Chapter 9 Summary: A Happy Heart of My Own

ImageI am finishing up the chapter summaries for the book proposal. Here is the chapter summary of the chapter that I will be submitting. This chapter in question has to do with that ever fateful question of what is happiness. For some time, I pondered and pondered about what happiness meant to me and I came up with a very simple answer. For me, happiness is your zest for life and I believe that it is attainable by staying in the present moment. Being present has brought me peace, and this peace has in turn given me harmony, and, of course, happiness. In order to be present, I had to do one thing and that was to suppress my ego. In the summary below, I talk a little more about this chapter and what I needed to “let go” in order to be happy. 

Chapter 9:  A Happy Heart of My Own                                                                           “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” ~ Democritus

            Being happy most of the time would have been something that I wouldn’t have admitted to in the past. Thankfully for me, I learned to be happy regardless of what was happening in my life. In this chapter, I give my take on happiness, and for the most part, staying in the present moment has brought me peace, and that peace in turn has brought me happiness. Learning to let go of material possessions (as this isn’t true happiness), as well as letting go of fears to follow my heart has also contributed to my happiness. Suppressing my ego was key to go in the direction of true happiness for myself. In his book, The Power of Intention, Dr. Dyer lists the 7 Steps for Overcoming Ego’s Hold of You and they are the following: 1. Stop being offended, 2. Let go of the need to win, 3. Let go of the need to be right, 4. Let go of the need to be superior, 5. Let go of the need to have more, 6. Let go of identifying on the basis of your achievements, and 7. Let go of your reputation. In this chapter, I list each one and I give specific examples as to how this manifested in my own life. Finally, I discuss the dependence society has on antidepressants, including myself, to achieve a state of happiness. The end of this chapter concludes with a quote from Ernst Shurtleff Holmes’ book Creative Mind:

As it’s given me to perceive,

I most certainly believe

When a man’s glad plumb through,

God’s pleased with him same’s you.

 

What makes you happy? 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in a Book Title?

ImageApparently everything. I am down to about the last two weeks to submit my book proposal and I am still without a book title. How important is it you say? Well, it will be one of the first words that the publishers will be reading when they review my book proposal. So yes, it is extremely important! At the same time, I have also heard that publishers will often change the book title if it is not compelling enough. But being that this is a competition, I feel that I must get this part just right. I’ve thought about some titles, but none of them really are attention getters in my opinion.  I have had dreams where I have seen my title with a subtitle. I know that much. 

Here are the book chapter titles, the chapter quotes, and the book titles that I came up with too. 

Chapter 1: In the beginning…

“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” ~Jane Austen

 

Chapter 2: Emotional Detachment

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” ~Winston Churchill

 

Chapter 3: On my own again… The Separation

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Chapter 4: Nurturing my Spirit ~ A Well Deserved Break

“Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” ~Dale Carnegie

 

Chapter 5: More Changes: Going Back to School – August 2009

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

 

Chapter 6: Back home and the ‘Bumps’ in the Road

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet.” ~ Gandhi

 

Chapter 7: Kindness and Compassion- A Semester with Adults

“Our main goal is to help others. If you cannot help them, then at least resist from hurting them.” ~Dalai Lama

 

Chapter 8:  Gratitude and Patience – The High School Year

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” ~ St. Francis

 

Chapter 9:  A Happy Heart of My Own

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” ~ Democritus

 

Chapter 10: Coming Into my Own

“Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal.”

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

1. Memoirs of One Lucky Girl – (It’s been such a long time that I forgot the subtitle. And, I wasn’t really feeling it.)

2. Let It Be: A Memoir – (I obviously copied the title from the Beatles’ Song.)

And the last one is –

3. Coming Into My Own: My Journey from Emotional Healing to Spiritual Healing (I’m not feeling this one either and it is the title of the last chapter.)

A friend of mine once told me that I should think about including the world love in the title and I’ve yet to do that too, but it’ll be something else I’ll be doing this week. 

If you get any ideas that come to you about my book, I’d love to hear them. 🙂 

I’ll be posting the chapter summaries very soon. Stay tuned…

Have A Beautiful Day! 

Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

On Writing My Book Proposal

                                

ImageI have about one month to submit my book proposal to Hay House Publishing for a chance to win a $10,000 advance and to have my book published with Hay House (www.hayhouse.com/event_details.php?event_id=1510). I am excited, anxious, and even patient. But one thing that I am not is stressed.  A few years ago, I probably would have been crying by now as I have so much on my plate. I teach in the day and I am a writer by night. You think I would be completely overwhelmed and I am not. Thank God.

No doubt, I feel like I am in school again. It feels as though I am writing my comps paper, but only this time it’s for my passion and dream. I am not only leaning a lot, but I am also enjoying the process. The challenging part of the book proposal has to be the editing of the chapter or chapters to be submitted as it is quite extensive. I have this month to fine-tune this book proposal and I intend to do just that!

Writing a book itself is not difficult. By no means is it a walk in the park either; it is a lot of work. But, all you need is time, the commitment, and discipline to write every day. If you ever thought about writing a book, then today would be a good day to start! Everyone has a story, what’s yours? Also, if you have started to write a book and you are ready to write a book proposal, you can take a look at Mychael Hyatt’s ebook: Writing a Winning Non- Fiction Book Proposal. It’s an excellent source for writing a book proposal. You can find it at http://store.michaelhyatt.com/writing-a-winning-non-fiction-book-proposal-e-book-by-michael-hyatt.

 

Happy Writing!

Where do I begin?

Write
Writing a book has been a personal goal of mine for some time. I remember the day I started to write my memoir. It was the Spring of 2010 and I was at the library at Cal State Long Beach. It was final’s week and I was finishing up my master’s degree. It occurred to me to start writing the book. So, instead of studying for finals (as I should have been doing) I started writing my book.

It’s been a little over two years and it’s a learning process as I didn’t know the first thing about writing a book. Aside from “What’s the book about?” I also get asked “How do you write a book?” and “Where would I begin?”

Some things you may want to consider when writing a book are the following:

1. I learned that every kind of book should start with an outline, except memoirs. It makes sense to me now. Here I was trying to keep to an outline when my life is going a different direction.

2. For every chapter ask a few questions and that is what you will focus on for each chapter. hen The answers to those questions will be your subtopics. Add to this by brainstorming and include details to the subtopics.

3.Have others read your work. This was a tough one for me because I had been writing all my life and it was only until recently that others have read my work. I have even read excerpts of my book to my students!

4. Build a Platform – If you’re serious about become a published author, start building your platform now. Get your blog, your business Facebook, Twitter, etc. Also, a very helpful book for this has been Platform- Get Noticed In A Noisy World: A Step-By-Step Guide for Anyone With Something To Say Or Sell by Michael Hyatt.

5. Above all, write every single day. One of the presenters at the Hay House Writer’s Workshop suggested that we write half of the time we intend to write. For example, if you want to write for an hour a day, try to do it for half an hour. Also, schedule a time to write every day. A good friend of mine, who is also writing a book, is using http://750words.com and this works for him.

6. In the writer’s workshop I attended, they also suggested to write to the end. That way, we will know what our book’s themes will be and we can work more with the material.

7. Finally, be patient with yourself and with the overall process. I thought I would be done with the book by now. Wonderful new ideas and writing material keep coming to me all the time.

I’ll leave you with something that the late Jenni Rivera said in an interview. She said that in order to be a diva you have to follow the 3 D’s: desire, determination, and discipline. I had heard of these three concepts separately but not together. It’s very simple. Make the intention, works towards your goal, and finally let it go and release it to the Universe.

Happy Writing!

On Being Happy…

Happy
Ever since I can remember I have always been curious about many things in life and I am constantly questioning everything. This has included happiness.  In this post, I include what I believe happiness to be and what friends and family have told me what happiness means to them. This is an excerpt from one of my chapters from the memoir: A Happy Heart of my Own.

“In general, I knew certain pleasurable experiences not only made me joyful, but others, as well. I asked friends and family what they considered happiness to be and their answers ranged from playing their favorite sport, to helping others, or simply being in nature. Marcos, a friend of mine, began his response with telling me that happiness to him meant ‘not being stressed.’ And I couldn’t agree with him more. Since when does stress and happiness occur simultaneously? It doesn’t.  One of my family members, Karina, answered by saying, ‘For me it’s when I run and feel the presence of the Lord and I have this immense feeling of gratefulness for everything in my life.’ Another family member of mine, Gloria, very humble began with, ‘I can’t explain true happiness” and added, “all I can say is that I know it when I feel it. Family, friends, humanity, humility, gratefulness, waking to another day, thunder, lighting, the sunshine, a smile, a hug, even nothing can make me feel happiness! But, I can truly say that I experienced true happiness when I learned self-love, when I leaned in to clear my mind and let peace take over. So, happiness to me turns out to be LIFE itself.’

This same harmony, joy, and peace are seen in my friend Carlos’ definition on happiness. He says, ‘For me, happiness is akin to knowing that I am alive. There is something so special going on this planet of ours, something that we’ve yet to discover anywhere else in the universe and most of us (again, particularly in industrialized nations) act as if we couldn’t care less. We have to stop every now and then and take a step back in wonder and amazement. Put things in perspective and take life, with all its glitches, and treat it like what it is: the best, most unique gift in the world.’

What a beautiful combination of different interpretations on happiness. As each expressed what happiness meant to them, I understood and felt it as a rejoicing in all that proved to be of profound delight in their hearts. What was salient in their takes on happiness was a feeling, a connection, and an alignment with spirit: a complete and selfless, unconditional love of life and love for oneself.

After my family and friends expressed what happiness meant to them, I was left with an unwavering desire to define happiness for myself. I questioned whether mere instances in our lives would be the only defining moments that made us achieve this state or could we live happily all the time?

Here is my take on happiness:

“In many ways, the result of this search for my own happiness led me to believe that it is as simple and as sweet as one’s own joie de vivre. I can’t recall the exact date when all this started to happen, but I clearly remember a consistency that came with waking up day after day and being content and filled with gratitude for the light of another day. Not to mention, how truly blessed I was for seeing my life as beautiful and, even more, living it as such. The great and late pianist of the twentieth century, Arthur Rubinstein, once said, ‘I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.’ Pure and simple. I can think of no better way of expressing this sentiment of a constant state of happiness other than to see life as beautiful and to love it. For me, this has translated as living life to the fullest with joy and peace in our hearts because this is what we feel and have within us; it’s who we are. And when we radiate this love, it follows that we not only see our environment and others in a different light, but we also take pleasure and delight through the benefit of receiving love in return. And, for the first time, I wasn’t seeing my life through rose-colored glasses. Happiness wasn’t the result of luck as I had once thought, but it was the result of my unyielding pursuit of it. I had come into harmony on my own accord and I was truly happy.”

What makes you happy? What do you define as happiness?

What’s the book about?

Memoir

“What’s  the book about?” Of course, this is the follow-up question that I get asked when I tell others that I am writing a book.

The book that I am writing is a memoir that I started  back in May 2010. I went through a devastating divorce a few years ago that lead to the desire to heal emotionally. Inspired by the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, I pushed fear to the side and I did something similar to what she did. I sold my house, I quit my job, and I decided to go to Spain as a student in the fall of 2007. A much needed and well-deserved break was in order and I am very fortunate and grateful to have had this opportunity.

My life has been one continuous wave of change since then. Upon my return, I did not have a job and I substituted for a couple of years to make ends meet. Also, I decided to go back to school to get a Master’s in linguistics and a T.E.S.O.L. (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages) certificate because I had loved Spain so much that I wanted to go back and teach adults English. This plan didn’t come through as I had a change of heart when I finished school and decided to stay in L.A.. About a year and a half after completing school, I got the opportunity to teach ESL classes to adults in Northern California with a non-profit organization. A little afraid of this move, I pushed fear to the side again and I would be there 7 months. After this, I moved on to high school! It’s been interesting to say the least, but I am grateful to have had this opportunity. I don’t regret a single thing that I have done in my life and I would do it all over again. To say that I have learned a lot from my experiences is an understatement.

In the memoir, I write about these changes and many other events that have transformed me as a person.  I’m currently writing a book proposal for a chance to win a $10,000 advance and to have my book published with Hay House Publishing.

This is the premise of the book:

Our life purpose is to develop our spiritual selves, which entails being happy and peaceful. The purpose of this book is to tell my story: a story that begins with a divorce and goes from emotional healing to spiritual healing. As a result, an imminent spiritual awakening and spiritual transformation was in order, and I began to create my life as I envisioned and desired it  with every day miracles.

The memoir has ten chapters and these are  the titles of the chapters:

Chapter 1: In the beginning…

“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” ~Jane Austen

Chapter 2: Emotional Detachment

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” ~Winston Churchill

Chapter 3: On my own again… The Separation

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Chapter 4: Nurturing my Spirit ~ A Well Deserved Break

“Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” ~Dale Carnegie

Chapter 5: More Changes: Going Back to School – August 2009

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Chapter 6: Back home and the ‘Bumps’ in the Road

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet.” ~ Gandhi

Chapter 7:  A Happy Heart of My Own

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” ~ Democritus

Chapter 8: A Semester with Adults with Sprinkles of Kindness and Compassion

“Our main goal is to help others. If you cannot help them, then at least resist from hurting them.” ~Dalai Lama

Chapter 9: And a Dash of Gratitude and Patience – The High School Year

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” ~ St. Francis

Chapter 10: Coming Into my Own

“Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal.”

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Have you ever thought about writing a book?  What is your book about? What are your ideas? Everyone has a story. What is yours?