I learned about this book a little bit more than four years ago.
I was in Sweden for my studies and, despite having a good time during my staying there, I was personally facing a period of deep depression. I was suffering from recurring panic and anxiety, and had little clue about how to face my internal struggle.
Luckily, “luckily”, I had already suffered enough to be open for some form of healing.
I remember seeing the book on the sofa of a fellow study mate and being immediately drawn to it. Somehow I knew it had some of the answers I was looking for.
But I didn’t buy the book immediately. I waited a few months, until Christmas.
I asked my parents to gift it to me as a present. That one, or “The 4-hour workweek” by Tim Ferriss. They chose the latter because they thought that “The power of now” was kind of weird. On the main cover it says: “A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.” “Really?” — they must have thought. I can’t really blame them.
I was a bit disappointed to unwrap my gift and see it was the Tim Ferriss book, although that one also ended up changing my life significantly a while later. So I went to the bookstore next day and I bought it for myself.
I started reading it only on my way back to Sweden for the second semester.
I remember being on the plane, opening the book, reading the first pages and thinking: “Omg. This is it.”
I closed it almost immediately, knowing a big change was waiting for me.
Eventually, it took me six months to read it.
Not because it was too long, but because I had to stop every now and then to “take it in”. To process it, inside. See if the message was “true”. It felt like I was being walked hand by hand into a spiritual awakening. An awakening from the absorbing narrative of my own mind. I realized I was responsible for my own suffering, and that I could feel better if I wanted to.
This realization ultimately weakened these mental structures, the stories I was telling myself, replacing them with more empowering ones. I cried quite a lot, releasing some emotional baggage I was carrying, along with those stories.
I started to truly understand the power of my mind and I gained a better grip on it. I also took on the habit of creating space in my life to take care of my “inner garden”, so to speak.
Since then, I take time (almost) every day to stay still, slow down my thoughts, observe my thoughts, breathe deeply, feel the energy in my body, bring the attention back to the present moment. This is not some secondary activity I do to improve my day. This is the most important activity I can do every day, everything else is secondary.
I know all too well now that it’s how you manage your inside reality that determines how you experience the external one. Not the other way around.
I don’t know where you are in your personal journey, but if you’re stuck with anxiety and depression, this book might help you as it helped me back then.