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Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader

Part One: Solving the Happiness Puzzle

1. Happiness from a Different Angle
2. Longing for Magic
3. The Wisdom of Your Discontent
4. The Bewildering Nature of Paradox
5. The Steamy Love Affair Between Opposites
6. Dilemmas: Opposites’ Tenacious Offspring
7. Entering the Land of Unresolvable Dilemma
8. The Magic of Impermanence
9. Preparing for Your Peaceful Journey

Part Two: Your Map To The Land of Unresolvable Dilemma and That Different Brand of Happiness.

10. Beyond the Awareness Paradox
11. Step One—Exploring the Lay of the Land
12. Step Two—The River Running Through It
13. Step Three—Riding the River’s Rapids
14. Step Four—Obstacles to Your Enjoyable Travel
15. Step Five—The New Perspectives for Your Journey
16. Step Six—Enjoying the Ride



Quotes from the Mystics


Note to the Reader

Dear Reader,

Unflappable Table of ContentsI hope you will accept the wisdom in this book as a gesture of love—from my heart to yours. This wisdom helped me find true self-acceptance, peace of mind, and a kind of happiness I never knew existed. In short—my life finally became workable.

As a counselor and behavioral change specialist, I focus on how to get a new behavior to happen—whether it’s eating healthy, saving money, or being more aware.

Radically new behaviors require a change in your brain. Unflappable offers this kind of brain-changing perspective. It clears the way to use your capacity for inner peace and a different brand of happiness. Here are some of the ways you’ll benefit:


  • You’ll become more content with where you are, moment to moment, instead of feeling there is someplace else you’d rather be.
  • You’ll relax and embrace continual change, instead of trying to control and manipulate life.
  • You’ll know you are on a journey of becoming more aware, moment to moment, instead of comparing yourself to people you believe are enlightened or better than you.
  • You’ll know how to embrace both the emotional roller coaster ride of being human and the reflective calm of being divine, instead of being confused about where and how to fit spirituality into your daily life.

Unflappable provides insight, wisdom, and guidance so you can walk on a paradoxical path—a path which doesn’t assume either your humanity or your divinity is better than the other, a path rich in practical possibilities for creating true happiness, in a better world.

May this wisdom help you find what you’re seeking. Enjoy.

In peace and wonder,

Excerpt of Introduction: The Chase After Happiness

“All I want is for you to be happy.

Did you ever hear your mother say that? Did you ever buy a house, take a trip, get a new job, or fall in love and think you had happiness in the bag—until reality and just plain life settled in?

“Happiness is there for the taking! Go get it!” That’s what American culture tells us, with overwhelming evidence for its apparent truth all around: happy, rich, successful, beautiful folks on TV; well-dressed businesspeople bustling in and out of the glitzy high rise buildings downtown; luxurious lifestyles portrayed in fashion magazines at the grocery store. Even though your pursuit might not sound so glamorous, this cultural decree defines how most people pursue happiness. But it doesn’t give you the whole story about creating a happy life.

Here’s the thing—the idea that you can catch happiness this way, and have it all the time, is like a mirage: it shimmers in the distance, beckoning you forward—but is unable to ever deliver what it promises. Yet we cling to the idea of finding perpetual happiness as if it were a real oasis. We think we’ll finally quench our persistent thirst to enjoy life and feel good.

Unflappable MandalaThe idea that you can catch happiness, and have it all the time, is a mirage.

The problem isn’t that happiness isn’t available to us right now—it’s just not hiding out where we’re looking.

Is Happiness Even a Worthy Pursuit?

Everyone’s searching for happiness in some way or another, but is it a worthwhile goal or just an indulgence? Should you be embarrassed at wanting it? Can you really be a good person if you focus on being happy? Or does wanting happiness for yourself mean that you’re a selfish slacker, avoiding being a responsible, conscious and engaged global citizen?

The answer is a definite no. It’s not only okay to be happy; it’s your birthright—and your gift to share with others. The Dalai Lama says this is the purpose of our existence. Even the United States Declaration of Independence encourages your pursuit of happiness.

When I was four years old, I remember tip-toeing out of my room to the top of the staircase on Christmas morning. As I peeked down into the living room, my eyes landed on the most beautiful doll in the universe, unwrapped, waiting for me under the tree. I was so happy I shook with joy. That was my defining moment. I was convinced my purpose in life was to be happy. How could that not be? It felt soooooooo good. I never forgot that oh-so-excellent feeling. I wanted it again—and again, and again.

When I grew up, I realized that happiness does makes the heart overflow and lifts giving to a kingly stature—with so much in your heart, sharing is the only option. Like a cloud that has to rain to relieve the fullness of too much moisture, the human heart has to share happiness to relieve the fullness of too much joy.

What Works (and Doesn’t) with Go-Get-It Happiness

I bet you’ve experienced that fullness of joy too. You may have felt it when you finally got your promotion, bought a house, finished that creative project you’d thought was beyond your reach, or saw your baby take those first steps. You’ve probably also experienced the happiness of a lesser degree, like when you got extra cash from selling your couch or finished knitting a sweater, or even after you paid your bills on time.

You work hard to feel good about yourself and make choices you believe are right and good. When you are successful, you feel satisfied, accomplished, proud, joyful, loving, lovable, connected, generous, smart, courageous, and of course, filled with a sense of purpose and meaning.

You knew what would make you feel good, you set out to do it, and it worked. Then that wonderful feeling of happiness arrived. You enjoyed it, savored it, and drank it up.

And then . . . your visit with happiness came to an end.

It’s so delightful to go and get what you want (or make sure you do not get what you don’t want). But when these pleasurable feelings eventually pass—as everything does—you feel anxious, wondering what you did wrong, or pondering where to find happiness again. Happiness in this form doesn’t stay around for long, does it?

But the desire for happiness does stay. So you then try to find something else that will bring it again—a shopping trip, chocolate ice cream, or perhaps the excitement of maybe winning the lottery. It doesn’t matter that you consciously know the satisfaction won’t last. You just want to feel good again—as soon as possible….”

To return to continue reading the full book description, click > Unflappable – 6 Steps to Staying Happy, Centered, and Peaceful No Matter What