I read Tina Turner’s book ‘Happiness Becomes You’ in December 2022. It was much, much better than expected. I wished that Tina had applied her talent to writing her own lyrics.
She had mentioned in interviews before that her life had been filled with sadness, and that she wanted to bring joy to her audiences, and that there are ways to offer joy even after adversity, but that it took know-how to get there.
I will say that her book succeeded in telling a story of perseverance, of an inspirational trust in goodness, and of polishing the mind toward completing plans. There were many refreshing perspectives about strengthening mindfulness, loving conduct, and a gracious and prosocial outlook in daily life, while starving flak, oversharing and defeatism.
Okay, you might think that Tina Turner was an unusually fortunate person. But her early life was marked by deprivation, neglect, rejection and not so friendly conditions. It took inner work for her to become the spiritual force she was known for in her last three, four decades.
Tina admitted that many of her mid and late life feats happened because she imagined them decades before, when her reality was the opposite of what she wanted for herself. Her descriptions of some Buddhist concepts about taking ownership of the mind and self-purification gave me a lot to think about, and I let them sink in. One of her core messages was that we are setting a tone — while the outcome is uncertain and approval unlikely — , and that we owe it to ourselves to at least steer in the direction of our landing place. Good can live and grow on the soil that we have prepared.
The book was easy to read. Many chapters were memorable and surprisingly moving. I recommend it to you, too.
26 November 2023,
84th birth anniversary