Self Help Summer
4 Ways To Mess With Your Mind.
It’s the Dog Days of Summer; summer, which now starts in April and will probably be ending in November thanks to Global Warming. You’ve already worked your way through the top 5 of Oprah’s summer reading list, and you don’t want to escape into fiction anymore. No, you want to concentrate on you and your life, because you’ve decided, “maybe I’m not perfect after all.” Maybe, you could use a little reworking, another draft, a new 2.0 version of yourself? Welcome to the Age of Aquarius baby, where it’s all about the new and better you for a new and better life. Forget religion, the pathway to heaven is self analysis and enlightenment. “Ok, great,” you say, “but how do I get there? What’s my mode of transportation to get to a better me, a better life and eventually a Deepak Chopra heaven on earth existence?” Well, here are my four picks for self help books to a new and better you!
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
Let’s start with Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. The Four Agreements is like a reference book or a resource guide. It’s small in size, but packed with information. Basically, it says do these four things and you will experience heaven on earth. Simple enough, until you try to actually put them into practice and you realize you’ve opened up a Pandora’s Box inside your head making you question reality, the meaning of life and if anything or anyone matters. There is no wading into the water with The Four Agreements; it’s a plunge into the deep end. You may find yourself drowning in the proverbial water and grasping for the ledge, but if you don’t freak out, you might be able to dog paddle your way back to dry land… or not. The concepts are big, but familiar. For example, “Don’t Take Anything Personally,” that’s a phrase you have surely heard many times. But when Miguel says it, he really means it. Your wife tells you she loves you, don’t take it personally. Your friends tell you that you look great, don’t take it personally. You’ve just won the Noble Peace Prize, don’t take it personally. Apparently, we are all living in our own worlds, staring in our own movies, and everything we do and say is all about us. So just go with it.
Inspiration by Dr.Wayne W Dyer
He is the king of self-help, author of over thirty books. He appears on your TV, the radio, and at conferences lecturing to emotionally and psychologically lost audiences. Dr. Wayne Dyer, the guru of New Age philosophy helps you find your ultimate calling in Inspiration. Wayne basically asserts that all of us were non-physical beings who chose our bodies, our families, our lives on planet earth, and that we all came here to accomplish something and that something is what inspires us. So, find your source of inspiration, your calling, then live it out and you will find ultimate happiness. Apparently some of us were looking for a challenge and chose to be a child solider in Uganda or that guy who was texting while driving and now has a picture of his car smashed under the 18 wheeler circulating in emails and on facebook. Wayne provides specific instructions on how to live “in-spirit.” One of my favorites was the giving up of possessions. I found it particularly amusing when I asked my girlfriend at the time, to give me her four thousand dollar, Prada, python hand bag. Apparently, her non-physical being, gave the whole picking your family, your life thing more thought than mine did. Ultimately, I have to give it up to Wayne, because what better advice can you give someone than follow your dreams.
Real Love by Greg Baer, M.D.
The first time I saw the title of this book, I thought of Mary J. Blige’s 1992 hit Real Love and I wondered what this man could possibly know about love that Mary hadn’t already sung about. Then I read the book and realized Mary could use a refresher course. Real Love is a guide to finding genuine happiness through unconditional love and fulfilling relationships. After reading Greg Baer’s book, the path to genuine happiness seems pretty simple. For starters, learn the difference between imitation or conditional love as in “OMG, you’re taking me to St. Martin for the weekend? I love you!” and unconditional or real love like, “you’re too tired to take me out for sushi like you promised? I love you.” Greg will show you how to eliminate conflict by basically accepting your partner, husband, wife, as they are, and as they act. With Real Love, you have to dump expectations, so you don’t experience the disappointment, anger, fear etc. that comes with them. Real Love is tough; simple but tough. Now it’s not necessary to find a mate who embraces this philosophical outlook, but it will sure make things easier for you if they do. Otherwise, you will be fighting against generations and generations and generations of backwards thinking. Mary J. sung about it, but Greg Baer shows you how to find Real Love.
Loving What Is by Byron Kaite
Do not buy this book unless you are truly serious about changing your life, because it’s work! Byron Katie’s whole premise of changing your perception and finding true happiness is based on self analysis designed for active and enthusiastic participants. Passive, lazy readers need not attempt transformation. She literally calls it doing “the work.” So what is “the work?” It is a process of stating a thought you believe is true, which is causing you anger, fear, depression, or addiction, and turning that thought around, to get at the real truth behind it. Through a series of four questions, Byron enables you to see how your thoughts can contradict or warp reality and lead you into despair. For example, and the book has many, a woman says her husband is driving her crazy and she doesn’t love him anymore. Byron asks if it is true the woman’s husband is actually driving her crazy. Of course he isn’t, but his behavior is annoying the woman. Using “the work,” she gets to the root of the problem, the woman isn’t happy with herself; she has placed expectations on her relationship that can never be realized, etc. etc. Powerful stuff, but users should be very careful with this cognitive tool, because if you’re already a deep thinker, you could find yourself with your head spinning around so badly, you look like Linda Blair in the exorcist. I went from listening to my instincts, to questioning everything I thought and believed was true. You have been warned.
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Rio Brit resides in sunny south Florida. When not working on scripts, short stories, or the novel, Rio practices the fine art of Leisure.