|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Marci Shimoff is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a world-renowned transformational teacher and an expert on happiness, success, and unconditional love. Her books include the international bestsellers Love for No Reason and Happy for No Reason. Marci is also the woman's face of the biggest self-help book phenomenon in history, as co-author of six books in the Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul series. With total book sales of more than 15 million copies worldwide in 33 languages, Marci is one of the bestselling female nonfiction authors of all time.
Chris Attwood is co-author of the New York Times bestsellers The Passion Test and Your Hidden Riches. He is also president and founder of the Beyul Club & Resorts (www.beyulclub.com). Chris lives with his wife, Doris, and his three children, Sophie, Tianna and Chetan in Iowa, Germany and Costa Rica.
Geoff Affleck helps self-help authors reach more people with their message. He is an authority on ebooks and is the #1 bestselling co-author of Enlightened, Breakthrough!; and Ready, Set, Live!, and Inspired by The Passion Test.
Read an Excerpt
The Transforming Power of Letting Go
Janet Bray Attwood
Have you ever let go of it all? The most remarkable things can happen when you surrender completely.
Letting go and trusting in the universe is probably the all-time greatest challenge anyone can face. We walk in the dark with total blind faith, not knowing where the next safe footing will be, afraid that the unknown will unveil more than we can take. And yet, I've learned that the key to living a happy, fulfilled life is to become completely comfortable with "not knowing" what will come next.
In 1980, I had my first dramatic experience of consciously handing my life over to the universe. I was recruiting disk-drive engineers in Silicon Valley and failing miserably. Luckily for me, one day after work when I was meditating in the local meditation center, I opened my eyes and glanced upon a sign on the bulletin board that advertised a success seminar called "Yes to Success" to be held in San Francisco the following weekend. All circuits firing, I knew that somehow the answer to my prayers had everything to do with taking that seminar.
If you've read my book The Passion Test, then you know my intuition couldn't have been more right on. Not only did I take the seminar, but I eventually persuaded the seminar leader, a vivacious and passionate woman named Debra Poneman, to hire me. As luck would have it, Debra was going on her U.S. speaking tour at the same time I was to arrive in Los Angeles, where her company was located, and she needed someone to housesit. She said I could stay in her apartment, study her success tapes while she was gone and, when she returned, I could start my illustrious career, uplifting and speaking to hundreds of people all over the world.
I was in seventh heaven!
Two weeks later, after Debra and I finalized our plans, I said good-bye to all my friends at the recruiting firm, packed my bags, filled up my vintage red Toyota with gas and headed down to Los Angeles, radio blaring, singing at the top of my lungs, ecstatic that I was on my way to start my dream career.
Two miles into my journey, my red Toyota started sputtering and spurting. Steam was rising up over the front of my car from inside the hood. As I was pulling over to the side of the freeway to see what was going on, my trusty little car took one big breath, let out the most god-awful sound and died.
Horrified, I just sat there, frozen, on the side of the freeway, stunned at what had just happened.
After the initial shock of losing my beloved Toyota, I came up with an alternate plan. I'd take a train down to Los Angeles. After paying the tow truck, buying my train ticket to Los Angeles and then taking a long taxi ride to Debra's apartment in Santa Monica, to my dismay and alarm, I arrived at Debra's door with $13 to my name.
As a little girl, I had dreamed of being an actress, performing in front of thousands of people. Well, this performance was only for one person, but it required all my acting skills. I was terrified that Debra wouldn't hire me to go out and teach other people her success principles if she knew I was completely broke. So, I said nothing while we were together and kept a sunny smile on my face until she finally waved good-bye to me.
The good news was that Debra had let me stay in her apartment. The not-so- good news was that I had no money to buy food or anything else!
Now what am I going to do? I thought to myself. Feeling totally weighed down by the fact that I hardly had enough money to last me more than a few days, I went to Debra's refrigerator and scooped myself a huge serving of her chocolate ice cream. After eating almost the whole half gallon, I lay down on her couch and fell into a drunken chocolate sleep.
When I awoke, I decided there was only one option when things were this bad.
I grabbed the keys to Debra's blue Chevy (she'd said I could borrow it for emergencies — this was clearly an emergency) and headed down the Pacific Coast Highway with a renewed sense of hope. When all is lost, what can you lose by giving it all up?
Arriving at the great saint Paramahansa Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, I immediately felt a deep sense of calm come over me. I walked past all of the beautiful buildings to the majestic and serene gardens that graced this special place.
Reaching into my purse, I pulled out my treasured, crisp one-dollar bills and stuffed all $13 into a little wooden donation box that was located in the garden.
When I had given away all I had, I sat down on a nearby wooden bench and had a very intimate talk with God, pouring out my heart. I told Him all that was going on with me and where I could use a little of His support.
After a little while, I walked back to Debra's car as the reality of what I'd done began to dawn. As I drove back to Debra's, the self-recrimination began: Are you crazy? What are you going to do now? How could you give away the last money you have in the world? Now you don't even have money to buy lunch!
As I opened the door to Debra's apartment, the phone rang.
"Hello," I said.
"Janet, is that you?"
"Uh huh. Who's this?" I asked.
"It's me, Patrick."
Patrick was my ex-husband's father, who I completely loved and hadn't heard from in over a year.
"Hi, Patrick. It's so nice to hear from you. How did you find me?" I asked.
After we chatted on the phone for some time, he invited me to meet him for lunch at a nearby restaurant. Of course I accepted, thinking, Thank you, God! No matter what happens, at least I'll have a meal in my belly.
Patrick was unbelievably animated and talking 100 miles a minute. He had just started selling a natural weight-loss program he was really excited about. He put four bottles of the stuff on the table and said this was just the beginning for me.
"Janet," he said, "I think, if you want to, this is something you could really make a lot of money on in your spare time." He knew that I have an outgoing personality and love to share things I think are great with other people.
Patrick still had that same sparkle in his eyes I had always loved, and when he spoke about the products he had set down before me, I couldn't help but start to feel excited about it, too.
"The opportunity sounds great," I said. "How about when I have some extra money, I'll order some from you?"
"I don't think you should wait that long," Patrick said to me, smiling. "I just happen to have five hundred dollars' worth of the stuff in the trunk of my car. You can have these bottles on the table and the five hundred dollars' worth as well. Pay me back after you sell it all and make some money for yourself."
Just as he handed over the four bottles, our very overweight waitress walked up to the table and said to me, "What's that?"
I told her everything I could remember that Patrick had just told me. These were wonderful, all-natural products, so many people had had great experiences losing weight with them, and they were easy to use.
"I'll take everything you have!" she said and immediately whipped out a $100 bill from her apron, grabbed the bottles and walked away.
I sat there stunned and overjoyed. Thanking Patrick as we said good-bye, I headed home.
This experience was a profound lesson for me. One which I've remembered often during the 36 years since these events took place.
We're always taken care of. Donating my last $13 was my way of surrendering to that force, which is always looking after us. I learned that all that's required of me is to let go of my agenda and surrender to God's will for me.
When you do that, the result is always better than what you could have come up with on your own.
Having said that, please don't go out and donate all your possessions to charity, unless you feel an irresistible pull to do that and are fully prepared to live with the consequences. Surrender means being willing to welcome whatever life has in store for you.
Your safety valve is your passions — the things you love and care about most. When you're connected to those things, then you can be assured that your life will grow increasingly meaningful and fulfilling.
When we give The Passion Test, we always share the one secret that guarantees a passionate life: "Whenever you're faced with a choice, a decision or an opportunity, choose in favor of your passions."
But there's a stumbling block many people trip over on their way to creating the life of their dreams: their own thoughts.
"What you see you become" is a quote from a Vedic text from ancient India. It doesn't mean that when you see a donkey, you become a donkey. It means that what you perceive is filtered through the thoughts you have about that thing. Your thoughts, your beliefs and the concepts and ideas you hold about your life are what determine how you experience life.
You see, your life can be filled with miracles — just like my experience of giving away my last $13 — if you believe it can. Your life can also be a tragedy, if that's what you believe it is.
You can create miracles in your life by strengthening your belief that miracles are possible. Before you give away your last dollar, find the evidence that miracles can happen. Your mind is a wonderful machine. If you give it enough evidence that something is possible, it will become possible for you.
So, let me give you some evidence of the possibility of miracles when you learn to choose in favor of your passions, the things that matter most to you, by telling you one of my favorite Chris stories. (By the way, if you don't know what your passions are, get a copy of The Passion Test at www.passiontest.com — it's a simple way to quickly clarify your passions.)
Chris Attwood, co-author of The Passion Test, and I had spoken at one of Jack Canfield's advanced seminars and were on our way home via the Los Angeles airport. After we had dropped off our rental car and the shuttle that had taken us to the airport pulled away from the curb, Chris suddenly realized he was missing one of his bags with all his clothes in it. Unable to catch the shuttle, he spent the next 40 minutes calling the rental car company, stopping every shuttle from the rental car company that came by and doing everything he could think of to get his suitcase back.
Finally, the time came when he had to either get on the plane or stay and wait for his suitcase. It was time to either "fish or cut bait" when it came to following his passions.
So, Chris asked himself, Does staying in L.A. and waiting for my suitcase help me be more aligned with my passions, or will it take me farther away from living those passions?
One of Chris's passions is having fun with everything he does. He had a teleconference to lead that evening. If he stayed in L.A., he would have to look not only for his suitcase but also for someplace where he could set up his computer and conduct that teleconference. It didn't sound like much fun to him.
Another of his top passions is living a life of abundance on every level. When he thought about which option made him feel more abundant — waiting around the L.A. airport and searching for someplace to do his teleconference, or having a leisurely trip home without worrying about his suitcase — the choice was clear.
As he came up to the gate, I was overjoyed. "I knew you would find your suitcase!" I exclaimed. "I didn't," Chris replied, and then we both started laughing.
We had a fun trip home and Chris led a great teleconference that night. The next day, Continental Airlines called to say, "The police dropped off a suitcase here with your name on it. What would you like us to do with it?" "Could you put it on a plane to San Francisco for me?" Chris asked. After checking, the agent came back on the line and said, "No problem." A few hours later Chris had his suitcase.
Now, this certainly doesn't count as a major miracle, but it's a wonderful small one. And this story illustrates several points that are key to living a passionate life and creating the kind of life you really choose to live:
Your thoughts/beliefs can make you happy or miserable. Chris believed that it was more important to have fun and feel abundant than to worry about his suitcase. As a result, he had fun and he felt abundant. As an added bonus (and this is common when you follow your passions), he got his suitcase back without effort or strain.
You can't know the outcome — it's all about surrender. Your beliefs and thoughts affect how you experience anything in your life ("what you see you become"), but you can never know what specific outcomes will occur. This is why following your passions is so important. No matter what the result, you will be in the flow of life. Just as I had no idea what would happen when I donated my last $13, Chris had no idea whether he would ever see his suitcase again when he made his decision to go home.
Staying open is one of the keys to living a passionate life. Because you can't know the outcome, staying open to what is appearing is absolutely essential. When you are open, then you're ready to welcome the unexpected gifts that will show up in your life.
Following your passions takes courage. Because you have to make the decision to follow your passion when you don't know what the outcome will be, you have to make a leap of faith. When Chris decided to leave his suitcase behind to follow his passions, he had to be prepared to never see that suitcase again. When I gave away my last $13, I had to be prepared to accept whatever came.
In The Passion Test, we tell my story of my passion to go to India and interview the enlightened, and how I gave it all up to be with my dying stepmother. I had to make that decision with the knowledge that I might never be able to fulfill my passion to do those interviews. Of course, as it turned out, it was being with my stepmother that was key to being able to follow that passion.
Don't fall for the myth that the world is an "objective" reality that you can't change. This is an illusion that leads to feeling like a victim. And guess what, if you believe you're a victim of your circumstances, you will be. Funny how that works.
Change your beliefs about what you experience and you will change your life. You are powerful. It's now up to you to claim your power.
Janet Bray Attwood is a visionary, a transformational leader and a world humanitarian. She is co-author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose and Your Hidden Riches: Unleashing the Power of Ritual to Create a Life of Meaning and Purpose. Janet has trained almost 2,000 certified Passion Test facilitators in more than 60 countries.
Janet has spoken about how to discover passion and purpose throughout the world and has shared the stage with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Dr. Stephen Covey, Richard Branson, Nobel Peace Prize–winner F.W. de Klerk, Jack Canfield, Zappo's CEO Tony Hsieh, Reverend Michael Beckwith and many others. She is also a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council.
For her ongoing work with homeless women and youth in lockdown detention centers, Janet received the highest award for volunteer service in the U.S., the President's Volunteer Service Award.
Janet is a living example of what it means to live with an open heart and mind. Learn more at www.thepassiontest.com.CHAPTER 2
Two Big Mistakes That May Be Keeping You from Living a Miraculous Life
One glorious morning recently, I woke up in a beautiful resort in Costa Rica. My day overflowed with miracles. I was there at a meeting of the Transformational Leadership Council, a group of 125 of the top transformational leaders in the world, founded by one of my mentors, Jack Canfield.
As I ate my breakfast on the veranda overlooking the crystal blue ocean and attended the meetings filled with wisdom, laughter and deep connections, and then ended the day with a gorgeous sunset dinner cruise, I thought, It doesn't get much better than this. And I go to these meetings twice every year at magical and exotic locations around the world ...
Yes, my life feels miraculous — but it certainly wasn't always that way. Not by a long shot.
In fact, if you had told me that I would someday wake up every morning feeling like I live a miraculous life, I would have said you were crazy.
You see, I was born depressed. Even though I was blessed with a wonderful, loving family and comfortable circumstances, I was not a happy camper throughout my childhood and teen years — I felt like I had a dark cloud around me.
I continued to feel unhappy in my 20s, 30s and early 40s, even though wealth, recognition and fame came to me during those years. I worked hard to fill my life with success and what I thought I needed to be happy, only to find myself still feeling empty at my core. I was exhausted, and I walked around every day with a physical pain in my heart that no doctor could explain or "cure."
It was only when I began studying the science of happiness and applying what I learned to my daily life that everything turned around. By the time I was 50, I was genuinely happy and my heart pain had gone away on its own — honestly, that seemed like a miracle to me.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Shine Your Light"
Copyright © 2018 Janet Bray Attwood, Marci Shimoff, Chris Attwood with Geoff Affleck.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Transforming Power of Letting Go Janet Bray Attwood,
Chapter 2 Two Big Mistakes That May Be Keeping You from Living a Miraculous Life Marci Shimoff,
Chapter 3 Solving the Puzzle of Life Chris Attwood,
Chapter 4 Honor the Call! Alison Braithwaite,
Chapter 5 This Is It! This is Life: Three Tips for Living It Fully Lori Woodley,
Chapter 6 Step by Step to Stillness: A Busy Person's Guide to Peak Results Guillermo Paz,
Chapter 7 Live Your Dream Life! How Releasing Emotional Pain Heals the Body Cynthia Mazzaferro,
Chapter 8 From Sleepwalking Through Life to Traveling on a Jet Plane Jannie Bak,
Chapter 9 The Golden Thread Dipika Delmenico,
Chapter 10 Meet Your Higher Self and Discover Who You Really Are Keiko Anaguchi,
Chapter 11 From the Eagle Road: Where Dreams Bring New Life Maru Méndez,
Chapter 12 Getting Back to Me: How Loss Can Lead to Self-Discovery Jennifer Dean,
Chapter 13 Something Big Is about to Happen! Nine Tips for Surviving and Thriving Despite Challenges Ronica Arnold Branson,
Chapter 14 When Those You've Counted On Are Counting On You: How to Find Balance When Caring for Aging Parents Debra Kelsey-Davis,
Chapter 15 From Broken to Beautiful: Five Steps to Transform Your Life Jeanette Jardine,
Chapter 16 What to Do When Your Life is Being Turned Upside Down Linda Solberg,
Chapter 17 The Spirit Process: 11 Gifts from Heaven to Live a Life of Divine Love Pia Nissen Tylak,
Chapter 18 Saying Good-bye Gracefully: A New Perspective on Death Susan Mercer,
Chapter 19 No Choice but Change: Shifting from Fear to Love 141 after Trauma Helgi Maki,
Chapter 20 A Trail of Tears Leads to a Road of Recovery Michele Bray MacNair Chapter 21 Stop Hiding and Start Living: How to Turn Adversity into an Asset Dr. Ron Holt,
Chapter 22 Touching the Soul: Entering the Realm of Connected Resonance John Tolmie,
Chapter 23 How to Survive the Unsurvivable Kirsten Stendevad,
Chapter 24 Picking Up the Pieces: How to Find Wholeness Through Journaling Dr. Markeita L. Banya,
Chapter 25 Live Life from Your Joy Center! Lisa McDonald,
Chapter 26 Up the Emotional Staircase: Reaching the Wisdom Altitude of Life Ramon G. Corrales,
Chapter 27 Slay Your Giants! Three Steps to Putting Fear Behind for Good Dr. Jim Claussen,
Chapter 28 Spread Your Wings like a SWAN: Four Essential Elements of Nurturing Yourself Carol McNulty-Huffman,
Chapter 29 The Surprising Secret to Success in the Workplace: Love Magnes Welsh,
Chapter 30 How to Shine Your Light Geoff Affleck,