Rüdrani Devi has every reason to be unhappy. She has survived the trauma of a tough childhood, a failed marriage and – perhaps worst of all – a terrorist attack that left her emotionally and physically damaged. However, despite all the pitfalls, Devi says she remains positive.

In her latest book, aptly titled Choosing Happiness, the author explores the many reasons why a person might not choose happiness, and offers her tips & tricks to living a more joyful, aware life. She shares her personal story and her journey to becoming a holistic healer, certified Meditation coach and Conscious Living teacher. We sat down with Devi to discuss her new book, life story and sage words of advice.

What brought you to the career path of being an author?
I feel as though the career path of being an author chose me. There was so much energy bottled up inside of me, that it was as simple as being willing to give the story the space to allow it to create itself.  And so, I’ll be honest … all three of my books wrote themselves once I let go and allowed it. How did I get so lucky?

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer?
Limiting distractions. I create the space to access consciousness and compose my work by shutting down all my devices. This means no phone and no internet, and complete access to the nature of my surroundings. Living in eastern Tennessee, this namely means the nature of my back yard!

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
In the early pages of Choosing Happiness, I share my experience of being shot by Pakistani terrorists in Mumbai, India, during a terrible event called the “26/11 Mumbai Massacre.” There are many other passages that I love, but this story seems to garner the most interest.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
The most empowering lesson that I want readers to take away is Awareness vs Mindfulness. Awareness includes everything and excludes nothing: meaning there is no judgement of right or wrong. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is more about a state of being conscious or aware of something. It doesn’t speak of inclusion, although many feel that is implied. Readers will walk away knowing the difference, and why it is important to their self-growth.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author and how did you overcome it
When it comes to being an author, whether that be composing music or putting paragraphs on a page, my main challenge was recognizing when the words inside me are ready to come out. I let the composition of the art “flow” through me, so if I keep it bottled up it can get in the way of progress. This can be overcome by connecting with nature and finding inspiration in your surroundings.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
Most of my artistic musings actually comes from my favorite music, namely late 1950’s to early 1970’s funk R&B. As a singer/song-writer from Nashville – AKA “Music City” – the history of composers is a real inspiration when I am writing. As a classically trained violinist, I know that composing music can be as difficult as writing a book, and so I have great respect for musicians and composers as well. I imagine they tap in to the same creative juices when art creates itself.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
Tap into what moves you artistically. It could be an author, a painter, a street artist or any other art form that could possibly motivate you to create and generate beyond even what you thought was possible. There is no formula – there is simply the drive to create something within that requires a place to thrive and survive.

What are 5 Things you wish someone told you when you first started?
There are many, many things but I think the biggest one would be: don’t be afraid to take the leap, even if you aren’t an “author” by trade. I wrote my first best-selling book, Soul Survivor, after joining a writing class that a friend of mine was involved in and encouraged me to attend. I had no inklings to be a writer, really, but I wanted to construct what I had been through regarding the Mumbai Massacre of 26/11.       

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Consciousness at all cost: we must know our inner selves to be our best self!

Choosing Happiness is available now.

To learn more about Devi’s story and to read Choosing Happiness for yourself, please visit AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-Million or Access Consciousness Publishing to purchase. To learn more about Rüdrani Devi’s work outside of writing, visit her online website or on Facebook at The Devi Clinic, Inc.