Book Review: Out of the Shadows

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Book Review: Out of the Shadows

Patrick Carnes is a speaker and author who has become an expert in the field of sexual addiction and codependency. “Out of the Shadows”, his first book, clearly describes the way that lives and families are hurt when intimacy is replaced with compulsive behaviors.

Dr. Carnes defines addiction and uses case studies to allow the reader further insight into how addiction begins and progresses in people’s lives. His Addictive Cycle chart shows several significant stages that contribute to and reinforce the addiction: These include one’s belief system, impaired thinking, unmanageability, preoccupation, ritualization, sexual compulsivity and despair that all add to the problems that the individual initially faced.

Personal pain and a lack of intimacy can be difficult. Often, trauma from childhood can fuel a person’s desire to find an escape. Sex is at the core of our identities but if it is used as a replacement for healthy relationships, the consequences can be devastating.

Dr. Carnes argues that there are different levels of addiction. He also describes how cybersex has become a significant issue for some because of the availability and secrecy that it provides.

But the sexual addict is not the only one who suffers. Family members can be involved in co-addiction and often, in their attempts to fix things or hide them, become enablers.

Dr. Carnes is not only a pioneer but also a researcher who has invested years of his life into developing effective ways of communicating about and treating those who are affected by sexual addiction. Besides narrative, he uses charts, checklists and provides resources to facilitate understanding.

The good news is that there is effective treatment available. Dr. Carnes clearly shows how twelve-step programming can help the addict to step out of the shadows and learn to live a life that is healthy and full.

“Out of the Shadows” was originally published in 1983 and has been revised twice since then. The information and research is therefore current.

A Resource Guide contains a Recommended Reading List as well as contact information for various organizations that help sex addicts.

This book is suitable for therapists, addicts, codependents and people who just want to learn more about the topic. It is written in an easy-to-understand style.

I like the fact that “Out of the Shadows” not only describes the danger signs, dynamics and consequences of sexual addiction but also offers solutions and hope for those who want to make positive changes.

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Book Review: Out of the Shadows

Source | Author by Linda Hancock

Book Review – The New Earth By Eckhart Tolle

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Book Review – The New Earth By Eckhart Tolle

‘The New Earth’ is Eckhart Tolle’s second book, which also became a bestseller. Even though it takes time to digest and understand Tolle’s language his book has stirred up a lot of insight and awareness in me. It has been showcased in Oprah’s book club, which was followed by a 10 weeks online seminar in 2008. Find out if this book is worth adding to your ‘want to read’ pile.

Summary

Eckhart Tolle’s second book is a follow-up to this first book ‘The Power of Now’. Whereas his first book was in the format of questions and answers, this book is more like a long essay. Tolle’s book follows the intent to create an awaking and a shift in people’s consciousness and not to add to any one’s beliefs.

The New Earth was published in 2005, has reached the New York bestseller lists in 2008 and has sold over five million copies in English.

More in details

‘The New Earth’ touches on various topics, starting with an analogy for transformation in human consciousness that Tolle sees is about to occur and has already begun in the world: the flowering of human consciousness (chapter one). He refers to earliest spiritual messengers like Buddha, Jesus and Laozi and that their message was not fully understood in their time.

Tolle goes into more depth about the term ‘ego’, which he started elaborating on in ‘The Power of Now’. His definition of the term ‘ego’ is ‘an illusory sense of self based on one’s memories and thoughts’. Chapter two to four go into more details about the way we have identified with our thoughts and emotions (=ego). He also elaborates more on how we have become obsessed with and attached to things which, in his words, creates an ego that we didn’t normally have.

In the following chapters, five and six, he describes the human tendency to carry around a collection of old emotional pain, which he calls the ‘pain body’.

I really enjoyed the chapters towards the end (seven to ten), where he explains the difference between objects of consciousness and the space of consciousness, between outer and inner space and outer and inner purpose. In regards to consciousness he enlightened me through his insights of the three stages of inner consciousness: acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm, which stands very much in alignment with my view of self-development.

About the author

Eckhart Tolle was born in 1948 in Germany. He is a writer, public speaker and spiritual teacher and has written two bestsellers: The Power of Now and The New Earth. Nowadays he lives in Vancouver in Canada.

Recommendation

This book is for you if you have enjoyed the previous book (The Power of Now) and feel ready for some more confusing language, which will enter into your sub conscious mind and transform your awareness in a way that you cannot conceive with the conscious, rational mind.

Remember that you need to give yourself time to read this book. This will not be one to be read in a few days.

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Book Review – The New Earth By Eckhart Tolle

Source | Author by Nathalie Himmelrich

Book Review – "Beyond Belief" by Josh Hamilton

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Book Review – "Beyond Belief" by Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton is a true success story. He has had it all, hit rock bottom, and now he is truly back at the top of the mountain. As a boy, he became interested in baseball at a very early age, and was so good at the game that he was placed in much older leagues before he was even ten years old. He had such a strong arm and powerful swing that he was thought to be a danger to the boys his own age that he played little league baseball with.

As he became older, he carried on the strong morals that his parents instilled in him while still a young boy. He was taught that family is the most important thing in life and found joy in staying home on nights when his friends were out risking trouble. He entered high school and began to realize immediately that he had major league potential and made it his goal to reach the big leagues. His dreams came true when he graduated high school and was signed number one in the major league draft, accepting an offer and signing bonus of over four million dollars.

Hamilton’s transition to stardom and becoming a man was awkward. His parents followed him through the minor leagues to make sure he did get into trouble and some of his teammates and coaches found this strange. He was sheltered all of his life, and now at his job, they were still sheltering him.

When his parents finally gave him freedom, Hamilton began to exhibit questionable behavior. He got over a dozen tattoos within a short period of time and started to experiment with drugs with the men who gave him his tattoos. Hamilton hit a slippery slope and began doing more and more drugs. Part of it was the feeling of the drugs, but the drugs also took his mind of back pains he was experiencing from a car accident.

Josh Hamilton eventually started hanging out with the wrong crowds. He started becoming paranoid about buying drugs and spending enormous sums of money to gain access to hard drugs. He passed out in random trailers and blacked out on many occasions due to the large amounts of drugs he was consuming, but always had the love of family and the natural talent in baseball to bring him back into the light.

He eventually went to his grandmother’s house in the middle of the night, and she was responsible for changing his life. She constantly told him that he would be playing baseball again one day with a reassuring confidence. She fed him all the food he could handle and gave him a place to sleep. Josh gained weight rapidly and began thinking that a comeback to baseball was a good possibility; but he had no idea who would want to give a worn-out drug-addict another chance.

Hamilton found his answer in a religious baseball group that forced him to perform janitorial chores during the day in order to gain field and batting cage practice in the evenings. He noticed that he still had an amazing swing and with weight training he was back into top shape in no time.

Josh knew the right people in the right places at the right time, and was called upon by the Cincinnati Red’s major league organization. He made an impact right away, but was eventually traded to the Texas Rangers. While in the Ranger’s organization, he began to start every game and made the All-Star Team. He proved that he had his swing all along; he just needed a push in the right direction to realize his true potential.

One thing to take away from Beyond Belief is that family is the most important thing a person will ever have. Sometimes you may not notice it, but it is easy to be lost in the world without family and the assurance that someone is there for you. Luckily for Josh Hamilton, his parents and wife stuck with him throughout his entire addiction and recovery process. His wife has proven to be a remarkable woman and his grandmother showed strength that no one else could. This autobiography is an excellent read if you like baseball or not. Hamilton’s story is an amazing success story that makes you appreciate family and living a healthy life. This book is rated an easy 5 out of 5.

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Book Review – "Beyond Belief" by Josh Hamilton

Source | Author by Daniel Breedlove

Book Review – Refuse To Choose By Barbara Sher

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Book Review – Refuse To Choose By Barbara Sher

Have you always wondered why you get bored easily, never stick to anything for long periods of time, quickly lose interest in things or change your mind about what you want to do and end up doing nothing? Good news: according to Barbara Sher’s book you might just be a ‘scanner’.

Summary

Barbara Sher brings us closer to a type of person who, just as described above, doesn’t follow the traditional ‘find out what you want, get a career and follow it with might and passion for the rest of your life’ scheme.

More in details

The subtitle of this book is ‘A Revolutionary Programme for Doing All That You Love’ and alludes to the fact that scanners often find themselves arguing about not being able to choose one thing and stick with it. Barbara suggests otherwise: Refuse to choose.

The author identifies seven types of scanners, divided into two groups: cyclical scanners and sequential scanners. The first 3 belong to the cyclical scanners:

  • Double Agent: These are people who have fantasies of being two people, one who does the right thing and another who is free to live their dreams.
  • Sybil: This is someone who has many areas of interest and they return to these over and over but rarely finish anything.
  • Plate Spinner: They are energized by having many things going on at the same time, they love solving problems but all of this leaves little time for any of their own projects.

The cyclical scanners know what their interests are, unlike the sequential scanners who always discover a completely new interest. The following six types belong to the sequential scanners:

  • Serial Specialist: They often excel at whatever field they are in, commit completely but then, often when on top of their game, quit and start something new.
  • Serial Master: For these people, interests come and go, but the love of mastery always stays. Once they have mastered something, they go looking for a new project.
  • Jack-of-all-Trades: Jacks enjoy learning for its own sake. They are usually not passionate about any one career but the love of learning something new and helping people.
  • Wanderer: This is someone who loves random experiences and allow themselves to move toward whatever looks attractive and interesting.
  • Sampler: These people look for a special kind of richness in their lives and find that there are very few ways to fill it.
  • High-Speed Indecisive: They are maybe the most misunderstood of all Scanners as the get pulled away to something new sooner than any other, but not because they lost interest, rather because they see something more fascinating.

Besides the in-depth description of the different types of scanners, Barbara also shares many valuable tools and techniques that will make scanners lives easier.

About the author

Beside being an author of six self-help books Barbara Sher is also a motivational speaker, workshop leader, business owner and has collected much experience working as a counselor, working with many scanners. In addition to that she has appeared both on national and local radio and television, including shows like Oprah, Today, 60 Minutes and Good Morning America. She lives in New York City.

Recommendation

This is a great book if you feel that you might be a scanner, have lived your life wondering: Why is it that everyone finds their passion but I can’t seem to find it, start and stop many projects or never finish anything?

In my work with clients I have found it extremely valuable to assist people in finding their freedom and passion through the realization that they achieve by reading this book.

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Book Review – Refuse To Choose By Barbara Sher

Source | Author by Nathalie Himmelrich

Book Review: The Ten Prison Coach Commandments

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Book Review: The Ten Prison Coach Commandments

Definitive Psychological Insight into the Prison Systems

The Ten Prison Coach Commandments, by John “Doc” Fuller offers a tremendous public service. There is nothing held back in this stark portrait of our criminal justice system’s end point. Who would have thought that there were so many rules to learn to survive daily prison life? Some of these rules may sound familiar, such as “don’t be a snitch,” but others are quite particular and complex, and not something one would have known before they have crossed the line. For example who could have imagined that the mere act of reaching across someone’s food tray to retrieve a salt shaker could mark them as disrespectful to the point of deserving death? According to the book, “You can be seriously injured or killed for breaking a rule that you did not even know existed.”

Many of the rules or commandments revolve around showing respect. And as Fuller points out, displaying respect is not something that many of those behind bars excel. “Most if not all who enter prison systems do so out of arrogance, greed, and the inability to appreciate what they have in life.” Therefore, it is more prevalent for most new prisoners to come into this frightening environment feigning bravado against perceived weakness. It is just such a haughty attitude that will mark one for a swift attitude adjustment.

It might come as a surprise to some that one of the reasons for the book’s publication was that there are circumstances when one “self-surrenders” to prison. Whether this is the case or an inmate arrives through the normal court channels, Fuller’s main message about this initial vulnerability can be summed up by his statement that, “Prison is a jungle full of nothing but predators… You are the equivalent of a newborn, because you have no experience in your new environment, and there’s absolutely no one can trust.”

Fuller suggests that the ten commandments for those new to prison are:

  • Do Not Stare at Other Inmates
  • Do Not Trust Your Fellow Inmates
  • Respect Your Cell Mate
  • Mind Your Business
  • Respect the Staff
  • Do Not Steal
  • Don’t Be a Snitch
  • Avoid Prison Gangs
  • Stay Away From Drugs
  • Do Not Gamble

While it is difficult to test the viability of these ideas, Fuller’s background of “11 years in various prisons throughout the country” is a convincing testament. This alone is probably authority enough, yet his psychological insight into the motivations of inmates is equally definitive.

I hope that this book will someday be required reading before anyone is allowed to step foot inside a prison. They should then be tested to ensure full comprehension. This book is not only for “other people.” In this world, strange things happen, and there but by the grace of God go I.

Book Review by Carla M. Paton

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Book Review: The Ten Prison Coach Commandments

Source | Author by Carla M Paton

The History of Rock Music – Book Review

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The History of Rock Music – Book Review

During the fifties and later, vital, energetic, and rebellious youth produced their own music in contrast to traditional music, becoming a target for censors and conservatism. When I saw this book with an Elvis-like drawing on its cover, I had to pick it up, because it reminded me of the times when most of us in my generation were, musically speaking, in love with Elvis and his successors.

The type of music called rock music sprung up from peacetime America but was adopted by the youth through the entire world. Although it started as an act of a rebellion, rock music became the governing music form for the next few decades, eventually turning into a customary music genre and leaving its throne of rebellion to other types of music. Rock music involves a vocal melody accompanied by musical instruments such as guitars, drums, and keyboard instruments.

When rhythm and blues met country music, rock music was born. The book, “The History of Rock Music,” gives this type of historical information alongside with the biographies of and information about famous rock stars who determined and shaped the course of rock music from early on. In addition to the musicians, Dick Clark with his television show “American Bandstand” promoted the rock music and coerced its respectability by the general population.

Among the earlier artists mentioned are Little Richard, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Woodie Guthrie, and Bob Dylan, and from the sixties on come the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Motown, Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. Later, when hard rock surfaced, its representatives became Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and Black Sabbath. From seventies on, singer-songwriters came into the music scene like Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell.

The book not only gives information about music groups and presents several features from actual history, but it also provides details on the instruments and the evolution of rock music trends to the end of the nineties, from before Elvis’s time to Curt Cobain’s grunge.

“The History of Rock Music” is a volume from the Masters of Music Series, in hardcover and 64 pages, with ISBN-10: 0764151371 and ISBN-13: 9780764151378.

The author, Andrea Bergamini, has written other books on music like Beethoven and the Classical Age, Music of the World, and Le rock. Also, a great deal of appreciation goes to the book’s illustrator, Ivan Stalio, who has illustrated numerous volumes such as: The Atlas of World Religions, Adapting to the Environment, The Animal Atlas, The History of Technology, Life Cycles, Mammals, and Plants.

With its large pages filled with bright photos, graphics, and illustrations, this young adult book is a delightful book to read and enjoy for people of all ages.

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The History of Rock Music – Book Review

Source | Author by Joy Cagil