February 2023: A Note from Hope Katz Gibbs, founder, Inkandescent PR + Publishing Co. — During the Coronavirus pandemic, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jay Shetty spent a lot of time thinking about love.
The award-winning storyteller is a former monk whose viral videos about peace and purpose have been viewed more than 10 billion times. His first book, Think Like a Monk, was published in September 2020 and distills timeless into practical steps anyone can take daily to live a less anxious, more meaningful life. His newest tome, 8 Rules of Love, guides us on finding love, keeping it, and letting it go.
“So many relationships were challenged or just didn’t make it through lockdown,” observes Shetty, a native of London who lives in Los Angeles with his wife Radhi Devlukia-Shetty. “Some relationships got stronger, sure. But we were all tested.”
To discover how to help people have healthier relationships, Shetty started with a Harvard Medical School study that scientists have worked on since the Great Depression.
“The scientists gathered information over 80 years and it showed that how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,” explains Shetty, who helps readers seize that power in his insightful hardback. Its four sections offer meditations on solitude, compatibility, healing, and connection.
His 8 Rules are born of these concepts, ranging from Letting Yourself Be Alone (Rule 1) to Loving Again and Again (Rule 8).
Having spent three years studying the Vedas at a Hindu ashram in Mumbai, Shetty says that sees life as a series of classrooms. Using a metaphor of connecting ashrams.
“There are four levels of love: Preparing, practicing, protecting, and perfecting it,” he explains. “The key to a successful, loving relationship is to peel back the layers continuously, he believes. “You reveal a layer; your partner reveals a layer. From there, you figure it out together. And then you do it again.”
Being of service to others is also critical to the creator of the Genius Coaching community, whose health and wellness show, On Purpose, is one of Apple’s most popular podcasts.
Shetty shares: “I once read a quote from Muhammad Ali, who said, ‘Service to others is the rent you pay for the room here on earth.’ I hold this dear to my heart because everything we do can be of service. We don’t need to build the biggest charity; we just have that spirit and mindset. Any person I meet, I say hello or open the door.”
When it comes to the art of self-mastery, Shetty says he is deeply disciplined.
“From my sleep routines and meditation patterns to regularly exercising and trying to eat right, there’s no easy, magical way out. Take this book, for instance. I wrote it three times. The first time it was too raw and hard. The second version was too simple. And the third one seemed right. I’m not aiming for perfect. Mastery, like love, is a process.”
Being vulnerable and honest about his mistakes is also part of that process. “It’s more fun sharing while you are learning than sharing once you think you’ve learned it all. That is not real, anyway.”
Hope Katz Gibbs is a yogi, massage therapist, and freelance writer finding love by the sea in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.