Launch day for Gone But Not Furgotten – and the real story about Cass

Jun 28, 2022

It’s launch day! I’m so excited that Gone But Not Furgotten is out in the world. I hope you all love it.

This book is really special to me. I mean, they’re all special to me, but in this one I got to spend extra time with one of my favorite supporting characters, Maddie’s Zen friend Cass. I love Cass – for a lot of reasons, but mainly because he’s based on a real person.

Some of you may know that I’m total wellness freak. I love all kinds of alternative healing, mindfulness practices, anything that others not of my ilk would consider “woo woo.” What can I say – I’ve been this way my whole life. I love exploring new things, finding new ways to thrive, and introducing those techniques and practices to others.

When I first met Dr. Ming Wu, the traditional Chinese healer who completely changed my life, I was going to weekly Tong Ren classes on Monday nights. Tong Ren is all about unblocking the “chi” flowing through the body to restore wellness. There was a man who would be there every week with his crystal singing bowls, and he would play them before class started. Enter Cass (the real one).

I was fascinated with Cass. He had such a distinct persona, a quiet presence that really commanded attention, a deliberate way of speaking. Like my fictional Cass, he had long braids and wore giant rings on many fingers. He told stories about his homeland of Haiti. But mostly, he played the bowls.

When I first met Cass, I knew what singing bowls were, and had had some exposure to sound healing, but not much. And to be honest, when I first started listening to them, I wasn’t sure how I felt. Sometimes they even hurt my ears a little bit. But I was fascinated with this giant, gentle man who played the bowls so carefully and intently, and spoke very little.

As time went on, the bowls stopped hurting my ears. I learned that meant my vibration was changing, thanks to the tones of the bowls he was playing. After being exposed to the combination of the bowls and the class itself for a few months, I felt better than I had in, basically, my whole life. I wasn’t sure exactly what had changed, but I could feel it. My whole vibration was different, and I was so grateful. 

There is science behind singing bowls and sound healing. Bowls “have the capacity to shift energy, clear blockages, and restore the mind, body, and spirit to a balanced state,” according to reiki master and sound healer Susy Schieffelin, who spoke to MindBodyGreen about them.

And even when Cass stopped coming to class, my infatuation with sound healing continues to this day, and I think of him often. So what better way to pay homage to a great man than to put him in a book?

I hope you enjoy Maddie’s and Cass’s adventures in Gone But Not Furgotten. Let me know what you think after you read it – I’d love to hear from you!

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