I have come to the conclusion that when one reaches a certain age one starts to reach instinctively towards a self-help book. There’s a whole market of the things out there. Whatever your primary outlook in life there is a book or ten out there for you. All written so you can nod your head so vigorously at the contents you either get dizzy or need actually physio.
I reached that certain age around 9pm last Tuesday (it might have been 10am the Sunday before…I can’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday sometimes) and I found myself book shopping. I bought Caroline Myss’s Sacred Contracts, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and F*ck Feelings by Dr Michael Bennett and his daughter Sarah Bennett.
Sacred Contracts has been around since 2001 so I am a bit behind with reading this one. I also bought the card deck which Myss has done which goes with the book. The card deck is simply a printed set of all the different archetypes which are said to make up our personalities, the idea being that you go through them and pick another eight to go with the four we all have already. The four we all have, apparently, are Child (various sorts, pick one card), Prostitute (yes, my thoughts exactly but it isn’t that sort of prostitute!), Saboteur and Victim. I admit at first glance I wasn’t keen on making the Victim or Prostitute cards part of my package but there are much deeper meanings than a mere word can put over at first glance. There are light and shadow attributes with the light attribute being the positive one which, in the case of the Victim, “prevents you from letting yourself be victimised or victimising others”. After much wrangling I managed to find my other eight cards, at least for now, but it was much harder than I thought it would be and I am not settled on them until I have read the book and the more expanded explanations of each archetype contained therein. I shall see how it all goes 🙂
The Power of Now is another one I am slow to discover, which to be fair is hardly surprising when I wasn’t looking for it. Written by Eckhart Tolle way back in 1999, it was a book which found its way by word of mouth to start with and then, after Oprah Winfrey got her paws on it and acclaimed it a sensation, the whole of America read it. Well, that’s sort of what happened. I may have embellished a bit there but Oprah certainly read it because it says so on the cover. As I write this I am on page 32 so I can’t give a fair review. There have been a few raised eyebrow moments for me so far but those moments are what keeps life interesting and I am completely open minded to begin with about anything I read. I don’t dismiss the ridiculous, I ponder it a bit first. It is funny the nuggets of truth which reveal themselves when this stance is taken.
F*ck Feelings is a more modern self help book and came out about a year ago. It promises to be humorous as the co-author Sarah Bennett is a comedian. I rather like that. I do appreciate a self help author who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. It is on my shelf in third position to read and is quite a chunky book so I am reading that last.
I think the reasons all this has come up for me as suddenly important are obvious in some ways. Here I am, a grandmother now, having had five children and a varied and interesting life so far. Some of that life has been difficult and has left the odd scar which now needs healing. Now is my older and wiser time. A time to, perhaps, look more closely at some of the things which have brought me to this point but which I had mentally boxed up because I had too much going on to deal with them. It might be painful, it might be comforting, it will be difficult. I am not sure which of these will rear its head first or if they will all be there together in the mix. What I do know is that it is like finally deciding to get up the ladder and clean the attic…one is not overly enthused at the thought but it needs doing and can’t be put off any longer.
Time to get the gloves on and reach for the duster…