Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PUYB: Daphne Michaels' The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams - Guest Post and Review

Going With Love

A wonderful friend (and one of my biggest fans) handed me a note as I was getting ready to fly to New York to launch my new book The Gifted; How to Live the Life of Your Dreams at the International Book Expo. Scribbled on a scrap of paper was written, “Be bold, be beautiful, be a lil’ sassy and sexy (you’ve got it, use it) and mainly go with love.”

I believe I speak for many writers when I say that promoting our own work is a daunting task. When I launched my first book nearly eight years ago I faced the question of how to market something that came straight from my heart. At that time I felt shy about getting the word out that I had published a book. Today, I realize that I could only market something that comes from my heart. I am eager to share that I have written a book to help others on their paths of personal development and spiritual growth. I am eager to say, as a psychotherapist with over 25 years experience, this is a book that will help.

This year at the International Book Expo someone had a great idea to do something new and wild. While the Book Expo has traditionally been limited to trade professionals, this year they opened the last day to the public. It was amazing to be a part of this experience! One day people were holding business meetings and talking shop, and the next day up to ten thousand readers made there way through long lines to be a part of the international reading experience. From tiny children being carried by adults to teens hoping to meet their favorite authors, people looking for gifts for loved ones and book club members deciding on their next selection — having readers at the event was incredible. As a steady stream of book fans pushed through joyfully crowded isle ways their smiles, appreciation and words of encouragement vaporized any sense of doubt I may have had about book marketing. I realized in that moment that writers and readers are inextricably linked by a bridge that connects us from heart to heart and gratitude that travels in both directions.

My thoughts on the book
The Gifted does a great job of outlining the tools we need to live the life of our dreams, but unless we are an expert carpenter, we need the instructions on how to pull all of it together and put it to use in our lives. While this books is beautifully written and gives us good examples of what we need - awareness, stillness, harmony, etc. - and don't need - being ruled by ego, self-doubt, fear, etc. - in our lives, I was really looking for more guidance. I'm sure this would click immediately for people who are more voiced in this subject matter already, but for someone like me who is looking for more instruction, it fell short. I feel that for someone who is seeking a clear approach, the books needs more concrete ways of putting these concepts into practice in our daily lives. Perhaps some questions at the end of each chapter, or some exercises and examples to make the reader more of a participant. In the end, the reader may get that these concepts are important to living the life of your dreams, but may end up asking, "Where do I go from here?"

About the Book:
In The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams author, speaker and licensed psychotherapist Daphne Michaels celebrates the nine gifts that are our birthright, guiding readers in how to recognize and use them to transform their lives. In her author's preface, Michaels reveals how her own journey of life transformation began when she was young and realized that human existence wore two conflicting faces--one of love and joy, and one of fear and despair. She decided then to commit her life to reconciling these two visions because she knew that, irreconcilable though they seemed, together these two faces held the secret to living a life of endless possibility and authentic happiness. Her personal journey and formal education in social science, human services and integral psychology led to the founding of the Daphne Michaels Institute, which has helped hundreds of men and women design the lives of their dreams.

In The Gifted, Michaels shows us that the first three “gifts” we must recognize and embrace within us if we are to re-design our lives are Awareness, Potential and Stillness. These three allow us to identify and use the remaining six with a life-changing power: Disharmony, Harmony, Ease, Clarity, Freedom and Engagement. Each of these six relies on the “essential three” for its own power to change our lives, and each has its own gifts--its “children.” By approaching the nine gifts with real-world metaphors, Michaels answers in easily understood ways what for many readers have been lingering questions about personal transformation—such as how it works, what kind of commitment it takes, and why, if we’re committed, real transformation becomes inevitable—and addresses obstacles that readers may have encountered in the past in trying to reach in life a happiness every human deserves.

While the human universe’s face of love is celebrated in The Gifted, so is the face of fear that haunted a young girl decades ago. As Michaels shows us in her book, even Disharmony—the “quagmire” of life born of the human ego’s fear, defenses, delusions and despair—is a gift, too, and one as important as the others if we know how to see it clearly and use it. Once we understand Disharmony, we are ready to understand the real purpose of Harmony in our lives. Disharmony does not need to rule us. It is ours to use as we design the lives of our dreams.

The final gift in The Gifted, Michaels tells us, is the gift of Engagement. Engagement—with the universe and with ourselves—allows us to use all of the other gifts with more power and joy than we ever imagined possible.

That mountaintop decision never left me. It drove my life’s work and over the years led me to understand that there are gifts – nine of them, in fact – that we are all born with but rarely experience in their full glory and potential. These gifts – which make each and every one of us “The Gifted” of this book’s title – are the keys to living lives of endless possibilities and, in turn, achieving an authentic happiness that cannot be lost. They are, in other words, the keys to achieving the life of our dreams. 

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About the Author
Daphne Michaels is an author, speaker and licensed psychotherapist whose institute has helped hundreds of women and men transform their lives through the "gifts" every human being is born with. Daphne began her own journey of transformation at a young age, pursued it fearlessly, and later studied formally in the fields of social science, human services and integral psychology. The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams launches both Daphne Michaels Books and The Gifted series, whose goal it is to share with the widest audience possible the principles that guide the Daphne Michaels Institute. Daphne's earlier book, Light of Our Times, featured her conversations with such international figures in the fields of spirituality and personal development as Ram Dass, Julia Cameron, Dr. Masaru Emoto, and Thomas Moore.

Visit her website at
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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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