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.

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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!!!

Book Review: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

If you have a goal, a mind-blowing dream, and haven’t done anything about it yet…

Get. This. Book.

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image courtesy: goodreads.com

I heard the audio book during my daily commute and I literally felt like Ms. Hollis wrote this book for me. Maybe not the entire book, but definitely the chapter on “Not Having Enough Time” in the excuses section of the book.

Ms. Hollis is straightforward and bold as she encourages women from all walks of life to finally get themselves into action and make, yes MAKE, their dreams come true.

She addresses excuses we all use to avoid tackling on a project head-on. And, chances are, there is at least one excuse which resonates so deeply with you, Ms. Hollis will unpack and dismantle it in minutes.

The audio book is rich with examples from her personal story of success and she keeps each point relevant to the pressures women face in modern-day society.

A print copy of the book would be useful if like me, you love to underline, note-take or highlight sections to remember. However, if you’re also like me and have your day pretty much planned out between work and family, the audio book delivers her message rather effectively during your commute.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels stuck or is unsure of where she’ll find the drive to truly go after her goals. Ms. Hollis will fire you up and get you going! (I hope).

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Vulnerable. Worthy. Authentic. Take Aways from The Gifts of Imperfection

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Oh, this Book! I will write about this book again, and again…and maybe even again as I re-read it, and let the lessons unfold.

For now, I will say that my biggest take-aways were:

We can choose with whom to be vulnerable.

Not everyone earns the right to see our vulnerability. Holy Crap. That’s huge! Let me tell you something about Colombian families….everyone knows everything. Always. And, they all have an opinion they believe is meant to be heard – which can create a lot of shame even though that might not have been the intention. So, I guess you grow up believing your life/triumphs/failures have to be an open book. Don’t get me wrong here. I didn’t misinterpret Brown’s words. I’m not saying she’s advising to close ourselves off. She reminds us of the power we have to select who has the right to our vulnerability. We can choose those who support us, nurture us, and challenge us to be the best version of ourselves with compassion. These people have earned that right.

Stop the hustle! We are worthy as we are.

That’s it. So simple…yet, so hard to do, right? This is the equivalent of teaching our children: never try to get someone to like you. We are perfect in our imperfections. Shit happens. Life happens. Stop trying so hard because regardless of what happens or what does or doesn’t get done, we are worthy of love. The End.

Remaining true to ourselves. Using another, very popular term du jour, be Authentic. 

Authenticity goes beyond being truthful. Brown defines it as “the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are” (50). I guess it means shedding all of the ways in which we’re expected to show up in our different roles. I remember I had a therapy session with a friend of my mother’s. I was feeling extremely depleted at the time; she worked with my energy and chakras. During the session she asked me to bring to mind all of the expectations I had of myself, or believed others had of me, and to see them, as though I was looking in a mirror. She asked me to hold that vision for a few seconds. And, then, with all my might, I was instructed to shatter that mirror. As the pieces fell away, she asked who was left. The only answer, of course, was me. It was one of the most powerful moments in my life. I go back to that moment often when life becomes too demanding; when I need to go back to me and let go of the bullshit.

Perfectionism Sucks

While this wasn’t a new lesson for me, it was a great reminder to let go of any nagging need to satisfy appearances. It’s part of the everyday flux…what to let go of because it doesn’t serve and what to embrace because it makes up the imperfect person I am.

I think this book has something to offer everyone. From those well into their vulnerability journey to those who are toying with the idea of facing down their shames in order to live a fuller life. Brene Brown teaches, reminds, guides with compassion, humour and stories which show she is in the trenches with us.

Hope to hear about your own journey, whether through this book, or another you might recommend.

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Top Ten Books I’d Like My Children to Read

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Please go to The Broke and the Bookish for more details about their weekly meme. This week they’ve challenged us to list the books we’d like our children to read. I can’t pin down specific titles for my entire list so you’ll see a mix of titles and authors from whose writings I’m sure my children will learn and be inspired both now and when they are older.

5 Books to read in childhood/adolescence

  1. I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch – captures a mother’s love so beautifully
  2. Rowling’s iconic Harry Potter books – ’nuff said
  3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – a mansion full of secrets in Yorkshire? Sign me up!
  4. Judy Blume of course!
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis – fantasy, adventure and fun

5 Books to read in adulthood

  1. Anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez for some Colombian heritage reading
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – because Offred’s insights and observations eerily resound
  3. Eckhart Tolle – at some point each of my children will need some tools to manage the hardships of life which I was unable to impart (or, gulp, deal with issues I may have unknowingly created…sweat beads…)
  4. The Awakening by Kate Chopin – ooooh, this book. Especially my daughter. When (if) she’s a mother.
  5. The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison – a beautiful, provoking read about identity, forging it, finding it in a harsh world

Which books would your list include?

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