Book Reviews

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

Lent is the perfect time to try to quit bad habits and create good ones. Praying or meditating make it easier to let go and draw closer to who we desire to be.  The problem is that you might not know how to pray about it.  Or you might feel like it is too hard to change because you do not know what to replace the old habit with.  One of my friends asked me, “How do you cope with stress when you can’t smoke?  I really don’t know anything else I can do in the moment that helps me as quickly as a smoke does.”

So this brings me to the book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by: Joe Dispenza.

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The Breakdown:

Joe Dispenza wants to teach you how to restructure your brain so that you can respond to life differently.  He draws on learnings from the fields of neuroscience, quantum physics, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics.  The first 2 parts of the book are focused on explaining how our minds effect the world, how we live unconscious patterns that we carry in our bodies, and why meditation works…along with some real life examples.  This is good background for those who do not know much about these sciences or are skeptics about the power of meditation.  It is in Part III, that you finally delve into your own memorized emotions and beliefs and begin the work of un-memorizing them.  You do this mainly through journaling prompts and meditation.  The steps are clearly laid out and each builds upon the ones before.  You then can follow his plan for a 4 week program and hopefully have built a new brain pathway, a new memorized emotion, or a new pattern of behavior by the end of the month. IMG_5030

What I like about this book:

  1. The practical, do-it-yourself manual at the back of the book.  This breaks the steps down into 4 manageable weeks.  You can keep returning to these pages for each new habit that you want to change.
  2. It teaches you specifically how to get into a meditative state with a couple different types of inductions or visualizations.IMG_5028
  3. It offers great journaling prompts in clearly marked sections.

 

 

 

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4.  The diagrams explaining how energy works throughout the book were helpful and to-the-point for visual learners.

 

 

 

Fair Warning:

  1. Joe offers downloads of himself leading you through the meditations.  Most people who I talked to (myself included) had trouble listening to his voice.  I chose to record myself reading the inductions in the back of the book to listen to instead.  Super easy with any voice recording app on your phone!
  2. He can be wordy and so it may feel slow-moving to read through the beginning of the book.  I downloaded the audiobook for free on Libby, so I could listen to it while driving or cleaning.
  3. It is helpful to go through this book in a book club or with a community of others.  This way you can encourage, support, and keep each other accountable.  But if you cannot find a group to do it with, I am happy to meet with you one-on-one to discuss the ideas, go through the meditations, or offer any other coaching or support that you may need.

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