• Happiness Becomes You

    Over the past decade it was my delight and honor to work with Tina Turner on her book of inspiration, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good. Tina dreamt of writing this book about how she transformed her life for a long time. In fact, she started talking about it and planning more than 30 years ago! Now her gift of inspiration to the world is available in 18 languages and more than 50 nations. Soon after it debuted, Amazon’s editors chose it as one of the Best Nonfiction Books of the Year, and in Germany it became an instant Spiegel Bestseller:

    I dedicate this book to you…
    in honor of your
    unseen efforts to
    triumph over each problem
    life sends your way.

    Tina Turner, from the introduction

    Tina Turner, one of the world’s most beloved performers, reveals the joyful wisdom behind her inspirational life story in this powerful guide to finding happiness, hope, and love in your own life.

    In Happiness Becomes You, Tina shows how all of us can overcome life’s obstacles—even change the impossible to possible—and transform our lives. She explains how we, too, can realize our dreams, empowering us with spiritual tools and sage advice to enrich our unique paths.

    Now, Tina offers the wisdom gained throughout her extraordinary life in Happiness Becomes You, making this the perfect gift of inspiration for you and those you love.

    From the introduction: “Each of us is born, I believe, with a unique mission, a purpose in life that only we can fulfill. We are linked by a shared responsibility: to help our human family grow kinder and happier.”

    Happiness Becomes You was first published in the USA, UK, Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany (titled Happiness: Mein Spiritueller Weg) in December 2020, and has since been released in a total of 57 countries and 18 languages including Sweden, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Japan, Poland, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania, and Brazil.

    Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock, is a singer, dancer, and actress whose career has spanned six decades and garnered numerous awards, including eight Grammys. After her early hit songs “River Deep—Mountain High” and “Proud Mary,” Tina’s well-publicized hardships forced her to virtually disappear from the music scene. In the 1970s, she began practicing Buddhism and rebuilt her life by tapping into her spiritual strength. She rose up to recreate her career with a string of megahits, including her 1984 album Private Dancer. In 1986, she published a bestselling memoir, I, Tina, which became the 1993 Academy Award-nominated film What’s Love Got to Do with It. Her follow-up book, My Love Story, was a global success in 2018. One of the world’s most popular entertainers, Tina has sold more concert tickets than any other solo music artist in history. During her 50th Anniversary Tour (2008-2009), she performed for more than a million fans.

  • In Praise of Teachers

    Education is everything. Over the years, I’ve attended global conferences with leading figures–from Melinda Gates to Oprah, Bono to Michelle Obama, and Neil deGrasse Tyson to Warren Buffett–who all declared that education is the cure to our nation’s, and indeed our world’s, greatest ills. I totally agree.

    Growing up, I had my share of challenges, as I discussed in my book Living Wabi Sabi, but I always had the good fortune to attend great schools. Through some of my most difficult circumstances in my youth, I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for my teachers who instilled in me the idea that it isn’t where you come from, it’s where you’re going that matters. They taught me that to become a truly capable person, one must develop a broad intellect and wide range of talents. To be a great “student of life,” one must strive to master a variety of fields–for therein greatness is developed, as one who strives to know something about everything, and everything about something, will excel in any endeavor.

    As a teen, I spent much time pondering this concept as I walked the sandy beaches near my home (above) with my friends each day. The ocean waves reminded me that, like a wave, we are each individual expressions of a greater force, of the universe, of God, of love, of Mother Nature. I decided that I would aim to channel my talents to harness the creative power of the universe, for my own growth and to help serve others. Despite (or perhaps because) of the problems I faced, I wanted to live a purposeful life, and I decided I wanted to become a modern Renaissance man.

    Thanks to the support of some stellar educators, I grew into a curious mix of equal parts computer nerd, athlete, book worm, and artist. By the time I was in junior high, I programmed and operated a local computer service from a server on my bedroom desk. By the end of high school, I had been class president, a Rotary Scholar, and an exchange student to Australia. I had also enjoyed success in the entertainment industry, performing in television commercials and Broadway musicals, earning the same income as adults around me. Somehow I kept grounded and sane! Totally unimaginable without the foundation my family and my teachers provided for me each step of the way.

    Although my family faced major hardships while I was in high school, my grades were high enough to earn me scholarships that allowed me the freedom to pursue higher education. Shortly after graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Soka University of Tokyo, I worked as a volunteer children’s counselor, English tutor, model, real estate broker’s assistant, and newspaper writer. I later returned to school to pursue my Master of Fine Arts at UCLA, aiming to join friends at Lucasfilm and invent special effects, but instead ended up co-founding an internet company, eVoice. I’m proud to say we built a thriving entity with nearly 250 happy employees, which was acquired by AOL.

    Tapping the range of business experiences I gained at eVoice, I enjoyed working with several other successful start-ups as well. To keep a healthy balance during my time in Silicon Valley, as my teachers always encouraged me, I painted and wrote as often as I could. During this time I created my first book Open Your Mind, Open Your Life, an instant bestseller that was eventually translated into eight languages. I’ve accomplished a variety of challenging and fulfilling endeavors, and I owe a large part of every success to my incredible teachers. I let them know it too.

    Such thoughts of gratitude for my education were with me as I discussed with the presidents of Sony Publishing and EMI/Virgin of Japan some plans for licensing more of my music for video games, too. I enjoyed a fantastic music education as a child, and supporting music programs in our schools is even more vital today than ever.

    I feel so grateful for the small army of angels, the talented teachers and coaches, who guided me along my way, who helped my life manifest its inner treasures in myriad beautiful ways. I owe much to them, to the gifts their lessons brought out in me, and that is why I do as much as I can to support teachers, student scholarships, and educational foundations today. I firmly believe that any child, given the proper learning tools, can excel. The topic of supporting our teachers and improving schools is always timely, yet now our nation faces a crisis. There may never have been a more urgent time to give thanks to our teachers and support our local schools than now. (I’m reminded of the emotional documentary that has timeless messages to this effect: Waiting for Superman)

    When we give thanks to the people who taught us well by giving back to teachers and schools now, we plant seeds of gratitude that will grow into mighty trees of knowledge and bear fruit for countless generations to come.

  • Live Your Truth

    Countless people each day wage their own beautiful, often secret, battle to live true to their heart. I witness this magnificent process of inner liberation everywhere I go, through the ordinary miracles of everyday life. This planet we inhabit, I believe, is a boarding school for our souls. We are here to polish ourselves into diamonds as we move through each new life experience, gradually improving, on our way to graduation. Let’s learn our lessons well and graduate with flying colors!

    As most of the world continually moves forward enacting legislation to include LGBTQIA people in equal civil rights laws, I’ve been contemplating the deeper significance of living one’s truth. The early “gay rights” pioneers, like all who have fought for civil rights, courageously lived their truth and stood up to create a brighter future for us all. I believe everyone in their unique way has at one time or another felt like an outsider. Everyone can relate to the struggle of expressing one’s inner reality in a world that often tells us our inner reality isn’t good enough. From birth, we are painted in other people’s images, judged by other people’s expectations of us, who we should become, how we should live. Whoever we are, wherever we grew up, the messages we are brainwashed with are often far from our inner truth. I wish someone in every child’s life would tell them simply: Live Your Truth.

    Billy Elliot
    One of my favorite Broadway musicals, Billy Elliot

    In both NYC and London, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the musical “Billy Elliot,” based on the Oscar-winning film. It’s the funny and dramatic story of a boy in the UK named Billy who triumphantly lives true to himself no matter what his circumstances — in his case, growing up in an impoverished coal mining town to become a world-class ballet dancer. (Now that’s a real rarity!) Billy rejects the life others expect of him, and seeks the life of his heart’s dreams. He follows his truth, no matter how impossible it seems, no matter how he feels like a unicorn. In doing so, he finds his true happiness and a whole new world opens up for him.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull in Punta Mita
    I think I spotted Jonathan Livingston Seagull in Punta Mita, MX

    I think if everyone lived true to their heart, we would all feel like unicorns. Ironically, it seems the reason many people fail to live as the oddball unicorn they feel inside is because they’re afraid of being lonely. That’s the trick about being a unicorn. When you hide your true identity, and pretend to be a donkey, then other unicorns can’t see who you really are. Only when you are strong enough to become the person you were born to be, a unicorn, then you shine so bright you naturally attract other unicorns to you, and inspire others to do the same. When you live your truth, your deepest energy is set free to create the life of your best self, your highest potential.  Everything becomes a teachable moment, every experience enriches your soul. By living your truth, every negative can be transformed into a positive, and all shadows can be illuminated by light.

    Mt Charleston
    Glorious hike through Spring Mountains National Park, NV

    We are here to reveal our greatest self, to fulfill our noblest aspirations, and create glory in our daily life, no matter how common our lives may appear outwardly. The very fact we are here is enough reason to rejoice. Our souls have won the celestial lottery and made it to this floating orb in space for a chance to gain the spiritual wisdom hidden in this physical realm! Congratulations! This Earth is like a speed course for soul learning, and society is a master class in spiritual evolution. Please don’t waste your precious time here! The very fact you made it to this planet means you are worthy. Live up to yourself, your true self — live up to your admission in this school of the spirit by becoming the diamond you were born to be. How can you start forging your life into a shining jewel, when you sometimes feel it is nothing more than coal? The answer is simple: Live Your Truth.

    Fireworks Carlsbad
    Wowed by fireworks at the Park Hyatt Aviara, Carlsbad, CA

    The process of starting to live one’s truth is usually difficult, depending on how far from your truth the surface of your life is. However, the rewards you will gain by living a true life are far greater than any pain in letting go of a false one. Opening your heart to your true self is the Independence Day of your soul. As you peel away layers of falsehoods that have piled upon your heart since childhood, and let go of the past, be prepared for inner battles between your false self and your true self.  Be brave, and remember that falsehoods are ultimately weak. Be strong, and you will win over each obstacle. If there are days when you feel like you are swimming in a sea of suffering, just keep heading toward the lighthouse in your heart. “Just keep swimming,” as the beloved animated character Dori says. There is a peaceful cove of happiness waiting for you, with armies of other unicorns like you who made it safely to shore.

    Never give up. Be yourself. Live Your Truth.

  • My Wish For You

    I cherish a list of diamond-hearted friends around the world to whom I send positive energy each day so that they may activate their wisdom and true happiness. I also pray for the happiness of everyone in my community, region, nation, and the world. I consciously expand my sense of love every day. Now, I want to share with you some messages of love that came to me in my dreams, interspersed here with photos of people, places, and things that over the years have helped me increase joy, love and friendship in my life. Enjoy!

    Sunset panorama in Punta Mita, MX

    I want you to know that I believe in your limitless potential as a human being, and I hope you will likewise always believe in yourself. I believe that your life is even more precious and important on this Earth than you may realize, and you have a mission to fulfill that’s uniquely yours. There is no one else who can do it.

    Please have patience with yourself, have patience with your life, there is no need to worry about your future, no need to run or jump into anything. Just keep moving forward, little by little, at your own pace. No matter how difficult things may appear, everything that “happens” in your life can function to help you learn what you must in order to become your best self. Trust your life. Love yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Everything has a deeper reason, moving you into the orbit of your true happiness. Take a deep breath. Relax. You are okay just as you are now, perfectly imperfect, as we all are. Just be. Be you. Be the best you that you can be.

    Love chanting at sunrise before skiing in Park City, UT

    I offer these 8 guiding questions to serve as a lighthouse for making wise decisions:

    Is this action causing me to grow up and evolve, or to stagnate?
    Is this behavior adding to my life force, or robbing me of energy?
    Is this choice bringing long-term fulfillment, or short-term gratification?
    Is this decision rooted in my wisdom, or my delusion?
    Is this action one of self-love, or one of self-sabotage?
    Is this behavior coming from my personal flow of power, or from my fear of going against the flow of others?
    Is this choice propelling me forward to create a new and better future, or pulling me backward to relive the past?
    Is this decision based in confidence and independence, or insecurity and loneliness?

    Tricolor lights in Park City, UT

    As you ask yourself these questions, and continue to increase your happiness, you will go to every exciting place you wish, you will create healthier relationships, and you will be able to obtain every valuable thing you desire, because the ingredients for everything you want in life are already inside your own heart – you must simply open it up. When you do, you’ll be able to attract the good fortune you envision.

    With friends after a day of skiing.

    Life is a like a mirror of the soul, perfectly reflecting back to you all that is within yourself. You decide. You decide everything, and life responds. You are only limited by the progress you make in caring for yourself, mastering your own mind, and opening your heart. You don’t ever need to worry about anything outside yourself controlling your destiny. No one outside yourself holds anything you need for you to become truly happy. Everything necessary is within you. When you come to see that, you will know absolute freedom.

    Sunset on the water in Punta Mita, MX

    When we continue to work on ourselves each day, little by little, we can grow to become a pillar of goodness in society, of service to others, and compassionately help others to manifest their own wisdom and joy. As in a recurring dream of mine, in which mandara blossoms float gently down from the heavens: may blessings rain down upon you like fragrant flower petals gracefully falling from the sky.

  • Global Life

    Many moons ago, my album The Diamond You quietly appeared on the American iTunes store (around 2010). Since then, many of my songs have worked their way into the various streaming platforms. To my delight and surprise, I’ve recently been getting reports from Tidal, Amazon, and other streaming services that more and more listeners are discovering my music in North America and Europe. Love it!

    As I was cleaning up my desktop digital files recently, I found images from my trip to China that same year (2010). Great memories of arriving in Beijing to find a city covered in a beautiful blanket of snow. My gorgeous hotel room (thank you Hyatt) featured a breathtaking view of the Forbidden City, and the snowy palace was even more spectacular in person than the many photos I’d seen of it before. My family and I enjoyed a private tour of the imperial complex as light snow continued to gently fall around us, and our guide emphasized that in her career this was the first time she had witnessed snow at the Forbidden City. She said that in ancient Chinese legend, falling snow on the day a guest arrives at the Forbidden City is the greatest of good omens, and “blessings galore will enrich the lives of all who share in the occasion.”  What a treat for my first visit! Although, I must say, it felt much more like a homecoming to me, totally familiar and comfortable. Below are a few of the photos we took — my favorite is the one with me walking in the snow along the Imperial mote with our guide up ahead and if you look very closely you’ll see two soldiers walking in the far distance. They were the only two other people we encountered!




    The next day we visited the Great Wall of China, and again were treated to a majestic sight of this great wonder of the world covered in white. It’s much more of a hike along the Great Wall than it appears in photos, and it made for quite a workout, especially with slippery ice underfoot. After a day-long adventure at the Great Wall, we made our way back to the Hyatt and enjoyed one of the best vegan dinners I’ve ever had, this time at the Loving Hut restaurant of Beijing.

    It was a Friday night, and the hotel car could not stay with us (the driver said it was a very busy night), but we figured it was no problem — we’d just take a taxi back. Oops! As we soon learned, there are zero taxis available on Friday night in Beijing. One of the restaurant guys stood out in the freezing cold night air for 20 minutes trying to hail a car for us while the chef kept bringing us free desserts. Finally, the restaurant owner herself said “okay, let’s go!” and she drove us to the Hyatt herself.  I love the people of Beijing!

    The next night, we discovered Pure Lotus restaurant of Beijing, which is the most incredible dining experience ever. Operated by Mongolian monks, it is Shangrila heaven, with guardsmen dressed in elaborate pink, gold, blue and red robes with Siberian hats who ushered us with lanterns through the darkness from the bustling street outside, down a cobblestone path lined with candle-holding Buddhist statues to a big golden Mongolian tent with towering wood door.


    The doorknob was a giant golden Buddha hand, which pivots the door open revealing an incense-filled restaurant lit with hundreds of candles among pools of lotus flowers and video images illuminating the floors and walls with a mix of modern and ancient spiritual imagery. The music was an eclectic mix of 1930s and 40s from around the world. Yes, you read that right, from the 1930s and 40s! Surreal!

    Our private dinner tent was gold and red with a table of wood and silk gauze cloth, seashells for plates and fine handblown glass of vibrant colors blue, white, black, yellow, red… each waiter wore a unique Mongolian robe, and each dish they brought to us was served in a unique vessel, one in a hollowed-out log, another in a white porcelain swan dish, another in a silver bucket on misty dry ice. Magical! Some of the best vegan food I’ve experienced anywhere in the world, combined with the most dream-like atmosphere. It defies description. The menus at Pure Lotus were three feet long in the rectangular shape of ancient Buddhist scrolls, with high-gloss cardboard pages that used artistic photos as backgrounds for each of the 30 or 40 pages of food listings. Incredible.


    I also recall vividly that same night I enjoyed the best foot massage (and most painful foot massage) of my life. It was Chinese reflexology, and although a bit torturous also absolutely brilliant. My neck even cracked from pressure my masseur applied to my feet. You know it’s a serious foot massage when it makes your neck pop! I felt like new from just 45 minutes of intense foot manipulation. With snow on the streets of Beijing we were 3 levels below the Hyatt hotel in a tropical oasis, hot and humid like Tahiti. The huge underground facility looked like an ancient Polynesian ocean temple. On the skyscape-painted ceiling were tiny lighted stars.


    From the snowfall of Beijing, we went directly to the warm beaches of our beloved home in Punta Mita, Mexico. And before I knew it, I bounced half way back across the Pacific to Kauai for a family function. The incredible staff at the Grand Hyatt Kauai took such good care of us, we will always be grateful, providing us such beautiful rooms and gourmet vegan meals. Can’t wait to go back again!


    After Kauai, I flew back to Tokyo, to meet with some video game designers. I was delighted to learn that one of my songs, Itsuka, was chosen to be featured in a Sony PSP game. My song played during the level in which players fly through Japanese-themed scenes and push their controller to the beat of the music and grab vibes in the air to gain points. Fun craziness! The game developers sent me these screen shots, one of which highlights a flight through Tokyo, then Kyoto, and Sumo wrestlers surrounded by Japanese temples, trees, and a rainbow. They captured everything I would have loved in a video game when I was 11!



    Back in Tokyo, I enjoyed reuniting with friends both old and new at Golden Week celebrations and a wonderful meeting with my mentor in life, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. Our meeting was held at my beloved alma mater in the lush hills just outside of Tokyo, at Soka University. My sister friend Akiko (from San Francisco), who attended Soka University with me, also came for the festivities. We left refreshed by perfect weather, good times with friends from around the globe, and renewed determinations to contribute more to peace and justice in our world.

    Thanks for coming with me down this memory lane from 2010!


  • Shining World

    Whenever I go skiing in Whistler, Canada, something about the atmosphere reminds me of the Swiss Alps. Breathtaking beauty all around. And for some reason I have, on multiple occasions, been mistaken for Olympic skater Apolo Ohno. Ha! I always take it as a compliment.

    Funky Winker Pub in Vancouver, Canada

    During my last visit to Vancouver, I discovered my all-time favorite pub name: Funky Winker Bean’s! Who could come up with a more unique and fun name for a pub?  Leave it to Vancouverites. And to my great delight, I discovered that KFC in Canada offers the most delicious vegan sandwiches. They were so good! Thanks to all the Canadian animal rights activists and their compassion-based work over the years, it is thanks to you that people can enjoy these kinds of vegan options nearly anywhere we go nowadays across Canada.

    Open Your Mind, Open Your Life in French for Canadians

    Another reason I love Canada, oh Canada, is that a lovely publishing house in Montreal, Quebec, was the first to translate one of my books into French with their edition of my book Open Your Mind, Open Your Life.  They sold it in both Quebec and in France, which was a big treat. Brought back memories of my childhood when I had a pretty good grasp of French (between about 2 and 8 years old). My friends in Paris told me it was an excellent translation, and well-received in France, so how could I ask for more? Gratitude to everyone who worked on the French editions of my books, especially to the brilliant Québecoise translator Josée Guévin. Vive le Québec! Vive le Canada!

  • Appreciation

    Fortunately I was able to take a few weeks off to share a family vacation with 16 members of my extended family in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands. Sitting on the peaceful, sun-drenched beaches listening to the ocean waves, some profound feelings of appreciation welled up within me. The people with whom we share our lives, I thought, greatly influence the direction, quality and value of our journey.

    My journey has been adorned with the greatest treasures of all – treasures of the heart. I’m deeply grateful to everyone who has helped me grow, learn, and become joyful. Throughout the world, past and present, I express gratitude from the core of my being. The list of those whom I’d like to shower praise upon is too long to compile. #1 on the list, however, is easy. “The Best” is my mother. She’s always been there for me as unshakable and steadfast as a mountain, under any circumstance. She’s been my best teacher, my best fan, my best influence, my best confidante. She continues to shine as a great example, a great inspiration, and a great lighthouse for my life.

    During our vacation, my nephew Alex captured a candid photo of me in which my mom appears in the background. I especially enjoy this image because I did not realize she was standing behind me when he took the photo. It reflects the reality that throughout my life my mother has always been there, proudly sustaining and watching out for me even when I don’t realize it. Thanks mom! Another favorite photo from our trip captured a magical experience I had swimming with wild stingrays in the Caribbean Sea – a life-changing experience. After playing with the stingrays, I kissed one good-bye, and my sense of appreciation and wonder for this life became heightened evermore.

    Jumping in (the dark spots are stingrays)
  • With Oprah & The Obamas

    During this tumultuous time in our history, I’ve been missing President Obama. I feel fortunate that my husband and I were part of an intimate group invited by Oprah to the first party she hosted in honor of Barack’s initial presidential bid. It was in September 2007, and framed as a grassroots kickoff at Oprah’s home in California. The day was filled with light and peace, a beautiful experience that at once felt simple yet profound. The causal atmosphere that Oprah and her team created felt like a relaxing family function, or a happy neighborhood picnic. Simply the best.

    By some streak of good fortune, I was standing in the spot where Oprah brought Barack and Michelle out to stand directly in front of the group as each of them spoke to us, kicking off the day’s activities. As they stood before us, taking turns speaking, the experience gave me an even deeper sense of Barack and Michelle’s personalities. The intangible quality you can sense when you look directly into a person’s eyes as they speak. It was an unforgettable, moving experience.

    Earlier in the day, we’d already had a chance to briefly “meet and greet.” First, we spoke with Michelle, then a little later with Barack. Honestly, I told my husband and some friends who were with us that I felt Michelle would make a better president. You know what? Everyone agreed with me. Ha!

    Then, as Michelle and Barack stood before us addressing the larger group, we were very impressed that the first thing Barack said was, “Now, I know many of you have already had a chance to meet my incredible wife, Michelle. And I also know what you must be thinking. Why isn’t she the one running for president?”  

    That’s the moment I knew for sure, he’s the guy I wanted to be our president. 

    As for being with Oprah, she’s an enlightened angel of a lady and made us all feel comfortable and at home in her magnificent Montecito residence. Wandering around the seemingly endless gardens was a treat in itself. After Barack finished his speech and everyone had plenty of time to mingle and enjoy food and drinks, Stevie Wonder performed for us, followed by a moving ballad by BeBe Winans titled “Born for This.”

    As I watched BeBe sing his heartfelt song, and I looked out over the beautiful gathering of people who had come from far and wide, I couldn’t help but cry tears of joy at the sight of everyone. Although the evening ended after sundown and the sky was dark, I saw great light surrounding the collection of humanity that had come together to work for a good cause that special day. The positive energy was powerful. For the sake of humanity, I pray that everyone can experience in their lives that kind of light, the light of hope and progress and freedom. We need it now more than ever.

  • Animal Angels

    Lately, I’ve been pondering what charitable causes I can contribute toward, to help create a better world for us all. My focus this time is on the little angels we call dogs, cats, horses and other animal companions we are blessed to know on this Earth. The immense joy and unconditional love my heart has received from my animal companions over the years is too great to measure. I hope you’ve also been fortunate enough to have your life enriched and enlightened by an animal angel.

    It’s been an honor to support the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the no-kill animal shelter in my area. The ASPCA was the first humane society to be established in North America, founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and that our fellow living beings must be protected under the law. The ASPCA is a privately funded not-for-profit corporation, so donations are tax-deductible. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in several key areas: caring for animal guardians (that’s us) and animals, providing positive outcomes for at-risk animals, and serving victims of animal cruelty. They also support efforts to find loving families for shelter animals.

    In my experience, animal shelters are run by some of the most compassionate and generous people in the world. They need help in many ways, from donations of simple items like pens and paper, to blankets and healthy treats for the animals. The volunteers work day and night to care for the most needy animals while they wait for their new forever families to come find them in the shelters.

    Please urge everyone you know to STOP supporting pet stores that use puppy mills and kitten mills, and instead support your local animal shelters. Please choose to save the life of an orphan animal waiting in a shelter. They are dreaming of finding you, and they just want to join a loving family in a forever home. Please educate yourself and your friends and family members about the sad reality of pet mills that stock some of our nation’s pet stores.

    There are countless sweet animals sitting alone in shelters whose only wish is to be saved and adopted into a safe place. The love, loyalty, and friendship you will receive from rescuing an animal in need will be your heart’s eternal reward. It’s as if there are rooms filled with gold (the spiritual kind) available now to enrich your life, and all you need to do is go out and say yes to love! Please join me and stand up for the rights and dignity of animal angels in need today. Please look up your local animal shelter and visit the ASPCA website to learn more about how you can help now. You’ll be glad you did!

  • Joyful Life

    Over the years I’ve traveled a lot for both work and pleasure. The peak travel year of my life so far was 2013, with fifty flights in that one year. Yep, fifty flight segments in one year. That was a special year, a very rewarding and fun year, but I hope I never travel that much in a year again!

    The more I’ve traveled the globe, experiencing wide ranges of different people’s lifestyles and priorities, the more I believe that a joyful life is a state of being beyond thinking and emotion, beyond possessions and wants. True joy is an undercurrent of life, a universal identity we all share beneath superficial differences. It’s just a matter of how well we can tap into this undercurrent, and worldly possessions have nothing to do with it.

    I believe this is why some folks I’ve met in materially impoverished neighborhoods around the world are some of the most spiritually wealthy people I’ve ever met. Not to say that possessions and worldy success necessarily hinder spiritual growth. As I once heard Deepak Chopra say, he’s not only a prophet, he’s also a profit. Funny!

    As the pandemic spread around the world this year, friends in Israel told me they started having daily “inspirational book club” gatherings over video and would open each session with quotes from the Hebrew edition of my book Open Your Mind, Open Your Life.

    They said they feel a sense of urgency to help increase the common awareness of humanity that you and I (and everyone) are noble students of joy in this cosmic boarding school called Life. My feelings exactly! Some of us may like, or need, to study harder than others, but still we’re all in this together for the greater purpose of bringing more joy and love into the world. In that spirit, I hope we all make the most of our lives each day, with a smile. Give of yourself, take a deep breath, calm your mind, awaken your creativity, open up and let the still space between thoughts whisper hints of our true purpose for being here together: Compassionate joy.

    I received a great gift, a reminder of the glorious wonder of Being, while playing on the beach in Mexico with my dog around New Year’s. It was the end of the season of baby sea turtles hatching, when they struggle out of their sandy nests to find their way out to the wide ocean to begin their long lives. As I ran past a little dark patch in the sand, what at first glimpse I thought was a rock, it started moving! There on its little back, mightily fighting to right itself, was a beautiful baby sea turtle. I called my family to see, carefully scooping this tiny treasure of nature into my hands to help find the way down to the waiting blue waves. Looking closely, I feel my little friend was smiling at me, what do you think? Sea turtles live to be 100 years old, so perhaps long after I’m gone from this existence my little sea turtle friend will return to that beach one day and recall the fortuitous joy of our meeting that fine sunny morning.