Don't expect Dr. Daisy Nelson White to spend a day browsing sales racks at the mall, concocting recipes in the kitchen, or digging in the dirt all for the sake of homegrown tomatoes. The shopping, cooking and gardening genes were never planted in her.
Do expect Daisy to get wrapped up in meaningful conversations, listen to what others are saying and ponder questions such as, "What am I supposed to be doing the rest of my life?" "I don't have a sensing bone in my body. Sensing is like, here. Present. Your socks match," Daisy said. "All of a sudden, I'm awakening to the sensing part, which is the eyes, ears, versus just the intuitive intellectual part. I've always been a from-the-neck-up-to-the-head person."
Daisy's interest in human behavior began long before the early 1990s, which was the time she joined her husband's, Charles White, consulting firm White Ridgely Associates. The company specializes in inspiring professionals to reach higher potentials. Daisy's professional background is vast, working in both social services agencies and for-profit companies. Among her many roles, Daisy was a teacher-therapist of emotionally dysfunctional children in New York. She also worked as an art and family therapist on Staten Island.
"I grew up in a family where there was every material thing and no emotional connection," said Daisy, a middle child among four. "I grew up saying, 'Nobody is talking to anybody'. Right from the beginning, I was medaling in everybody's business, and learned that nobody listens. My biggest passion is listening and being a midwife to their understanding and possibilities for themselves."
While Daisy's listening and nurturing skills are quickly recognized, even by new acquaintances, she said one of her latest projects has been exploring her own personal journey. For 18 years, she and Charles were part of a lifestyle typical to the region: Successful business people, commuting between two homes. Their rat race was defined by two weeks a month in Baltimore, and two weeks at their home on Callawassie Island.
"I realized I was doing that so I could say at each place, 'I can't join the club,' or 'I can't do that thing because I gotta go,'" Daisy said. "My whole theme was 'I gotta go.'"
The couple, who are both avid golfers, did that until two years ago before they came to another moment of awakening. "I went to a workshop with the poet Mark Nepo and came out of it somewhat under whelmed. Then it hit me like a tsunami," Daisy said. "The guy survived brain cancer and his message was simple: Get rid of what's keeping you from what's most important to you."
Daisy said she went home and began cleaning up her office, but knew she needed to organize more than her stacks of papers. "I needed to be in one place instead of two and to put down roots someplace. I needed to stop running away from the things I really want to do, because I'm spending my life driving 10 hours each way up and down I-95," Daisy said.
That's when they left Baltimore in the rear-view mirror and became permanent residents of Callawassie Island. After owning six properties and three homes on the island-inching closer to the river-the couple now live in a home on the Colleton River. Charles continues to spend the majority of the month traveling to clients, while Daisy has generated an area clientele base.
Along with planting permanent roots in Beaufort County, Daisy said she also realized she's been procrastinating with her personal goals. She'd always wanted to paint and write, and now she's well on her way. She paints in acrylic and oil and categorizes her work as "very representational."
Her interest in writing resulted in her and Charles' first book titled Getting to Great Idea! Stop Whining. Start Winning. The informational guide is a modern fable, told through a young woman, Beatryce, who goes through a journey that leads her to "Great Idea!" It is set to be released this month.
"Communication on all levels is difficult at best," Daisy said. "In nearly 30 years of working in organizations, we have found that the process of managing expectations-which includes clarification, negotiation, and execution-is the key to success. That's what the book is about."
Background: Born in Baltimore. Resident of Callawassie Island for 20 years, permanently for two.
Family: Married to Charles White, five children between both from previous marriages, ages 32-to 45-year-old twins.
Education: Undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College; Master's degree in art therapy and creativity development from Pratt Institute; Doctorate in transformative learning and behavioral change from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Last book read: Entering the Castle by Caroline Myss. "I get chills when I think about it."
Interests: Golf, reading, traveling, kayaking, walking the dogs and cats.