Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Commute Enhancing

Many months ago, my friend Simone bought me the book You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. The book, in the vein of The Secret, but more practical and how-to oriented, is about the power of your thoughts to create your future - the power of thoughts to create your reality. It starts with recognizing negative thought patterns, moves to identifying where the negative thought patterns and beliefs came from, and then moves into how eliminate and release them from your mind.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book to me is the author's conviction that releasing negative thoughts, and replacing them with positive affirmations, can actually heal the body of illness and disease. That idea sounds far out there in a way, but it appeals to me because I do quite strongly believe in the mind-body-spirit connection. It makes sense to me that if your mind is filled with negative thoughts and negative energy (which I felt like my post of yesterday was a bit), those thoughts and energy could impact the health of your body in a negative way. Conversely, if your mind is full of positive energy, it seems eminently sensical that the energy could have a positive effect on your body, whether its boosting your immune system or creating more dramatic types of healing.

When Simone bought me the book, I was genuinely interested in reading it, and I had a sense that messages that I was ready to hear and learn awaited me in the book's pages. But, life, work, and relationships all proved distracting (sometimes pleasantly so, sometimes stressfully). In my moments of free time, instead of picking up You Can Heal Your Life, I found myself gravitating towards other books, mainly in the contemporary fiction genre, like Wind Up Bird Chronicles and Kafka On The Shore (both of which I really liked, and would recommend).

A few days ago, however, I had a brilliant idea: Buy the book on tape! Or, more precisely, buy the DVD of the book, and download it onto my Ipod. Really, I have to give Bacchus some of the credit for this brilliance because, for Christmas, one of the things he asked for were books on tape. He's very busy with his work and spends a lot of time in the car, and wanted to use that time in productive, mentally-enriching way (or, maybe he just wanted to read Ulysses). I thought it was cute of him, but didn't think to apply it to me, because I really enjoy the act of holding a book and reading it. That's how I like to experience books.

"Self-Help" books are different than novels and other types of books. Novels, I like to escape into. I like to fully absorb them and allow them to fully absorb me. With self-help books, you're not escaping into a different world, you're opening yourself to listen to lessons, messages, and tips - things that, I have found, are sometimes better in small doses. Hence, listening to them in small pieces on the way to work, on the subway, and waiting in line at Starbuck's all work perfectly! (Btw, I don't really like the "self-help" term, and I'm not sure if it's the most appropriate term. On the other hand, any books trying to help you grow as a person are, at their core, about helping you help yourself, so maybe it is an accurate term?).

The last two mornings, I've really enjoyed my walking-subway-in-line-for-coffee commute listening to You Can Heal Your Life. I'm about half way through and I'm finding the book full of useful information and positive, self-affirming messages. I'm really excited about the book, and I'm super excited about this "new" way of using my Ipod and making the most of my morning commute.


Starshine said...

What a cool way to commute. I remember kind of vegging out mentally on the subway after a long day's work. But some days, I would listen to music on my...WALKMAN (HA!)...and found that invigorating! I'm pretty sure that the vocal stylings of Barbra Streisand accompanied me on my commute, along with other showtunes and a little bit of country music! But Babs definitely was a defining musician for my NY years.

jehara said...

another good book about mind/body/spirit connection in terms of illness and health is Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. it is very very good.

Buttercup said...

Starshine - I can totally see you listening to Streisand on the subway. :)

Jehara - Thanks so much for the suggestion!