The Heroine’s Journey of Sioux Oliva

What is the best thing that I love about my work?
Learning. I love to answer questions by digging deeper into whatever topic I am researching. Research leads to more queries that help me understand the world in new ways.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Traveling. Going to new or well known places and experiencing them is a sublime experience for me. I am very visually-oriented with a strong dose of wanderlust. Moving across the landscape taking it all in is a favorite luxury.
What is my greatest fear?  
My greatest fear is the absence of choice.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
Being negative.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?
This depends on what I am researching at the time. I have a rather fluid approach to my interests. I admire many historians but I don’t have a list of who I most admire. Great storytellers with an open mind, lots of generosity in their heart and a wonderful mind. Walter Issacson, David Gramm, Annette Gordon-Reed, William Finbegan, David McCullough, and Reza Aslan are a few historians I’ve admired in the past few months.
What is my greatest extravagance?  
My greatest extravagance is eating out at restaurants. I love to be in public observing people. Being alone in an urban restaurant with good reading material is a guilty pleasure.
On what occasion would I lie?  
It would be an in the moment decision to protect someone from hurt or injury.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
Selling myself and my work.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
Writing and researching my book, DR. SADLER AND THE URANTIA BOOK: The Historic Origins of a Spiritual Revelation in the 20th Century, ( as it caused me to reevaluate some long held beliefs.
If I could, what would I change about myself?  
I find as I get older I am less patient than I would like to be.
What is my greatest achievement in work?  
My main achievements were earning my Ph.D. by writing my dissertation, IGNITING TRIBAL FIRES: Indian Sovereignty, Gaming, and Incorporation into the World System, 1946-1996, and writing my first book on Dr. Sadler.
Where would I most like to live? 
On a beach in California in close proximity to a vibrant metropolitan area with a university.
What is my most treasured possession?
My mind.
What is my most marked characteristic?
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?  
The view from my house. It is situalted on the side of a mountain, I overlook a lush valley with a creek running through the middle of it, below are fields of grain and pastures with horses, cows, and goats.  Across the valley are a series of mountain ranges. The clouds come and go across the sky, making for dramatic and spectacular  sunsets.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?
Although I live in Asheville, I think of myself as a Southern Californian. When I am in Asheville my favorite bar is Sovereign Remedies.  My favorite restaurant is Limones because (Mexican food is my favorite cuisone. Back in Los Angeles it would be sushi at Katsu-Ya.
What books influenced my life and how?
There are several books that influenced my life but the most important one is The Urantia Book. The Urantia Book is a large tome about the origin, history and destiny of earth. I discovered it on a friend’s coffee table when I was 17. The Urantia Book gave me an outline about the origin and destiny of the universe that spoke to me for decades. Upon further critical thinking and research I stopped taking it literally and grew into a more open, unknowing, and faith-based philosophy.
Who are my favorite writers?
Most of them are writers that appear in the New Yorker. Their storytelling and reporting keep me entertained and informed. Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War; Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China; Robin Wright who wrote several books including, Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant IslamAmy Davidson who writes on international affairs for the magazine; David Remick, editor of the New Yorker writes many incisive articles; and the historian Louis Menand, who wrote The Metaphysical Club. 
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
On the last day of my life I would listen to a collection of songs that reflected memories of my life journey. From The Beatles, The Monkees, Three Dog Night, Yes, Boz Scaggs, Todd Rungren, down through hip hop, jazz, Broadway show tunes and classical.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
People who return good for evil. Who rise above whatever circumstance to come from a place of love. Elie Wiesel, the Pope, Dalai Lama, and the less known who act from a loving and forgiving place.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? 
I don’t have one movie to recommend. As a fan of Classic Hollywood I would suggest a variety of the greats, “The Wizard of Oz,” “Citizen Kane,” All About Eve,” “Mary Poppins,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “It Happened One Night,” “Casablanca, “Swingtime,” “Rear Window,” and “The Leopard.”
What role plays art in my life and work?
Art is the way I express my imagination and technical skill as an historian. As an academic we are taught to rely on facts and leave emotion out of the mix. In my writing of personal and family history I seek to blend facts with emotional power to draw people in. If people feel something it can create interest into the story. And history is about great factual storytelling.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?  
My husband. He loves and challenges me every day inviting me to increase my Zen.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017?  
For my research on the history of meditation, I would like to interview early practitioners of the craft, especially those who studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in February 1968 in Rishikesh, India, in order to better understand their experience and how their lives were transformed. They include Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Cynthia Lennon, Donovan, Mia and Prudence Farrow, and Mike Love.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017?
If I could choose a group it would be journalist Charlie Rose, NPR’s Terry Gross, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Director in the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, historians David McCullough, James M. McPherson, astrophysicist Neil Lagrasse Tyson, and Norman Lear to talk about what they think about religion and spirituality. We would eat lunch at the restaurant Da Paolino on island of Capri which is located in the middle of a lemon orchard.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?
I am writing my memoir in 2017.  It is challenging and interesting to weave one’s life into a narrative that will be relatable and engaging.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017?
You can visit my website to read more about me. I’m writing a spiritual memoir now for publication in late 2018.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? 
“Passion Never Retires” means that what motivates you will never cease. Your heart and loves are true.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Susan Roy, historian and author
Mary Sechrist Bartow, VP at Sotheby’s in New York
Lyn Lear, philanthropist
How can you contact me?
You may contact me through my website, or my email

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