CHARLESTON, W.Va. - After more than a decade of struggling to begin her book, Maggie Cook wrote "Mindful Success" in two months.
Her first efforts caused painful flashbacks to childhood and depression.
Then one day while meditating, Cook said she realized success depended on forgiveness, acceptance and understanding. She called her mother and her siblings to discuss her past.
"I've been wanting to write a book about my life for a long time," she said. "I suffered so much neglect and abuse growing up in an orphanage. I couldn't get a certain number of pages.
"During meditation, I heard a voice telling me, 'When you can forgive and understand your parents and your siblings, you will be able to transform people's lives.' I picked up the phone and called my mother and my siblings. I said 'I forgive you. Will you forgive me?' "
They shared painful issues and came to terms with the past.
"This huge weight was lifted off my shoulders with forgiveness, acceptance and understanding," she said.
And she was finally able to write the book she had been trying to write for 10 years.
While she had already achieved success, she needed to put her life in writing.
Magdalena De La Cruz Cook-Garcia, 34, started with nothing and grew a lucrative salsa business.
Maggie's All Natural Fresh Salsas and Dips is housed in a St. Albans warehouse where employees turn out 10,000 products a day for distribution in 30 states.
She grew up in Mexico with parents who were missionaries. They cared for more than 200 children and adopted 60 of them. She was one of eight biological children born to Maria Lucia Garcia Romero De Cook and John Charles Cook Lawson, a Beckley native and NASA research scientist. Her father, who passed away in 2009, was also a doctor and a minister.