Monday, August 18, 2014

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

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

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.

Thank you for this interview!  Id like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when youre not writing?

Thank you for asking. I have a very busy life. My time is shared between my writing,  institute, private practice and thirteen year old son. I like to manage my time really well. Every moment counts.

When did you start writing?

While I have been writing since I was an adolescent, I began to write professionally about fifteen years ago.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

There is a huge difference between being a writer and a being a published author. Writing is an art and skill and publishing is a business. These are two completely different mindsets and it was a pivotal point for me to discover how to do both in a way that would both express and honor my message.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

That is a really tough question, especially since where we write affects what we write. It would have to be a place that inspires my muse.  Fiji comes to mind at the moment.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Sleep! Im getting ready to launch The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams at the International Book Expo - America in New York next week and I must admit that Ive been burning the candle at both ends to get ready!

Where would you like to set a story that you havent done yet?

Interestingly, even though I write non-fiction, this question still applies in a certain way. The storyfor non-fiction writers is often the reality within reach that we are pointing to and encouraging our readers to discover — such as a trip in a travel magazine or an interesting piece of history. As a personal development writer, I am interested in setting the “story” in my readers lives. My theme is to show readers how truly gifted we all are and how by using our gifts we can transform our lives.

Back to your present book, The Gifted: How to Live the Life of  Your Dreams, how did you publish it?

I chose to launch the Daphne Michaels Books imprint. 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.

 In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Only through the lands of potential and possibility!

Why was writing The Gifted: How to Live the Life of Your Dreams so important to you?

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. Writing personal development books is a natural next step in my journey to take my message to as broad of an audience as possible.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

My best ideas come from a connection that I feel with the universe. Many writers and poets speak of this. There is a sense of otherness in my writing. A sense that a am the messenger, but the message is much bigger than me.

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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