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Add More ~ing to your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness Book Review

Posted Jan 30 2010 1:35pm

I received a free copy of Add More ~ing To Your Life: A Hip Guide To Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein to conduct this book review. For details on my disclosure policy, please click here.

Add More ~ing to your life: A Hip Guide to Happiness provides readers with self coaching tools to discover their highest growth potential mentally, physically, and spiritually.  With systematic, easy-to-follow steps, personal experiences and client anecdotes,  Gabrielle captures the essence of personal growth for achieving a satisfied, healthy and happy life.

As a self help book, Add More ~ing to your life: A Hip Guide to Happiness is unique and comes as a great relief because it is not designed to be a quick fix solution to all our life problems.  Gabrielle admits that her journey took at least four years and it required a daily commitment.  She has outlined a well designed system to a more fulfilling and thoughtful lifestyle.  Each chapter follows a formula:

  1. Identifies the topic or issue
  2. Provides relevant examples
  3. Summarizes necessary steps to achieve goal
  4. Guides us through the mental, physical and spiritual processes with concise instructions

Add More ~ing to your life: A Hip Guide to Happiness focuses on internal assessments, understanding our role with others, dealing with self acceptance and growth,  and the challenges of maintenance and rediscovery.  The chapters break down as follows:

  • Chapter 1:  Feeling-Dancing
  • Chapter 2:  Forgiving-Jumping rope
  • Chapter 3:  Balancing-Rebounding (trampoline)
  • Chapter 4:  Mirroring-Walking
  • Chapter 5:  Releasing-intenSati/cardio/aerobic dancing
  • Chapter 6:  Climbing-rock climbing/hiking
  • Chapter 7: Stretching-yoga/pilates
  • Chapter 8:  Quantum Shifting-”physically out of your comfort zone” choice
  • Chapter 9:  Focusing-running/unicycling/golfing/shooting hoops/archery
  • Chapter 10:  Knowing-Meditating
  • Chapter 11:  Manifiesting-Outside moving
  • Chapter 12:  Adding-Any moving

At her website, Gabrielle links to her free iTunes Meditation walk throughs that are a great help in learning how to meditate effectively for each chapter.  They are written in the book, but it’s soothing and encouraging to have her voice lead us through the steps.  I really enjoyed how Gabrielle interwove light humor into very serious topics.

The idea of “just being”  is illusive in the fast paced, technology driven society we are in today.   “Life has become a constant search for outside stimuli with no road map inward.” (71) We have lost the skills as well as the ability to prioritize time to personally reflect and think–allowing this extremely personal journey to flourish leads to enlightening self discoveries.  When looking to change, she provides tools that allow us movement without having to hit a rock bottom.

1.  Not to minimize your situation

“Though my past wounds may sound insignificant to someone who has experienced major trauma, they were deep enough for me to feel the need to run from them.” (63)

2.  The significance of Forgiveness especially as a victim.  At first, I was resistant to Gabrielle’s approach, but after a few days of thought, I really came to understand the effectiveness of letting go.

“See your part in the situation, whether it’s a literal action you’ve taken or merely the unwillingness to let go of the anger. The fearful ego tells us that by holding on to old resentments we protect ourselves from getting hurt again, or “falling.”   The irony is that the release is in the fall.” (54)

3.  The importance of challenging our negative thoughts with positive thoughts

“[L]earning to view life from an elevated, more positive perspective…you’ll learn to climb out of your ego and reach for the thoughts of your highest self…According to applied kinesiology, when you think higher thoughts, such as love, kindness and joy, your energy is stronger.   Alternatively, when your thoughts are focused on lower level emotions, such as sadness, fear or anger, your energy is weakened.” (117-118)

4.  At multiple times, Gabrielle reminds us not to dwell so much on the past or future

“When you start focusing on the future, you eventually get tripped up.” (142)

“The quantum shift requires an open mind and a deep desire to release the chains of the past.” (149)

“It’s not about what you did yesterday or what you plan to do tomorrow. It’s about what you do today.” (181)

5.  We’re not alone

“When your energy is tuned into a positive vibration, you can have faith that you’re always being guided either toward your desires or to a detour that will bring you something better.  Why waste any more time trying to navigate on your own?” (166)

6.  The difference between praying and meditating really struck home.

“Praying is a time to ask and meditating is the time to listen.” (178)

My only dislike was the overuse of ~ing.  I am accepting of repetition to a point, but there were times when ~ing was used too much and fell into the corny category.  For instance, in chapter 7 on page 137, ~ing was used 20 times by itself or as part of an example.

I recommend reading all of Add More ~ing to your life: A Hip Guide to Happiness before tackling the 30 day Equations.  When reading the book, I wanted to embark on multiple journeys right away.  I was overwhelmed.  How could I possibly fit these 30 day exercises into an already over scheduled day?  Gabrielle provides the answer in Chapter 7:

Because I’ve taken myself through all of the ~ing Equations, I now use them interchangeable.  Sometimes I’ll mix up the Equation daily and other times I’ll revisit a full-blown thirty-day journey to transform a specific area of my life.” (137)

I strongly believe that the use of terms are compatible with my personal beliefs.  I associate the “Universe and Energy” with God and/or Jesus.  When I pray, I am speaking to God and am free to use the Bible with meditations in seeking answers.  Gabrielle provides a very thorough explanation of the process along with definitions for her commonly used words in the introduction, but I feel that it is worth illustrating my perspective here.

In conclusion, Gabrielle Bernstein offers a practical, simple Equation to face our personal barrier, “the ego,” in the most important areas of our lives.  She offers innovative ways (through ~ing) to combine mind, body, and spirit by “rethinking, moving and receiving” for a complete journey in self discovery.  I highly recommend reading  Add More ~ing to your life: A Hip Guide to Happiness.

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