As the owner of a mental health training company and as a trainer who wants to learn more and more to improve the quality of my training courses, I might not like it anymore if an author or publisher contacts me and asks me to read a publication. I am never more satisfied than if the book is one that really appeals to me on a personal level …
As someone who has lifelong experience and diagnosis of two anxiety disorders (hey, what can I say, I was at the top of the queue) – social anxiety and GAD – it’s like a double gift if I can read about anxiety and help too me there. However, I do not simply assume that a book contains some or all of the answers that I or others need.
When I started Rev. Awie L. Habash, LMFT, with Awaking from Anxiety, I was as open as possible. I consider myself a spiritualist in faith, and since this book markets itself as a “spiritual guide,” I thought it had something else to offer than the average book on fear. I wasn’t disappointed, the book had some problems when it came to tools and resources to reduce my anxiety, so much that at some point I was afraid of how I would remember them all! My solution was to put a “donkey ear” on the top corner of many pages. If defending books were a crime, I would seriously serve some time! I also intend to reread this book and practice its recommendations so that they become a fundamental part of me and not a toolkit that I simply carry around with me.
At first I had to think about what I can remember most clearly. The most profound tool I found was to listen to my fear and work less to prevent it or resist it, “what I resist will last”. I have now taken a direct approach to asking my fear what it has to tell me, and I am already learning that the reason I am very often is to motivate myself to prepare for the challenge. I have made it my business to welcome the fear in my psyche and in my body – there is a possibility that I like it or not – so that I can learn from it and accept it like other emotions that play a role in it play in shaping my personality. “The Upper Limit Problem” was another aspect that really resonated. It would not be the first time that I feared that everything would be calm and positive and that I fear how long it will take for my fear to show its beautiful personality again (remember that I greet her). Many of my fears focus on the unknown rather than the known, fears of success and failure, and a number of other fears. On a personal level, it was sobering to learn that I have more than one area to work on to reduce my anxiety, but the comforting thing is that there is so much I can do out there (and in me) Take advantage of it and accept that fear is likely to be a lifelong friend (and enemy) that is part of what drives my soul forward on its spiritual path. I feel like I’ve found a new friend in Connie, the work of helping others is transformative, and I’ve already started to change my relationship with my fear by reading this book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants more than a few tips to reduce their anxiety, especially to those who identify with a spiritual path. You will definitely need some sticky notes when you read!
Review by Jane McNeice