"Our struggle makes us human, our perseverance brings us enlightenment.
It takes both to make us whole." ~ Cindy Bruckel
TALES FROM A BOILING POT: Learning to Thrive in a Dysfunctional World is a bird’s-eye peek into the world where I was born and the family I love. Please join me as I travel down memory lane, through the years and tears, and share the lessons I have learned along the way.
The book describes the analogy “If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, the frog will sense the intense heat and will immediately jump out. If you put a frog in cool water then turn up the heat, unaware that his environment has changed and is now dangerous, he will slowly start to relax. As the temperature gradually rises and he becomes sedated, he is no longer able to jump out of the pot and will eventually boil to death.”
People go through life much like that unfortunate, clueless frog. They become so conditioned to their surroundings that they begin to think that dysfunction is normal. Unable or unwilling to perceive the slowly approaching danger, they slowly start to boil. When they bury or “put a lid” on their emotions they boil faster.
TALES FROM A BOILING POT is an invitation to explore the life of a child of the South through a series of intimate short stories. Cindy’s first writing endeavor, it shows the journey from being born in a dysfunctional and often violent environment, to how she learned to maneuver the dangerous waters with the skill of a sailor bringing her boat into safe harbor during a storm. Rather than In choosing to become a part of the dysfunction and a casualty of life, unlike the boiled frog, she used her internal strength, life lessons and the love of her husband Bill as a light to guide her home. With humor as a backdrop, she shares her love of the South, the family that raised her and the friends she has come to know as family.
Cindy Bruckel invites us to join her as she reclaims her life as a child of the South through a series of intimate short stories in her book, TALES FROM A BOILING POT: Learning to Thrive in a Dysfunctional World. In a beautifully poignant memoir, she chronicles her life's journey from being raised in a state of dysfunctional, and how she learned to maneuver the dangerous waters with the skill of a sailor bringing her boat into safe harbor during a storm. Rather than choosing to become a victim of the dysfunction and a casualty of life, she channeled her internal strength, life lessons and the love of her family and husband Bill as a light to guide her home.
Cindy applies humor as a backdrop when she introduces us to the loving family that raised her and the friends she has come to know as family. By reopening old wounds and sharing memories delivered with raw honesty, she shows us a life cut out from the pages of Southern Living where lessons were served with a spoon of sugar and love came in all sizes, shapes and colors. Retracing the events of her life was the essence of going home.
“I simply love the book! I NOW watch water boil, as an opportunity to reflect on the life TALES that matter. Humans have a natural capacity for compassion and cruelty. My boiling pot represents daily love and tolerance irrelevant of race, gender, religion, region, age and lifestyle. THANK YOU Cindy for sharing your decades with us. You have made a difference around the cove.”
~Missy Meharg, Mother, Partner, Head Field Hockey Coach, University of Maryland
“Cindy Bruckel fearlessly reveals her early struggles with raw emotions. She provides insight into her soul and the transformation into a beautiful person. With the love and nurturing of her husband and soul mate, she demonstrates how to have hard discussions while always remaining true to her beliefs. Every reader can benefit from reading this heartfelt and very personal story.”
~Jerry Dowell, President/CEO/Partner, DowellGroup
“In Tales From A Boiling Pot, I found myself pulled into this author’s stories depicting her life in the South. She offered such vivid description, that I thought I was tasting sweet tea. She had me so engaged, a book mark never entered my mind, as I was not able to put it down from start to finish. A heart-felt sharing of her life growing up in Mississippi during a tumultuous time, in a tumultuous family and the struggles with dysfunction that propelled her to leave, brought me to tears at times. I enjoyed very much the quotes throughout the chapters, it afforded me time to breathe and reflect. It was a pleasure meeting her relatives and getting to know each one throughout the book. I appreciated the life lessons presented in Tales From A Boiling Pot and felt a sense of happiness for the lessons that she had learned along the way and was left with in the end. A great read that only takes a few hours but leaves you happy.”
~Cheryle Boyle, author of the #1 Bestseller, 538: Murder, Suicide and a Mother’s Love
“Warm, inspiring, and captivating! Cindy Bruckel is the quintessential story-teller and she delivers an absolute gem in Tales from a Boiling Pot. She immediately enchants the reader with her lyrical style and colorful narrative as she weaves a journey of bitter-sweet memories and life lessons. Read this book and nourish your soul!”
~Alex Bratty, author of the #1 Bestseller, From Chaos to Clarity: Getting Unstuck & Creating a Life You Love
“Thank you to Cindy Bruckel for taking me home to Mississippi and beyond in Tales from a Boiling Pot. What an honor to learn of the days that were so meaningful to her development. Somehow, the warm desserts, fresh biscuits, gardens, and grits had voices of their own...one that highlighted the extreme pain of family dysfunction, and another that whispered 'it will all be okay.' At times, I was shaking my head and fists in anger and disbelief, and at others, I was comforted by the word paintings filled with beautiful colors, heartwarming smells, soothing sounds, mouthwatering flavors, and gentle hugs from friends and family that have left permanent imprints on my heart. Her beautiful relationship with husband Bill and the work she did to heal such deep wounds is ground breaking, because she demonstrates the importance of having tough conversations in regards to healing, real intimacy, and TRUTH. She is my inspiration and I'm so looking forward to reading more of her work.”
~Mandy Elliot, Clinical Supervisor and Creative Arts Therapist
"At times, I was shaking my head and fists in anger and disbelief, and at others, I was comforted by the word paintings filled with beautiful colors, heartwarming smells, soothing sounds, mouthwatering flavors, and gentle hugs from friends and family that have left permanent imprints on my heart."
Cindy was born in a small town nestled in the red clay hills of Winston County, Mississippi. Having received her degree in education from the University of Southern Mississippi, she began her career teaching in south Mississippi, but later went on to become an organization and leadership development consultant with clients around the world.
After the sudden death of her husband Bill, who had been her best friend, her business partner, and her guiding light for 24 years, she discovered writing as a way to heal. It was through the process of journaling and a Tom Bird retreat in Sedona, Arizona that reawakened her love of the written word. What she thought would be a quick writing workshop turned out to be the vehicle for gaining insight into her soul. It was there that she came to clearly understand her purpose - a journey of life, lessons and love.
"Our greatest lessons are the ones we receive when we least expect it."
With her life experiences in the South and her triumph over adversity and loss as inspiration for her book of short stories, TALES FROM A BOILING POT, she continues to cultivate a life filled with family, friends and love. She is currently working on two novels whose stories and characters are inspired by her Southern heritage.
Bill, having been born in upstate New York, often asked, "Why do you still refer to Mississippi as home, when you haven't lived there for 35 years?" Unless you've been born and raised in the South, it's hard to explain. "I know it in my heart. My roots are there - I'm a Perennial Southerner."
Cindy who currently lives in Maryland, loves to knit, cook, travel, write, and as a doting grandmother, spends as much time as possible with her five grandchildren.