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Laura Munson



“I have been attending fund-raiser events for Chicago’s Northwestern hospital for years and I have never walked away more moved and more changed from one of their speakers. Laura Munson had the room in the palm of her hand, and she held us with care, humor, and wisdom." -- Marion Bent, Winnetka, Illinois

New York Times Best-Selling Author

A writer for over 20 years, Laura Munson is the author of the New York Times and international best-selling memoir, This Is Not the Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness. Passionate about “finding the intersection of heart and mind and craft on the page,” Munson shares a story that explores marital crisis and imparts a message of empowerment, the importance of living in the present, and the necessity of claiming responsibility for one’s own happiness – no matter what is going on in life.

It all began when Laura penned an essay, “Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear,” for the “Modern Love” column of The New York Times in 2009. Stunned by the firestorm reaction she received – inclusive of crashing the New York Times website comments section – Laura emerged as the face behind an essay that ignited dinner talk, office chat, and book groups around the globe. A short version of a memoir she had written during a rough time in her marriage, the essay touched people with its powerful honesty. And they wanted more. After having written for two decades, having completed 14 novels, and having endured countless rejections, Munson had a book deal within 48 hours.

Her book has been published in nine countries and her message is so universal it can be tailor-made to fit the context of your group.  She has spoken at women’s conferences, author series, universities and schools, writing conferences and workshops, hospital benefits, YMCAs, JCCs, libraries, and social clubs.

Laura’s work has appeared in the New York Times “Modern Love” column, the New York Times Magazine “Lives” column, O. Magazine, Woman’s Day, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, More Magazine, Huffington Post, The Sun, Shambhala Sun, and Big Sky Journal, as well as through many other media outlets. She has been on two national book tours with appearances on Good Morning America (ABC), The Early Show (CBS), WGN Chicago, Australia’s Sunrise, and London’s This Morning, as well as hundreds of national and international radio appearances including multiple NPR interviews and Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Hayhouse Radio program.

Laura’s Message:
Laura’s central goal is in helping people see how their life isn’t working and getting it to work. She delivers her passion for empowerment and transformation, especially in times of crisis, in a raw and real way that transcends age, gender, social groups, religions, cultures. Her message is clear: we do not have to be emotional victims.  Happiness is a choice. In her speaking engagements, she discusses in its practical application, how to get outside victim thinking and move into emotional freedom through:

  • Awareness of inner dialogue.
  • Learning how to ask powerful questions.
  • Identifying the myths we build as the construct of our life, seeing that myths don’t work, and how to relate with what is actually true.
  • Getting out of wanting and into creating.
  • Learning to focus on what’s possible instead of dwelling in what’s not.


Most Popular Topics:

Season of Unlikely Happiness: Getting What You Want by Getting Out of Your Own Way

Laura Munson is an expert in perseverance and dealing with rejection (both personally and professionally). What happens when we hear “I don’t love you anymore,” “You didn’t get that job,” “Your mother has cancer.” ? Laura talks from personal experience about the power of the present moment and awareness of self to surrender the past and reinvent the future into the reality of what is. Attendees will:

  • Learn how to claim your life.
  • Identify where you are stuck.
  • Get out of victim-stanced thinking and into practical creative thinking;
  • Reinvent your life to get what you want; and
  • Define a statement of intention that can be referred to for daily affirmation, focus and guidance.


How to Turn Crisis into Creation

People so often say that they wish to be more creative, but they just don’t have the time, or the talent, or the courage. Especially when they’re in pain. Laura doesn’t buy it. She is a living example of how one can take crisis and turn it into healing, and even service to others. She took the words that nobody wants to hear: I don’t love you anymore, and processed them moment by moment, in what would become her New York Times best-selling memoir. Laura talks from personal experience about the power of the present moment and how to surrender the past and future into the reality of what is. This speech centers around the powerful question: What can I create, right now, no matter what’s going on in my life? And gives practical life tools to transform our lives, no matter what our challenges might be.

Through her book, speeches, and her Haven Writing Retreats, she has inspired many to dig deep into their self-expression and find healing and hope there.


How Laura’s speeches relate to your group:

Women’s Organizations/Wellness Communities/ Healthcare Workers/ Social Service Organizations:

More than ever, people are looking for transformation, re-invention, and empowerment in their lives. Laura hones in on inner dialogue and how destructive it can be, usually from old patterns and societal myths. Here she shines a light on how people can strengthen new ways of relating with themselves and the world…that will get them unstuck. By the end of the talk, you will have a greater sense of what’s not working in your life, and how to take a stand for your best self.

Teachers: (k-12)

In a world where teachers are undervalued and even vilified, how are you going to get up in the morning day after day for nine months and have the energy to try to transform your students’ lives?  You will leave this session with a renewed awareness of the passion that began you on this path in the first place, the intention behind why you do what you do, and practical skills in helping you empower yourself as you go.


Youth organizations/Colleges:

What if someone told you when you were twenty years old that success lies within? That it’s a state of mind? That there’s no such thing as an emotional victim? Nobody can make you mad, or feel guilty, or sad. These are all choices. And getting out of playing victim to the hard knocks of life early on will keep you out of a world of suffering.  Laura is an expert in perseverance and dealing with rejection in her field, and is passionate about helping young people to know that their dreams may not come true over night and that it’s all about doing your work every day. Happiness has to start within each individual, regardless of society’s definition of “success” or “failure.”

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