Harold Whitman described why passion is so important to all of us when he said, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that, because what the world needs are people who have come alive."

We're going to be interviewing someone whom the world absolutely needs and someone who is completely alive. Barbara DeAngelis is one of the most influential teachers of our time in the field of relationships and personal growth.

She's the author of 14 bestselling books which have sold over eight million copies and have been published in 20 languages. Her books include How to Make Love All the Time and the number-one New York Times bestseller, Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know and Are You The One For Me?

Barbara's latest book is called How Did I Get Here? Finding Your Way to Renewed Hope and Happiness When Life and Love Take Unexpected Turns. Barbara has written regularly for Cosmopolitan, Ladies' Home Journal, McCall's, Reader's Digest, Redbook and Family Circle.

She's also a frequent guest on "Oprah," "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "The View," "Geraldo," and "Politically Incorrect," as well as a regular contributor to "E Entertainment" and "Eyewitness News" in Los Angeles.

She appeared weekly for two years on CNN as their Newsnight Relationship Expert dispensing advice via satellite all over the world. She's also hosted her own daily television show for CBS TV and her own popular radio talk show in Los Angeles.

Barbara's also produced and starred in a one-hour special for PBS entitled "Love Secrets." She's known for sharing her inspirational presence, authenticity and passion with her audiences.

Janet Attwood: It appears that, in many ways, your whole life has been about passion. The first question I have is what role have your passions, the things which are most important to you in your life, played in leading you to the work you do today?

Barbara DeAngelis:The truth is that I would say passion is at the source of everything I do, not just professionally, but personally as well. Most people think about passion as tremendous enthusiasm or an ability to get excited about something.

To me, passion is that light, that spark, that cosmic, divine energy that awakens us and, in a sense, charges us to do something. For me, that passion took the form and always takes the form of love.

It's love for people, tremendous love for the transformational process, passion for the ability that every one of us has to transform ourselves, to free ourselves of things that get in our way, that limit us, that keep us from doing our cosmic assignment-what we're here to do.

Really, at a very young age I was so passionate, first, in working on myself and trying to know who I am. As I say in my book How Did I Get Here?, I was passionate about digging deep for wisdom and being willing to ask difficult questions of myself.

And then I was passionate about helping people supporting people in getting rid of whatever it is that is not allowing them to live the life they want in any arena. I've been very blessed to have the abilities, the gifts, the vision to be able to see how to help people do that.

That's been my passion, whether it's as I started out in my career in the late 70s and 80s talking about relationships, or as it continued and developed more into really talking much more about our emotional and spiritual breakthroughs, as my work focuses on now.

It is that same passion for freedom, the freedom that we can all have. It is the passion I have and the love I have for people that really wants to embrace them, help usher them through that transformational process.

Janet Attwood: Will you share the story of how your very first national bestseller How to Make Love All the Time came to be?

Barbara DeAngelis:It was really the same thing. I was giving a seminar at the time called Making Love Work, which is what you attended. It was a very successful seminar in Los Angeles, and people would fly in from all over the country.

I did this for 12 years and finally put it all on DVDs and CDs, so I didn't have to do it in person anymore. It's nice people now can just sit at home in their own bedroom and work through everything.

But at the time, I was doing it, everyone would come up to me and say the same thing, "My aunt needs this but she lives somewhere and she can't fly in. Why don't you put it in a book?" I had been a writer since I was a child. I'd been writing poetry and prose and had published my poetry.

I knew that being an author was in my destiny and was just trying to figure out how to do it, what to do. Eventually, I realized I had to write a book, and it was very interesting because all the agents and publishers I went to said, "There are too many books about relationships. We don't need any more.

Really, you should pick another subject because you're not going to be successful." And I was turned down over and over again. I just was so absolutely committed to doing this, and I knew. I kept trying and trying and trying, and I absolutely, finally got an agent for How to Make Love All the Time.

Then it was published, and everything kind of exploded from there. But I wasn't one of these people who had an idea for a book, instantly got an agent, instantly got a publisher, and the next thing you know, it was the number-one bestseller without my working on it, and then my whole career skyrocketed.

I have been a long, slow, steady success with a lot of commitment and my undying passion for what I did that finally convinced everybody else to believe in what I was doing. But if I hadn't had that passion, I would have just been one of these people saying, "If only I had written a book."

Janet Attwood: Yes. I think it's so great. You really must have learned so much during that journey at the same time and became even more resolved in what your own knowledge was, what your own feelings were about your own self, your own passions, what you were about, and what you were doing.

Barbara DeAngelis:My whole life has been about emotional courage. Emotional courage is a phrase I created. I haven't heard a lot of people ever mention it. Emotional courage means the courage to really live passionately.

It's the courage that comes from really being committed to what's inside of you, being willing to risk, being willing to shift, being willing to change, being willing to, as I said, dig deep for wisdom, and to face whatever it is that you need to face so that you can live with freedom and love with freedom, and unfold into the fullness of who you are.

That emotional courage is something that I really try to help people develop and find in themselves, because with it you can do anything or deal with anything. Without it you can do nothing. That courage comes from being in touch with your true passion.

That means your passion for what you're really doing here, whether it's being a wonderful mother or creating a business or taking care of animals or being a minister. It doesn't matter what it is. It is our passion that really is our charisma.

I train speakers and writers a lot because they want to do what I do. One of the things I tell them is, "Forget technique on one level. If you are passionate when you speak, when you present-or for anyone listening when you give a presentation at work, when you're out on dates, it doesn't matter what-people will love you.

What they're loving is that aliveness in you because we all are attracted to the light of aliveness. That passion, if you can touch it, if you can find it, and then if you can radiate it, will be absolutely like a magnet that attracts all kinds of things to you.

I don't really know how people function without it. It's very hard to be successful without it, so finding a way to tap into it, which is what I do in my work with people, is like finding a gold mine. It's like finding something that is the source of everything.

Janet Attwood: I really, really love all of this. What I especially, really appreciate hearing you say are the two words 'emotional courage' because my own experience has been that you can really have your passion, and you have to have that courage to go along with it.

Here's a question for you, and I'll ask it in a question. Do you think that just because one is aligned with his passion that he'll be able to fulfill his goals of that passion?

Barbara DeAngelis:No, of course not. That's one of the things that I talk a lot about in How Did I Get Here? There are millions of people out there with dreams, whether it's the dream of happiness, the dream of a certain career, the dream of creativity.

What determines whether or not you're going to be able to manifest that is a lot more than just feeling it, knowing it, believing it. It takes tremendous emotional courage to really, as I say, come out of the closet with who you really are and what you're doing here in life, because the road of really manifesting who you are is not an easy one.

It's not an easy one. There is a lot of resistance in the world. There is a lot of challenge. Every successful person who has really gone out and lived the life of their dreams has met tremendous adversity. If you don't know how to move around that, to navigate through it, you will just come to a complete halt every time something comes into your path.

That's what happens to a lot of people. We end up actually sabotaging our own happiness without realizing it. We misinterpret the signs. We don't know how to navigate around them and through to the other side.

There is a great quote that I always share about all of us who are trying in life to become something or do something: "We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. But the amount of work is the same." Isn't that fantastic?

Janet Attwood: Yes, that is.

Barbara DeAngelis:That says everything. To everybody listening right now-and I'm so grateful that you tuned in for this phone call-all of you are so powerful. You don't need to be any more powerful than you already are. We have all been given the same life force.

In different languages it's called the chi, the Shakti, the divine spirit. We've all been given the same divine energy, just like every drop of the ocean is wet. The question is what are you doing with your power? Are you using it to focus on the negative?

Are you using it to hold yourself back? Are you using it to empower fear and talk yourself out of things? Are you using it to sabotage the good things in your life? Are you using it to believe in yourself? Are you using it to take risks?

What do you do with the power you have? That's the question that I ask people when I give my seminars, when I work with them. Not, how do you become more powerful? How do you use the power you have? How do you understand it? How do you use it for what you want, and not let it use you?

Janet Attwood: That's beautiful. The other thing that you said-and I'm sitting here writing a million miles an hour just so I'll get all of this myself-is that what you help people do is to be in touch with their true passion. Wouldn't you agree that you have the courage when you're in touch with your true passion?

It's kind of like a natural component that seems to follow it. When you're truly in touch with your true passion, then it's as if you can get through anything. It doesn't mean that there aren't obstacles. There are, but you have that extra push to get you through because you're so aligned. Is that your experience?

Barbara DeAngelis:Yes, it's beautifully said, Janet. I believe that our passions for things do come from divine assignments that we've been given. Therefore, when we tune into what our passion is for, it's in a sense like we're tuning into a package, and in that package are many things.

There are particular gifts and talents we've been given. There are desires that will make us kind of go out there in the world and manifest those gifts and desires. But also in that package is kind of like an emotional first-aid kit that's been given to us. It's part of it. It's the grace that comes with the dream and the vision.

It's that higher energy that is there to guide us, help us, protect us, bring the right people into our lives, allow us to continue and to find new roads even when we seem to come to dead ends. Turn them into doorways. So that's all there.

But you're absolutely right; it needs to be connected. Here's the thing that a lot of us make the big mistake on. Passion is not the same as enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is a mental construct. "I'm enthusiastic about this. I believe in this strongly."

That's not the same as passion. Passion is an emotional experience. It is found in the heart. It is not found in the mind, so you can't intellectually get passionate about something. You can get intellectually enthusiastic about something, positive about it, but to get passionate, you have to surrender.

You have to surrender to something within you. You have to surrender and allow it to take over, and that is really scary for people to do unless they understand it. But in that surrender there is grace. And in that grace, you will be guided, supported, protected, et cetera, and in ways that you can't possibly imagine.

Interestingly enough, a lot of people are waiting to kind of get pregnant with their own passion. You know, I do transformational consultations for people all over the world actually, and I think a lot of you, my friends whom I work with, are listening.

People will call me up and say, "I don't know what my purpose is." Or "I feel like a big breakthrough is about to happen but I'm not sure what to do," and "I'm tired of my job, but what should I be doing?" Never, never, never do they actually not know or feel what they want to do.

It's in there, but they're aren't recognizing it for several reasons: one, their mind talks them out it; two, they're not looking in the right place for it; and three, to really feel it takes such courage, because then you have to do it.

Confusion-and I say this in one of my CDs, in my Living the Life You Want program-is just a cover-up. We're very rarely ever confused. We just don't like the information or the choices that are in front of us. Many times we hang around in confusion rather than in passion because it's a very safe place to be.

As long as you're confused, you don't have to do anything. As long as you're confused, you don't have to take a risk. As long as you're confused, you don't have to put yourself on the line. You don't have to actually take a stand.

You don't have to make a change. People make a profession out of being confused. You can stay confused for years. Meanwhile, you're not doing what you came to do. Meanwhile, people need you and your gift.

Meanwhile, the world is continuing to go into turmoil, and you are not doing your assignment. So I always challenge people when I do my seminars, and say, "I can get you unconfused in five minutes," and I can because they're not really confused in the first place.

So the other side of passion, you might say, is confusion, uncertainty. And if anyone listening is feeling that, please come work with me because it's such a silly place, it's such a painful place to hang out, in wrong confusion. Confusion eventually turns into depression if we hang around for too long in it.

Janet Attwood: Barbara, you should see my pad; it's almost all taken up all ready, but this one line you said really just jumped out at me. You said, "We are very rarely confused. We just don't like the information around us." That is so powerful. Thank you so much. How are your passions being expressed in your work today?

Barbara DeAngelis:That's a beautiful question. First of all, they're always being expressed in my work. I can't do anything I'm not passionate about. In fact, that's actually been a hindrance in my business life, to be honest with you.

I know a lot of people who do, I guess you would say, the correct thing business-wise at times because it makes money or because it's a great way to franchise themselves. I've never done that. I have followed my passion.

I cannot do something I'm not 100% committed to. That's just the way it is. I'm not saying it's a good thing. It's just the way it is. So I've always been 100% passionate. The thing about my work in the last four or five years has been this absolutely radical transformation and rebirth that I've gone through.

I write about it to some extent in How Did I Get Here? I started out as a relationship teacher. It wasn't really what I meant to start out as. As you know, Janet, I started out before that as a meditation teacher. It just so happened that I began to do work on relationships and love and things like that, and I became really famous doing that.

So that became what I was known for. People would see me and say, "You're the love doctor! You're the love lady!" And it was great, and I kept writing books about it. I have been on a spiritual path since I was 18, and that's now thirty-something years ago.

As I began to radically transform, radically expand, really radically morph into something much more than I imagined I could ever be, my work began to change. My work began to expand tremendously. My abilities began to expand.

I realized that I wasn't just a teacher of this or that anymore, that I really had become a transformational teacher. A transformational teacher-and again, it's just a phrase that I came up with-is not about information.

It's about the process of transmission and real transformation that happens at an energetic level. As these abilities began to develop, even I was kind of thinking this is really kind of shocking to me because I thought, "I'm a psychologist and I do this and that."

But that was changing and disappearing and something else was taking its place. So it took a lot of courage for me in the last few years to actually begin what I call coming out of the closet, which all of us need to do.

Everyone listening right now has something you need to come out of the closet about. I guarantee you. For me, it was being able to stand up and say, "I'm a spiritual teacher. I'm a transformational teacher. I can help you do this. I can help shift you radically.

I can undo things inside of you that are holding you back. I can see things in you and feel things and hear things that you can't, or that most people can't." That was just huge for me because even I was shocked at what I was saying.

It was my passion for helping people who are truly ready to make a major shift, not a minor shift, and not just having a better life. There are people listening right now on the phone all over the world-and you know who you are-who hear a voice inside of you saying, "My time has come, and I am ready."

Maybe you don't know what for. Maybe you don't know how it's going to happen, but you know, you have been prepared for something and you need to make the shift. And I absolutely received information that my next purpose-this was years ago-was to be there to help escort people in that process, down that new path because I had been down it myself.

I didn't even know what that was called, what it looked like, what books to write about it, how to talk about it at lectures because I would still get the calls saying, "Can you give a great talk about sex?"

So I had to really, really listen to my passion, listen to that inner assignment and just start talking about it and see what happened to see if anyone else really understood what I was saying. And it's been really remarkable.

I get calls from all over the world from people who have either read How Did I Get Here?, have heard about this work, have seen me live recently, or have taken one of my teleseminars. They say, "Yes, that's me. I'm ready.

Help me make this transition. Help me really come into my fullness now. I'm ready. I know it." And we do it. It's a really remarkable experience so that's my latest passion, and it's really a passion for just helping everybody rebirth themselves into who they were meant to be.

Janet Attwood: Yes. What you said is not about information but about the process of transmission of information. Will you explain what you meant by that? Go a little more into that.

Barbara DeAngelis:It's not transmission of information. Everything in life is actually the exchange of energy. For instance, right now, I'm talking and everybody's listening, but there is something else happening if people are tuning in. They're feeling something.

Hopefully, they're not feeling bored! Hopefully, they're feeling excited. They're feeling like something makes sense. They're feeling a shift. They're feeling openings. They're feeling expansion.

With that feeling of energy we get-whether it's with your husband or your wife, a best friend, an inspiring speaker, a beautiful piece of music-there's a transmission of energy that happens when we open ourselves to positive, life-affirming energies.

That energy actually triggers things inside of us that remind us of our highest self, remind us of who really are, remind us of what we're here for. That energy, therefore, makes that voice the strongest and softens those other voices that say, "You can't do it. You're not good enough. What will people think of you?"

Those voices get softer and softer and softer because the The Voice-capital T, capital V-becomes incredibly loud and prominent. So transmission of energy is another definition for love, isn't it? You're holding the hand of someone you love or they embrace you.

You feel all this energy and yet where is that energy coming from? What is that? How do you define that? They're not giving you information. They're transmitting the love energy to you.

I really began to see that the true role of a teacher, at least the way I understand it, is to awaken that energy that is within each of us, and to allow whatever is around it holding it back or shadowing it to fall off.

And of course, many teachers do this in different ways, but I realized that my particular next assignment was to just focus with such love on who people really were, and to show them the mechanics of how they sabotage themselves.

I want to show them how they don't get correct wisdom from within, and that those mechanics allow you to actually stay present with who you really are, what you're really here to do, and to make the shift. It's kind of like standing on a road, Janet.

We all are on this path in life, and a lot of us are standing at a turning point, and before us is this fantastic new road. We can feel the energy, we can feel the possibilities, we can feel people waiting to help us, we can feel our destiny calling.

But we're standing with our backs to the forward part of the road, and we're looking backwards. We're looking behind us, and we're looking at what we didn't do. We're looking at our failures. We're looking at what people have said to us, what people have done to us.

We're looking at the disappointments. As long as you're looking backwards, you cannot move forward. You have to turn around. What I do in my work is I help people turn around, literally, turn away and around and face forward.

When you do that, this amazing process begins to happen. You see everything that's been there the entire time. You just weren't looking.

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