Dancing in the Narrows

A Mother Daughter Odyssey
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Topanga author, healer, and mother Anna Penenberg spends her days writing, hiking, gardening, reading, dancing, and practicing Kundalini Yoga. It wasn’t always so. Her daughter Dana contracted a mysterious disease as a teenager that turned their world upside down. After entering the labyrinth in search of healing, they would eventually learn she suffered from chronic Lyme disease.

“The experience of dealing with a misunderstood disease inspired me to follow my curiosity about the body’s intelligence,” explains Anna. “As a healer, it led me to alternative health practices and a deeper knowing of the human experience.” It also motivated her to write a memoir, Dancing in the Narrows, documenting their spiritual, emotional, and physical passage through chronic illness.

Anna had written in journals since the age of 11. “Our lives changed so drastically that I began to write about it,” she says. “I realized it was important to share our story.” Anna’s book transports us along their path through Western medicine to more holistic therapies. Their inspirational journey winds through pain and darkness, unconditional love, adventure, and finally back into the light.

“I wrote this story to inspire hope,” says Anna. She and her daughter built a bond that can never be broken. Along the way, they also learned the importance of patience and creativity, eating healthily, laughing together, and sharing simple joys. “When my daughter Dana finally got better, we had to heal our intense feelings of fear and be kind to ourselves as we recovered from trauma.” Their story is one of deep love, risks, losses, and how family is ever present in one’s life. Anna succinctly sums it up: “Take good care of your health, live in joy, bless your community, know you are not alone, and be inspired to live your unique life where anything can happen.” Visit Anna’s website at annapenenberg.com to learn more.