Book Review: Ask and it is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

IMG_9928

I have to admit this is the strangest book I have ever read and I’ve read some pretty odd ones in my time.

The premise of the book is that a man and his wife start meditating and she discovers that when she meditates, the act of clearing her mind actually allows for somebody (or more accurately something) to communicate with her. This ‘something’ is Abraham. But he’s not really a someone or a something. Lost yet?

Oh, now would probably be a good time to mention this is a non-fiction book.

OK, so that’s the background. Ready for things to get a little bit weirder? Obviously the books authors are Esther and Jerry Hicks. After all, it says so on the cover. But they’re not really. You see the book is actually written by Abraham who is communicating his/their/its (???) teachings to Esther and she is translating them and typing them to form this book.

Told you it was strange!

However, if you ignore the weirdness it is a pretty inspiring book. It’s based on the law of attraction – you get what you think about. So, if you spend your time thinking how unfair it is that you can’t afford a new car, for example, you’ll never get a new car. If, instead, you imagine yourself with your new car and get excited about it and frame it in your mind that that is your future and that is what the universe is going to give you, you will, in fact, get your new car.

I’ll admit I’ve been a bit of a Negative Nancy of late. I do try to be positive, but sometimes when things aren’t quite going the way you hoped they would it’s difficult not to become disappointed. I’m also chronically impatient, so if I want something I want it NOW and I get frustrated when that doesn’t happen. From that sense – and ignoring the Abraham aspect – this was the perfect book for me.

The first half of the book explains the law of attraction in more detail. Some of it made sense, some of it didn’t and some of it made me a bit angry. The book, or should I say Abraham, seems to think everything can be made better by positive thinking and let’s face it this is the real world. No amount of positive thinking is going to fix the messes we’re in at the moment. I know that’s a very negative thought, but seriously. Dreaming of rainbows and unicorns and getting crazy terrorists and incurable illnesses is only going to make you bitter. So, I would personally read it with a touch of scepticism. Scepticism but optimism at the same time if you get what I mean.

However, that’s not to say that you can’t pick up some positivity from this book. After all, how often do you label a day as ‘one of those days’ simply because you’ve spilled your coffee and been cut up by a BMW driver en-route to the office? By reframing the day and looking for the positives you could actually get more from your day rather than writing it off.

The second half of the book is all about ‘processes’ (think tasks) to channel the law of attraction. There’s everything from creating a box of inspirational cuttings from magazines, through positive thinking exercises and affirmations. The book makes suggestions on which task is best suited to your mood, although encourages you to  dip into the tasks as you feel drawn to them rather than in any particular order. I’ll admit I only started my first task this evening, a little before writing this review, so its impossible to tell whether they actually ‘work’ or not, but I can see some of them putting me in a more positive frame of mind which can only be a good thing.

Buy Ask and It Is Given – The Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks here.

Advertisements

Book Review: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k

IMG_9874

If you ever watch the uber talented and super-funny Brummy Mummy of 2, you may know that she has coined her own little hashtag: ‘#youtubemademebuyit’. And that, my dear friends, is 100% true of this book.

For a while The Life Changing Art of Not Giving a F**k was everywhere! Cropping up in my Instagram feed, saying peek-a-boo in YouTubers monthly favourites videos, elbowing it’s way into blog posts. So with my desire to keep up with the Zoella’s and my new motto of ‘time is precious, waste it wisely’ I just had to buy this book.

I wanted to love it, I really did. After all, as well, as being a helpful self-help how to rid your life of unwanted people and obligations book, it was also a bit of a piss-take of the KonMari books. In fact, it frequently references the KonMari books, so it’s worth reading one of those (or at least understanding the KonMari concept) before starting this book.

One thing which I really struggled with was the amount of f-bombs in the book. Granted, I don’t swear an awful lot. In fact, my lack of swearing is often commented on. It’s not a conscious thing and I don’t have a problem with others swearing, it’s just that I don’t really feel the need to, unless I’m driving and then it’s an entirely different story. So, I wasn’t shocked by the amount of swearing in the book, it was more that the f-bomb was dropped so often it actually made the flow of the writing quite stop-start and I had to sift around the swearing to actually get to the point of a sentence. A bit like when you’re listening to a group of sweary teenage lads on the night bus and your brain has to take out the swear words so you can eavesdrop more effectively.

Also, although the advice is good, it’s not ground-breaking and, for me at least, I thought the exercises were a bit pointless. It did remind me that sometimes I do need to say ‘no’ to things I don’t want to do, no matter how obligated I feel. It also reminded me that I shouldn’t feel bad or guilty about that. And, it reminded me I should be spending my time doing what I enjoy, again not what I feel obligated to do – easier said than done when you’re a working mum but hey-ho!

So, an interesting read? Yeah, kinda. Life changing? Nope, not at all and if I were you… I’d waste my time more wisely…

Buy The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight at Amazon.co.uk

Book Review: The Body Book by Cameron Diaz

IMG_9502

So it seems my goal to read 12 books this year and my goal to boost my immunity intertwined with my latest read, as I decided to revisit The Body Book by Cameron DiazThe Body Book by Cameron Diaz.

I originally read this book whilst laying on a sun lounger in Sri Lanka. You can read my original review here. Needless to say A LOT has changed since then!

At first read I loved the book and Cameron’s bubbly tone. This time? It grated a bit. There were too many words – maybe it’s because I’m time poor (or just because I’ve read it before) – but I did think cut the waffle and get to the bloody point woman!

Also, now my body is post-baby and a little (OK, a lot) more squishy I didn’t feel like Diaz was talking to me. This might be my paranoia, or the fact that my life isn’t all about grabbing morning lattes nowadays (these days I drink my coffee black and out of a machine in the kitchen).

You can read my original review here.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Book Review: 50 Things You Need to Know: Brilliantly Behaved Toddler by Lorraine Thomas

img_8708

Ah, toddler tantrums. Gotta love a good ‘un, eh? Usually in the middle of Tesco as they try to take EVERY box of Matchmakers off the shelf – true story! Then there’s the food throwing, not to mention the desire to play with ANYTHING dangerous over and above their own toys. Oh and don’t get me started on the ‘I want to walk, put me down. No I don’t, pick me up’ hokey pokey!

Does this book help? Is it really 50 things you need to know? Do I now have a brilliantly behaved toddler who has no tantrums?

First up, the book is arranged really well. Chapters are short and punchy, making it easy to dip in and out of during nap times. It does cover a wide spectrum of toddler-hood so whether you have a newbie toddler or one whose getting into their toddler golden years will depend which parts of the book you find most useful. It covers topics including: food, TV, biting, toilet training, independence and social skills, as well as looking at how your parenting style affects your little ones. It also talks about taking time for yourself and what to do in the case of more babies, separation from your partner or a new blended family. It covers a lot of bases and, for that reason, doesn’t go massively in-depth with any of them. That said, it makes it a good way-pointer to discover the areas you need to brush up on. One for me, is taking time for myself which I am rubbish at (but in my defence whenever I try to I wind up being ill instead!).

Chapters all follow the same format, with some body copy on the subject area. A ‘top tips’ type box and a condensed idea at the end of the chapter. I personally loved the condensed idea at the end of the final chapter:

Be a pioneer parent who teaches a toddler not only how to behave, but how to live!-2.png

Whilst not ground-breaking this book is a comfort. If only to understand that everything your toddler is going through – and putting you through – is completely normal. The writing, as with most parenting books, is a little twee in places but it doesn’t talk, down, lecture or boss you around (a la Gina Ford).

The parts I found most useful were understanding why Elliott is doing what he’s doing. It’s so easy to think a toddler is being naughty for the sake of it. But now I understand how short is attention span is and how he is struggling with all these new emotions and doesn’t comprehend that he’s not the centre of the universe it makes those moments of madness a little easier to bear.

It’s also helped in terms of understanding how I communicate to Elliott. After reading this book I’ve been trying to make a clear distinction between Elliott and his behaviour. Elliott isn’t naughty, or unkind (or bat-shit crazy), but sometimes his behaviour is. Apparently it’s important to make this distinction which kind of makes sense. I was always branded as a shy child and that’s what I became. If you keep branding a child as ‘naughty’, well…

I also now try to praise him for specific things so he knows what he’s doing well, rather than using the generic ‘good boy’.

Will reading this book make me into the perfect parent and Elliott into an angel? No, it won’t and that’s partly what the book explains to embrace. Family life is chaos but enjoy it, because soon kids will grow and order will be restored and that will be blooming boring!

A good overview of toddlers and why they do what they do. Handy for a snapshot and pinpointing areas you need help on, but not in-depth enough to sort out all your tantrum woes. I have some other books to read which will hopefully help with that one and until then… there’s always Gin!

Buy 50 Things You Really Need to Know: Brilliantly Behaved Toddler by Lorraine Thomas from Amazon!

Post contains affiliate links 🙂