NEW YORK – From the start, Goldie Hawn (search) knew what kind of book she DIDN'T want to write. No salacious details, no tell-all, behind-the-scenes gossipfest about everyone she's met in the entertainment industry over the last 30 years or so.
"I tried to do it in such a way that I didn't feel any different than anybody else," she told The Associated Press on Monday, the release date for her memoir, "A Lotus Grows in the Mud." (search)
"We all share in life's journey, and the emotions that come up and the difficulties that arise because that's what life does," Hawn said during an interview in her midtown apartment, decorated with Buddhas and other Asian art.
The book is roughly chronological, moving from her childhood to her days as a dancer to her acting career, and from her first marriage to her relationship with longtime partner Kurt Russell and her children. But it's less about recounting all those events than it is about using particular memories to discuss specific emotions and philosophies.
So the chapter that illustrates her belief in the importance of prayer and faith is about the medical concerns surrounding the birth of her son Oliver. To illustrate her feelings about power, she talks about the problems she faced in making the movie "Swing Shift." Other sections talk about her feelings on success, relationships among siblings, mothers and daughters and facing the death of loved ones.
"I wrote it for anyone who is interested in transformation or transition or understanding that the lotus does grow in the mud," said Hawn, sitting on a sofa near a large picture window, her feet drawn up beneath her gauzy gray skirt, her toes painted a deep burgundy.
The title of the book comes from an encounter she had with a Tibetan monk, who used the example of the lotus as a symbol of the human spirit, and said it could only grow when faced with the challenges and obstacles of life.
It's about living without fear, said Hawn, who turns 60 in November.
"I'm not a master at this, but I am continually trying to learn these lessons," she said. "As life goes on, let it go, it's going to do what it's going to do and the outcome is what you need to know."
The book isn't the only way Hawn is trying to share her outlook. About a year ago, she founded the Bright Light Foundation (search), an organization that focuses on finding ways to teach children how to handle negative emotions and anger, and finding different ways to resolve conflict.
Although she has no intentions of leaving the film industry — she's written a movie script and plans to direct it — she's enjoying her work with the foundation and what it's trying to do.
"Acting is a total blast, I love it, but I'm loving what I'm learning, and I'm loving working with the children and I'm loving learning new science and moving into worlds where I go to conferences and I talk to people about things that are new to me," Hawn said. "I'm having a lot of fun."