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Articles & Interviews > Funny Lady Champions Choosing Well

by Christine Franke

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Life consists of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of choices, beginning with getting up with the alarm or ignoring it.

Keynote speaker Kathleen Keller Passanisi, author of It's Your Life—Choose Well (Movere Press 09744280-0-0-51899) offers "simple choices that can make your life healthier, happier, calmer, saner, and much more balanced." Six dimensions of life are addressed: physical, spiritual, social, emotional, vocational, and spiritual.

The book evolved from a radio station column, "Just A Thought," delivered as 90-second broadcasts. After the station was sold, the scripts remained in a drawer. Writer friends encouraged Passanisi to repurpose the content and reach a wider audience.

Time and synchronicity did their good work. Kathy was now an in-demand professional speaker. Big corporate clients and other audiences of, say, "Humor at Work," "A Seat at the Buffet—Challenging Life's Unwritten Rules", or "Humor and the Sandwich Generation" expected a back-of-the-room book to take away and to share. And Kathy's husband, Pete, encouraged her to 'do something with the columns.'

A believer in the laws of attraction, through which life put into your path that which you most need, Kathy was convinced that the time was right.

The book, a pleasing 8"x 8" with the author's favorite Caribbean colors on the cover and stay-flat European binding, arrived after much collaboration and serendipity. Graphics add to the beauty and cohesion of the messages. The six dimensions are represented by custom icons: a heart for the emotional aspect, light bulb for the mental, and a delightful pencil for the vocational. On the cover, these icons are incorporated around a human form. The book has wide margins and "Reflections" pages where readers can add their own suggestions, resolutions, and successes. Original screened line art and calligraphy adorn these pages and are liberally placed throughout.

A licensed physical therapist for more than three decades, Passanisi worked in hospitals with adults and children. She was an early proponent of a holistic approach; healing by hilarity was always incorporated into her practice.

In 1984, Passanisi's life changed when a complicated pregnancy changed her role from caregiver to patient. Several months in the hospital gave her lots of time to think. Friends and patients who felt she was suited to stand-up comedy had always told her she'd missed her calling. In these years of guest lecturing, it was natural for her to deliver serious material in a highly entertaining fashion. Maybe it was time to do something different. Passanisi decided to create the perfect job for herself, forming New Perspectives in l987. It integrates the self-described tripod of her life: "health care professional + educator + class clown."

Beneficiaries include the American Heart Association, myriad medical organizations, a Who's Who of corporate clients like Boeing, city governments, and countless associations. These audiences can choose to apply these suggestions to their own lives. But not laughing is not an option. As her official biography on the NSA site www.nsaspeaker.org assures: "She is the funniest woman in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri and possibly the Western Hemisphere."