Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Teenage Blog Reviews "Emotional Options"

Hawi is 13. She reviews books on her blog, MAGICAL BOOK WORLD I am excited to know that her review of "Emotional Options" may help teenagers learn how to be happier before they load up with years of painful emotional baggage to sort through.

Here is Hawi's review, reprinted with her permission. 


I will forward this by saying that although this is very different to the books that I usually blog about, I do not hesitate in including this to the selection. I am a believer that emotional wellbeing is an important part of most people’s lives, and therefore it is almost my duty as a human being to aid other people in the mission to achieve happiness.
This book is a very important book and deserves a place on every bookshelf. I finished it in one brief yet enlightening sitting and am left with a slightly different outlook on being happy. Mandy Evans has succeeded in crafting a ‘handbook for happiness’ and guides the reader to that stage with easily-understandable words of wisdom. I was pleasantly surprised by the content of this book, and I am sure to reach for it at many trying periods during my life.
Thank you Mandy!

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Mightiest Motivator

Defying the laws of gravity, they rise up to reach beyond everything they have ever known. Over and over they fall. They rise up again. Eventually they conquer a brave new world.
They set no goals. They require no discipline, adhere to no schedule. Fear of failure, regret, guilt for not practicing enough-these strategies play no part in their game plan or ultimate success.
They are babies. Using the strongest motivation known to human kind, they master the art of walking. How? Why? With what motivation? The answer to all 3 questions is the same. Desire-because they want to.
You want a master class in motivation? Watch babies. Every day they achieve something that was impossible the day before.
Yet all day every day intelligent, well educated people use everything but their natural desire to lead them to what they want. They use misery motivators instead. They withhold happiness from themselves, promising they will never feel good until they get that car or that job, or that first million dollars. They use guilt, regret, shame, anger, punishment, worry, fear and self-loathing to bash, beat and prod themselves and other people through life. Why? In order to achieve goals they hope will make them happy.
Misery motivators achieve miserable results. If that’s not self-defeating, please tell me what is?
Add some might and joy to your motivation. Visit for courses, free belief quizzes and the free article “A Kinder from of Motivation” by Jeffrey Pease.
Here is an excerpt about motivation from Emotional Options: A Handbook for Happiness. Use it to motivate yourself like a big baby.
“We can divide the ways to motivate yourself and others into two basic categories:
Desire and Happiness or Need and Unhappiness Motivation with desire and happiness moves things about so quickly that you may not notice it happening.
When we use desire for our motivation, the difference between wanting and attachment becomes clear. Wanting is moving toward and can include happiness. Attachment is often static and requires the feelings of need and sometimes fear, for our very survival. Attachment appears to connect us to the object of our need-as if our fear, our sorrow, our guilt, our experience of need, will bring it to us or keep it escaping. But this does not work very well.
To believe that you need something requires, by definition, that you also believe that you cannot be okay without that something. It may be an experience that you believe you need to have or a material object or goal to achieve.
In this need filled view of reality, if you do not get what you want or reach your goal, that very not getting threatens your well-being, your hopes for happiness, and your ability to be okay. When you use need and unhappiness in order to help yourself to get what you want, you live in that need and un-happiness. That experience is life extinguishing. The very thing you do to help yourself cripples you. It chokes your life force and creativity.
In contrast, the experience of happiness and desire is life enhancing. It allows happiness now. It fosters a sense of being okay and feeling good. It simply acknowledges that something more or something different would be welcome.
Years ago, I visited a garden with a statue of a particularly jolly Buddha. Inscribed beneath it were the words, “Misunderstood desire is the cause of all suffering.” Misunderstood desire. At last it made sense!
We have all heard the familiar quote, “Desire is the cause of all suffering.” I had often wondered how someone as wise as Buddha could have thought that. How could desire ever cause suffering? Attachment and “misunderstood desire” do that. Perhaps some Puritan ethics got mixed up with Buddha’s wisdom.
Wanting something, coupled with the belief that you cannot have it, or that you are foolish to want it, can cause some powerful suffering. But not desire alone. Desire, imagination, creation, anticipation-that stuff is all fun.
Desire functions as an inner sense of direction. It may be all we will ever need to know to guide us through life -- to learn all that we need to know, to show up where we need to be. At least I cannot think of a more reliable guide. What else is there-someone else’s desire? Somebody else’s idea about what you should do? Your desire, your awareness of what you welcome offers the best compass for finding your way through the mystery of life that I have found so far. This system of navigation pretty much eliminates regret and guilt. It also banishes the temptation to try to make anyone else suffer.
When you follow your conscious desire as an inner sense of direction, correcting your course as you go, all you have to do when you want a change is ask yourself, “What do I welcome now? Where shall I go from here?”
You can skip that part about feeling bad, worrying that you will never change, blaming someone else for your predicament. You can bypass the frantic search for a new game plan before you even know what game you want to play.”
From Emotional Options by Mandy Evans. Available as e-book and paperback
As my friend success coach, Michael Neill says in his happily helpful book, You Can Have What You Want "Happiness Leads to Success more often that success leads to happiness."
Wishing you mighty motivation, love, happiness and many blessings.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

You Are Like a Diamond

You are like a diamond, beyond rare, one of a kind. You? Yes you, with everything you have and everything you have not.

You could look at a diamond and say, but it's so hard to cut. And there is no ruby or emerald in it. It's so hard to find. Somehow diamonds escape that kind of criticism.

What if you break out from it too? Why not? Why not stand in awe of the beautiful, unique, beyond rare being that you are? Shine on.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

7 Questions to Recover from Sexual Assault

     Each woman or man who reveals secrets from the past that have haunted them for decades rings a bell to liberate others. This bell cannot be unwrung. The "Me Too" movement surged to a tidal wave that washed away the conviction that people in power had the right to sexual subjugation over the less-than-powerful. The belief that there was nothing anyone could do about it changed quickly--as any belief can. Calls to the National Sexual Assault Line at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE) surged.
          Do you know someone who survived a sexual attack or even a rape and still suffers from the experience? That someone may even be you.
     Here are 7 keys to unlock the door and escape from the prison that still holds you captive, that blocks happiness and success. These are questions for you to ask yourself. There are no right and wrong answers, only your answers. No one else knows them. Write freely. If an answer does not make sense to you just stay with the question as more insight comes to you. If strong emotions come up, see if you can keep going. 
     I learned how these questions work from people I coached as individuals, in ongoing groups, workshops and in response to my book Travelling Free: How to Recover from the Past by Changing Your Beliefs. I discovered that each person who survived a painful experience did so in a different way with different lasting effects. Each person held unique keys to his or her own freedom.

  The 7 questions that have helped people move beyond surviving to thriving

  1. What happened that was hard for you?
  2. What was hard about it?
  3. What did it mean to you about yourself and your life?
  4. Regarding your answer, do you believe that?
  5. If you believe that, what about it seems true?
  6. What are you concerned would happen if you did not believe that?
  7. If you could feel any way in the world, even though that happened to you, how would you like to feel?
I would love to learn about your experience with these questions.

Cheering you on to freedom, happiness and success!

 Resource: Travelling Free How to Recover from the Past by Changing Your Beliefs is a workshop-in-a-book to breakout from lasting effects of painful experiences. It is available at Amazon worldwide in print or e-book editions. Read more

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Thank You Dr. Martin Luther King

Thank you Martin Luther King. On April 3rd, 1968, my then husband Ron, took me to see Janis Joplin at a new supper club in the Village in NYC, Generation, for my birthday. The owner, Barry Imhoff, had managed the Cafe Au Go Go where I had worked and Ron still did. Barry went way out on a financial limb to get Janis for the opening weekend. It was my first night out after my son Barnaby Dorfman was born, the first time I left him with a sitter. I confess, I was so exhausted I barely made it through the evening.

The next day, Martin Luther King was killed. Our Upper West Side Neighborhood erupted in gun fire. Out neighborhood store at 97th and Broadway was looted. The Vietnam War raged on and on and Barry Imhoff lost the club he'd dreamed of for many years.

I wondered what kind of a world I had brought my son into. The war ended. Life went on and Barack Obama gave me reason to rejoice. I thought it was over -- the decades, even centuries of racism, cruelty and hatred of people slightly different from each other.

Now I struggle again, with the Muslim Ban, the hunting down of my neighbors from Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala and a man in office who calls other people's countries S---holes". Thank you Martin Luther King for your courage and vision. Thank you for teaching me that it is better to keep my "eyes on the prize" than to give in to despair or anger. I try to keep that focus and do what I can to promote peace, kindness and equality for all beings. I am grateful for your example and to everyone who follows it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine Lesson from a Crane

The windows on our patio sliders reflect when the sun shines on them. I don't suppose cranes knows that. Our crane spent the morning going from one door to another, peering at himself, flapping his wings, waiting, peering, flapping, waiting. walking round appearing agitated, approaching another patio door, peering, flapping, waiting. Does he feel rejected? Does he know it's him?
How many of us peer at ourselves without recognising our magnificence and move on -- rejecting the very self that longs for love?
Sending love to your magnificent self!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Blessing Bonus

Oh, if holidays would only come with peace on earth, good will to men -- women and children, all living creatures! But no, life goes on with it's full mix of gain and loss, birth and death, no matter what the season.

During one challenging time, I began to send blessings to everyone I could think of. I started with near and dear, moved on to dead and dear, then out everyone who has touched my life, then on to people I'm not so fond of.

It left me keenly aware of the many people I have been blessed to know and how deeply you and they have enriched my life. Sort of a blessing bonus. I recommend it, especially for holidays when it's easy to miss loved ones we've lost, or feel left out, or have spend time with someone we don't get along with so well. Give it a whirl, just send out blessings and see what happens.

I wonder what our beautiful world would be like if we all sent each other, friend and foe, blessings from time to time.

Sending many blessings to you and yours for happy holidays filled with love.