Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
Author: Christine McKee
Author: Christine McKee
Ms. McKee states that (2013, p.1) that the first step in your “being” is about self-awareness. Especially understanding how what you think and feel and say affects the relationships in your life. Much of this comes from “social conditioning.” Each person’s reality is based on their current perceptions and past experiences and how each of us interprets those perceptions. (p.3) These interpretations help to give meaning to our actions and interactions. However, learning why we do and say and react the way we do can help us to change those previous perceptions, allowing us to refocus and be aware in the present. According to Ms. McKee we “are on autopilot most of the time.” (p.6) Changing from autopilot to living in the present is what each of us ought to strive to do.
Chapter 2 challenges us to “…know thyself.” (2013, p.19) McKee says “…all people have free will and choice in all situations….”. Because of this “free will” we can best honor ourselves and those around us by behaving with integrity and not being judgmental. (paraphrase, pgs.21-22) “Easier said than done” in most instances, but certainly worth trying.
Once you are aware of how you react and act, the basic element of knowing ones self, we can select to behave in a more empowering way. (2013, paraphrase, p.30) McKee states that “…the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves is to give all feelings equal value.” (p.35) She calls this living “in the moment.” Being able to truly live in the moment allows us to make the best decisions and therefore have the best possible outcomes from those decisions in all of our realtionships.
Accountability allows us to be responsible for our thoughts, feelings, actions, words, etc. (2013, paraphrase, p.42) McKee says this [responsibility] can be very empowering. Furthermore, we should “Understand that everything you do impacts the bigger picture.” (p.43) McKee calls this the “ripple effect”. If we are frozen in our comfort zones we can never hope to reach our true potential. (paraphrase, p.48) Freezing up is largely due to fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Or simply fear itself. Knowing whether or not fear is holding us back can help is move forward. This helps us to “live a life with purpose.” (p.49)
Above are just some, of the many, highlights of this book. I will say that reading it invited me to collect my thoughts, etc., be honest in evaluating them, while also focusing on how to change those dynamics in order to obtain the best possible outcomes for all involved. Let me add that this was no easy process, but those things that we do that are painful for our psyches are oftentimes the best possible point for personal growth. I think that all of us can benefit from reading this book and doing the activities that Ms. McKee suggests along the way. Sit back, read, and enjoy!
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