. Writing was something inside of me. You have to listen to yourself instead of what people are telling you to do.
In book two you talk about being in this world and not of it, can you give me an example of it?
What it means it there is a lot going on in the world, some of it good, some of it not so good. Television and even advertising tells you that there is something wrong with you. Being in this world not of It means to understand and believe that there’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t have to be someone else. We live in a world but we don’t have to relate everything someone does back to us.
In the book you mix Buddhist thoughts and Christian belief is there something you are trying to espouse?
Religions are created by people but the truth is the truth no matter where they come from. I follow the Christian faith but I have studied many religions and find that there is truth in all things. I don’t think that there is a particular way you just need to walk your way to your truth. I grew up in a Baptist Church and spent a lot of time thinking that some of what they are saying couldn’t be in the bible. I spent a lot of time studying the bible and if you actually study what it’s trying to teach, you’ll see that all religions teach the same thing; we have to help each other and accept each other and live a life that can be an example to others. When you are walking the earth you are doing a prayer every second.
What message to you want to impart on your readers?
You are not alone and you can depend on God for all things. On this journey we need to get to a place where we are at peace. The lessons are teaching you a way to get to peace and ask God to show you the way. With God all things are possible if we have faith. That’s what the books are about. The first book is about teaching you the truth about yourself so that you can meditate. The second book helps you to ask God directly what will bring happiness into your life. The third book is sort of metaphysical and does have Eastern flair. Your life is really a series of lessons and once you listen you can learn from these lessons. You do have a purpose and live the life. Book four is about staying true to your story.