Lessons for life
June 2, 2011
If you could ask the top experts in the world of self-help just one question, what would it be?
It's not often that so many of them can be found in one place at one time, but on June 10 in Chicago, you can find some of the top authors in the genre at the Celebrate Your Life conference, where you can join workshops and talks led by many of these same authors.
We thought it would be a great time to get a little advice from the pros, so we asked them to share some of the lessons they've learned in their own lives. Here's what some of them said.
Michael Tamura, author of "You are the Answer: Discovering and Fulfilling Your Soul's Purpose": "Early on in my life, most people valued me according to what I did, how much I did and how well I did it. I was worth much more when I did something heroic. I then learned it isn't in accomplishing something of greatness that we gain our worth. It is in realizing the true worth within ourselves that everything we do becomes of great value."
Neale Donald Walsch, author of "Conversation with God": "The biggest lesson of my life is that my life is not about me. It is about all those whose life I touch, and how I touch them."
Marianne Williamson, author of "Return to Love": "At times it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one who inflicted it. Forgiveness is not always easy, but there is no peace without it. The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world."
Iyanla Vanzant, author of "Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through": "As I child I was not allowed to express emotion. I was not allowed to be angry, upset, disappointed or hurt as a result of the behavior of the adults in my life. Someone I loved and trusted had violated me and yet, I was not supposed to be angry since no one else seemed angry. If I dared show emotion, I would be at best punished, at worst beaten and charged with being disobedient. The lesson I have learned is: I have Divine permission. I allow myself to and I know what it feels like to be safe in my body and in the world. I now know that I have a right to my feelings!"
Joan Borysenko, author of "Fried: Why you Burn Out and How to Revive": "Sometimes trauma and loss open the inner eye of appreciation. On Labor Day 2010 our home high in the Rocky Mountains was caught at the epicenter of the worst wildfire in Colorado history. One hundred and sixty-nine homes burned down and 8,000 pristine acres of forest were reduced to blackened sticks. After a time of grief, I began to appreciate what remained rather than longing for what was lost. Mindful of every remaining patch of green, every drop of rain that irrigates the blackened earth, and every kindness that our community extends to one another, I am more present than I'd have thought possible. Appreciating what is rather than complaining about what isn't is a powerful path to peace."
Caroline Myss, author of "Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential" "One thing I have learned is that by far the most challenging and worthy path to walk in life is to become a congruent human being, someone who is truly honorable in thought as well as intention and actions. It takes prayer and personal courage to live a congruent and honorable life, no doubt about that."
Gary Zukav, author of "Seat of the Soul": "Every day, sometimes every moment, I see the need to choose between the destructive, painful consequences of acting with fear, such as anger, jealousy and resentment, and the constructive, healthy consequences of acting with love, such as gratitude, patience and appreciation, and that I alone am responsible for my choice."
Jill Bolte Taylor, author of "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey": "I define response-ability as the ability to choose how I respond to any situation. When I understand that I have the power to pick and choose, moment by moment, who and how I want to be in the world based on my right or left brain personalities, then I am truly free to find and project peacefulness at any moment, under any circumstances."
Denise Linn, author of "Sacred Space": "I'm a recovering perfectionist (who isn't completely recovered), but I have to remind myself that it's better to do something in an imperfect way, than to do nothing faultlessly. To get through my day I affirm, 'It doesn't have to be perfect; it does have to get done.'"
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom": "I have learned that when I change myself, the world will change. I am changing the world by loving myself, by enjoying life, by making my personal world a dream of heaven. I change myself, and just like magic, other people start to change."
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC