Book Review: Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself
Lately I have been listening to all my books. Every so often, though, a book comes along that prompts me to stop the audio and relisten… and in this case, to do it multiple times before finishing and then purchasing the hard copy so that I can read it again and well, just own it. Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza is that book.
The book is divided into three parts that lead the reader on a journey from information to transformation. The first part, The Science of You, lays the groundwork for change. Most of us live in a state of rehearsed negative emotions, either replaying negative experiences from our past, or rehearsing negative experiences we anticipate (i.e. any form of worry). By using an approach derived from quantum physics, Dispenza shows his readers how the thoughts and emotions that we have on a running loop actually become the cause to the negative effects we experience rather than the result. Sound crazy? Maybe… until you realize how often it is that what we anticipate – whether good or bad – is exactly what happens. The foundation of quantum physics is that all experiences exist as pure potential until we fixate on one. So the question becomes, why do we so often fixate on negative possibilities rather than the “best case scenario”?
Dispenza makes a strong case for overcoming what he calls “the big three” – environment, body, and time – in order to break the habit of negative thinking and of approaching every new situation with the vestiges of old negative thoughts and emotions that then become the cause of exactly the situation that we don’t want.
One chapter that I found particularly impactful was The Gap, which described the identity gap so many people face, especially in middle age. Who we appear to be may not – and often does not – match who we really are inside. Suddenly whatever was making us feel like we were doing well in our world – whether wealth, impressive job title, a big house, fancy cars, or even alcohol or drugs – nothing seems to fill the void. There is a genuine abyss between where we are in our souls and what we project to the outside world.
Fortunately, the author does not leave us standing at the edge of this precipice, staring down into the nothingness below…
Rather, in the next two sections – Your Brain and Meditation and Stepping Toward Your New Destiny – he gives his readers a guide to meditation that actually serves to make genuine changes to the way we approach our lives. This isn’t meditation to reach nothingness, but rather meditation with the intention of manifesting real material changes to our lives by aligning thoughts and emotions behind one of the infinite potential experiences we could have based on the theories of quantum physics. It is in essence a how-to approach for anticipating and then enjoying the best possibilities for your life.
I like this book because it offers hope to those who may feel they are trapped in a spiral of negativity, or holding on to an experience that needs to be let go. It offers those who have experienced significant losses to imagine a life where those losses have been turned around and their dreams can be realized – maybe not in the way they first imagined, but in a way that will surprise and delight them all the same.