Your Redefining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born To Be by Dennis Merritt JonesYour Redefining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born To Be by Dennis Merritt Jones

Your Redefining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born To Be

byDennis Merritt Jones

Paperback | May 29, 2014

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Who does your soul ask you to be? In Your ReDefining Moments, Dennis Merritt Jones provides an exciting road map back to our center, where we will find our Authentic Self.

It can seem like every person, every television show, and every ad has an idea of who we are supposed to be. But who does your soul ask you to be?  In Your ReDefining Moments, spiritual teacher Dennis Merritt Jones offers a road map back to your center, where you will find your Authentic Self.  It is from that center, Merritt Jones shows, that you can live the life you were born for, rather than the tug-of-war so many people get caught up in, trying to be all things to all people, trying to be anyone but who they truly are.
In Your ReDefining Moments, you will discover the Seven Intrinsic Qualities of the Authentic Self:

1. Wholeness
2. Reverence
3. Fearlessness
4. Integrity
5. Non-attachment
6. Non-judgment
7. Unconditional Love 

Being who you are matters; the gift of your Authentic Self is the gift you have come to share with the world.
Dennis Merritt Jones has been involved in the human potential movement and the field of spirituality for the majority of his life as a teacher, an author, and a keynote speaker. He writes a free weekly “MindfulPurpose e-Message” available through his website,, and is a regular columnist for The Huffington Pos...
Title:Your Redefining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born To BeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.72 inPublished:May 29, 2014Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0399165800

ISBN - 13:9780399165801

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Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1Being an Original Begins HereThe (Re)Defining Moment You Were Born to HaveOur lives are a series of defining moments, strung together by passing time. Surrender fully to this moment, because it is not the moment itself that defines us, but how we choose to live in it.—JILL PENDLEYOn a trip to Rome, my wife and I had the good fortune of being hosted for a private tour of the Vatican. It was a sticky, hot, autumn day with wall-to-wall people from every corner of the globe moving slowly through the monolithic complex. As we walked the historic halls and galleries, some dating back 1,600 years, our guide, Stephan, paused and said, “This is a very typical day here in Vatican City . . . there will be about 25,000 people who will pass through these corridors today, each on a pilgrimage of their own making. Many people come to see the historical sights, and some come to seek a deeper part of themselves—to reconnect with their ancient roots—to be reminded that they are part of something much larger than themselves that they seldom think about.”Stephan’s comments also tell us of our story. There are those of us who shuffle through life as if it were a museum where our entire lives are on display—day by day adding another bit of history that influences and shapes our beliefs in ways that we may not pause to fully comprehend. At the beginning of our personal metaphoric tour, there is a moment when we are each born, and at the end of the tour, a moment when we each die; the space in between those two events is a continuum of moments, which, when strung together, we call our life. Between the coming and the going, we walk through the halls of our daily lives, spending countless unconscious moments staring at our own personal history. As we pass each display (event or experience), we seldom stop to contemplate that each experience is adding to our minds another layer of belief about ourselves and life that, ultimately, defines who we think we are. Many of us believe that we are no more than the sum of our experiences, and we have a plethora of evidence to prove this is so—we talk about it, we take plenty of pictures and video, and we share our history with others who are on a similar tour of the museum. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, I refer to living at this level of life as existing horizontally, “living on the surface.” When we live on the surface of life, we believe that life is something that happens to us rather than through us, and we are unknowingly inviting the ever-changing conditions that occur on the surface of everyday life to shape us. That is a powerless and potentially unfulfilling place in which to exist.And then one day, when it is our time to leave the museum, with our final breath, we may realize that, perhaps, just maybe, there could have been more to our lives; a deeper exploration and dimension of living than what we experienced . . . but we missed it by moving through each day as if we were being herded through an ever-crowded parade of passing events. My point is that by living on the surface of life, many of us squander our entire existence, spending countless precious moments being defined by our surface experiences, living from the outside in rather than the inside out. Living on the surface is probably easier and more comfortable, but we will never find the truth of who we really are by skimming the surface of life.What Awaits Us Below Surface Living?“Direct your eye inward, and you’ll findA thousand regions in your mindYet undiscovered. Travel them and beExpert in home-cosmography.”—HENRY DAVID THOREAU, WaldenFor many of us (until now), life has been more about getting by, surviving, and staying safe—essentially enduring life until we exit the planet. Why is it that so many of us seem to live lives that are less than deeply rewarding, enjoyable, and fully expressed? Because we exist in a horizontal world where living vertically is not the norm. We have wandered astray; we have forgotten we are a child of the infinite Universe and lost our way, spending increasingly more time living horizontally on the surface, each day moving farther and farther, it seems, from the authentic self we knew ourselves to be at birth.To illustrate this point, just go to a park or playground and watch young children “being” themselves at play. Listen to their words and observe their behavior, and you’ll see and hear real authenticity. That is because they are still navigating life in a vertical manner; they are not yet trapped on the surface of life. Then go to a nightclub or any work environment, and watch and listen to adults “doing” whatever they do. You will see and hear something quite different as they perform roles that they have acquired through various cultural mandates. The problem is, too often, they forget it’s only a role they are playing; they have become so absorbed in their roles, they forget who they “truly” are.On the other hand, in a natural and safe environment, young children do not perform for others, even when playing with one another. They express themselves freely and authentically . . . until they grow older and learn to do otherwise to survive, or so they think—and the role-playing begins. The more years we have lived, the more we have forgotten from where we’ve come and why we have come to this life. Many of us have become so disconnected from our authentic self, it’s as if we are wandering through life with no compass—no sense of who we are, or where we are going, or what we are doing here in the first place. Our soul knows who we truly are and what we are doing here. The good news is, if we are willing to access and follow our internal guidance system (the intuition continually being emitted from the soul), it is preprogrammed to seek our center, to guide us vertically, back to the authentic self.Yes . . . You Are That Important“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”—MARTHA GRAHAMInherent in every living thing is an insatiable hunger, the innate desire to express life by freely and fully being “what” it was uniquelycreated to be. To personalize this, consider the possibility that there was a time when you were a “what” before you were a “who.” If you can wrap your mind around that possibility, then, the question to explore is, what were you before you became a who—and why did you become the who you uniquely are when there are so many other “who”s on the planet you might have been? While this may seem like a bit of a paradoxical tongue twister, it is the quintessential question that requires exploration if you are to follow your true North Star back to your point of origin, where you’ll find your authentic self waiting to weave itself into the fabric of your human life today and every day.Make no mistake about it, this is the sojourn you were born to make, not just once but many times in your life, each time returning, from your center, to the surface of your life with a deeper awareness of who you truly are beneath the trappings of the egoic-self and a world that defines itself by what lies of the surface. The “practice” (a term I use throughout this book that invites you to consider taking a specific action regarding the topic at hand) is to learn how to consciously bring your authentic “being” into your human “doing,” which is where vertical living and horizontal living intersect. Your (re)defining moments will open the portals to vertical living along the way that get you there. In the process of reconnecting with your authentic self, you may be led to fully understand the significance of your life and how important you, as an individual, really are, to the whole of life. Now let’s take a look at why this is so.In the Beginning, There Was Only Life, and There Still Is Only Life“The great mystics have been illumined. They have seen through the veil of matter and perceived the Spiritual Universe . . . All emerge from that One Whose Being is ever present and Whose Life, robed in numberless forms, is manifest throughout all Creation. Creation is the logical result of the outpush of Life into self-expression.”—ERNEST HOLMESAbout fourteen billion years ago (give or take a few billion) the first chapter of the greatest miracle and mystery of all time began when something beyond all human logic and comprehension happened—the Ethers of that which, for countless millennia, would become known to humankind by many different names, including the Original Self, began to stir. This was the initiating sacred spark of Life; in a flash, self-igniting, giving birth to, and manifesting the idea of Itself. In the process of unfolding, from within and by means of its own creative nature, it left, and continues to leave, in its wake, stars, planets, and galaxies far beyond our ability to count. It is common knowledge that stars group together in formations called galaxies. The Sun under which we bask on summer days is just another slightly above-average-size star known as a yellow dwarf and belongs to the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers tell us there are about 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way alone. Even more astounding, the Universe consists of millions upon millions of galaxies . . . and is still expanding at the speed of light (and some scientists are now saying even faster than the speed of light) without showing any sign of slowing down. I don’t even pretend to understand the physics of how this all happened or continues to happen, but I invite you to just sit for a moment with that information and breathe. To contemplate the vastness and the expansiveness of this living organism called “Universe” can be rather mind-boggling, especially when you consider that you are part of it.“The Universe is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.”—BLAISE PASCALIt is clear we exist in an abundant living Universe that knows no restriction—only the impulse to eternally expand with no limits or boundaries, perpetually becoming more of what it is and can ever be—star-stuff . . . Life, pushing out by creating light and matter fromwithin itself, shaping and giving form to itself, exquisitely clothing itself in an infinite and unique number of ways. To even entertain the notion we exist in a living Universe is to open ourselves to the fact that there is an Intelligence at work in our lives; beyond that surpasses our ability to fully comprehend. The only thing we need do is look to the midnight sky and witness the order and pattern of the stars and planets and how they are held in place. Better still, take just a few minutes to sit and gaze into the petals of a rose and think about how it unfolds. Or look into a newborn baby’s eyes and witness firsthand “star-stuff” forming in ever-new, unique, and beautiful ways. This is the mystery and miracle of Life at work and Infinite Intelligence creating more of itself out of itself. Does that not evoke a sense of awe and reverence for the gift called life?Living Vertically in a Horizontal WorldThis is a guidebook for seekers, those unique individuals who are on a conscious quest to experience a more authentic approach to everyday life, those who want to live closer to that essence of the pure beings they were when they were born and which they know will never be found on the surface of a horizontally lived life. This book is written for those who are on a pilgrimage of their own making, those who are compelled to live vertically and go deeper, to the true core of their being, to explore the hidden caverns of a life they have never consciously known before. Within the heart of the true seeker lies an inherent wisdom that silently whispers, “Before you can live an authentic life, you must first know who it is you authentically are.” Those seeking to live a more authentic life inherently know it requires great courage to go deeper—beyond their known “history” and where, for the first time, they intentionally connect with their roots and affirm they are part of something much larger than they have ever experienced while living superficially on the surface of life. Why does this journey take courage? Because it requires a willingness to be forever changed—literally transformed—by, not only what, but who they find on this inward sojourn.“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”—LAO TZUWhether we are consciously aware of it or not, we are each in our own way seeking something that anchors us in life; we seek something to believe in—something that gives our life a sense of solidity, relevance, purpose, and meaning. Connecting to something larger than ourselves is an ancient quest, one seekers have embarked upon for millennia. It seems to be a call we all hear and yet it is a pilgrimage relatively few choose to ever undertake. This is truly a journey of one’sown making because it can only be taken by the individual—one step at a time—and more specifically, one moment at a time. The profound reward in taking the journey is that any single “one” of those moments can be the moment that (re)defines your entire life. In those moments, you get a glimpse of the ancient roots that connect you to that “something” with which you intrinsically sense you are eternally connected. Once you experience what that is, you’ll never be the same because it will draw you to a deeper understanding of the unique, one-of-a-kind being you really are and were born to be. In short, in that moment, your life will be (re)defined. As Lao Tzu said, at your center you already know who you are and what you want. Now it’s time to dive in and bring who you truly are to the surface and claim the authentic life that is yours to live.A Defining Moment Doesn’t Add Anything to You, It Reveals Something in YouSome of us might think of a defining moment as something that happens on the battlefield or in a crisis where, in the heat of the moment, we exhibit an aspect of our true character that defines us in the eyes of others as a hero. But those are not the only kind available. There are also those defining moments that are far more personal, ones that cannot be perceived by others; those moments that, in a singular instant, are so profoundly impactful, they forever alter how we see ourselves and, thus, how we interface with life.Many of us would be able to pinpoint a specific event or time in our lives when something happened that gave us pause to not only remember that singular moment but also look deeply enough into it to see a part of ourselves that, until that moment, we had no idea was there . . . and to be changed forever by what we experienced. These moments are the portal to where living an authentic life begins.The Great Paradox of a True (Re)defining MomentRegardless of how we may each interpret what a “defining moment” is, the practice is to remember that we are not restricted to having only one of them in our lifetime. Any moment can be a (re)defining moment because within it lies the opportunity to be changed by what we see and experience, that which can indelibly etch an imprint of who we see ourselves to be on our mind and heart that shapes the life before us. In thosemoments, we have the opportunity to, metaphorically, drill into the deepest core of our being and bear witness to what lies within, remembering that those moments will not add something to us, but rather reveal something within us. It’s not about discovering anything; it’s a moment of unearthing that which is already there and has always been there—the Original Self, which, as we’ll discover, is only one of many names for the originating Intelligence behind all of life. Some might as easily refer to the Original Self as Universe, Presence, God, the Self, Brahman, Atman, Source, Life, Infinite One, I AM, Being, the Whole, Divine Mind, the Beloved, Allah, the Great Spirit, Creator, and even It.The Original Self lives in each of us, but only to the degree that we first understand we live in It. This paradox is one that has perplexed humankind from antiquity. In his book, The Living Universe, visionary Duane Elgin writes, “In exploring our cosmic identity, it is important to recognize our paradoxical nature: we are each unique, yet totally connected to the entire universe. We are each original and there will never be another person like us in all eternity. At the same time, since our existence arises from and is woven into the deep ecology of the universe, we are completely integrated with all that exists. Both unity and uniqueness are integral to our nature.” In other words, what we might refer to as our authentic self is simply that unique and individuated point within us that is unlike any other human being on the planet, where the Original Self has personalized Itself. The practice is to become skillful at bringing that uniqueness into our horizontal lives by bringing our true “being” into our daily “doing.” The access point that integrates the two can only be found in the present moment. This, in itself, means that every moment of our lives holds the potential to be a (re)defining moment.Recognizing Your Unique Place in the Big Picture Can Be a (Re)Defining Moment“The lamps are different,But the Light is the same.One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind,Endlessly emanating all things.”—RUMI

Editorial Reviews

"Dennis Merritt Jones beautifully shows us how every moment provides each individual an opportunity to respond with love instead of react in fear, to choose consciously and constructively instead of unconsciously and destructively – in other words, to create authentic power."—Gary  Zukav, author The Seat of the Soul“In Your (Re)Defining Moments, Dennis Merritt Jones wisely guides his readers into a joyful exploration and discovery of their Original Self that was shot out of eternity into this three-dimensional world to deliver their gifts, talents, and skills as only they can.”—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Life Visioning: A Transformative Process for Activating Your Unique Gifts and Highest Potential "This noble work is filled with truths that can take your life to a new level. Dennis Merritt Jones brings a wealth of experience, insight, and vision to the table. His thoughtfulness and eloquence speak loud and clear."—Alan Cohen, author of Relax into Wealth “In Your (Re)Defining Moments, Dennis Merritt Jones offers a compass that leads us inward to the authentic Self, that unique spark of Life we were the moment we were born. Dennis reminds us that we still are that unique being and proves it by giving us clear, practical, loving guidance on how to courageously bring our authentic Self to daily life. When you read this book you will embark on the journey of becoming who you were born to be.”—Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott, MCC, author of the New York Times-bestseller If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules “Each of us has been created for the purpose of fitting into a divine mosaic that works in perfect harmony with everyone and everything else, and the next major expansion of consciousness on this planet will inevitably occur when we as individuals embrace our own nature and begin working with each other and the physical world with an attitude of cooperation and reverence. It is this truth that is so evidently present in Dennis’s new book, Your (Re)Defining Moments.”—Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon, Spiritual Leader for Centers for Spiritual Living “Here is a book for those who have read the books, done the workshops, but still sense their own epiphanies are simpler, deeper, closer. If personal identity as we have come to know it is a socially constructed wilderness, Dr. D. paves a direct path through the classic conundrums of consciousness—the sovereign Self of western civilization, the transcendent No-Self of mysticism and the east, and the pristine Now Moment that thrives only in our choice to honor its worth.”—Dr. Barbara E. Fields, executive director of the Association for Global New Thought, director of Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence, director of The Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, former program director of Parliament of the World's Religions “Your (Re)Defining Moments is a powerful antidote to aimless and hollow living. Dennis Merritt Jones has crystallized a path of awakening to free us from the trance states of limiting personal assumptions and inauthentic purposes. Reading this wonderful book is like a deep caress...a precious homecoming with the miracle and magic seeded in each of our souls.”—Dr. Roger W. Teel, Spiritual Leader at Mile Hi Church in Denver, Colorado “Dennis Merritt Jones's newest work, Your (Re)Defining Moments, makes the powerful distinction between personal discovery and personal 'uncovery.' Ours is not a journey forward but a vertical plunge inward to what has always existed. Liberating and gloriously written, Your (Re)Defining Moments is a treasured contribution to a welcomed renaissance in spiritual literature.”—Dr. David Ault, author of Where Regret Cannot Find Me “Through personal anecdotes and probing questions to the reader, Your (Re)Defining Moments gives us access to an engaging self-study on the nature of being and how to live a thoughtful and authentic life.  Dennis Merritt Jones’s down-to-earth style and direct approach to spirituality makes reading this book enjoyable and soul-satisfying.  Balanced with sincere kindness and a gentle sense of humor, this book takes on big ideas such as redefining original sin, re-examining the pursuit of happiness, and admitting we have to let go of some of the past, to make room for what can be.  Dennis’s latest book confirms why I have been a longtime fan of his writing: it’s inspiring, thought provoking, and encouraging.”—Edward Viljoen, author of The Power of Meditation “Your (Re)Defining Moments offers a most compelling and convincing opportunity for us all to remember who we have come here to be.  In this book, Dennis Merritt Jones brings a gift of extraordinary insightfulness to everyone who seeks spiritual awakening.”—Rev. Dr. John B. Waterhouse, president of Centers for Spiritual Living “You could spend a lifetime searching for your authentic Self, and defining who you are. Or you could read Dennis Merritt Jones’s beautiful new book Your (Re)Defining Moments and be gently fast-tracked through the process. Life begins with each moment, with each choice. This is an easy one.”—Lissa Coffey, celebrity lifestyle and wellness expert and author of What’s Your Dharma: Discover the Vedic Way to Your Life’s Purpose “Dennis Merritt Jones’s writing reminds me of a cashmere blanket—warm and comfortable without being too heavy. This book encourages the reader to rework their lives without being preachy or overly challenging. A perfect read before bed.”—Rev. Kathianne Lewis, DD, Senior Minister & Spiritual Leader, Center for Spiritual Living “Your (Re)Defining Moments by Dennis Merritt Jones is a must read for everyone on the spiritual path.  He is a true Spiritual Master who graciously shares his wisdom, allowing it to unfold in your own mind as gently as a rose opens to bloom. Dr. Jones has written a modern, 21st century guidebook for seekers of truth and students of spirituality. I predict this book will be used as curricula by many teachers.”—Chris Michaels, author of The Power of You “Your (Re)Defining an amazing book! Dennis Merritt Jones is masterful, guiding us to a deep state of soul remembrance. He reminds us that we were born to be fully expressed and that each moment is an opportunity to choose greatness.”—Cynthia James, author and speaker Praise for previous books...THE ART OF UNCERTAINTY:"The Art of Uncertainty inspires and provides practical tools that can benefit all."—Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul “With The Art of Uncertainty, readers can chart a course for learning how to live in the "I don't know" while maintaining a sense of inner-peace and optimism. This simple but beautifully wise and practical book is a gem. Don't step into the unknown without it.”—Claudia Abbott, Science of Mind magazine“With warmhearted clarity and transcendental common sense, Dennis Merritt Jones addresses the complexities, obstacles, joys, and ultimate fulfillment of walking the spiritual labyrinth home to the True Self. This is a book to read, reread, practice and embody.”—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation~Fulfilling Your Soul's Potential“Masters throughout the ages have taught us to come to the edge of our current belief system and take a leap of faith beyond the known...If you are ready to expand your vision of a life worth living this is a book you will want to read.”—Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap“Dennis' new book arrives with divinely right timing in my life and in the life of anyone contemplating next steps. How good it is to have this guide to leaning wholeheartedly into the mystery of change and walking in faith toward the full expression of one's potential.”—Dr. Kathy Hearn, Community Spiritual Leader, United Centers for Spiritual Living “Dennis Merritt Jones is a brilliant and gifted teacher. His newest work is not only insightful, but gives great tools for each of us to live a life of joy: No Matter What!”—Mary Morrissey, author of No Less Than GreatnessTHE ART OF BEING:"May this book be your special friend, an introduction to Power and Presence...the essence inviting you to be you."—Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith, Agape International Spiritual Center"If you are seeking more peace, presence, and calm comfort, this book must accompany you on your journey."—Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott, Author of the New York Times best seller, If Life Is a Game, These the Rules: Ten Rules for Being Human"If you want to close the gap between your humanity and your divinity, read The Art of Being."—Walter Starcke, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Double Thread