HuffPostBooks: Sharing the Secrets for Self-Mastery


Awakened Leadership coverIn his book, Awakened Leadership: Beyond Self-Mastery, Alan Shelton shares stories of his journey of transformation across decades and continents. His self-actualization to become an integrated awakened leader shines as an example of possibility to others. One of his gifts to leadership thinking is the new word: “intellectuality, the ability to be engaged in the shared intellect that permeates the heart. When practiced in the leadership context, it may be the largest paradigm shift in leadership thinking ever experienced.” Shelton is ready to reveal his gifts and assist you on your voyage.

Many people look outside themselves to figure out how to change their lives, they search for “happiness” when they seek “joy, peace, love, money, pleasure, and fulfillment.” Shelton’s key secrets are: “You already are what you are seeking. The secret here is to start where you are. You are enough — let your power come to you.” As he says, “Relatively few of us have the insight that the transformation required is primarily an inside job.”

Whether you are a “spiritual seeker looking for truth” or a “corporate type looking for authenticity,” Shelton has something for you. His early life included a close connection cut short with an intellectual grandfather, an absent father and an abusive step-father with a belt with a large buckle that he used against Shelton and his younger brother.

Full incorporation of all parts of himself was an early challenge and Shelton segmented himself with his family or his friends at school. His lifelong search for integration is shown from his school days through his term as a Mormon Missionary in Peru in 1972. Always rising to leadership whether as zone leader to 140 missionaries in Southern Peru or shielding his younger brother, he was led to his own mentors including his grandfather, his professor, Stephen Covey, and Osho.

Alan SheltonTo Shelton,

Osho’s accent and the occasional oddly placed word were no problem. It was as if my grandfather himself were speaking to me. I immediately knew that this man knew… Before I even finished hearing my first Osho discourse, I knew that I needed to go to India and ‘get experience.’

His connection with his grandfather and his search for more led him to India.

But experience in India is unsettling to all first timers, “Bicycles, taxis, motorcycles and scooters, motorized rickshaws, battered cars with mismatched colors and parts, and trucks of every size and description were jockeying for position on the road… Just about every vehicle I saw had more people stuffed into it or piled on top of it than you would think is humanly possible… Despite the obvious poverty and pain, I couldn’t help but see beauty everywhere.” Shelton perseveres and rises to the top at the Osho Pavilion as he did in Peru.

Although Osho and his methods have met with criticism, Shelton took what he liked and left the rest. He immediately found a way to receive a new name: “Anand Darpan,” meaning “blissful reflection.” Through his years in India and active seeking, he “had metamorphosed into a leader in organizational development with a strong foundation in the spiritual world.”

The last three chapters of his book share about “presence, service, and relationship… You will know which doorways to pass through if you let your intuition draw you to them.” Along your personal journey, you may find as Shelton did that: “Your thoughts and actions become creative responses to what is, rather than attempts to control it.” Rather than trying to do or force a situation, Shelton recommends surrendering to the idea that you are enough and breakthroughs will happen as you see more possibilities. “Awakened Leadership is the recognition that the only stable thread that weaves itself through your experience and that of the people you lead is the internal peace that you contribute to the fray. This sense of peace is not your possession.” Shelton states that the major problem for humans is believing we are in control of the “script in life.” Humans want to be the producer, director and writer without realizing that this is causing the problems and not the way to a solution.

Shelton’s book is an invitation and as he says, “Welcome to the mystery of your own journey. Are you ready to let life live you?”

His book is waiting to assist all who want to walk through the doorway:

My message to you is that your journey is authentic no matter where it takes place. If you’re a corporate animal, much like myself, then that is the arena in which your search unwinds. Everything you need to reach home is already within the world you inhabit, for Source is everywhere. And consciousness is all there is.

Huffpost books aug 2013


This article first appeared in Huffington Post Books.

More about Alan Shelton and Awakened Leadershipclick here.

About the author of this reviewLisa Niver Rajna is a passionate writer, speaker and global citizen who has traveled to over one hundred countries and six continents. She and her husband, George, co-authors of Traveling in Sin, are spending a sabbatical year in Asia, follow their journey at We Said Go Travel.


Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.7 million views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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