Book Review: Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

I absolutely loved everything about this book.

Part One is devoted to the biology of the brain, the subconscious mind and quantum physics. Don’t let these terms scare you. Dr. Dispenza writes this part in easy to understand terms and with examples that will leave little doubt about the existence of a higher intelligence.

Everything is laid out simply and with the intention of you learning how the brain works, so you can then learn how to unlearn the things that aren’t working for you. 

I actually found it fascinating. There were many moments of being blown away, and making my family turn to look at me like I was losing my mind when I would simply cry out “Holy Shit!” in the midst of reading. (side note: yes, my children hear me swear and they are so awesome as to not mirror mommy’s foul-mouth…at least not yet. I’m sure they’ll find the perfectly inappropriate opportunity to do so).

Part Two delves into the way the subconscious mind and our established patterns of behaviour are so ingrained in us, we don’t even notice how our body and mind have taken over and, in essence, sabotage our best intentions to change, to do better, to achieve our greatness.

Part Three teaches the meditations necessary to tap into our subconscious mind and reprogram our brains so that our minds can work with us and for us, instead of against us. We are in charge once again.

My biggest take-away from this book is the understanding that there is a higher power, an intelligence, or, if you’re a religious person…God…who is all-loving and truly wishes to work with us and allow us to express our greatest gifts and bring them to the world. It is through this work that abundance, joy and our biggest dreams manifest into reality.

Another resonating lesson for me is to stop trying to control everything. My job is to create an image of the WHAT. It’s the universe’s job to concern itself with the HOW. Giving up control? Yeah…working on that. More to follow, indeed.

For someone who perhaps isn’t thirsty for this knowledge, this book might feel like somewhat of a chore. But, I encourage you to keep reading. It will impart some wonderful tools to help you shape the life the universe knows you deserve. You just have to get out of the way and let it happen.

For those of you who, like me, are in the work, I feel this is a must read. It compliments all of the other literature out there encouraging you to release old habits, beliefs and patterns of behaviour holding you back. Here, however, you receive scientific evidence that manifestation and a greater power do in fact exist. And, you receive the meditation tools which will allow you to connect to that higher intelligence and co-create your life with it.

Did you read Dr. Dispenza’s book? Would love to hear from you and what your take-aways were.

Venting: Powerful or Powerless?

Venting. We all do it. But, why?

We entrust our friends with our deepest fears and concerns and they listen to us with love and support. It’s a beautiful part of friendship. When we do it over and over and over while refusing to believe that changing any of it is possible. Or, when we put up barriers to any avenue which might actually bring about change we give up all of our power to the outer world. We also forget how those feelings land or how our energy is being placed both on our friends and in the universe.

I realize that part of friendship is being there for each other, but sometimes our friends don’t have the answers and we have to find them for ourselves. Venting isn’t about answers…it’s about support and finding compassion for our woes. But, at the end of a venting session, we can be left bereft because we’ve put all of the negative emotions swirling inside us outside of us, and still no solution has been found. We’ve gathered lots of love, validation for our views, compassion and support, a few ideas on how to fix the problem, yet we’re still a little lost.

The trouble is, somewhere along the way we’ve lost our power. And, sometimes that actually feels safe because then we convince ourselves we can’t do anything and it is up to others to change.

We can only control ourselves, right?

Imagine being so powerful that we could be accountable for every single thought, feeling and action?

Imagine.

Imagine being so powerful that we could actually take action and make whatever is ailing us …debt, failed relationships, stifled dreams, dead-end job, stifled career, aging, illness, fear for our children’s future, caring for aging parents…stop ailing us?

No. Debt won’t magically disappear. Marriages won’t magically be wonderful and dreams won’t just come true. Our jobs won’t just happen to be perfect and we can’t cure illness or create the best path of life for our kids…No.

HOWEVER, we can change our relationship to how we view whatever it is that is bothering us. AND, we can fundamentally change our relationship with ourselves.

I’ve lived it. I’ve seen it happen and felt it happen. Looking at my life objectively, nothing has changed necessarily. I have changed. I have made myself a priority. In doing so, my stuff hasn’t changed. I’m just better equipped to handle it.

So, my dear reader, my challenge to you is find a way to get your power back. Yes, by all means, lean on those you love for support during difficult times. Just don’t get stuck. Find a way out of the storm that leaves you feeling empowered. Lovingly encourage your friends who wallow too long in their woes to find their power and their way out of being stuck on a hamster wheel of venting, feeling powerless, not changing a single thing in their situation, waiting for others to change, venting, feeling powerless etc. etc. etc.

Venting might make the problem feel lighter momentarily because it is being shared. Ultimately, it still exists. It will still be there after girls night, or coffee night. The question isn’t if venting makes you powerless, the question is, what are going to do to get your power back?

#BookReview Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss

courtesy amazon.ca

I took longer to read Anatomy of the Spirit than I expected because I found I could only read it in short sittings. This was partly due to a busy home life, but I felt I needed to really concentrate during each sit and required longer periods to absorb the information and lessons Myss was imparting.

The book has a phenomenal introduction to both Myss’ work as a spiritual healer and to set up the content.

I appreciate the way she aligned Christian, Jewish and Eastern belief systems and how they all lead us towards the same purpose: to live in deep faith in a power beyond our own, to know ourselves deeply and give up the illusion of control.

The book is organized according to the 7 Chakras. Within each section she links each Chakra to a main Christian or Jewish tradition. She also weaves in many stories about people in suffering due to blockages at that particular chakra and how they either heal or remain in suffering due to their ability or inability to confront the decisions made in their life which brought them to where they are.

I will read this book again because I think this is one of those books which will offer me different insights at different points in my life.

The most inspiring lesson of the book is how much power we have to change our situations while simultaneously giving up control over our life. That is a lesson which I think will challenge me quite a bit and I am eager to allow unfold.

If you’re interested in deepening your spiritual journey, I think this is a definite must-read.

Reasons I Shouldn’t Self-Publish

My writing and publishing journey has been an incredible learning curve. Even after everything I’ve learned…I feel like I’m about to fall into the ocean of things I don’t know.

However, after years of writing, editing, hitting send, receiving great rejection letters, and an eight-month period of working with an editor from Harlequin Historical, I owe it to myself to see this project through. And then, the gremlin rears it’s ugly head and speaks.

For those of you who don’t know the gremlin, you need to become closely acquainted with it in order to call out the bullshit it feeds you. This is what my gremlin has been feeding me of late and the way I shut it down.

I’m too old – I’m settled in my career as a teacher. I’m a mom. I’m in my 40s…the time to start something new has passed. The time to start from nothing has passed. Then, while listening to Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Stop Apologizing, I heard the Chinese proverb:

The best time to plant a tree is twenty-years ago. The second-best time is today.

Right?!? Considering I plan on living well into my 90s, I obviously have oodles of time to get this second career started. Also, what lesson am I teaching my children if I give up on my dreams because of my age? It’s not like I’ve wasted my time. I’ve built an incredible career as a teacher. I’ve created a wonderful home with my husband in order to give our children a wondrous life full of love. I have become a yoga instructor, an IB teacher, a blogger, a mother…my time has not been wasted. It has been used to build and create awesome things and humans. And, now, I will use my energy to build myself as an author of historical romance novels.

I don’t know what I’m doing – nope. I don’t. But, I’m learning. And, the universe responded to my complete ignorance with a post by a Torontonian romance writer where she outlined how to self-publish, step-by-step. I kid you not. So, I’m following her outline and I’ve hit my first snag…and I will prevail and continue.

My book has sex in it…what the hell am I thinking? Every scene is classy, dignified and oh, so romantic. It is between consenting adults whom are deeply in-love. I will publish under a pen-name. I am not ashamed of what I’ve created. I’m so proud of the years of hard work, of research, of editing – all during nap times…and when those disappeared…after bed time or early in the morning…sacrificing my sleep and time in order to bring my dream to fruition while still being a wife and mom. I’m thinking that I’ve written a beautiful love story and it deserves to be published.

This is too overwhelming – I think I’m more afraid of success than I am of failure. What if it all works out? How will I manage a home, kids, husband, teaching, and a side-hustle?!? In my mind, this will work out. I have so much faith in this book, in this series, that I know it will succeed. And, when I dig into my faith, I have no choice but to keep going because the excitement drowns out the overwhelm.

The gremlin can be loud. My belief in what I’ve written and my abilities is louder. The publishing of my book will occur in the same way it was written. Slowly. Without hurry. With love and commitment. And, one day soon, I will start to post all about the book itself and where it can be purchased.

In the meantime, visit my Alter Ego page or her website: carynemme.net

Do you have a dream your gremlins try to talk you out of? Would love to hear all about it!!!

Making Yourself a Priority. Not Selfish – Vital.

As a working mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, friend, teacher – I know all too well what it means to live for others. And, I didn’t even realize how detrimental that was to my identity until I felt completely and utterly empty. I became a void. I felt nothing and it didn’t matter because as long as the to-do list was done and everyone else was okay – then I had accomplished my job.

I didn’t even see how poisoned I was until one little Instagram post last summer. I discussed my deep gratitude for the life I created; however, I couldn’t help but feel exhausted by all of it’s demands. The responses tremendously echoed my sentiments of feeling like all we – as working, married moms – were good for was to serve others.

How had this happened? How had two university degrees, a wonderful career, life-long learning through travel, reading and establishing meaningful connections been boiled down to cooking, cleaning, mountains of laundry, managing a household while still having to look good, keep up said career and aspirations and be gleeful about it? Fuck.

I have never not been happy. Even during the most trying times of my life – I have found an inner joy which kept me going. When I felt that flame was extinguishing – I knew I was in trouble.

Fortunately, the universe brought into my life a chance encounter with a woman whose malas I’ve purchased. And, she, with her deep intuitive knowledge, instantly read my lack of joy, my blocks and gave me some brief direction on how to deal with it.

A plan of action? Sign me up! If there’s a problem I’m the type who needs to find a way to fix it – and fast. I dove in.

Daily meditation. Daily gratitude practice. Daily journaling. Daily excavation of all the things I had buried in order to be the best mom, wife, home owner, guidance counsellor, friend…this led me to Yoga Teacher Training.

But, there were so many BUTS…the time away from the kids and home, the imposition on my husband, mother and mother-in-law to hold things down at home, the amount of reading and work and yoga practice which would take me away from my family.

BUT, the need to do something solely for me was too loud. I somehow worked things out by asking for help, by outlining clearly the time it would take, by allowing my husband to be the father I know he is and my children to know they are just fine without me. I relinquished control on the weekends I was gone – and it was amazing.

I’m just finishing up the in-class portion of my yoga teacher training. It has been a journey of self-discovery unlike any I have ever been on. Yoga has changed my life. I am deeply grateful for the women who encouraged me to go for it, for the women who were by my side for the intense 22 hours every other weekend, for my husband’s humor and complete support at home and our mothers who were there for me by being there for my family.

When I heard the words spoken by Rachel Hollis during my listening to the book, as seen in the excerpts in this post, they resonated in every cell of my body.

The message about being good for others first is delivered so quietly as we grow up, we never think to object. But it slowly eats at our soul and it is up to us to end it. Our children and husbands are happy when we are our best selves because we show up differently. The boundaries I’ve established around mommy’s meditation time and yoga time have been difficult for my children to understand – but they are slowly adjusting. And, I am so bloody happy and full when I finish meditating and my practice – that I mother & wife whole-heartedly. I am once again full of the joy I’ve always felt in my life.

I don’t want to put out the message that my life is perfect and all problems have been solved. Far from it. My struggle now lies in making time to write when my family is at home. That is a big one for me. At least I can see it and acknowledge it. And, do something about it.

In putting my needs first, most of the time(this is still a practice, after all), I can be for my family from a place of love – not obligation, not guilt, not shame, not trying to prove something…but just because I love them.

As hard as it may be, I encourage all of you to find the one thing which sparks you so brightly you feel like you want to explode. And, do it. See the excuses for what they are and lay them to rest. Be the best version of yourself for you, and magically you will be the best version of you for those you love.

Tell me what your journey has been like in the comments below!