A successful, engaging book about shamanic ideas and psychological archetypes, among other concepts.

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Change Your Story, Change Your Life

USING SHAMANIC AND JUNGIAN TOOLS TO ACHIEVE PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION

A rich guide to spiritual awakening and emotional balance.

Many self-improvement titles urge meditation, breathing, and journaling to engage readers on their path to wellness. Greer, a clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst, and shamanic practitioner, takes readers much further, introducing less common tools, such as shamanic principles and Jungian archetypes. Shamanism, he insists, aims to free people from habitual responses and inserts a “pause” between stimuli and reactions. Doing so, Greer writes, allows one’s perception to be autonomous and influenced by detached observation. To readers who are unfamiliar with shamanic principles, the book clearly and vividly describes its practices to help readers live more fully and compassionately. For example, Greer explains that holding too tight to one’s personal “story” discourages change, but detachment from divorce, abuse, failure, or heartbreak can allow for re-evaluation of one’s beliefs. The author also fascinatingly asserts that all things have a frequency and an energetic nature and that people can sense vibrations in their physical surroundings. But there’s also an intriguing lesson behind this idea: our bodies carry frequencies as well, he says, reinforcing the idea that the physical body, like the mind, carries energy that affects one’s overall wellness. Greer also thoughtfully explains mindful breathing, journeying through autobiographical exercises, and acknowledging and calling on inner archetypes (“we all have an inner critic and an inner wise person, an inner mother and inner father, and an inner feminine and inner masculine figure or energy”). In a final chapter, the author discusses the use of rituals as a way to create new stories. Overall, Greer successfully offers an entrance into ancient topics that may renew readers’ zest for life and their hope for future progress.

A successful, engaging book about shamanic ideas and psychological archetypes, among other concepts.  

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-84409-464-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Findhorn Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

OPEN BOOK

The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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