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Dec
2009
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Will Shari Arison be the first major self-help star of the new decade?

The self-improvement industry is dominated by a dozen multi-millionaire celebrities, and a big guru has not emerged since 2004. Shari Arison is already a billionaire in her own right, and may have the inner right-minded stuff to break out

The wealthiest woman in the Middle East, Shari Arison ranks 234 on Forbes magazine’s rich list and presides over an estimated $3-billion fortune and Israel’s largest bank.

An excerpt from her new book, BIRTH: When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together — For most of my life I have received messages—images and worded communications, sometimes even in an ancient language—that come to me from above. In the past, I used the help of channelers who interpreted the messages for me, but today I know how to receive those messages directly, without the need for interpretation, without the inevitable bias that takes place when information passes through someone else’s filters . . .

(to stress this point, I use in this book two different words to describe the same phenomenon: “channeling”—given to me by another, and “message”— communicated to me directly). About two years ago, I received a message in which I was told to prepare myself for an impending collapse. My response was not economic; I did not rush to sell my assets in order to prevent losses or try to make a profit. My only response was to continue with even greater determination on my path on the path that I and the companies in the Arison Group have followed in recent years: a powerful and decisive process aimed at realizing the Group’s vision.

arisonMy purpose in this book is to share the path I have traveled, in the spiritual realm and in the business realm, to share the insights I have reached regarding the essential connection between the two, to speculate as to the nature of the new world we are approaching, and to reveal my business spiritual model—a new model for a new world, which will enable individuals, companies, and even states and nations to transform the collapse all around us into change, and to bring together the spiritual and the material, and from this meeting, give birth to a new future.

From reluctant heiress to role model

I began my emotional and spiritual journey as a frightened and angry child who did not know how to express her feelings. I grew up in a home where emotions were not dealt with, or talked about, in which I felt my own emotions were being suppressed and denied. It took me years to find my voice and begin using it. Even then, I had a great sensitivity for what is to come. I felt and sometimes saw things before they happened, and I felt a great connection with what lies beyond the simple everyday reality. When I tried to tell people about the things I experienced, they did not believe me and told me, “There are no such things.” The gap between what I knew to be the truth, which I saw with my eyes and felt in my body, and the lack of faith of the people around me, generated a difficult feeling within me that only years later I was able to identify as fear.

This sensitivity and different-ness, especially in a family like mine that was not attentive to these matters, generated friction and problems during my childhood and youth, and my parents turned to conventional psychology to try to find solutions. My first encounter with therapy was traumatic: a psychologist who treated me violated the privilege between us and spoke with my mother about the issues we had discussed during our sessions.

Other encounters were no less difficult: I was ten years old when my father remarried, and there was great anger within me that I did not know how to handle. I wanted to kill my stepmother. I actually sat and planned how I would get rid of her. At age twelve, my parents took me for treatment to a psychologist who specialized in the Gestalt method, a very dramatic and shocking technique for me. In our first session, the therapist lay on the floor and invited me to kill her. “Kill me!” she told me. “Show me how you would kill me. You can choke me if you want. Show me how you’re going to do it.” Of course, I could not do anything, and the shock of the incident completely dissolved my anger. “One day,” she told me, “you will have to deal with your fears.”

Beyond talk therapy

At the time, I did not understand what she meant because, as I said, I couldn’t identify the feelings I experienced as fears. In the fullness of time I came to understand what she meant. Today, of course, I have a wonderful relationship with Lin, my father’s widow, and we love and respect each other very much.

These experiences taught me to be suspicious of psychology. The trust that was violated and the shock of the Gestalt therapy left a deep mark within me, created layers, a scar tissue in my soul. This fear, however, did not prevent me from taking great interest in the field, and I even considered studying psychology at one point, before I started college in the United States. I did not lose this curiosity, and when I returned to Israel in the summer of 1991, I studied psychology at the Open University.

The experience I had undergone, and what I had managed to learn about the field, made it clear to me that while conventional treatment is beneficial to some people, I am not one of them. I do not reject any method, of course. But I think that each method should be adapted to the individual.

In my twenties, following crises in my personal life, I began to participate in support groups. For the first time in my life, I was part of a group of people who struggled with problems that were similar to mine, and I learned a lot about mutual support. I participated in sessions for a very long time, and they helped me to understand that I am not alone and that I must accept responsibility for my part in whatever difficult situation I am in. At the time, I could only understand the importance of this responsibility rationally. I was very young. I cannot say that I truly understood it in depth, because during the course of my life I found myself repeating the same mistakes over and over and over, and I am still struggling with them today, but in other ways.

There are things in our lives that we understand better at every stage we pass. But the beginning of my path, my initial learning of responsibility, I did there, in the support groups.

Read part 2, “Confessions of a billionaire: Shari Arison reveals what money cannot buy.”


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To order Birth: When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together, go to: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607477254

From the early 1990s until September 2009, Shari Arison served as the chairman of the Arison Group, Arison Investments and the Ted Arison Family Foundation. To learn more, visit: www.arison.com

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8 Comments on “Will Shari Arison be the first major self-help star of the new decade?”

  1. Granted that Shari Arison is a billionairess, and that she has these gifts, why would she be selling her books and her abilities? Why would she need to become the first 'self-help star'? Why do any person with abilities/gifts have to 'charge' others?

  2. In response to David's post, Shari has given back many millions of dollars to charities, such as Essence of Life, Good Deeds Day, All One Foundation. More then most! Much of her book is about why it is importnat to give back and how and why she does! If you read the book, I am confident you will understand.

  3. My sense: I can relate to her. She is, first, a spiritual person. And in terms of the jet-set world, she presents as the accidental tourist.

    I know, I know. There is a sub-text of victim narrative throughout, and chapters about her lawsuits and Knesset, courts, etc. But to the comparison we ourselves posited on this site . . . I dunno, Eckhart Tolle once proclaimed on national TV that Oprah, of all people, "is open to a great awakening."

    I actually don't believe that, never have. Don't feel it. Don't trust it. Don't see it. Don't watch her. Don't want to listen to her voice. She's hype and hyper-active schmaltz.

    Pamela Wilson, on the other hand . . .

    Don Miguel Ruiz . . .

    David Rickey . . . .

    And to Shari Arison. Is this being not open to a huge risk-taking awakening? She has put far greater net worth at risk than Oprah. She is so more accessible and likable.

  4. sounds a lot like my teacher Yogi Bhajan spoke about..the more spreading the word sincerely, no matter the context or background, the better..here is to altering consciousness to a higher place, $ or no $..so all can thrive..

  5. Personally, I don't think the world needs another multi-millionaire guru, no matter how enlightened his/her message may be. Multi-millionaires cannot identify with what's it's like to be an "ordinary person", and many people getting advice dispensed from well heeled gurus never act on the advice because they compare themselves unfavorably with the guru. They do not see themselves in that stratosphere and thus don't even try.

    Instead I think we need leaders and visionaries who arise from among the "rest of us", those of us who are not multi-millionaires, people who know what material struggle is, and who need to build the confidence in their dreams a little bit at a time, instead of having wealthy gurus up on some stage telling them to embrace their BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). In my view, wisdom arises from taking small steps, all moving you in the right direction. We need to learn to share with each other own own homegrown wisdom, to give each other the best of what we are in our very real life situations.

    We don't need another guru; society today is "gurued" enough, and some people are paying dearly for it, even with their lives (for example, the James Ray fiasco that resulted in deaths and permanent injuries among people who believed in his multi-million dollar hype and thus gave up their own powers of discernment and good judgment.

    Even when a guru has a very positive message, money can stand in the way. I don't think people need to be told what to do by the super-rich. Instead they need to learn to think for themselves and to find the leadership they need within themselves and within their communities. Every community has natural moral leaders who, if their talents can be drawn upon, can make a difference in people's lives. In short, the guru is really you and I, and every person who has crossed our path. How about we start collecting every-day wisdom, rather than believing that just because someone has millions of dollars that this somehow makes them a more valid teacher than the wise people around us in our own back yards.

  6. i like what i just read in the excerpt. Too many spiritual people deny the shadows; too many pretend that material abundance has something to do with their spiritual life.

  7. Dear Shari, hey your words speak of wisdom for the aware and open minded concerned people of this funky planet. May you continue to bless us in your unique ways. By the way, if you are searching for a secretary and someone to carry your briefcase at times, please do not be shy. I'm cooperative unique worker for cocreative supernatural energies of light force integrities.
    Presently going to share devices around the world that can reduce air pollution, that are not electical or expensive either. also they can manifest energies to zone in for added growth to plants, to help recreate jungles I pray and forests too.
    Be Well
    Gregorio

  8. Personally , I loved her book, it was courageous and honest. And we don't need another guru. She speaks from the heart about how to give back, take what you will...

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