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BOOKS FOR GIFTS- True North

August 7th, 2014 • by Sandy Zimmerman

True North: The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours”–

An Inspirational Story of Survival and Hope, by Tom North

Unlike the Movie, This Family Had Deep Dark Secrets.

Meditation was Tom North’s Saving Grace.
Today, he is a leading advocate promoting meditation for trauma survivorsand anyone who feels alone and depressed.

This book has important implications for anyone who has suffered family trauma, PTSD, depression and other major life struggles.

They appeared to be the blissful Beardsleys, the happily blended family–eight of Helen North’s, ten of Frank Beardsley’s, and two children from their union. A family so famous in America that Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda played the parents in a movie–Yours, Mine and Ours–that was the fourth highest grossing movie of 1968 and the Golden Globe winner.

You saw the family in newspaper photos, TV news, movie newsreels and even Langendorf Bread commercials. But they were anything from blissful; in fact they were the beaten and battered Beardsleys.

That’s the real hidden story behind the spotlight. And Tom North, Helen’s second eldest son, is now revealing how he survived the ordeal of living with a horrifyingly abusive stepfather that drove him to depression and drugs, and deprived him of his self-worth–and a mother who protected the image of the “perfect” family at all costs.

But True North – The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours” is much more than an inspiring and powerful account of a man who rose to success against all odds. It’s a story of how Transcendental Meditation (TM) brought peace to Tom North and saved his life. It brings to light how effective meditation is as a means for healing trauma survivors and especially those who have endured any form of verbal, physical or sexual abuse.

North—today an accomplished writer, motivational speaker, financial advisor, poet and adventurer—is one of meditation’s most vocal advocates for people who are disaffected or suffering from emotional pain.

“My mission is to reach out to people who feel isolated or misunderstood in the world and help them understand that they are not alone, and that their feelings may well be related to experiences they had in their early lives where they felt victimized by those who had greater power than they did. Those experiences may have caused great pain,” says North. “The more people experience their own divinity and essential nature, the more they will actually relate to humanity and see the beauty in themselves and in the world, and not the pain. It IS possible to take the broken pieces of a life, put them back together again and become a happy person.”

No one could be better to prove the point than North. The book begins in the 1950s on Whidbey Island, Washington, where Tom’s mother, Helen North, became a widow when she was just 30 years old and pregnant with her eighth child, when her Navy-flier husband is killed in an accident. Tom was six years old, the fourth child in the North family. Not long after, Helen North met and married Frank Beardsley, a man with 10 children, and she moved her family to his house in Carmel, California. The North children were adopted and their names were changed to Beardsley.

But, it wasn’t one big happy family as the movie depicted. The stepfather’s violence and abuse created a life of intimidation, confusion, turmoil, fear and depression for the North children. Tom’s only solace was with his time spent out of the house, exploring the beaches, forests and other natural environments near his home, giving vent to his natural adventurous spirit. But that was only a momentary respite. It all crushingly returned when he got home and he or one of his siblings was subjected to the next beating or episode of sexual abuse.

All hope seemed lost as Tom realized that he was caught in a prison and there was no way out. When he finally left home, he traveled on a journey of survival, self-discovery, and healing that began when he attended an introduction to TM.

Astonished at the relief meditation provided, the sense of bliss that only drugs had previously offered, and the clarity he experienced, he began to practice daily.

Having set his sights on going to college for a business degree–regardless of his stepfather calling him “stupid” and both parent’s discouragement–Tom made enough money through a summer job on fishing boats in Alaska to enter a school that offered both a business degree AND meditation–Maharishi International University (MIU) in Fairfield, Iowa.

Here the curricula covered everything from biology and accounting, to spirituality and social justice.

Having genuinely found himself and connected with his Divine nature, North ultimately returned home to Carmel where he is happily married with two grown daughters and has thrived as a financial advisor.

But while meditation had provided a foundation of emotional strength, health and spiritual connection for himself, there was still residual pain for him and all of his siblings.

The book accounts how Tom courageously and miraculously led his family to counseling sessions where the shocking truth was finally revealed and confronted. He then came full circle, as he reclaimed his father’s name and was finally, True North.

This book has important implications for anyone who has suffered family trauma, abuse, PTSD, depression and other major life struggles. To book Tom North for a compelling interview on the power of meditation to overcome and heal trauma, please send an email with the name of the show, your contact information, a proposed date and time, and the calling details.


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