Sunday, January 23, 2022

Looking For Answers? How To Make 2022 the Year You Heal, Calm Your Busy Mind and Find Your Joy

In Partnership with Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand

The New Year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf… and in this case, the perfect time to turn over the new leaves of a life-changing self-help book! We’ve got the best titles for starting 2022 off on the right foot (plus a peek into what you’ll find inside them!)

If you’re feeling a bit like you’ve been tossed into your washing machine on a spin cycle, or strapped onto a corkscrew rollercoaster against your own will over the last couple of years, you’re certainly not alone. 

The events of 2020 and 2021 have had massive, far-reaching effects on us all – changing up the way we do things each day, causing anxiety, fear and uncertainty. 

So, if the clock has struck midnight, and you’re hoping for a more calm, relaxed and happy 2022 – perhaps even just one where your mind doesn’t feel quite so busy – you’ve come to the right place.

We’re looking for great advice from some of the best minds to help start 2022 off on the right foot – and we’ve found two very knowledgeable sources of wisdom. They’ve both written incredible books (which will make for fab summer reading) and here, we’re sharing some of their best revolutionary tips, tools and insights.

Make 2022 the year you heal your mind, body and soul

Dr Nicole LePera (INSTAGRAM)

Okay, let’s try a little something. Have a read of this little exercise:

“Close your eyes. Picture a lemon. See its glossy yellow skin. Hold it in your hands. Feel its ridges. Put it to your nose; imagine the clean scent hitting your nostrils. Now imagine slicing a wedge from the lemon. Watch the juice jump out as you cut through the flesh. See the oval pits. Now put that lemon wedge to your mouth. Your lips may sting on contact. Taste the acidity, the cool citrus, the freshness. Does your mouth pucker or fill up with saliva? The mere thought of a lemon can provoke an entire sensory response.”

Yip, without leaving this site, you’ve just experienced the mind-body connection. It’s a simple visualisation exercise, but a powerful way to show how the mind and body are united. But unfortunately, Western medicine is constrained by the belief that the mind and body are separate entities – we have one clinician to treat the mind (psychology or psychiatry) and one to treat the body (basically every other branch of medicine).

Well, Dr Nicole LePera is here to challenge the traditional ways of healing, and operating as ‘The Holistic Psychologist’ she’s already helped people from around the world to literally heal themselves. She has a loyal following of more than 4.6million on her Instagram, has racked up more than 7.3million views on YouTube and her book, How To Do the Work, has gone gangbusters – now a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Dr Nicole LePera has some seriously impressive credentials, having trained in clinical psychology at prestigious Cornell University and the New School for Social Research. She also studied at the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis. 

But after years working as a clinical psychologist in a private practice she found herself often frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. 

She wanted more for her patients – and herself – so she began a journey to develop a united philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual health that equips people with the tools necessary to heal themselves.

And thus, The Holistic Psychologist was born and her teachings are now being successfully used to empower individuals to break free from trauma cycles and create who they want to become. 

Now, her book – How To Do the Work – is being called revolutionary and has been touted as doing for this generation what Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret did to readers in the 2000s.

Within the book Dr Nicole shares her own, very personal story of facing her demons, after she began to examine some hard truths about her own family dynamics, core beliefs and dysfunctional patterns, which ultimately led to an emotional breakdown.

From there, she really learned how to dig deep, how to do the work and how to heal – spending two years working on her transformation.

How To Do the Work is both her manifesto for self-healing, and an essential guide to creating a more vibrant, authentic and joyful life. She draws on the latest research from both scientific research and healing modalities, to help readers identify what’s holding them back, what trauma exists in their past and how they can actively move past that.

It’s a confronting read at times, with lots of ‘aha moments’ as she explains theories and fascinating personality types in a simple, straight forward way.

To illustrate, she often uses case studies or examples – but rather than just explaining a dynamic, trauma or situation, she then goes on to explain strategies and exercises to heal those wounds. 

Dr Nicole’s book retails for $34.99, but when you compare that to the cost of traditional therapy it’s one heck of an investment!

How To Do the Work, Dr Nicole LePera, RRP$34.99 

Calm your busy mind and find inner peace

Eckhart Tolle and Oprah (INSTAGRAM)

If you’re looking for spiritual enlightenment in 2022, go straight to the top and employ the guidance of world-renowned guru, Eckhart Tolle. 

He’s who millions of people around the world have sought guidance from, through his books, podcasts and teachings. And he’s the guy Oprah looks to for wisdom and guidance, and if Oprah – who has access to the best of the best – says he’s number one, we feel pretty darn good about shelling out $27.99 to access that wisdom.

If you’re a worrier, or you often have critical thoughts about yourself (often our worst enemy really is ourselves!) or are just feeling a bit stuck in your life right now, Eckhard Tolle is your man.

His story is a very personal one, retracing the tumultuous years leading up to his 29th birthday – years he spent in almost continuous anxiety, peppered with periods of suicidal depression. From the outside, he looked like a complete success story – having already become an eminent research scholar in comparative literature at England’s University of Cambridge. But below the surface, he was suffering so badly that one night, shortly after his 29th birthday he seriously considered ending his life that very night.

But, that same night he instead had a revelation – one that would change his life (and eventually the lives of millions of other people). 

As he sat there, feeling tormented by his life, knowing his successes hadn’t bought him happiness and he was now drifting, with no plans for the future, in his depressive state he thought – as he puts it – “I couldn’t live with myself any longer”.

But that one thought stopped him dead with its implications. “If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with. Maybe, I thought, only one of them is real. I was so stunned by this realisation that my mind stopped. I was conscious, but there were no more thoughts.”

From then he felt a fundamental change – he no longer identified with the “voice in my head” that was doing the thinking. Instead, he could now just sit back and just observe these thoughts that would pop into his head. It was now as if the “real” him was the one watching the thoughts – he was no longer the thoughts himself.

“There was a wonderful sense of peace,” he recalls. “Not a desensitised peace – you can experience that if you take enough drugs, or drink enough. But a peace that was joyful, and alive, and very alert.”

It was many years later that Eckhart brought his ideas together for a book, The Power of Now, where he examined the role of those thoughts we have in our head and how we can stop them from being in the driver’s seat of our own lives. He encourages everyone to surrender to the present moment, where problems do not exist. Because if we are able to be fully present and take each step in the ‘now’ we will be opening ourselves up to finding true joy, able to embrace our true selves and discover that we’re already complete and perfect.

But look, if it all sounds a bit too woo-woo and out there for you, don’t be put off. Thankfully Eckhart isn’t some airy-fairy scholar who spouts overcomplicated ideas or theories. He’s a truly gifted story-teller and offers an easy to follow format for explaining it all – including a handy question and answer style and some great, simple language to get it across. 

Which is likely why The Power of Now is one of the bestselling books of this century. 

And few are as surprised as Eckhart by its success. It started off as just a little book he wrote and printed 3,000 copies of, which were sold mostly by word of mouth. Then, it began to gain momentum, until Oprah discovered it years later (she says she came across it after Meg Ryan was on her show and raved about it) and in the years since it has been revised and reprinted many times over. 

Oprah has described it as a must-read and life-changing, saying: 

“It’s one of the most transformative books I’ve ever read; I keep a copy with me wherever I go, flipping through its highlighted pages time and time again. For anyone seeking to lead a more connected, vibrant life, The Power of Now is essential reading.”

So, how about taking a leaf out of Oprah’s book and making 2022 the year you free yourself from your mind.

The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle, RRP$27.99

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