The Go-to-Book you will ever need to be happy and be transformed
A personal review by Barbara Bullock, spiritual writer
When Happiness Becomes You was announced, I was thrilled. When I learned that Adrienne Warren would read the audiobook, even more so. I believe in synchronicity, signs from the universe and help from the heavens, all spiritual guidance from spirit guides/angels along our path we call life. Sometimes this help comes in form of an idea we have. When I received the hard copy of Happiness Becomes You I had exactly that. I decided to read the book and listen to the audiobook, read by Adrienne Warren, at the same time.
I had seen Adrienne how she embodies Tina from the teenager Anna Mae to the star Tina on stage at the Tina – The Tina Turner musicals in London and on Broadway. Adrienne has an amazing voice and does not just read the book; she acts the scenes. The book Anna Mae’s essence becomes truly alive. What an incredible experience. I read and listened to the entire book in one evening. I felt amazing afterwards. I felt better, more positive, lighter, could even feel my spirit vibrating higher. Those familiar with the vibration and energy of all things in the universe will know what I mean. For those who do not just know I felt really good. I was happy. I was transformed. As you will learn in the book, I had just changed my life condition. By a book. Now, it is my to-go-book for happiness.
Beginnings in Buddhism
About ten years ago I learned about Nichiren Buddhism through Tina Turner and started chanting myself, at least on and off. Before that I had studied religious scriptures and college textbooks on various religions including Buddhism but found them rather complex and difficult to understand. Happiness Becomes You teaches you everything you need to know (in my opinion) about Buddhism and Nichiren Buddhism in easy to understand terms with specific instructions from Anna Mae herself how long, often to chant. I had often wondered about that. This is very motivational as she teaches you exactly how it works, how it slowly changes your mind stopping complaining and negative thinking. This changes your inner world first. Then, you take actions in your external circumstances that enable you to change your life for the better. I really hope that many people will read this book. Maybe you too have been nudged by the universe already many times to do something about your life. Maybe you too are in difficult circumstances and do not know your way out.
The universe did not give up on Anna Mae. Instead, it kept sending people into her life to show her that there is a solution for all her problems in life. This solution came in form of Buddhism. Maybe it is your solution too. Maybe it is something else. The good news is that it can be something else. It does not even have to be Buddhism. But whatever it is, know that you already have the solution inside of yourself. As Anna Mae became stronger and stronger, so can you, so can I, so can everyone. Happiness Becomes you can show you how. Too many people are stuck in lower levels of consciousness and if they would just know that, yes, there is always something you can do to improve your life and yourself, even if it is just a small step, how much more positive, uplifting and happier our world would be!
Many topics are described from how destroying negative thinking is, what the unconscious/subconscious mind does to you in your life, what to do when problems arise in your life, and how you can visualize your dream life and not just dream but actually make it happen. Your life does not just happen to you, it happens because you make it so. The explanation of the principle of the ten worlds intrigued me. I surely did not know that working at a hospital, cleaning a house, driving a car, or even a rock concert could be such a spiritual experience and spiritual life lesson from a Buddhist point of view. When you read this chapter, you’ll never see any experience of your own life the same way again and you start to understand why it’s almost even desirable to have challenges in your life – so you can turn them into benefits! Perhaps that exactly is the point.
Little Anna Mae
Little Anna Mae and I would have gotten along so well as children. The little girl from Tennessee escaped to nature when times were lonely, the same I did when I was so. I must have watched this precious little girl from the heaven’s above as I can still hear her laughter, far in the distance of past times still echoing and incomparable to this day. Clearly, little Anna Mae was born with the drive and joy of life she would need to take her through all trials and tribulations ahead. She sure was born with an army of heavenly helpers such as angels surrounding her to assist her on her path. These can be literally angels but also people on Earth who are sent your way in form of family, friends, coworkers, people who help you in some sort of way. The topic reincarnation is not discussed in the book, would love to hear what Anna Mae says about that, but I do not want to leave it out here. When people assist us unconditionally or when there is a strong bond between them, I believe that we are souls who might have known each other before in other lifetimes and that you can recognize each other, be drawn to each other, and be there for each other in or from our spiritual home but also here on Earth. In any case, as you will see in the book, synchronicity is all over and signs from the universe are sent to Anna Mae in form of people trying to tell her the same thing throughout her life with a message so loud and clear she eventually no longer could ignore. Coincidence? Definitely not. Spiritualty comes in many forms.
First difficult lessons
Little Anna Mae from Nutbush Tennessee already had discovered that in the form of receiving and giving love in Mother Nature, singing at church, and clearly dreaming of a better life far away she had not seen yet but deep inside of her knew that it existed somewhere. I love those pages filled with little Anna Mae running through the fields of Nutbush. The book is filled with poetically described scenes that are easy to imagine in my mind. Life was not a poem though. Fighting at home sounds a bit like my own childhood. I too escaped into nature for a better world around me and discovered spirituality in the midst of flowers, birds, fresh fruits, the sun and more although I did not know yet what spirituality and unconditional love was. One of the first difficult life lessons for Anna Mae had to be learned through beloved cousin Margaret. Her name always gives me goosebumps and a heartache I cannot explain as if I had been there.
Teacher Anna Mae
Millions of people around the world have seen Tina on stage, listened to her music, and know her life’s story in particular the abuse, the escape, and the barriers she had to break to make it to the top. In Happiness Becomes You Tina takes on a new role becoming the teacher Anna Mae. You learn how she survived it all and how you too can turn poison into medicine (explained in the book!).
I took a short break after reading for 2 hours. As I washed my hands I looked into the mirror. Previously I would have found many things I do not like about myself. This time, I started telling the person in the mirror that I do not want to ever say anything negative again about you (me in the mirror). I still have a long way to go to love and accept myself as I am, but I could feel the transformation. Happiness Becomes You and Anna Mae had transformed me. As I went back to finish the book, I found myself with a refreshed mind and energy. I loved this newfound self-love and found myself flipping through the book estimating how many pages were left as I did not want the book to end!
Throughout the book I find words that make me cry, thoughtful, smile and hopeful. Obviously, even reading this book takes me through a couple of worlds if not all ten. I really like the surprises, references to current events, the importance of mental health due to yet other tragedy with son Craig, and personal stories of how modern devices and social media have affected our modern society including Anna Mae. Who would have thought that? These and more show you a new side of Tina most have not seen – the person Anna Mae at home. I had always been drawn to that side. Anna Mae at home at Chateau Algonquin…chanting that is.
Earth mother Anna Mae
Chanting for seemingly for a better world than we live in. In a world where everyone cares for each other, respects each other as a human being no matter what status, race, nationality, or circumstance, whether a superstar or the staff, you are reminded that we are all one and all part of the mystical universe as we know it. This part of the book warms my heart and touches my soul deeply. The wonderful, amazing, caring Anna Mae teaches us again that peace and love come from within. She empowers every one of us regardless. A true Earth mother who respects and cares for every human being on the planet and teaches us to do the same. Maybe, if we all follow our teacher Anna Mae, our world can indeed be a little kinder, tolerant, and more peaceful for all of us. And this, is probably Anna Mae’s ultimate mission and purpose.
During her career, Anna Mae Bullock gave the world her all as Tina Turner who prior to her show would chant for her audience’s happiness. Who knew? I was so touched by that. No wonder everyone left each show mesmerized. And still she goes on. I think that the person Anna Mae is talented beyond measure in everything she touches. Whatever Anna Mae does, coordinates, and decorates, is changed forever by her immense wisdom, unique style, grace, and sense of beauty. She makes everything beautiful and magical. Empty houses become cozy homes, simple stories become fairy tales, unpretentious melodies become hymns, strangers become family and friends. And paper and words become a book for life.
I really love the reference to the Beyond projects in the book and find the creative process of the message of Beyond fascinating, even a bit funny with all the paper on the floor. As a writer myself, I know the creative process can be quite that – a process. That the Beyond projects came into Anna Mae’s life is no coincidence in my opinion. Rather synchronicity and perfect timing for a message of tolerance and peace the world needed needs to hear.
A book for life
Happiness Becomes You is not a textbook that you read once and put away or simply add to a collection. It is a reference book you can turn to often, like a kind of bible in a way. I love the quotes throughout the book, quotes by famous and wise people, many who have made our world a better place. These add the value to the teachings in small bits. So if you don’t have the time to reread the entire book over and over (I highly recommend it though and plan to do so), the quotes are a great reminder of your inner strength when times get rough. Also stunning are the beautiful photographs of Anna Mae/Tina in the book, photos that show visually what can be when you trust the process of life and the message of Happiness Becomes You.
I know that I still have a long way to go to complete happiness and success in my own life. Synchronicity and guidance are also a part of mine. I dream of chanting with you, Anna Mae, my teacher and mentor, together one day. In the meantime, I imagine you healthy and happy in your home overlooking Zurich lake. May you be surrounded by beauty, comfort and love. Thank you, Anna Mae, for being you and teaching us all.
Taro Gold and Regula Curti
I cried at the end of the book as I felt deep gratitude emerging from within myself. Gratitude for Taro Gold and Regula Curti who so lovingly cowrote Happiness Becomes You and ensured that Anna Mae/Tina got the opportunity to be the teacher she had always wanted to be. Make sure you read their own stories on how they were drawn to Anna Mae/Tina themselves. Coincidence? I do not think so. They shine their inner lights brightly. Synchronicity throughout. Divine timing too. This was meant to be.
With deep gratitude from the bottom of my heart. Happiness has become me.
And now go get the book!!
Nam myoho renge kyo.
Barbara Bullock, M.F.A., spiritual writer
Copyright © 2020 by Barbara Bullock
Turner, Tina. Happiness Becomes You. New York, London: Atria Books, Thorsons , 2020. Book.
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. SGI – Soka Gakkai International. https://www.sgi-usa.org
Photo by Barbara Bullock, December 2020. Items shown: Happiness becomes you by Tina Turner, bell and prayer beads by SGI USA.
Disclaimer: This post states the author’s opinion only for a free personal blog that serves to inspire others and is not meant to represent Ms. Tina Turner, any other persons mentioned including coauthors Taro Gold and Regula Curti nor the SGI. No harm or infringement intended. Barbara Bullock.