This weekend I went to Minnesota for my good friend Colleen's wedding. It was a fantastic time indeed (more on that later!). On the plane ride home, I read a new book called "Add More 'ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness"by Gabrielle Bernstein.
I happened to find this book while I was waiting for my flight. After digging in a bit, I knew it was right up my alley:
"Lots of people are selling "happiness" these days, but in her hip self-transformation book, Add More -ing to Your Life, motivational speaker and life coach Gabrielle Bernstein truly shows you how to make happiness a way of life by accessing your -ing—your Inner Guide. In her thirty-day -ing Equation, Gabrielle will show you how to bulldoze negative thought patterns and create personal change through positive affirmations, physical activity, and visualization meditations. Get prepared to change your life by accessing a state of "flow" to help you connect with your -ing. You'll release your negativity and choose happiness!" (Source)
In the Introduction, Bernstein explains that "Ing" means "inner guidance," or the "voice inside of you that screams intuitive loving thoughts and says 'bug off' to fear" (27).
The thing I most liked about this book (besides that it was an upbeat, quick, and refreshing read) was that Gabrielle asks really tough challenge questions about our inner voice and the way we behave. Challenge questions (in the context of this book and my blog) really cause you to take an honest look in the mirror and think about who you are and how you can grow. A lot of Gabrielle's questions related to the topic of negative thinking patterns, and practicing forgiveness, which was very eye opening for me:
"Do you feel stuck in negative patterns for fear of feeling hurt or disappointed?" (37)
"Do you feel that you are not good enough in some areas of your life?" (37)
"What relationships or memories still cause me to feel acute pain or sadness? Who am I unwilling to forgive?" (50).
"Do you often feel defensive, agitated or frustrated in response to others? Are there certain people who can really push your buttons?" (85)
"Do you feel stuck in obsessive thought patterns?" (121)
"Are you stuck accepting a negative perception of yourself?" (155)
"Have you been blocking yourself from being the person you want to be and achieving the things you want to achieve?" (155)
"How would you like the world to receive you?" (155)
The main reason why I loved this book was because it got me to think critically about myself and my behavior (in a healthy and compassionate way!), and realize how many negative thinking patterns I still operate with each day (some consciously, which I attempt to justify, and others are more subconscious). It made me wonder the following: if I really tried my best to release these thinking patterns and let go more often (living more in the present), how would this change my life as a whole?
More food for thought later...Happy Labor Day!