Marie Simmons was born in 1936 in St. Louis, Missouri, where her African American family struggled with many of the problems resulting from racism, poverty, and inadequate education. Marie is the youngest of thirteen children and the first in her family to graduate from college. She earned a master’s degree in social work from Washington University. She has held a variety of professional positions, including the Director of Social Services at UCSF for twelve years, where she was also an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics. During a two-year sabbatical from her directorship, she developed and facilitated a Cultural Awareness and Race Relations Education program for the UCSF campus: faculty, staff, and students. She has more than forty years of experience working as a psychotherapist, family counselor, administrator, consultant, teacher, and researcher. She has written a number of professional papers and lectures.
Ms. Simmons was married briefly and raised many children for many years. She assisted many adult children to grow up by teaching them the art of gentle self-discipline. She was raised Baptist but always believed that the Spirit is universal. She has been a seeker all of her life and has studied many religions ranging from Christianity to Hinduism to Buddhism and everything in between. She was surprised to discover that in truth all these disciplines are saying the same thing: We are all one, and we should love one another as Ourselves. She is convinced beyond any doubt that there are many roads to the mountain, but only one top and the top is Love. She asked God to teach her to love indiscriminately and unconditionally. The first lesson love taught her was that it is not personal. For the past ten years, she has been involved in an intense physical and mental experience of a spiritual transformation which has led to the writing of this book.
Which five words best describe Marie’s Treasure Chest?
Words of wisdom, community, family, and Love of self and others
Can you share one highlight from the book?
THE QUALITIES. Receiving the wisdom of those who’ve gone before me, along with the lessons I’ve learned directly from life, there are a few things I know for sure: there are universal principles that govern life. I believe they are the foundation for a meaningful life. The way to ensure that you will receive what you want is to give it. This is the reciprocal nature of the universe, sometimes called the Golden Rule or Karma; as you do unto others it shall be done to you. Marie bequeaths her vast “fortune” –the wisdom of the ages– to her children, family, friends, and to you, the reader. Your inheritance is to be found in a treasure chest full of precious jewels, named in the upcoming list of Qualities in this golden booklet. Remember, they are not personal! Your personal treasure chest is located in your own backyard. Everybody has one. These Qualities are tools to help you find yours. The universe loves a happy learner. Use your inheritance to guide you in rowing your boat gently down life’s stream…merrily! for life is but a dream.
What is the purpose of this book?
To bequeath her wisdom and experiences to her family, friends, and the world.
Are there themes that you find turn up again and again in your work? A common thread?
Yes working on self and using tools from the book to do so.
Which character or part of the book was the most fun to write? Which part was the hardest?
It was a joy to put her book together. I took the qualities from her big book and just thought the qualities stood out by themselves and needed to be separated. The highlight was getting it completed.
Can you tell us something that even your most loyal fans may not know about you?
Yes I am a Betty Boop fan and I believe in creating self-care moments like a wilding out moment of dance
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Learn to accept yourselves and show yourselves love. It’s alright to be different who can say what the norm is. We are all individually and wonderfully made, which is our norm.