The Secrets about Life Every Woman Should Know: Ten Principles for Total Emotional and Spiritual Fulfillmentby Barbara De Angelis
This is an inspirational and practical guide for creating the kind of true freedom we are all seeking, the freedom that comes from knowing how to tap into a powerful inner state of confidence, clarity, and peace, and how to protect it from all of lifes ups and downs. With her trademark blend of wisdom, compassion, and warmth, De Angelis shows us how we tend to… See more details below
This is an inspirational and practical guide for creating the kind of true freedom we are all seeking, the freedom that comes from knowing how to tap into a powerful inner state of confidence, clarity, and peace, and how to protect it from all of lifes ups and downs. With her trademark blend of wisdom, compassion, and warmth, De Angelis shows us how we tend to sabotage our own search for happiness and offers invaluable tools for building an inner center of emotional and spiritual self-reliance. Secrets about Life Every Woman Should Know invites the reader to discover a source of real emotional security.
- Hachette Books
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- 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Read an Excerpt
Secret Number OneEverything You Need to Be Happy Is Inside of You Let me tell you a story whose origins are from ancient India about the search for happiness: In the beginning, God created the universe and all the people in it so that everyone was aware of his or her true oneness with God, and the great love within themselves. These were the secrets of life, and, after all, God loved everyone, so why not give them the greatest gift He could think of? Then God sat back and watched the play of life with all of its dramas unfold.
But as He watched, He soon realized something was very wrong. Whenever a human being met with a challenge, or went through tough times, the person would say to himself, "This is awful. Why should I go through this? I am one with God, so I will just drop this human form and merge back into Him." And that is exactly what happened. One by one, each human would remember his true self, and be unwilling to play the game of life.
God was very disturbed by this dilemma. The purpose of life was for these beings to learn and grow, not to bail out when the going got rough. So He called an emergency meeting of all the divine beings.
"After much consideration," God began, "I have decided that we are going to have to hide the secret of life, the secret of happiness from these humans. If they remember it, they have no interest in living an earthly life."
"But where will we hide it?" one divine being asked.
"Let's hide it at the top of the highest mountain on earth," someone suggested.
"No, that won't work," God replied, shaking His head. "Human beings are resourceful. They will find ways to climb up there and discover it."
"What about at the bottom of the ocean? They'll never go there," another offered.
"Oh, yes they will," God interjected. "They'll invent submarines. The bottom of the ocean won't do."
"I've got it!" said a divine being. "Let's hide the secret of happiness in outer space. Surely then it will be impossible for the humans to locate."
"But they will create spaceships and fly there," God sighed. "None of these suggestions will work. Still,there must be somewhere we can hide the secrets about true happiness."
"I know where you can hide it," a soft voice replied. God looked up and saw a young, female angelic being He hadn't noticed before.
"Yes, my dear?" God asked. "Where do you think we should hide the secret?"
"Hide it deep within the human heart. They'll never look for it there."
God smiled, for He knew He'd found the answer. And then He made it so. And that's the way it has been ever since.
All of us spend our time here on earth searching for happiness, longing to discover the secrets for living a fulfilled and peaceful life. From our very first moments of existence as an infant until the day we die, we are motivated by the search for what we believe will make us happy: "I want to be fed...I want to be held...I want to crawl over and look in that cabinet...I want that toy...I want to go to the amusement park...I want to stay up and watch TV...I want to get on the cheerleading squad...I want those kids to like me...I want that guy to be my boyfriend...I want to go to the mall and buy that outfit...I want to get into a good college...I want to lose these extra ten pounds..."
"I want him to ask me to marry him...I want to have a fancy wedding...I want to find the perfect apartment...I want to find the perfect job...I want to get pregnant...I want my husband to be more intimate...I want to find a career that leaves me time for my children...I want to move into a bigger house...I want the kids to do well in school..."
"I want to have sex with my husband more often...I want the kids to go to college...I want my daughter to marry a nice boy...I want my son to stay in the family business...I want to take that trip to Europe we've always talked about...I want the kids to live close enough so we can visit the grandchildren often..."
"I want my husband to take better care of himself...I want to buy a condo in Florida for when we retire...I want to be well enough to attend my granddaughter's graduation...I want our investments to do well so I have enough money to live on if my husband passes away before me...I want to be able to have enough strength today to take a little walk...I want to see the ocean once more before I die..."
These are all lovely things to wish for.There is nothing wrong with these desires, or with the list you could write of what you believe would make you happy. But what happens inside of you when the things on your list don't come true? What happens in your heart when what you hope for in life doesn't happen? You and I both know the answer to these questions: When we don't get what we want, we suffer. We feel disappointed, or angry, or hurt, or anxious, or insecure, or confused, or betrayed, and definitely not happy. We have our list of expectations about life, about love, and we decide we are happy or not from moment to moment based on how many of those expectations are being met and how many are not. We go through this silent but deadly process of evaluating our happiness hundreds of times a day, perhaps dozens of times before we even leave the house in the morning. For instance: Your alarm goes off and you are awakened from sleep. Another day has begun. So far, the day is neutral, neither a good day nor a bad day--just a blank slate. You open one eye to glance over at the window and see what the weather is like. It's raining. "Darn," you think. "Traffic is going to be terrible." This is your first thought of the day. You have already decided that you aren't happy about something--the weather has not met your expectations and thus has disappointed you.
You roll out of bed and shuffle into the kitchen for your morning cup of coffee. Then you notice that your husband forgot to turn the automatic coffee machine on the night before, so there's no coffee ready. You sigh with annoyance. Expectation number two has not been met. You hear the kids stirring in their rooms, then determine that they are squabbling over who will use the bathroom first. Sigh again, this time with more irritation. "Hey, cut it out kids--you only have a half hour to get dressed and eat before the bus comes, so move it!" Good-bye to expectation number three, that your kids will calmly and quietly get ready for school without creating a fuss.
Back to your bedroom. Your husband is at the sink brushing his teeth. "Good morning, honey," you say cheerfully, kissing him on the cheek. "Morning," he mumbles back distractedly. You feel a painful tug in your heart, wishing he had greeted you with more affection, and as you wonder if something's wrong between you, your sense of well-being shrinks some more. You shower and dress. As you pull on your pants you notice that they seem tighter than you remember. "Oh no, I have gained a few pounds again," you lament. Another expectation crashes down as it collides with reality. It hasn't even been an hour since you woke, and already you have collected enough evidence to make yourself feel some degree of discontent and unhappiness.
I am sure you have your own version of this scenario, your own list of unmet expectations which build up during a typical day or a typical week and put you into a less than happy state of mind. You think: "If these things occur, I'll feel happy. But if these other things occur, I will feel unhappy." I know I have an unconscious list like this; most people do.
The problem with these lists of expectations is that they set us up for inevitable disappointment. Why? Because life is unpredictable. No matter how hard we try to control people and events and circumstances, we fail. People don't behave as we want them to. Circumstances change that we'd hoped would stay the same. Events occur that are not in our control. As I wrote in the introduction, our spinning plates drop. Or, as a popular bumper sticker says, "Shit happens." And we all know it does.
What I've been describing is probably the most fundamental way you may be sabotaging your happiness in this life: When you go through each day expecting what is happening outside of yourself to make you happy, you are setting yourself up for failure.
You are setting yourself up for misery.
You make yourself a victim of circumstances you cannot control and become dependent upon others for your own state of joy and contentment.
Why is basing your happiness on what's happening in your outer life such a spiritual and emotional dead end? Because, ironically, when you count on the events of your outer life to make you happy, you are trying to create stability by clinging to that which is always changing! By nature, everything in life is in constant motion. Nothing stays the same for long. So hoping to create peace and tranquility by getting everything in your life to fall perfectly into place is as futile as jumping into a turbulent ocean and somehow hoping you will stay still.
The ancient scriptures of many religions have pointed out this dilemma for thousands of years: All pain and suffering comes from attachment to that which is inevitably always changing. When we spend our time and energy trying to get it all perfect on the outside, we are focusing our attention in the wrong direction. So if what's outside is always changing, if your plates are always going to drop, if some of your expectations are always going to be disappointed, how can you create a sense of happiness and contentment in life? The answer is to go in the opposite direction from the one we're used to going in, to make a shift from trying to create stability on the outside to creating it on the inside. This is the first secret about life I want to share with you: SECRET NUMBER ONE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO BE HAPPY IS INSIDE OF YOU What does this statement actually mean? It means that you already have the key to your own happiness inside of you. It's your own inner state that determines whether or not you're happy, and not what happens to you on the outside. Maybe you didn't realize that, but it's true. And you're already experiencing this amazing phenomenon everyday.
Think back to a time in your life when you were doing something that "should" have made you happy, such as going out to eat at a wonderful restaurant, or attending a concert you'd been waiting to see, or traveling to an exciting vacation spot you'd looked forward to visiting, BUT...you couldn't enjoy what you were doing on the outside because you were feeling terrible on the inside. Maybe you were sitting all dressed up at the fabulous restaurant, but knew that someone you loved, such as one of your children or a family member, was ill, so you just couldn't enjoy the food or the atmosphere. Maybe you were in the audience at the concert you'd been waiting months to attend, but you just had a terrible day at work and were so angry about a situation there that you couldn't get excited about the show at all. Or maybe you were on an exotic vacation with your partner in one of the most beautiful places in the world, but he was being very cold, distant, and unromantic with you, and you felt so hurt that it didn't matter where you were.
What was making you unhappy in these situations? The restaurant? The concert? Being on vacation? No...in fact, these are the very things you thought would make you happy.
You know just how this works. It always starts with a simple desire: "If I could just take a few weeks and go to Hawaii, I'd be so happy," you tell yourself. And you finally decide to do it. And you announce to all your friends that you are going, and you can't wait. And you think about it for months. "Only three more weeks, and we'll be in Hawaii!" "Only one more week, and I'll be lying on the beach drinking a pina colada!" Then finally you're there, and your husband isn't paying much attention to you, and you're feeling unloved, and you're lying on the beach feeling absolutely miserable. And suddenly, the same things that were supposed to make you happy are driving you crazy: it's too hot and the couple in the adjacent lounge chair is bugging you and you can't stand the hotel and you're having a crummy time and wish you'd never come in the first place.
Why isn't Hawaii making you happy when you were so sure it would? Because Hawaii doesn't have the power to make you happy. If it did, you'd be lying there thinking, "To hell with the fact that my husband is acting like a slug--I'm in Hawaii!! Who cares if my marriage is on the rocks? Look at those gorgeous palm trees!! Gosh, I'm happy!" Hasn't this happened to you?Haven't you finally gone somewhere or done something you thought would make you feel wonderful, only it doesn't, and you wonder to yourself, "Gee, I paid a lot of money for this. I should be enjoying it. I should behaving a good time. What's wrong?"
What's wrong is that nothing on the outside is ever going to be more powerful than your own inner state of consciousness. You could be in the most beautiful spot on the planet, but if your heart is hurting, or your mind is anxious, you'll be miserable. And the opposite is true as well--you could be in the most unappealing place, but if your inner state is joyous and contented, you will feel happy where you are. You will create your own paradise.
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