Naomi's Breakthrough Guide: 20 Choices to Transform Your Life

Naomi's Breakthrough Guide: 20 Choices to Transform Your Life

by Naomi Judd
     
 

Naomi Judd is affectionately called the Star Next Door, but she's also a survivor. In Naomi's Breakthrough Guide she shares her hard-won wisdom and outlines twenty important choices that will help readers improve their relationships, family life, career, and even their health. Blending candid personal stories, the science of happiness, and practical

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Overview

Naomi Judd is affectionately called the Star Next Door, but she's also a survivor. In Naomi's Breakthrough Guide she shares her hard-won wisdom and outlines twenty important choices that will help readers improve their relationships, family life, career, and even their health. Blending candid personal stories, the science of happiness, and practical exercises with anecdotes about well-known friends and family, Naomi's Breakthrough Guide is an essential companion and guide for anyone seeking to turn potential breakdowns into life-altering breakthroughs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Dean Ornish, M.D. Powerful, transformative, and healing. If you read only one book this year, this is it.

Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing and Eating Well for Optimum Health Naomi Judd is an inspiration. Combining native intelligence, the wisdom of experience, good humor, and the collected advice of a remarkable set of friends and colleagues, she explains what she has learned and gives sound and sensible advice about how to find health and happiness in life.

Cheryl Richardson, author of Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, and Stand Up for Your Life This book is filled with the wisdom of a woman who has survived and thrived from the experience of life's dramatic ups and downs. With the loving-kindness of a dear friend, Naomi shares what she's learned about making smart life choices. If you'd like a good dose of inspiration along with sound, practical advice about how to transform your life, I urge you to read this book!

Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of the Spirit Naomi's inspiring book is the result of living through her own life-threatening health crisis and discovering, through her passionate commitment to healing, a wisdom that deserves to be shared with others. Her rich contributions come from the depths of her wide-open, loving soul. She is a wondrous healer.

John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus Naomi Judd is proof positive that you can turn heartbreak into happiness. This is an inspiring book for anyone who wants to achieve a personal breakthrough of their own.

Publishers Weekly
Country singing superstar Judd overcame medical odds by recovering from hepatitis C and wants others to benefit from her health regimen. In this lively and inspirational book, she offers a mix of autobiography, medical advice and just plain homespun talk from one plucky Southerner. Judd is up-front about her mistakes-she got pregnant the first time she had sex and ended up divorced and supporting two children in her 20s. She put herself through college during her 30s, earning a nursing degree, and only began her singing career at age 37. During her 40s and 50s, Judd's health declined, and after traditional treatments failed, she turned to alternative therapies and focused on decreasing stress and obtaining greater personal satisfaction. Judd found strength in religion, exercising and developing goals for the future. Her advice for others is both accessible and convincing. She discusses women who are all too willing to please the people around them: "No matter your age, you must establish boundaries. As you learn more about what you like and don't like, you can better explain it to others. Establishing emotional boundaries allows you to prevent your self-respect and character from being intruded upon." The book is strongest when Judd talks about her beliefs and experiences with her family. For example, "[I]t was my intuition that led me a few years later to go into the music business with Wy. It was also my intuition that told me Ashley was strong enough to handle Wy's and my touring. It helped me know Larry was the man for me...." Less effective are Judd's frequent references to other authors such as Joan Borysenko and Dr. Mona Schulz, all of which detract from Judd's own convincing and engaging writing. Still, this guide is uplifting, and one of the more solid of the various "self-help" titles from celebrities. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Singer, songwriter, and Hepatitis C survivor Judd here writes about her journey of self-discovery, aiming to help people understand what is involved in living a fully engaged life. Judd shares her personal life experiences and gives exercises that allow readers to become aware of their own feelings. The techniques include using the "mirror of truth," wherein one looks in the mirror and states that one loves oneself; developing the eight characteristics of a survivor personality, whether or not a terminal illness is present; and cultivating an "open belief" system so that the universe will help one to heal or to grow. Judd fans will especially like her Judd Family Feud Rules. One downfall is the author's simplistic "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" theory-that digging deeply into your past and talking it out ("facing your issues") is all that is needed to improve your life. She forgets that some people's emotional trauma runs deeper than hers and cannot be shaken off by such efforts. Recommended for larger public libraries.-Lisa Liquori, MLS, Syracuse, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743236638
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
12/21/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,121,700
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Peace of Mind Is the Goal

Welcome to a fantastic voyage of self-discovery! Fasten your seat belt, because we're going to explore the greatest frontier: our inner space. We're going to take a good look at ourselves, the only place where we have the power to change. We're going to focus on twenty breakthrough choices. These hard-won discoveries transformed my life for the better. I believe they can help you become happier too. Choice #1 is PEACE OF MIND IS THE GOAL. That's the destination of this journey of self-awareness.

If you know anything about me, you know that my life's taken a few unexpected curves and crashes along the way. But hey, at least I can say I took the scenic route! I'm living proof of the saying "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger." But because of these experiences, I've discovered a lot about the body-mind-spirit connection. Understanding how these interact and impact health and happiness may surprise you.

You may know that in 1964, at age eighteen, back in the small town of Ashland, Kentucky, I missed my high school graduation to give birth to Wynonna. Then, in my twenties, I had an unhappy first marriage. It did, however, produce my darling Ashley. The inevitable divorce forced me to become a single, working mom struggling alone with my two girls. Without skills or an education, I was relegated to minimum-wage jobs, like clerk, receptionist, and waitress. I even had to resort to welfare and food stamps. It was desperate and demeaning. So I put myself through college in my thirties and got an RN degree.

In 1979, I took a giant risk chasing a preposterous dream. I arrived in Nashville in an old, beat-up car with two young, high-spirited girls in the backseat. At age thirty-seven, I turned Wy's and my preposterous fantasy of becoming recording artists into reality. In my forties and fifties, I've proven medical authorities wrong after they coldly handed me a death sentence because of hepatitis C.

Today I'm radiantly healthy and happier than ever, and I'm using my restored energy to help others learn about themselves. Folks like you frequently come up to me on the street, in restaurants and airports, or at the grocery checkout counter and ask: how in the world have I survived all my broken-heart attacks, whacks, and setbacks? You wonder how my husband, Larry, and I have managed to stay in love since 1979. You wonder how Wynonna and Ashley have both achieved phenomenal success as artists — and how in the world, despite everyone's hectic schedule, we maintain our all-important familial bond.

It has been unbelievably frustrating for me not to have the time or the place to respond with answers to these questions and concerns, which are so obviously important to you and me. I've learned so much about how easy it is to make smarter choices and achieve greater peace of mind. That's why I'm both relieved and excited to have finally written this book for you.

You know me only through the media, as I am now, so which is harder for you to imagine: (1) that I was once lonely, broke, aimless, and desperate, or (2) that you can discover your own latent talent, enjoy a happy marriage and family life, be financially secure, and even beat your disease?

I hope you will learn more about your potential as I share with you just how I did it. I'm going to explain how I learned to make the choices that allowed me not only to survive but to thrive — to be more happy, healthy, and content than I have ever been before. I've done it against great odds — and I'm confident you can too.

0 When I come to your neighborhood, I hope we can get together to discuss where the choices I describe in this book have led you emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Ideas get even stronger when shared.

I thank God for my handicaps, for through them I've found myself, my work and my God. — Helen Keller

A Dead End Is Just a Good Place to Turn Around

As you sit there reading this page, how happy, peaceful, and fulfilled are you, on a scale of one to ten? Are you outside the door of the life you always thought you should have, desperately banging on it to get in? How about your relationships? Are you, as comedian Caroline Rhea put it, "one bad relationship from becoming one of those women who has thirty cats"? Is there some discrepancy between what you think you are worthy of and how other people are currently treating you? Is your job as satisfying as it can be? Do you get recognized and rewarded? Do you look forward to your day? Or do you feel like you're stuck in a rut? Are you able to handle any crisis, small or large, that broadsides you? Are you feeling lost, listless, restless, or bored? Are you battling an illness?

News flash: There's so much more out there waiting for you, my friend!

I define happiness as a state of well-being, full of the joy that comes from being satisfied with whatever you have and enjoying every day to the utmost. Health, happy marriage, good friends, well-rounded kids, financial security, comfortable lifestyle, and a purpose that allows you to express your talent and pay your bills — that's my definition of success. What's yours? One way to identify it is to ask yourself: If I won the lottery, what would I change in my life? What would I keep the same?

The concepts in this book will help you find your own unique path through the issues you're facing and make the choices that will bring greater satisfaction. Within these covers are questions to increase your awareness of the answers that are locked inside you. Hopefully you will come to understand just why you act and react the way you do — and why you aren't quite living the kind of life you'd like. You'll recognize people around you who are traveling the same path. You'll also begin spotting others in your life who are going off in completely different directions. You'll learn how to say to them, "Bless you as you go."

As we set out together, let me go on the record now and say that there is nothing different or special about Naomi Judd. I'm not an expert. An expert is just somebody from out of town with slides. I don't do slides or flowcharts. If anything, I've been an expert at making mistakes. I've lived out there on life's highways for twenty years as a touring entertainer. I am a "Road" scholar with a Ph.D. from the School of Hard Knocks. I majored in crisis management. This entire country's my research lab. You could say that I'm a student of human nature. I go wherever my questions lead. I'm always learning whatever I'm trying to teach.

I'll reveal some of my own personal mistakes and calamities to show you, by example, how a dead end is just a good place to turn around. I'll report cutting-edge research on health and the psychology of happiness. There's also commonsense wisdom I've absorbed over the years from everyday folks as I've traveled coast to coast. To quote Woodrow Wilson, "I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow."

I'll be revealing stories of famous people throughout this book since I know them personally and you know about them. I'll give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how they've been able to evolve on their voyages of self-discovery. I'm convinced you'll see how much alike we all truly are. Also, I want to prove to you that no one's born with their destiny stamped on their forehead. Nobody's born a great anything. We make the choices to fulfill our destiny.

The lowest ebb is the turn in the tide. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Crisis Means Danger and Opportunity

It has been a decade now since I wrote my candid autobiography, Love Can Build a Bridge. Since then, as difficult as these last ten years have been, I'm satisfied that every obstacle I've faced has been part of a much bigger plan. Suffering makes sense if you can step back and view it in a larger context. Everything in your life and mine is exactly the way it's supposed to be. This was a huge revelation for me! Discovering this lets me breathe a lot easier, gives me greater peace of mind, and allows me to expand instead of contract.

Stop now and give this insight time to register with you. Every crisis offers a treasure trove of information about ourselves. (That's why they call it an emergency — you emerge and see.) A crisis prompts us to raise our consciousness and choose to open up to more of who we're meant to be. It also shows us just how many more dimensions there are to living. In the Chinese language, the word "crisis" is made up of two characters, depicting "danger" and "opportunity." It's always up to you and me to choose, at every crossroads, which path we take.

Consider your latest crisis. What was the nature of the impending threat, and what was the potential opportunity? What path did you go down? Why? What did you learn? How will you react next time?

During my crisis with hepatitis C, I chose the opportunity route. I made the choice to tap into a reserve strength that was deeper than I ever expected. Call it resilience, will, or moral fiber. In the process, I discovered what it takes to persevere in the face of the loss of what I hold dearest — and to stare death squarely in the eye. If I hadn't chosen to go for the opportunities to learn from my predicament, I'd probably be dead. Surviving isn't as complicated or mysterious as you're probably thinking. What it takes is (1) a great deal of faith in oneself, (2) an openness to taking in new information, and (3) a belief in a higher power.

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. — Otto Rank

Dare to Fulfill Your Birthright!

I was feeling terribly ill and, of course, mentally depressed when doctors announced there was no known cure for hepatitis C and I'd probably die within three years. The only available treatment was interferon, and my first round of interferon injections didn't have the desired effect. Instead of submitting to despair, I chose to step out in faith and trust in God. Hebrews 11:1 states, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." I promised God, myself, and my family that I was going to learn everything I could about this mysterious disease. I vowed to figure out a way to beat it. I also made the decision that I would eventually share whatever I learned, to somehow help others.

I was one angry patient when I experienced firsthand the grim reality of what's wrong with our health care system. (I refer to it as the "wealth care system.") I naively expected managed care to manage to care! Rather than asking how I was feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, the first question anyone asked was "Who's your insurance carrier?" Even though I'm a nurse, I was shocked. I'm now fully aware that our medical system needs healing. I want to be part of helping medicine treat the whole person and teach prevention and wellness.

You may not be facing a medical crisis. But whatever mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual challenges you are now facing, I'm offering information, hope, and comfort in these pages. I'm sentencing you to live.

If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it. — Jonathan Winters

You Are One — Body, Mind, and Spirit

I had already begun studying everything I could get my hands on about hepatitis C, this "silent killer" that will kill four times more Americans than AIDS in the next decade. But it was journalist Bill Moyers's groundbreaking 1990 PBS documentary series Healing and the Mind that launched me into an investigation that wound up saving my life and expanding my consciousness. Bedridden, I watched one expert after another talk about different paths to healing. This was TV at its finest — "tell-a-vision." The award-winning Moyers special encouraged me to search for a different path to healing.

It was one of the most fascinating learning experiences of my adventurous life. As I delved into understanding how we are whole beings with emotions, lifestyles, and spiritual needs, I learned how our lifestyles can cause all sorts of mental distress and disease, and that good health is much more than the absence of disease. I was shocked to discover that 85 percent of all illnesses are stress related. In fact the World Health Organization has proclaimed stress to be the number-one global epidemic.

As a result of choosing to be proactive in fighting my disease, I had a physical breakthrough instead of a breakdown. It was a bitter, frightening battle, but I've won! In 1995, Dr. Bruce Bacon, a leading liver specialist and former medical adviser for the American Liver Foundation, pronounced the hepatitis C virus completely gone from my body. I represent the "body of evidence" of what I've learned.

This book represents another phase of my insatiable curiosity. I no longer consider myself to be simply an entertainer who's miraculously survived a life-threatening disease. I've graduated. I'm an "infotainer." I have always been a communicator — whether writing or singing a song, acting, giving a lecture, chatting with a stranger, or writing a book. I'm living proof that your choice of how to respond to a situation constitutes your ultimate power. It's time for you to find that power and begin getting all you deserve.

Each time we squarely face and successfully handle a problem, we become aware of even more options. My hope is that somewhere in these pages you'll recognize just how broad your range of choices is. Psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, "When all you have is a hammer, you see everything as a nail." In these upcoming pages, you're going to assemble your very own personalized toolbox full of emotional, physical, and spiritual tools. That way you can reach for them anytime you desire to fix something in your mind, body, or spirit.

When we stand together

It's our finest hour.

We can do anything

If we keep believing in the power.

— "Love Can Build a Bridge," Naomi Judd

Winning the Peace Prize

You don't have to be going through a hard time to benefit from the messages in this book. You might just have a yearning to become even happier. As your guide, I'll recommend that you slow down and turn down the volume of background noise in your life. Also, get ready for an epiphany as you come to understand how your self-esteem affects everything. We'll be working primarily on your relationship with yourself since it predicts the kind of relationships you'll have with others.

And if we win, we win the grand prize, the peace prize. That's because peace of mind is the ultimate goal. I've met kings and queens, world leaders, presidents, movie stars, rock stars, Nobel laureates, sports figures, and every other kind of famous personage. I can tell you we all want the same thing — peace of mind. That is why it is Choice #1.

Peace of mind isn't the absence of problems; peace of mind comes from your ability to deal with them. Peace of mind is both the first and the ultimate choice we make through exercising the other nineteen choices in this book. The more we understand ourselves and what's standing in the way of our being as happy and healthy as we can, and the more eager we become to risk following our dreams and offering our gifts to others, the more worthy we feel, the more we choose peace of mind.

This doesn't mean we will ever have all the answers. As humans, we are always in the process of becoming. But when we trust ourselves and the process, we evolve. Once Wy was lying in my lap on our couch in the kitchen crying about her divorce. "Mom, am I ever going to have it all together?" She was hoping to hear a soothing "Of course you will, sweetheart." Instead, I responded, "No, 'cause that would be like saying you could breathe, eat, or sleep once and for all. Life is a process. Let's stick together and do the best we can. We either find a way or make a way, one day at a time." There was a long pause. Wy sighed, "Yeah, 'cause if it ain't one thing, it's your mother."

Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is usually more than the outcome. — Arthur Ashe

Life Is Short, but It's Wide

Today is the first day of the rest of an altogether more peaceful and fulfilling life. You can consciously choose a better way of relating to yourself and others. You can attract more of what you desire and discover brand-new opportunities.

We get only one go-around in life, so let's get it right! Don't waste another single drop of your potential for happiness. If you've been sleepwalking through parts of your life, this is your wake-up call. Open your eyes now to the truth all around you. Open your heart and mind to what really matters to you. Begin to ask questions. Begin to think and behave like the person you want to be! I know you can do it.

Select a spot that is quiet and comfortable for you, as my kitchen table is for me. Designate that space your own sacred "growth place." Pretend that I have just made you your favorite comfort meal, and picture me sitting in an empty chair as your companion and support.

Here we grow...

Copyright © 2004 by Naomi Judd

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What People are saying about this

Christiane Northrup
Naomi Judd's remarkable life, including her recovery from hepatitis C, is living proof that she knows what she's talking about. Listen to her wisdom. She's been there. She can help you.
—M.D., author, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause
Joan Borysenko
This book is a treasure-clear, accessible, wise, funny and transformative. Naomi delivers powerful truths with ease and humor, in a comforting style that makes you feel like you're sitting in your living room talking with your best friend. She helps you understand how you shape your world one choice at a time.
— Ph.D. author, Inner Peace for Busy Women
Caroline Myss
Naomi's inspiring book is the result of living through her own life-threatening health crisis and discovering, through her passionate commitment to healing, a wisdom that deserves to be shared with others. Her rich contributions come from the depths of her wide-open, loving soul. She is a wondrous healer.
—author, Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of the Spirit
Mona Lisa Schultz
From Kentucky, to Hollywood, to Nashville, Naomi Judd has used her indomitable spirit to transcend hardship and create breakthroughs in her life, first in the music business and later in her health. In Naomi's Breakthrough Guide, she let's us in on how she did it. What an inspiration!
—MD, Ph.D., Neuropsychiatrist and Medial Intuitive, author, Awakening Intuition
From the Publisher
Dean Ornish, M.D. Powerful, transformative, and healing. If you read only one book this year, this is it.

Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing and Eating Well for Optimum Health Naomi Judd is an inspiration. Combining native intelligence, the wisdom of experience, good humor, and the collected advice of a remarkable set of friends and colleagues, she explains what she has learned and gives sound and sensible advice about how to find health and happiness in life.

Cheryl Richardson, author of Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, and Stand Up for Your Life This book is filled with the wisdom of a woman who has survived and thrived from the experience of life's dramatic ups and downs. With the loving-kindness of a dear friend, Naomi shares what she's learned about making smart life choices. If you'd like a good dose of inspiration along with sound, practical advice about how to transform your life, I urge you to read this book!

Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of the Spirit Naomi¹s inspiring book is the result of living through her own life-threatening health crisis and discovering, through her passionate commitment to healing, a wisdom that deserves to be shared with others. Her rich contributions come from the depths of her wide-open, loving soul. She is a wondrous healer.

John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus Naomi Judd is proof positive that you can turn heartbreak into happiness. This is an inspiring book for anyone who wants to achieve a personal breakthrough of their own.

Larry Dossey
Naomi Judd has emerged as a Wise Woman in our culture. She is a true heroine-one who courageously ventures into challenging territory, gains wisdom, and returns to share it. The "20 Choices" in this book reflect not only Judd's personal wisdom, but good psychology and good science as well. Naomi Judd is a national treasure.
—MD, author, Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing Medicine, and Healing Words
Dean Ornish
"Powerful, transformative, and healing. If you read only one book this year, this is it."
—M.D. , Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, author, Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease and Love & Survival

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Meet the Author

Naomi Judd, a country music superstar as well as one of the most admired women in the entertainment industry, has sold more than twenty million albums and won six Grammys and American Music Awards. She's received three honorary doctorates in the arts and nursing and is a highly sought after speaker. As a humanitarian and social advocate, she is the spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation. Author of two bestsellers, Naomi's Breakthrough Guide and Love Can Build a Bridge, she has also written three children's books and Naomi's Home Companion, a collection of recipes and kitchen-table wisdom. Her skin care line Esteem can be found at www.mynaomi.com.

Naomi is also the host of her own TV show, Naomi's New Morning, which airs on Sundays on the Hallmark Channel.

She lives with her husband, Larry Strickland, outside of Nashville, Tennessee, on a farm called Peaceful Valley, which she shares with her daughters Wynonna and Ashley and their families.

Visit her website at www.Naomijudd.com

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