Debut author Obeidat provides a brief, Islam-influenced guide to increasing personal awareness and making changes to one’s life.
“Being a small object means that you are drawn to the gravitational forces of life,” this book says at its outset. It then goes on to explore ways that readers can combat the notion of a “false personality” and instead establish a state of being that’s “not affected by external and internal considerations.” Obeidat’s advice in this self-help work is centered on changing habits, expressing gratitude, and otherwise becoming mindful. To that end, it incorporates meditation techniques by author Jon Kabat-Zinn, a “stop” exercise by spiritual leader George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, and a later chapter on the practical tenets of Islam. As complicated as it all may sound, the author’s advice tends to be very simple, such as an admonishment to “Be thankful. Show appreciation.” He establishes at the outset that, for many problems in life, there are “huge numbers of books and so-called solutions!” Why add one more book to that number? Overall, this work manages to differentiate itself on two fronts. First, at less than 80 pages, it’s concise. Second, its portion devoted to Islam grounds it in a tradition that extends beyond the latest mindfulness fads. For example, the author explains that “Patience in Islam has an important dimension that is correlated with praying.” Other, more New-Age-leaning texts are unlikely to mention items such as the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and the resulting mixture of ideas proves intriguing. That said, it can be dry at times, as when explaining Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation (“any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them”), and this creates opportunities for readers’ interest to waver. However, the book will appeal to those eager to read about modern living techniques and their embodiment in established religion.
A practical, novel approach to the concept of self-help.