November-December 2021: A Note from Hope & Cynthia, the Truly Amazing Women project— As residents of Las Cruces, NM, we love featuring the truly amazing women we have met in this gorgeous part of the world.
Today, we are happy to bring you one of the town’s radio celebs, Lisa Lucca, who is also an author, life coach, and all-around cool woman. Scroll down for an essay about her life and career, responses to our 4 questions about What’s Next. Please check out her survivor story, “Ashes to Ink: A Memoir,” available now on Amazon.
We know you’ll appreciate her wit and perspective as much as we do! Scroll down for more!
A Star is Born
My career began in the entertainment industry in the 1980s. For 15 years I worked in the world of music, film, and television serving on a world tour with Janet Jackson in production management, as a producer for In Concert Against AIDS and Earthquake Relief telethons in San Francisco, in administration at LucasFilm, as Director of Marketing for Rosemont Theater outside Chicago, and at a Nashville artist management company in marketing and promotion.
For the past 17 years, I have been a life and business coach working with hundreds of clients to help them achieve extraordinary goals. While serving as an eWomen Network Success Coach, I was cited as one of the top coaches in North America.
Coaching has put me in front of dozens of groups as a motivational speaker inspiring them to create the life they want in the life they have. I host a weekly public radio talk show, Live True with Lisa Lucca, bringing information and insight to my listeners.
As a writer, I have contributed to several anthologies, co-wrote You Are Loved, with my partner, Mark Mathias. And, I am currently finishing my memoir, “Ashes to Ink: A Memoir,” which will be available Oct. 19, 2021.
My Survivor Story
It was the dawn of JFK’s Camelot when I was born in idyllic Midwestern suburbia to young newlywed parents. A decade later, we were a family of four living the American Dream—until my father’s secret shattered it.
So begins this daughter’s story of the complicated relationship I shared with my gay father, and how feelings of betrayal, confusion, and longing impacted my own search for love.
In the book, I walk readers down an independent woman’s path — the thrilling and the mundane — while sharing my experience of how I navigated the shifting cultural norms regarding LGBTQ families. Ultimately, my goal is to show the profound power of acceptance.
My memoir isn’t one of abuse or extraordinary heroics, instead, it is an intimate portrait of one family.
The conversation in my head when I began writing this memoir was with my younger self, the one who was 14 years old and had just found out her dad was gay, a seismic event that rocked the foundation of my world in 1975. With a Catholic mother who continued her devotion to the only man she had loved since high school and a narcissistic father whose cavalier introduction of his new lover to our lives felt like the ultimate betrayal, I was an all-American teenage girl ripe for a rebellion born of abandonment and shame.
With a running narrative of the ever-evolving normalization of LGBTQ families, beginning at a time when it was taboo to even talk about, my story includes the coming out of my younger sister in 1991, illustrating the differences between learning you have a gay parent versus a sibling, aunt, or grandparent, in a culture inching slowly towards inclusion and rights still being addressed to this day.
Woven into this memoir is how my family impacted my unique path to becoming who I am, from high school dropout to touring with rock stars, from marriage to a good ‘ole boy to raising our son on my own, from self-absorbed seeker to life coach, all the while on a heartbreaking search for the love I thought I lost when Dad left us.
As I overcame some of the deepest wounds my relationship with my father created, I realized it was his narcissism that complicated our relationship for decades, not him being gay, shining a bright light on the damage a narcissistic parent can have on a child’s self-esteem, and the possibility for redemption through forgiveness. The story ends with my father’s death in a touching tribute to the good man I came to love beneath the father who disappointed me for decades.
Most of all, this is a story about the freedom that comes with embracing acceptance and how seeing people for who they really are allows us to see ourselves more clearly.
Scroll down for more insights from this Truly Amazing Woman!
Lisa Lucca Shares Her Insights on What’s Next?
Hope & Cynthia: Tell us briefly about your business/industry and where it was before the pandemic hit in March 2020.
Lisa Lucca: As a life and business coach for the past 17 years, I was fortunate to have a thriving practice that is phone-based so I already worked from home. As I have moved from Chicago to the San Francisco Bay Area to Las Cruces, NM since becoming a coach, all that changed when I moved was my time zone! Much of my work was with people in life transition. When the pandemic hit I could still continue working, although most people shifted their focus with me to navigate this challenging time. As a radio host of Live True, my shows became about the impact of COVID 19 on many different populations across the country from the 60-something single woman living alone in her Manhattan high-rise to the families here in Las Cruces trying to home-school their kids while working from home. Now we all seem to be in transition during this time.
Hope & Cynthia: Where were you personally in your life at that time? What were your short and long-term goals at the time?
Lisa: I have been the happiest I have ever known since moving to New Mexico 2.5 years ago. My move here with my long-time partner, Mark, meant sharing a home after 7 years together which has been great for us both for many reasons. I was knee-deep in finishing my memoir which I completed this year. As I tweak the final edit to prepare for publication, I am meeting my goal of finishing this passion project by my 60th birthday later this year. That, combined with coaching such incredible people and producing quality radio shows has made this a good year in spite of spending most of it at home.
Hope & Cynthia: Where are you now: your industry, your business, your personal life, your heart?
Lisa: Having gotten into coaching back in the days when you had to explain to people what it means to have a coach has given me such joy as I’ve seen my profession grow and develop over nearly two decades. Working with some clients for many years has given me the chance to see them blossom and grow over time and to do remarkable things. Then a new client comes along and reinvigorates my passion for watching someone discover their gifts and start to deliver them. My radio show gives me a chance to tell some of those stories, and to showcase wonderful people in this community and across the country.
Personally, I am blessed to have the love of my life with me every day, and pursuits of my own, like writing, that give me a life separate from the one we share. My life is filled with a circle of women friends who lift me and love me and are part of my heart. Moving my mother, who lives in the Chicago area, to an independent living community was important to me this year, too, and I’m grateful we did that March 1st just before the pandemic hit, making life easier for her and my sister, with a lot less worry for me. Seeing my son make choices that moved him from Chicago to Nashville, where he wants to be and where I know he will thrive, is another milestone that makes my heart full.
Hope & Cynthia: Now the big question — What do you see coming next and where do you think we are going from here?
- For your industry: More and more people will continue to turn to coaches to help them navigate their lives and careers, with more niche coaching dedicated to specific needs.
- For your company: I will continue to work with clients who find their way to me, as I feel like a magnet for those I can help create the life they want in the life they have.
- For yourself: I will publish my memoir, sell the film rights, begin work on my next book, produce thought-provoking radio shows, and thrive in this lovely community while tending to my Self in mind, body, and spirit.
- For the country: We have a dire situation in our country that has been brought to a head by the current administration, the pandemic, and racial unrest. I see slow healing begin in 2021 as we unite under a new administration with leadership that honors all Americans.
- For the world: The global impact of the forced breath of fresh air that the pandemic created showed us a glimpse of what can be when our planet pauses from the extremely toxic ways we humans have treated her. We have far to go to heal the Earth, and to having respect from the rest of the world as Americans, yet I believe we have the capacity for both.
- For women: Women in leadership across the globe have proven that the strengths of compassion, empathy, peace, and unity are the way to a viable future for our planet and the human race. We proved in 2018 that women in the US have a voice and demand to be heard. I see us moving boldly into a future where women leaders take on the ills of the world with the kind of confident grace that has been lacking in our patriarchal system.
Learn more about Lisa’s work at:
- Radio Host on KTAL-LP