For a long time I have intended to expand this blog with book reviews since I am reading, or listening, to books all the time. Today I just finished one and decided to finally start. This one is by Tina Turner and is titled Happiness Becomes You. It was released December 1, 2020.
For starters, I always feel a little shy commenting on people’s lives, especially people I don’t really know. At the same time I feel the only way to make the theories in this blog a reality is to see where they can be reflected in people’s actual lives. Having listened to Tina’s latest book on her spiritual journey (I did the Audible version), I feel a little more confident to attempt to analyze how Tina’s life story follows the model I am sharing.
To learn more about the book itself, I encourage you to watch the video above.
For starters it is unlikely anyone reading this post does not know who Tina Turner is. I have had my own experiences with Tina in my life. Once upon a time I was known to get together with a girlfriend and we would have fun singing in places around town one of Tina’s most iconic songs Proud Mary, with her first husband Ike Turner. (That was back when I could really sing, and my girlfriend and I usually got a round of applause). Believe it or not if you click on the link to that song you will see Tina singing and rocking it at 70!. Then there was Tina’s Proud Dancer album. I remember my love of blasting out her song The Best on many an occasion.
As for her life, the video below gives a nice overview. Apart from her music, I first became more aware of Tina’s life when the movie (which was very difficult to watch) about her abusive relationship with Ike Turner came out. As a counselor I had specialized at first in abuse, helping mainly those who were recovering from physical and sexual abuse in their lives. I remember having a great deal of respect for Tina having the courage to leave an abusive relationship. And, I was not surprised to hear in her most recent book, Happiness Becomes You, how reticent she was about letting people know about that abuse. Primarily she did not want that abuse to define her. Fortunately, it didn’t. Far from it.
But, it was only years later when I encountered the video below where she is chanting that I started to feel drawn to Tina in a more meaningful way. I knew from watching the movie on Tina’s early life that she had found a way out of her abusive relationship through chanting. I was grateful to find this video of her doing the main chant she has used throughout her life, and I used to play this video as background “music” numerous times while I worked. I even practiced chanting it a few times (though to be honest silent meditation is more what my spiritual practice is about).
I already knew that despite the fact Tina was raised Christian, her main form of spiritual practice was Buddhism (though she honors all faiths). But, this book opened up a whole new understanding of the depth of her spiritual practice and how it has guided her life. For example, I learned that Tina did more than use chanting and her spiritual practice to change her life from one of tragedy and suffering, to one of compassion and joy. I learned how Tina regularly chanted (sometimes an hour or more) before doing a concert generating Bodhichitta for her audience. I learned that one of the reasons she was resistant to dwelling on the wounds of her abusive relationship was not just because she didn’t want to talk about it (at first she didn’t). It was also because her spiritual practice has taught her to be compassionate and positive in her words, speech, and song. Tina knows words matter. She uses them with care, and she does not like to dwell on negativity.
I also learned that Tina actively used visualization to achieve her goals. At first what motivated her success and visualizations was her love of singing and performing. Later, and for much of her career, her visualizations were about having success so she could be of real service to others.
In regards to the model on this website, it is clear that Tina Turner achieved Group 6 status (as an Integrated Personality capable of large success in the outer world) early on. And, though she had spiritual roots already as a young child, we might say she really started on her spiritual path (and became a Group 6 Aspirant) when she first learned chanting. We see her moving through Group 7 Probationary Path status, as we see her transform her life. Though most videos (like the one in this post) emphasize that transformation in terms of her outer success, her latest book reveals the serious spiritual work she was doing to transform herself inwardly on all levels (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual).
Tina goes through this purification process (the Path of Probation is also known as the Path of Purification), when she leaves her marriage to Ike with 36 cents. After that she battles racism, sexism, financial hardship (she gave Ike all the money from her previous success and left with nothing but the right to keep her name Tina Turner). And, while she was dealing with all this hardship she was working on facing her inner heartbreak and demons. Through it all she made a deeper and deeper commitment to turn the “poison” in her life into “medicine,” so it could lead her life into greater love and compassion. When she breaks out into outer success again (free from Ike this time), she is a very disciplined spiritual practitioner giving her all to her service in the outer world. She is not simply someone on the spiritual path working on herself. She is someone capable of being on the spiritual path, while also living actively in the outer world. That places Tina Turner into Group 8 Accepted Discipleship status and beyond, where the requirements demand that we be of increased service in the world, while staying anchored in our spiritual practice, which can get more intense and rewarding at the same time.
Some other things I did not know about Tina. She is a voracious reader. She is a very generous being. She is humble. She is here to serve and give and love. When I put this book down I totally understood why it was Tina’s deepest desire in life to write it one day. This book is who Tina really is. Yes, she is Tina, but she is also the SELF and knows it.
I felt blessed to touch that deeper Spirit that we all are through Tina. I hope if you listen to (or read) this book (or her video here on chanting), you will experience that blessing as well.
To get a copy of the book or audio book click here.