Fascinating if slightly far-out personal saga anchored by helpful self-development strategies and concepts.

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The Art of Becoming

QUANTUM LEAPING INTO YOUR FUTURE SELF

A life coach discusses his own astral projections and suggests tips for positive thinking in this self-help guide.

Lewis was struggling through a trifecta of losses—his wife left him and his best friend and his brother had just died—when he tapped into a “quantum leaping forward into [his] own future on this plane of existence in order to meet and learn from [his] future self through meditation.” He describes his astral projection meetings with his older self, which allowed him to glimpse and thus chart a more positive outlook and future. He suggests readers “expand don’t contract.” Through this approach, Lewis says that he was able to envision and then find a new, enduring love relationship as well as the courage to leave a secure career as a professor to become a full-time life coach. His travels with “Corey” included his dropping back into his Kansas childhood home and returning to the achievement-focused mindset of the martial arts training of his youth. While listing these experiences, Lewis also delves into the laws of attraction, the power of intention, and the positive thinking/energy philosophies espoused by the Silva Method and Neuro-linguistic Programming. He includes an appendix of tools, techniques, and resources. Lewis (Remember Mark Selbee,2014, etc.) takes readers through his unusual personal history as part of this sincere and encouraging mind/body guide. His encounters with “Corey” certainly dramatize his concepts, although some anecdotes and comments (he “would often viscerally feel the car floating” while driving) might prove too outlandish for some. Still, Lewis, for the most part, keeps his overall discussion surprisingly well-grounded and uses nicely summarizing chapter headings (“The Muscles of the Mind,” “You Are Living Out A Story,” etc.).

Fascinating if slightly far-out personal saga anchored by helpful self-development strategies and concepts.

Pub Date: July 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5043-5957-3

Page Count: 246

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2016

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...

MASTERY

Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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