This is a book review of “Be Feel Think Do: A Memoir” by Anne Bérubé… and I desperately don’t want to insult her. Heck, Anne lives in my area! I think it’s AMAZING that she wrote this book and got published! SO COOL! This is the challenge of reviewing “self-help” books… some are a good fit for the reader… some are not. While Anne’s book was an interesting read and I was definitely moved, her approach to self-discovery just didn’t feel like a good fit for me.
Be Feel Think Do:
Be now with the soul in the body,
Feel now the soul through the body,
Let your soul and your body think,
Let your soul and your body do.
Anne Bérubé, Ph.D.
I’ve gone through “spiritual” phases in my life. When I was child, I attended Sunday school in our rural community. The best part of Sunday school was sitting at the piano with Della during church services. When I was a teenager, I completed my Confirmation and actually became an altar girl (altar server?) for a short time. Little known fact about me! Amanda the alter girl. I’ve always found church to be soothing. I envy those who find connection and comfort in their church community. But. I’m not a huge believer in God or Jesus. I’ve always been open minded about religion and spirituality, though. Fascinated, even. Later in life when I started facilitating an intensive addictions program, I dabbled in spirituality – learning about crystals & stones, animal totems, and guided meditations. I had several seriously AMAZING experiences when I participated in group meditations with clients.
Regular spiritual and/or religious practice is tough. For whatever reason, I couldn’t sustain an active form of spirituality on my own (regular meditation, attending church, energy healing with crystals, communing with animal totems). It got a little too “wishy washy” for me? I didn’t fit in with the community? I felt like a fraud. It felt silly.
“I believe spirituality is meant to be lived not only on a mountaintop or blissed out in an ashram or solely learned through texts or sermons. It is meant to be embodied moment to moment, in our everyday life, with the messy kitchen in the morning getting the kids off to school, around the dinner table at Christmas with our in-laws, with the back pain that has been nagging us for years, and with the guilt and shame that sometimes take over our thoughts and demand to be felt.” – Anne Bérubé
I’m reflective enough to recognize that my defenses were up while reading this book. Many parts of “Be Feel Think Do” kinda made me roll my eyes (Sorry Anne!). This is NOT Anne’s fault… I think she would even perhaps relate a bit? I’m more like who Anne was prior to her “awakening” – a just get’er done kinda gal – Do the education, get the job, find the man, have the baby kinda gal. I’m very self-aware… I feel my feelings… but when Anne started getting all “energy” and “feely” on me, my brain tuned out. All the talk of our spirit, the soul’s desires and energy had my brain goin’ NOPE.
My heart actually REALLY connected and related with several of Anne’s struggles… in ways that are too personal and raw to even share here. My discomfort in reading about Anne’s journey to spirituality, letting go of her pain, moving into healing herself and therefore her relationships – is more MY issue than a problem with Anne’s writing. I DO believe that mindfulness and meditation can be POWERFUL and EMOTIONAL. Heck, the science backs this up! So while my brain was all “What’s with the new-agey crap”, my heart was all “Sob, I get you Anne… I’m with ya girl!” My soul whispered – “You know what, Anne would be a great coach for you, Amanda!” My head then said “Huh? For realz? Isn’t THAT an interesting thought.”
Confusing any of you yet? LMAO. Quite the book review, huh?
I related to Anne’s journey, but didn’t find any “actionable” takeaways from her story. Anne’s approach to self-discovery including spiritual retreats, meditation, and releasing emotional energy blocks within her body to heal herself was just all a bit… hard for me swallow. It’s just not MY way. “Be Feel Think Do” was an interesting memoir and a moving read – but as a self-help book, it wasn’t all that “helpful” to me.
I think Anne and I could be friends. What I did learn from “Be Feel Think Do” is that I would totally loooooove to have a coffee with her sometime! So, Anne, if you aren’t too disappointed by my book review – let’s hang!
If you think Anne could be a great fit for YOU, her website is pretty fabulous – a blog, a podcast, meditations, videos. Check her out here – anneberube.com/
Until next time!
Read. Write. Grow