Now, before you close the page because you don’t want to read about my crunchy-granola-hippie way of life, let me just tell you a bit more about myself: I am a medical MESS. This is probably the understatement of the year, actually. Since roughly 2009, I have amassed so many diagnoses that I have to keep a list of them in my phone to remember them all. And now you’re thinking I’m a massive hypochondriac, yes? Maybe. It’s hard to say. Because everything that happens to me — and you, and everyone else in the world — is really happening inside the brain, and whether your body presents observable and objective signs of the things you’re feeling is entirely separate.
So for a while now I’ve been getting more and more frustrated with my obvious lack of control over my multiple diagnoses. Each new addition to my chart provides even more angst about my ability — or inability — to DO something about my health without prescribed and heavily-controlled medications. Enter, this book. Actually, scratch that. Enter the move Dr. Strange. I realize this seems entirely off-topic, but most of that movie is centered around one man’s ability to heal himself with his own mind. His ability to harness the power his mind — not his brain; these are two separate things — has to control his brain to do unimaginable things.
As is always the case in fiction, I figured there was likely some real-life basis to this story line, so I began searching for ways to heal my own body with my mind.
NOW enter this book. Yes, that’s better.
The chapters each turn on the basic principal that your mind and your body are two separate and distinct phenomena, and that you are choosing, right at this moment, which one is in charge. Will you let your reptilian brain, with its overactive signals of fear and danger, to rule your life, or will you let your much more evolved mind — your Id, your actual being — take the wheel? It’s entirely up to you. This may seem obvious to some people. When I began explaining it to my insanely, irritatingly logical engineer-of-a-husband, his reaction was, “Um….yeah, of course. That’s basically how I run my entire life.” But for someone like me, who puts so much value on the meaning of my emotions and their right to exist, despite what I really want or what my logical side is telling me, it was an eye-opener.
It’s not only useful to those of us struggling to be healthy and well; I believe this book can provide even the healthiest of people with a new way of looking at their lives, their loved ones, and the people around them. Your capacity for empathy will increase, while your ability to detach from the emotions of others’ will increase. I’ve always struggled with the latter. Your deep-set opinions on life, love, and even space and time will be tested. And who among us doesn’t love a good test now and then? (no? just me? still a good book).
It is not an exaggeration for me to say this book has changed my life. And before anyone says, “I don’t have time to read,” I’ll just offer up that it is also available from Amazon as an audiobook, which I listened to in the car between depositions and kids’ activities. Because neither do I. Oh, and I really loved the narrator, which is rare for me. Generally, they irritate me so much I don’t finish the book (here’s another example of something my mind could have controlled, but I let my brain do it).
If you’re like me, always learning, always looking for something new and uplifting, you’d love this book.