Book Review: The Doubt Factor by Renée Paule #TheDoubtFactor #BookReview

The Doubt Factor

By Renée Paule

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My thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed all of Renée Paule’s books, but The Doubt Factor has become my favorite this far.

Having an analytical mind, I always tend to question and find myself in deep thought often. It’s probably true that anyone can benefit from deep thought in one way or another. I personally believe that it can better lives, but the challenge for me has always been acting on it. Perhaps this is what draws me back to Renee’s books: she always has a way of directing my mind toward profound thoughts because it’s easy to resonate with her, yet I still remain a seeker.

In The Doubt Factor, Renée Paule includes essays on habits, boredom, diet, escape, authority, and other subjects on human nature. It’s a fairly short book, but overflows with some thought-provoking ideas and, dare I say it, harsh realities that many of us probably won’t feel comfortable admitting to.

What are rights? If they belong to any one of us, then they belong to each and every one of us – no one human being has the right to cause the suffering of another. To cause the suffering of another human being is a terrible thing that reduces us to a state of barbarian, and we do cause the suffering of others – sometimes deliberately and sometimes inadvertently – to such a large extent that I often feel ashamed to be a member of the human race. To spend small fortunes on for example, going into outer space, when we haven’t ensured the right of every human being to have adequate food, water and shelter saddens me beyond the realms of grief. If we can’t live intelligently on our own planet, what atrocities are we destined to commit on others? We speak of ourselves as ‘advancing’ but when we look at this objectively, it couldn’t be further from the truth – technology is advancing, yes sure, but humanity is in rapid decline; what’s the good of the one without the other, and to whom?

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Book Review: Free Your Mind by Darryl D. Diptee #Anxiety #Depression #Selfhelp #Book Review #FreeYourMind

Free Your Mind

By Darryl Diptee

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My thoughts:

I’ve read a ton of self-help books on anxiety and controlling emotions. This one tops the list. Not only does the author explain how to get yourself out of negative mental states, but he also explains how we get ourselves there in the first place, and how to recognize the patterns. I’ve been suffering on and off with anxiety and depression for nearly 14 years. I never realized the power of one tiny thought and how it can cause so much pain.

ALL thoughts should uplift you and the current situation in a positive, supportive way, and if they don’t, then immediately reject them as toxic, poisonous, garbage! Why? Because in a life that can end in any given moment, why would you ever deliberately allow unhappy or painful thoughts to take root in your mind and manifest in your body for even a second?

Some of the book contains common advice that I find (for myself) a need for reiteration, so none of it felt repetitive to me, but others might find these parts redundant. Having a chronic illness seems to almost redirect my brain toward anxiety with each new ailment; then the need to distract my brain arises. It’s interesting how the author explains the brain and how it works in a survival pattern to remove us from pain, and how these thoughts are truly unintentional. I found these sections most helpful for myself.

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Book Review: Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World by Pema Chödrön #BookReview #WelcomingTheUnwelcome

Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World

by Pema Chödrön

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My Thoughts:

Only by learning to fully embrace all aspects of ourselves–even the most seemingly negative elements of our minds and hearts–will we learn to fully embrace others. Only by discovering the basic goodness in both our lotus and our mud, will we come to see the basic goodness of all living things.

In a world full of polarization, this book can help humans find peace. Welcoming the Unwelcome contains valuable advice from a Buddhist’s perspective on overcoming the obstacles we have in life, maintaining compassion toward others, and that failure is an opportunity for growth, rather than something to run from.

This is my first book by Pema Chödrön. At first I thought it might not be a good book for me, but I’m glad I continued reading. Even though the book is written from a Buddhist’s perspective, I found it helpful from a Christian standpoint. Anyone can benefit from the down-to-earth advice given in this book. It’s positive, uplifting, and full of hope. Life brings challenging situations and difficult relationships to all of us, but it’s such a waste to let them dominate our lives and hold us back. The ultimate goal is to learn how to love one another.

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Just Around the Bend by Renée Paule – Updated

My Review:

22885929.jpgJust Around the Bend by Renée Paule is a book about letting go of the past and living in the now.

I was forewarned ahead of time that Renée Paule’s books make you feel like you’re looking into a mirror. As I continued reading, this became a reality to me and I was pulled into the book and couldn’t put it down. There were many “Aha” moments for me. I also felt a direct connection to some of the author’s experiences and feel I’ve made many mistakes because this is something I haven’t truly gotten over and accepted. It’s amazing these pent up emotions we hold on to inside and don’t even realize it.

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A gif made by Renee Paule

What I loved especially about the book was that the author speaks as if this is something
we are experiencing together by using the word “we.” It’s not like someone telling you what you’re doing wrong, but more of an observation on how we as humans handle our emotions and how we should realize that we’re the ones in control. We’re on a journey together. What are we feeling, why, and how are we supposed to react? This book won’t give you answers or instructions like a self-help book on how you can fix yourself, but will give you the insight and awareness needed to guide you in the right direction to stop this cycle of thinking and behavior.

Here’s something long forgotten by many people in this world-humanity is a team. Whether we like it or not, we work together. On the section titled, “Independence” the author discusses this fact. I recently heard a radio broadcast on NPR regarding the lack of compassion that people have for one another. This is a huge issue, isn’t it? There could be a massive fight going on with someone getting beaten badly somewhere and rather than call 911, people are getting on their cell phones and recording it so they can upload it to YouTube later when they get home, or post it on Facebook. This is horrible. When we start separating ourselves from each other, problems arise. When we stop thinking about humanity and lose compassion for others, we go backwards.

In the section “Humanity is One” the author discusses humans and how we’re wonderfully made. One of my favorite quotes from this section,“The world has many problems and many unhappy people living in it, but we don’t have to be that way to. No matter how miserable we feel we ought to become or how guilty we feel about being happy whilst others are suffering, we won’t make the world a better place to live in. We can only make the world happier by being happier in it; every move counts and the more people make them, the better.-Renée Paule

“We’re humanity and no matter how individual or superior we think we are, we’re part of a greater whole. We can’t find completeness somewhere else any more than an individual part of a one-thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle can. We all belong together and we always will. When we hurt each other what we’re really doing is hurting ourself and damaging the world in which we all must live.” -Renée Paule

“Imagine living in a world where we no longer believe that war can lead to peace. War can’t lead to peace anymore than ignorance can lead to knowledge. War leads to premature death, pain, suffering, hatred, fear and more separation.” -Renée Paule

My favorite sections included: A Bit of a Rant, Completeness, Independence, What If and Other Worries, and Attachment. The simple (Dilly) illustrations make very powerful statements alone.

I think everyone could take something from this book and hope more will read it. It’s not a self-help book at all, so please don’t be afraid to read it if you’re one of those people afraid of those types of books. This isn’t it. This is the author’s journey and at the same time a call to humanity.

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