The Mended Mirror
The Impact of
A Mother with Many Personalities
and A Shocking DNA Test Result
On My Life and My Life’s Work to
Cultivate Authentic Connection Culture:
Life-Giving Community Rooted In
Creativity, Meaningful Relationships,
Openness to Possibilities
and Commitment to the Well-Being of All
By Karen Hilfman Millson
A year before her mother’s death, Karen is startled to discover that what she calls her mother’s “moods and states” are actually eight distinct alternate personalities. Then, six years later, a DNA test result reveals another shock—there is an extra biological father in their family of four siblings. Karen’s immediate response is to declare two things: first their “real Mom” did not know about the extra biological father because of the many personalities, and second, like Janis, she must have the different biological father too, because there is no way they are not full sisters. In this absorbing, deeply personal story, Karen pieces together fragmented memories to unravel a mystery that began more than eighty years ago as she reflects on how these realities have impacted her understanding of herself and life. In doing so, she inspires us to take off our masks to be more present to ourselves and one another and to intentionally connect to the powers of love and creativity deep within every one of us.
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Recommendations for The Mended Mirror
After I read this book, I told myself never to forget it. It’s a testament to the transformation that awaits humanity on the other side of egoism. There’s hardly a person alive who doesn’t need this book.
Julie McGonegal, PhD Imagining Justice
This is a stunning piece of work by Karen Celeste Hilfman.
Christina Baldwin, Storycatcher
The Mended Mirror is searing autobiography, keen analysis, and a very uncomfortable metaphor for the world today. It is a serious read, not for the faint-hearted—but with rich rewards for those who persevere.
Harrison Owen, Originator of Open Space Technology
Karen Celeste Hilfman is a master story-teller. We learn from her experience as well as feel with her to the heart of what really matters.
Dr. Nancy Roof, Founder, Kosmos Journal for Global Transformation
The Mended Mirror is a beautifully written and gripping family story and compelling account of what awaits us in the deeply human journey from brokenness to wholeness.
Michael Jones, The Soul of Place
The Mended Mirror is inspirational. Part searing memoir, part spiritual wisdom, and wholly entrancing, this book invites us to glean deep insight from the pains and challenges of our lives.
Tanis Day, PhD, The Whole You: Healing and Transformation through Energy Awareness
The Mended Mirror goes beyond an interesting read to be inspiring to people dealing with challenges in their lives, to people who have learned to follow their intuitive nudges and to anyone wondering how to bring love and curiosity to those members of our families, or close circles that we might describe as difficult or challenging.
Kathy Jourdain, A Worldview Intelligence Approach to Building Trust and Relationship at the Speed of Change
The Mended Mirror weaves together memoir, spirituality and the courage, love and frustration of a unique family life. It brings together Wise Woman teachings, lessons from a mother’s fragmented life, and a glimpse of other ways of being in the world. Karen Celeste Hilfman’s deft fingers create both tapestry and mosaic that will resonate with readers seeking ways to re-craft their own lives. I highly recommend this book for study groups, writers and seekers of wholeness.
Carolyn Pogue, Hilwie’s Bread
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To All of Us
On the Journey to Wholeness
Coming home to ourselves;
connecting to the Wisdom within us and amongst us
to create Community that reflects our True Essence,
imbuing the world with hope through the power
of the Universal Consciousness of Love
found deep within the centre of who we are.
Through Authentic Connection to Self, Community and the Earth,
through recognizing the Earth, one another and ourselves as Beloved,
through acknowledging and honouring our oneness with all of life,
through deep listening and deepening conversation,
through alignment with the flow of life-giving energy,
—we expand our capacity to create Community and the Commons
where together we imagine and engage possibilities
to journey toward a transformed way of being
rooted in and empowered by love
creating space for the emergence of
a lived vision of the well-being of all.
As a result of connecting in a deeply authentic way
we see life differently;
no longer are we bound by small-ego thinking that is rooted in
limitations, entitlement, blame and the compulsion to protect our territory;
rather we see creative possibilities, interconnection,
abundance and incredible goodness.
We shift from an ego to an ecological perspective
in order to become resilient and sustainable
in all aspects of life;
economics, ethics, academics, decision-making and politics
which all reflect the way we
engage in relationships
at personal, local and global levels.
The journey to wholeness awakens us
to the light that emanates from the centre of all of life,
which longs to illuminate a pathway forward that is empowered by love.
While this light is often covered over by
the demands, destruction, brokenness and noise of life,
it is not extinguished;
it remains constant in its essence and presence.
The experience of wholeness,
arising from developing
an intentional Culture of Authentic Connection,
is a way of being
when we choose to see
our self, one another, the Earth, and all of life
with eyes of love and with hearts open to possibilities.
Speaker or Workshop Leader
Karen Hilfman Millson is available as a motivational and inspiring speaker on a wide variety of topics.
- How to see goodness even in chaos
- Capturing a vision of what life can be
- How to stay calm in the midst of never ending demands
- Tapping into the three places of intelligence within us
- How to connect authentically with yourself and others
- How to build a strong team where creativity and cooperation thrive
- Engaging in conversation that taps into the wisdom within us and amongst us
- How to create a life that is resilient
- Women in transition for the sake of changing their world
- How to come out from behind masks and facades and be yourself
- How to develop the attitudes required for a meaningful life in these times of transition
- Dealing with discord
- How to connect to your intrinsic motivation and strengths
- How to deal with triggers so that you respond to life rather than react
- Creating safe conversation spaces
- Living with a family member with mental illness
- Dealing with a shocking DNA discovery
- Choosing wholeness even in brokenness
- Daring to be hopeful
- The time is now
- Follow the flow of energy to generate meaningful and dynamic ventures…
Karen Hilfman Millson is a master story teller. Sensitively alive to the subtlest inner feelings and nuances of inner guidance, she leads us to experience with her a powerful transformation and understanding of authentic connection from multi perspectives. Her inner strength and “call to be in life” stands as an example to all of us that no matter how dire our experience of brokenness, it breaks us wide open, as well, to healing and growth. Her story is interspersed with teachings on group healing dynamics and authentic connection. We learn from her experience as well as feel with her to the heart of what really matters.Dr. Nancy RoofFounder, Kosmos Journal for Global Transformation
After I read this book, I told myself never to forget it. Its powerful vision of the authentic life—where the fullness of who we are meant to be emerges out of brokenness—is more critical than ever in this age of artifice. This is a story that beckons us to return to our roots—both familial roots and ancient spiritual roots—so that we can move into a present defined by deep, loving connection. It’s more than a memoir about a mother with mental illness, it’s a testament to the transformation that awaits humanity on the other side of egoism. There’s hardly a person alive who doesn’t need this book.Julie McGonegal, PhDAuthor of Imagining Justice: The Politics of Postcolonial Forgiveness and Reconciliation
The Mended Mirror is searing autobiography, keen analysis, and a very uncomfortable metaphor for the world today. It is a serious read, not for the faint hearted – but with rich rewards for those who persevere.Harrison OwenPotomac Maryland, Originator of Open Space Technology
The Mended Mirror weaves together memoir, spirituality and the courage, love and frustration of a unique family life. It brings together Wise Woman teachings, lessons from a mother’s fragmented life, and a glimpse of other ways of being in the world. Karen Hilfman Millson’s deft fingers create both tapestry and mosaic that will resonate with readers seeking ways to re-craft their own lives. I highly recommend this book for study groups, writers and seekers of wholeness.Carolyn PogueRetreat facilitator, spiritual companion, author of Hilwie’s Bread and A New Day: Peacemaking Stories and Activities
The complexity and insights of the story of The Mended Mirror continue to both amaze me and inform me about living life authentically. My mind wanders through the story again and again allowing the details and the lessons to speak to me. Karen shows us how to persevere even when life feels broken. I appreciate the encouragement to peel back the layers of life to connect to our core, a peaceful core that cannot be taken from us. This book has impacted the way I see life and relationships and how together we need to and can create caring, engaged community.Peggy GoddardLeadership and Health Care Management, University Hospital, London, Hamilton Health and McMaster University
The Mended Mirror is inspirational. Part searing memoir, part spiritual wisdom, and wholly entrancing, this book invites us to glean deep insight from the pains and challenges of our lives. Whether you are spiritual or not, Christian or not, interested in psychology or not, interested in memoirs or not, this captivating story will intrigue you and uplift your soul. Karen explores her harrowing personal journey with clarity, confidence and humility, demonstrating how to find wholeness in brokenness, no matter what. Her book exposes how she learned the powerful lessons she offers us to live by; to hear all voices, include all people, really listen, to let the wisdom within and amongst lead the outcome, and always to look through the eyes of love. This is a book for everyone.Tanis Day, PhDDirector, School of Energy Enlightenment author of The Whole You: Healing and Transformation through Energy Awareness
Karen is a masterful storyteller. She shares how growing up with a mother with many personalities impacted her life and her spiritual journey. In reading, I found myself riveted by both aspects of this story – what would we discover next about her mother’s life and what would we discover about Karen’s experience. Karen writes with love, honesty, vulnerability and authenticity. I found myself drawn into her insight and brilliance. This book goes beyond an interesting read to be inspiring to people dealing with challenges in their lives, to people who have learned to follow their intuitive nudges and to anyone wondering how to bring love and curiosity to those members of our families or close circles that we might describe as difficult or challenging. By touching the spaces deep inside her, Karen’s story will touch places deep inside of the reader.Kathy JourdainConsultant and Author of Embracing the Stranger In Me: A Journey to Open Heartedness and the soon to be published A Worldview Intelligence Approach to Building Trust and Relationship at the Speed of Change
The Mended Mirror is a beautifully written and gripping family story and compelling account of what awaits us in the deeply human journey from brokenness to wholeness. What it brings home is how in a universe where there could be nothing, there is something—a light that fills us with goodness, beauty and love.Michael JonesAuthor of The Soul of Place: Reimagining Leadership through Nature, Art and Community