Meet the Flipsters

Conversations on the Bridge

A Conversation with Barbara De Angelis
(The complete Flip interview, with only minor edits, not found in the book)

Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D. (, is one of the most influential teachers of our time in the field of relationships and personal growth. For the past twenty-five years, she has reached tens of millions of people throughout the world with her positive messages about love, happiness, and the search for meaning in our lives. As a best-selling author, popular television personality, and sought-after motivational speaker, Barbara has been a pioneer in the field of personal transformation, one of the first people to popularize the idea of self-help in the 1980s, and one of the first nationally-recognized female motivational teachers on television.

Barbara is the author of fourteen best-selling books which have sold more than eight million copies and been published throughout the world in twenty languages. Her latest book is How Did I Get Here? Finding Your Way to Renewed Hope and Happiness When Life and Love Take Unexpected Turns. We asked Barbara about how taking stock of one’s place in life can contribute to a flip of perspective. “Even asking the question How did I get here? can be an amazing moment of awakening because most people don’t have the courage to ask such questions. As I wrote in the new book, ‘As travelers on life’s paths, we are defined by both the questions we ask ourselves and by the ones we avoid asking.’ A lot of people spend their life running from questions, and I have spent my life running toward questions. I invite people to ask the kinds of questions that help them awaken and live more conscious, authentic lives. Times of deep questioning are not times of weakness or falling apart, but periods of tremendous transformation.

“The flip is learning to interpret our life events in terms of lessons, turning points, transitions and wake-up calls… and then moving through them with grace and dignity and clarity, without getting stuck. From that perspective, we can learn to embrace the questions and be hungry for them. But we need to be willing to roll up our sleeves a get a little dirty. If looking good is high on our priority list, we’re going to have a hard time growing at all in life. We’re going to have a hard time in our relationships. We’re going to have a hard time dealing with the failures we all to go through when we strive for excellence. Worrying about how we appear to others is one of the easiest ways for us to get completely stuck and stagnate in our lives. Rather than asking ourselves ‘How do I look?’ the better questions would be ‘How do I feel, and is my life working?’

“You do have to let go of the ego in a sense, and be willing to allow the unraveling of yourself, your beliefs, and your expectations in order to truly flip and make a breakthrough. You can’t fly when you’re still on the ground. You can’t move while you stand still. A lot of people try to do both, and it’s impossible. It can be frightening when you’re flailing around and there’s nothing to hold onto. That’s a very powerful moment of breakthrough. But it requires a sense of truly letting go and trusting that there will be something on the other side of your leap.”

In figuring out “how we got here,” do we run the risk of becoming absorbed in the past? “Understanding where we came from, what decisions we’ve made, how we’ve limited ourselves—is essential for moving forward,” says Barbara. “Otherwise we may tell ourselves that we’re in the present, but we’ll have a trail of ghosts following us. Every time I do a session with someone, I see their ghosts hovering: the ghosts of their former relationships, of their family, their parents, and so on. Until we understand those influences and become free of them, saying ‘I’m living in the moment’ doesn’t mean anything. ‘In the moment’ doesn’t mean anything unless you’re in each moment without being in reaction to the moment before, and the moment before. I call that emotional freedom, which means being free of the influences of the past. The more of that freedom we have, the less fear of the future we will have.

“I should clarify that by being ‘in the moment,’ I don’t mean an irresponsible mindset of ‘past and future be damned!’ Complete consciousness encompasses the past, the future, and now. It is not limited or myopic. ‘The now’ is this moment as it’s impacted and affected by everything that has happened or could happen.

“We all would like to think that we are conscious enough to see what’s coming. By becoming quiet and paying attention, we can certainly avoid a number of things that we – in 20/20 hindsight – ‘should have seen coming.’ However, we can’t look for what we’re not expecting. So the universe sometimes takes us by surprise.”

Time to change, whether we want to or not? “Sadly, most people refuse to grow until they are forced to grow. You can choose to grow or you can be forced to grow. Most people on the planet tend to be forced to grow and even then are often resistant because of their fear. And fear makes us not authentic, not our real selves. There’s nothing more exhausting than living without authenticity. People do not realize how much energy it takes to not be who we are. It’s unbelievable how draining it is to talk, to act, to love, to be a way that is not authentically you. ‘Authenticity’ means that who you are on the inside is reflected on the outside, that every moment, who you are is also how you appear to others. People are walking around with chronic fatigue in this country, and in my opinion, ninety-nine percent of it has to do with the fact that they’re repressing things, denying things, avoiding things, hiding things, and it takes a lot of energy to do that.

“On the other hand, nothing is more exciting than to start to live authentically. You feel an enormous power surging through you; again, that’s emotional freedom. We unleash tremendous energy when we wake from our emotional sleep and return to our authentic selves. It’s as if we’ve just had this power turned back on after an outage. As hard as it is to do this, the reward is fantastic. Everything is flowing; you’re not blocking the flow of shakti or whatever you want to call it. Most people are walking around cut off from that flow because they’re afraid of the consequences, yet in a sense it’s no one’s fault because we live in a society where authenticity is not rewarded. What’s rewarded is conformity and fitting into an image. As a culture we mistrust things that are too different. So it takes a lot of courage to be authentic in a world where people really value fitting in.”

We wondered if it takes a lot of “self-love” to have the courage to flip and become more authentic in everyday life. Barbara got right to the point: “The truth is everything we do is out of self love. And I’m always telling people that it’s an illusion that we do not love ourselves. Everything we do is ultimately out of self love and self preservation; it’s impossible for it to be otherwise. Let’s say a person has a pattern of choosing unloving partners. We tend to think, ‘If she loved herself, she would choose better partners.’ But what she’s actually trying to do is heal a pattern, probably rooted in childhood, of trying to get someone’s love, feeling that she must work very hard to earn people’s love. And there is love that is behind her choice. She is telling herself, ‘Let me do it right. Let me go back to when I was six and this time I’m going to get Daddy’s love, I just know I am.” So it’s not lack of love that’s making her do that, it’s just a misunderstanding of the best way to share and realize love. It’s the same thing with people who think they need to become more powerful. There’s no such thing as ‘more powerful.’ We’re all equally powerful. It’s just that some of us use our power to hold ourselves back, and others to propel ourselves forward. We all have the same manifestation of shakti, chi, and divine energy. We all are love. It’s just that some of us are using our love in some very twisted, convoluted ways. It’s a great revelation for people when they understand that they hold themselves back not from a lack of self-love, but because they are used to protecting themselves instead of taking chances. Either way, love is the motivation. You can use the same love that keeps you in place, protected from taking chances, to be courageous and become more authentic.”

That is a powerful personal flip.

“I always tell people, ‘True transformation takes one second. Getting prepared for that second is what can take a long time.’ And following through can take a lot of courage.

“I find that understanding why we do things truly can ‘set us free.’ Too often pop culture offers very limited understandings of what’s really going on. One thing that I’ve tried to do in my field of social psychology is bring a broad spiritual perspective to many of these topics. I’m thrilled to be able to do that.

“Revelation is hard. Revolution is harder. To begin living your revelations about yourself can require an amazing amount of courage. Moving from denial to consciousness will sometimes create a revolution in your life on every level. There will be people who will not be happy. You will have to let go of things. It can be like dying and being reborn into the same body. And some people just don’t want to go through it. They don’t understand the concept. But we are being invited to die and re-emerge over and over again… each time as a slightly higher, truer self. Choose to grow!”


The Flip, by Jared Rosen and David Rippe, illuminates a clear path to a vibrant enlightened world where millions of people already live and thrive. It describes in vivid detail and real examples evidence of an upside down world in decay and a Right Side Up world of authentic beings bright with possibility.
The Flip is an owner’s manual for the twenty-first century full of insights, conversations with recognized experts, thought leaders, and visionaries, and actionable exercises and tips you can use to begin your own personal flip.

To read more about The Flip and additional interviews from other luminaries, experts and bestselling authors, please visit

The Flip is available at your local bookstore or online at, Barnes & Noble, Joseph-Beth, and Borders.


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