This book invites the reader to make “free and informed choices one which will nourish and nurture you and then helps you put them into action clearly and confidently each step of the way.” page 13  Authors offer a 12 point list of principles to help people learn to love themselves and others. There are 10 chapters all of which have a title starting with choosing, like choosing to allow, choosing to feel safe. Chapters typically include a discussion of the main topic, an exercise, and then how to apply the concepts and sometimes reading references.

The authors ask insightful questions which can be difficult to answer. This makes the reader consider exactly what concepts are being presented. The author suggest you take this book a chapter at a time but don't rush through and read the whole thing. Part of this is because of the exercises that they offer and the reflection that they want the reader to do.

The authors use Bible quotes to express certain Concepts. Caddy and Platts include psychological Concepts like Maslow's theories and the hierarchy of needs. They also include biblical references like Love Thy Neighbor. The author's use Behavioral Science to explain and wraparound how we behave. The exercises are meditation of sorts, followed by questions or more reading for Concepts.

The writing style is conversational and easy to understand. While they're bringing in big Concepts like Behavior models and Maslow's theories and the hierarchy of needs, they explain them in simple, easy to understand ways so the reader doesn't get lost in the academic and can work through the book easily.

The author uses references to the Christian God. While they do talk about Divinity within it seems like their concept of God is more Christian-based. This might be a simplification rather than saying God / goddess or switching back and forth. The overall tone throughout each chapter is more Christian-based. There's a lot of Love Thy Neighbor trust in myself statements like that which lean more towards the Christian religion and not Pagan or New Age. However, the concepts and the meditations read more like spiritual or New Age then they do Christian. It becomes unclear who the audience truly is meant to be.

This book would make a great monthly meeting for a club or a group that meditates together each month. There are specific things to do and this book would help guide the members through. While the writing references a lot of Christian concepts these are not necessarily in conflict with new age or pagan concepts.

With the writing style and the concepts being backed up with psychological theories, this book bridges the academic versus New Age beliefs. It uses the academic to support the actions and beliefs. At the same time, it is balanced between academic and conversational writing. This makes the book pleasant to read and easy to understand. The outline is consistent throughout the book which allows the reader to jump in and use the book as a way to enhance their lives.

~review by Eileen Troemel

Author: Eileen Caddy and David Earl Platts
Findhorn Press 2018
p. 123