For Immediate Release - January 25, 2005
LIFE IS HUGE!: A New Book by Susan Jeffers Reveals the
Immense Power of Little, Everyday Moments
In Life Is Huge!, a compilation of articles and stories, "the Queen of Self-Help" finds profound meaning in everything from grocery stores to living room rugs to breast cancer.
Santa Monica, CA (February 2005) - When was the last time you really loved your life? Your answer may be something like, "When my baby was born," or "When I finally got the promotion I'd been working toward." The problem is that such "big moments" are rare. How do you experience those long stretches in between? Do you revel in a perfect cup of coffee, a great haircut, a paid-off credit card, a purring cat curled up on your lap? Does the mere existence of your warm house, well-stocked fridge, and healthy child bring gratitude? Does the fact that you've survived pain and grief and hardship - and even grown from it - inspire joy?
The sad truth is that most of us don't live this way. But according to best-selling author Susan Jeffers, author of the new book Life Is Huge! Laughing, Loving and Learning from It All (Jeffers Press, June 2005, ISBN: 0-9745776-7-7, $14.95), we can. It's simply a matter of opening our eyes and really (no, really) looking at the wonders around us.
"Life is absolutely overflowing with huge, pivotal, awe-inspiring moments," says Jeffers. "But we tend to sleepwalk past them without noticing, or worse, we resent them. In Life Is Huge! I include a story about how I used to hate going to the supermarket. But one day I decided to use this dreaded chore to practice the art of 'looking deeply.' And what I saw was absolute, mind-boggling abundance. I saw that the supermarket is a gift, a miracle, and I stood there crying in the aisle. Look deeply and even the most mundane experience becomes, well, huge."
This is the kind of story that only Jeffers can tell. So gifted is she at inspiring people to live life to the fullest that she's sold millions of copies of her seventeen books - translated into thirty-six languages - and had the title "the Queen of Self-Help" bestowed on her by The Times of the U.K. In Life Is Huge!, Jeffers shares fifty bite-sized stories and articles that she's written over the years.
Topics in this warm, readable, and amazingly powerful book cover vast swathes of territory, from September 11th to breast cancer to bratty kids to wrinkles to relationships to the aforementioned supermarket epiphany. All express what happens when you "look deeply" at life - the love, the joy, and the profound lessons that reveal themselves like barely suspected treasures. Here are a few of the messages you'll glean:
When you notice THE PINK IN THE RUG Syndrome . . . laugh. It's all too human to fret over the 1 percent of a situation that bothers us and overlook the 99 percent that's fantastic. Jeffers illustrates this tendency with a story about lamenting to her friend Donna how she would focus on one little thing that was wrong instead of focusing on all that was wonderful. Her friend Donna understood. She had ordered a custom-made rug for her living room. When the rug arrived after many months, Donna discovered that the purple background she'd requested was not purple at all, but pink. Even though the rug was beautiful and it harmonized with her (also beautiful) living room, all she could see from that moment on was THE PINK IN THE RUG.
"No matter how hard she tries to blind her eyes to the PINK and focus on everything else that is perfect, the PINK looms before her," writes Jeffers, adding that she and Donna had a good chuckle over the ridiculousness of the situation. "What has helped me greatly is to laugh at this silly syndrome that so clearly symbolizes my need to control everything around me. When I am upset by something in my life, more and more I am able to recognize it as just another example of THE PINK IN THE RUG Syndrome . . . and I begin to laugh."
Say "YES!" to adversity. YES! is more than a word. It's a state of mind that says, "No matter what happens in my life, I'll make something wonderful out of it." In Life Is Huge!, Jeffers reveals how she said YES! to breast cancer. When she was in the hospital after her mastectomy, she decided that rather than seeing herself as a victim, she was going to "find the blessing." And she did. Her diagnosis led to her marriage (when it brought out the inner nurturer in the man she was dating), helped her connect with her true sexuality (which has nothing to do with physical attributes), inspired her to let go of old anger, and helped her appreciate the simple pleasures of everyday life.
"I know it's very easy to say YES! when things go right for us," she writes. "But the trick is saying YES! when things seem to be going badly. We can do this only when we realize there are blessings inherent in all things and our task is to find these blessings. I promise you that this attitude of YES! makes all the difference between a life filled with misery and scarcity and a life filled with joy and abundance. I am forever thankful that I learned I had a choice . . . which we all do."
When you feel terrible, help someone else. There are times on our journey through the huge-ness of life that we feel lost, unloved, helpless, and defeated. What do we do when we find ourselves in such an unhappy state? Some of us "get out of ourselves" by drinking too much, or taking drugs, or feeling sorry for ourselves, or complaining, or whatever else that stops us from doing what is truly necessary. Jeffers suggests a better way to "get out of yourself": help someone else. Feed and clothe the poor. Visit the elderly. Read to children in hospitals.
"Giving has its own special rewards," writes Jeffers. "It is the pathway to finding and increasing our feelings of self-confidence and worth. And in the end, it is just these feelings that we are all yearning for during those times when our lives seem so empty and unhappy . . . As you make helping others a part of your everyday life, any feelings of depression and unhappiness will appear less and less and less . . . and feelings of joy, gratitude, and all good things will appear more and more and more. It works every time."
Look for Heaven in "brief moments in time." So many of us spend our lives waiting for some future "Heaven" - literal or figurative or both - in which we can finally be happy. We would do better to recognize the bliss that exists in the everyday moments in the here and now. Jeffers writes:
"I went for a walk and noticed a bed of the most exquisite fuchsia flowers I had ever seen. They took my breath away. For a brief moment in time, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven."
"It was raining outside with the raindrops softly hitting the deck. I was lying in bed, warm and content, reading a good book . . . one of my favorite light-hearted mysteries. How cozy it was. For a brief moment in time, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven."
"I was walking in the park. A homeless old man approached me and I gave him some money. He asked if he could give me a hug. I said, 'Of course.' It felt so good. We both cried with the greatness of human connection. For a brief moment in time, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven."
"So many of us wonder if we will go to Heaven when we die," she concludes. "It occurs to me that in so many ways we have already arrived. We just need to notice."
Ultimately, says Jeffers, to love life - to truly live it to its fullest - you must seek to connect with the world. You must embrace it like a lover. You must constantly ask yourself, How can I reach out to the people around me? How can I radiate light in a world that sometimes looks very dark? How can I open my heart and take more responsibility in healing the hurts I see around me every day of my life? It's amazing to realize what a difference one person - you - can make.
"There will be times when you forget how important you really are," writes Jeffers. "So to help you imprint it permanently in your mind, I'd like you to repeat the following at least ten times a day every single day of your life from this day forth: Who I am is someone who has the power to create a Heaven on earth for myself and to radiate a piece of that Heaven out to everyone whose life touches mine . . . and beyond."
"Repeat it over and over again for as many days, months, or years as it takes, until you fully take in its implications and begin to consciously live your life within its truth," she advises. "As you begin to understand the immense power and love you hold inside, you will find an unending surge of joy, light, and love that will nourish and support you all the days of your life."
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About the Author:
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., is a best-selling author and celebrated speaker. Sales of her works are well into the millions, reaching more than one hundred countries and translated into thirty-six languages. Susan's seventeen books include Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, End the Struggle and Dance with Life, Embracing Uncertainty, Opening Our Hearts to Men, The Little Book of Confidence, and The Little Book of Peace of Mind, as well as a Fear-less series of affirmation books and tapes. In the fall of 2004, The Times of the U.K. named Susan "the Queen of Self-Help" - ranking her alongside such influential leaders as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
For more information, please visit www.SusanJeffers.com.
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