I’ve been going through a period of anxiety. I’ll get to that more in another post, I swear, but for the time being, I want to share something with you. Because I know we are all working through our own crap on some level. It may not be anxiety for you, but whatever it is, I’m betting you have a beast that rears its head that you’d like to straight-up slap with an open hand while wearing your high school name ring. So here we go.
Hidden Treasure: A Book Review
Every so often I get asked to review a book for an upcoming release. If it looks interesting, I read it – and then if it’s good, I share it here. I think it’s no surprise that this book, Hidden Treasure, found its way into my hands and that I’m able to share it here with you.
Hidden Treasure asks you to take a very clear, honest look at yourself. The author, Alice McDowell, Ph.D., shows readers five personality patterns or “character structures” and how to break free of them to release blockages and discover your true self. If that sounds like a book you’d run screaming from or put back on the shelf, stay with me – the book is science-driven, and when you take the tests to discover your personal character structures and what they entail, will begin to make a lot of sense.
You have to come at this book with an open mind. Be aware of feeling defensive when reading; you have to remind yourself that all of this is normal, that you are not your character structure. You have to be willing to work through your own sludge. Everyone has sludge. Yes, even him. Yes, even her. It may look different, but it’s sludge, nonetheless. And if we don’t want it holding us back any longer then we have to be okay with pulling on our boots and wading through some shit for a bit.
Working through the book is a process and you’ll have to be willing to go within yourself to places that are not very comfortable, pry open doors you have closed, and poke around through the cobwebs. I once thought it was useless or a waste of time to go back and rehash things from the past – we’ve moved on, right? But this book taught me that it’s not only helpful to do so, but it’s absolutely mandatory. Everyone should do it. It’s the only way to understand our behaviors, break away from old patterns, and free ourselves of dead emotional weight.
The book doesn’t just tell what to do to work through your particular challenges, it also gives the reader exercises to do and even free resources outside of the book. I was surprised learning how much I was holding or carrying from past events or times in my own life, both in my mind and in my body. And although I still have a lot of work to do, it feels good shaking it.
And I think it’s part of my anxiety: I’m holding onto things that aren’t mine to carry, at least not anymore. I don’t think we can deny how blowing past feelings or situations or telling ourselves we’re “fine” affects our health and well-being, and that if we don’t deal with things they will find a way to follow us. Sometimes they gently tap our shoulder or throw a rock in our path to make us trip; other times, they take a sledgehammer to our necks and force us to pay attention. Hopefully, we can beat the sledgehammer.
I’m also coming out of the baby fog and slowly starting to feel like my old self again in some ways, and while it’s a good thing, it’s also a transition – and with that always comes speed bumps and detours. It’s not the first time, and it seems that every time this happens I am pushed to a better place of understanding in my life when it’s all over. While I want to put all my energy into trying to get by and claw my way out of this place, I also know that it’s usually my sign to accept it and get quiet – that energy will start flowing soon enough. To sit with the feeling, get curious about it, and give it what it needs so I can continue to grow.
I’m trying to see the anxiety as a good thing. It’s a sign that it’s another period of growth, which never comes without growing pains. And this is a book that is helping me through. While reading it I felt like it had a hand on my face, lovingly holding it and then every so often, giving it a gentle slap (without the name ring). It’s no picnic, but this book is a huge help. I’d recommend Hidden Treasure to anyone who’s curious to learn more about their own energies and behavior patterns, and how to work with them so you can be your best self.