Monday, July 07, 2014

Interview with Daphne Michaels, author of 'The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams'



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 www.daphnemichaels.com.

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.




Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, wed love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I have worked with men and women of all backgrounds and personalities for over twenty-five years, guiding them to live the lives of their dreams. In addition to having a long-term psychotherapy practice, my institute offers transformational programs for people interested in living lives of endless possibility.

My own journey, which led me to eventually write this book, started when I was an angst-ridden adolescent. I smile today, because it was such a dramatic time in my life with classic teenage experiences. And even this was classic Im sure, although I am still shaken today when I think of the first time I really saw the world beyond my limited scope of experience. I was devastated by what I experienced as a gut-wrenching discovery of two worlds existing side by side: the world of love and the world of despair. It was the world of despair - the fear and misery that I witnessed robbing people of the beauty in life that propelled my journey to understand and help eradicate unnecessary suffering.

My personal journey took years and led to all sorts of experiences for which I am grateful today. After earning my degrees in human services and applied behavioral sciences, I launched my private practice in 1996 and my institute in 2001. Writing personal development books was a natural next step on my journey to take my message to as broad of an audience as possible.


Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I think writing any book is a difficult task. It seems like it should be easier - after all it only takes communicating whats on our mind but in actuality it is very difficult. For me, my muse must be present. My muse inspires all of my writing and I wont even pick up a pen without her. It would be a waste of time she knows how to turn words, just black spots on white paper really, into living messengers. A tip for other writers? Be inspired!

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I chose to launch the Daphne Michaels Books imprint - for many reasons. First, it is great to be part of the personal development genre as a long tradition. Our interest in self-help and personal development is part of the American story, really. To make ones life better to reach ones potential and pursue happiness was the intent of our declaration of independence. Many of the successes in the personal development genre started out as self-published authors. It is great to be launching my imprint in an era where POD publishing and ebook publishing helps one reach an even larger audience and its nice, too, that this is the first year Book Expo America has invited self-published authors to exhibit and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and other venues are featuring the best self-published books. Being part of this new era in publishing allows opportunities to help shape it. This means teaming in new ways with new people and being free to see our projects all the way from conception to publication and beyond.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Being a good self-published author requires managing a significant number of details!

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Look for a new title from The Gifted series every year! The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams is the first book in a five-book series. Forthcoming books include:

The Gift of Your Dreams: How to Make Your Visions Real
The Gift of Charisma: How to Take Your Life to the Next Level
The Git of Creativity: Seven Steps to Extraordinary Living
The Gift of New Sunrises: How to Partner With Nature for Greater Success

Q: Whats your favorite place to hang out online?

I cannot say that I have a favorite place to hang out online. Since I have such limited time to myself I generally dont surf the net. My on-line adventures are generally researched based. So perhaps I should say Google!

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

My new book, THE GIFTED: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams is about the nine giftsthat we are all born with. If we recognize and use these gifts, we can transform our lives forever. The first three gifts we must embrace within us if we are to redesign 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. Even Disharmony the quagmireof life born of the human egos fear and 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 to design the lives of our dreams.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Those of us who feel called to share a message - a how to, inspiration, biography, humor, or guidance, or to tell a story - have an important role in life. Celebrate it! Make developing and sharing your message a priority because it truly is a gift to your readers!



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