I’ve been reading Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, by Joe Dispenza as part of an informal book club with some of my friends. And since I happened to be in a sketchnoting frame of mind while I was reading it, I ended up taking sketchnotes of every chapter.
Here are my notes from chapter one (click on the picture for a bigger version). Please excuse the sparkly nature of the pen; I’d just come across an old set of really nice gel pens and couldn’t resist using them (I used a different colour for each chapter of the book – thankfully, the lighter pens were used for later chapters!).
As you can see from my notes, the book goes quite a bit into quantum mechanics, and how we can apply what we know of the quantum field to “rewiring” ourselves and breaking out of old habits. It’s a very interesting discussion, although sometimes the application of theory seemed a little bit forced to me. But since I believe there are mysteries of life and consciousness that just aren’t explainable by our current scientific knowledge, that didn’t bother me much.
For me, the power of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself lies in the four week meditation program outlined in the last half of the book. I actually spent several weeks going through the process – but found myself resisting taking it beyond week two every single time.
But luckily, I’ve been reading this book with some friends of mine, one of whom went all the way through the four week process – and rather inspiringly, she has been experiencing all sorts of lovely and welcome career-related surprises in her life. I am currently standing at one of those proverbial forks in the work/life road, and such surprises would definitely be an asset right around now!
So I ended up going to Joe Dispenza’s site and buying the MP3 download of the guided meditation, which was what my friend was using as a companion to the book. The book refers to this meditation a few times; unfortunately, access to the meditation doesn’t come with the book but both Ward and I have been doing the meditation for a few days now and I’d say it’s well worth the $4.95.
For one thing, each time I’ve finished the meditation (which, at over an hour, is quite long) I find myself just bopping with energy. This morning, right after I finished, it occurred to me to go to the local coffee shop and work on my current novel. I spent a wonderful two hours there, and managed to discover the solution to a plotting problem I was facing.
Pretty powerful stuff. If you’re into the quantum mechanics aspect of changing old habits, you’ll probably find the book interesting. And if you find yourself having problems with the meditation program outlined in the book, you might want to give the guided meditation a try.
At the very least, Ward and I are both enjoying our meditation practice a lot more these days!
Incoming! is a feature at Ms. Bookish that chronicles new books that have arrived in the Ms. Bookish household. Here’s the latest new arrival:
Grads: Take Charge, by Kathryn Marion
About the Book:
Today’s college grads are entering the workforce right in the middle of the most challenging economy and job market we’ve seen in decades, and entering the “real world” woefully unprepared to deal with all the new responsibilities they will be facing on their own.
Grads need answers, and they want them fast. In this comprehensive, right to the point resource are all the answers they need to guide them …
First line: Everyone wants to land a dream job and be successful at it.
Received from: The author, Kathryn Marion
My initial thoughts:
I don’t normally feature self-published books, but my interest was piqued by this book because over the next few years, my two oldest will be heading off for university. I look at them now and even though they’re both taller than me and have been for a while, they’re still, well, my babies. How on earth are they going to survive out there on their own once they get their degrees and start working for a living?
Grads: Take Charge has an interesting format: it’s mainly written in point form, giving byte-sized nuggets of information. Flipping through the pages, I see lots of practical bits of information. And there’s a section on “Your Life” that tells them how to keep their apartments clean. (Yes, the idea of that made me smile … I’m wondering if either of mine would like to get some real-life practice now?)
Recovering Me, Discovering Joy, by Vivian Eisenecher, is an inspirational book detailing the author’s journey from the “triple whammy” of depression, social phobia and alcoholism, to a world of inner and outer joy.
Honesty and Clarity
The book is divided into two parts. In Part One – Recovering Me, Eisenecher writes honestly about the challenges of dealing with depression, social anxiety and alcoholism. She intersperses her own experiences with facts and advice about each of these three issues, and her writing is clear, frank, and easy to read.
As she discovered:
My triple whammy (depression, social phobia and alcoholism) complicated my recovery from any one of them, causing me to relapse over and over again. By treating my alcoholism, my doctors were putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. My drinking was an outward response to my profound internal struggles. I used alcohol to quell my social discomfort, and not until I could conquer that could I ever conceive of living a normal life.
This truly spoke to me; someone very close to me suffered from alcoholism, and it wasn’t until she had unsuccessfuly gone through years of rehabilitation programs and addiction therapy that it finally became clear. The route to recovery could come only by treating the problems causing the alcoholism.
Eisenecher’s honesty serves to dispel many of the myths and stigmas that are still attached to depression, social phobia and alcoholism. She writes clearly about the challenges she faced, and the difficult road to her recovery. But her writing is filled with hope – it’s her ability to see the gift underlying her challenges that is so inspirational:
This may seem counterintuitive, but “bottoms” provide many benefits. They give us a chance to stop our free fall, to change direction. At the lowest level of any predicament, there is only one direction out, and that is up. “Bottoms usually provide us with a time out, a space in time to look at possible solutions. They can be devasting enough that we are temporarily relieved from the daily pressures of life. At my “bottom,” the only hope I had was that things would ultimately get better, and I clung to that.
The Power of Faith
In Part Two of Recovering Me, Discovering Joy, Eisenecher writes eloquently of her road to joy. Faith and God played a large role in her journey to happiness; she also learned to make her own happiness a priority. Each chapter is divided into shorter sections, providing guidance that is clear, inspirational, and easy-to-read. There are many nuggets of advice throughout this section – for example, on getting things done, she describes her approach:
Today, I know that if something doesn’t get done immediately, chances are there’s a good reason for the postponement of the task, and it will probably get done later. I no longer let my “to do” lists mess with me. Lists are excellent tools to get us organized, but they don’t have to become a dictatorship. If we don’t complete our “to do” list today, we’ve got tomorrow’s list already made.
Part Two ends with several chapters in which Eisenecher talks about her Christianity, and the important role her faith has played in helping her get to this happier, more joyous life. These chapters did not speak as powerfully to me, but this was probably because my personal spiritual path is different from Eisenecher’s. I nevertheless found Eisenecher’s writing about her faith to be both inspirational and passionate; however, readers who do not share Eisenecher’s religion may not find these parts as compelling.
The book ends with the chapter “Living in the Sweet Spot”; it’s a wonderful chapter filled with short, practical and passionate pieces on how one can “live in the sweet spot” (that place where factors combine to create a particularly desirable situation).
It has been difficult for me to come forward with my profound inner struggles, but I knew from experience that there must be others with the same challenges. I couldn’t be the only person on Earth who suffered the way I did, and I needed to show how recovery was not only possible, but also quite rewarding. … I figured that if I could find joy, anybody could, and I could quite possibly teach them how.
And Eisenecher has indeed done this with Recovering Me, Discovering Joy. This book does have a very Christian emphasis, but for readers who are comfortable with this, it is an inspirational read.
The Book Trailer
More About Recovering Me, Discovering Joy
Recovering Me, Discovering Joy is about recovering (from any ailment or condition) not to normal but to a better normal. After numerous attempts at sobriety, stints in more than three rehabs, followed by repeated relapses, Vivian shares the “secret” that finally brought her lasting recovery and profoundly changed her life. In an effort to improve the success rate of recovery and quite possibly save lives, one of the book’s main goals is to raise awareness about the profound correlation between depression, social phobia, and alcoholism. Vivian has struggled with these disorders and is in recovery from all three.
In addition, Recovering Me, Discovering Joy is a remarkably honest book of creative non-fiction about the positive nature of life’s problems. It is about the journey to know oneself. With a sense of humor and an uplifting spirit of gratitude, the author suggests ways to live a more meaningful life. She offers a fresh look at enduring truths which we all tend to forget in our day-to-day fast-paced lives. By using stories from people in recovery, personal reflections, and the Bible’s wisdom, she re-establishes the importance of faith in the healing process. Her experience, strength and hope provide the reader with keys to living a richer, easier and happier life.
About the Author
Vivian Eisenecher has been an inspirational speaker, mentor and writer since 1996. Using her experience, strength and hope, she is committed to helping educate and enlighten the general public about the puzzling aspects of the addiction/recovery process and the strong correlation between anxiety, depression and alcoholism. With her husband in recovery from a massive stroke since 1993 and her own recovery from three life-threatening diseases, she felt compelled to share with others important lessons she’s been able to learn only in recovery. Recovering Me, Discovering Joy addresses both her and her husband’s respective struggles as they climbed from the trenches of despair to discover new and ever-unfolding joy. Her progress in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual areas of her life has led her to better understand the recovery process, its limitlessness and life in general.
She holds a marketing degree in Business Administration (magna cum laude), and a certificate in Gerontology. Her previously published works include articles for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Woman’s World, Viewpoint, JUST FINE: Unmasking Depression and Anxiety Disorders(due for release in 2009).She has been a regular speaker at The McDonald Center for over twelve years and has also given talks at Pamarro and The Aurora Behavioral Institute among others. She is involved with Junior Achievement, the San Diego Heart Walk, the 2005 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk and has been featured in Momentum magazine. Her memberships include NCHIC (a speaker’s organization for hospitals and institutions), Publishers & Writers of San Diego (PWSD), and PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association.