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The End of Self-Help: Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary, Brilliant Life

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The self-help industry perpetuates the myth that we are limited, damaged, inadequate selves who need to be fixed. Sadly, it keeps millions of us hoping for a better future when we will finally be happy and fulfilled. But what if it’s possible, at any moment, to be peaceful and free? In The End of Self Help: Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, The self-help industry perpetuates the myth that we are limited, damaged, inadequate selves who need to be fixed. Sadly, it keeps millions of us hoping for a better future when we will finally be happy and fulfilled. But what if it’s possible, at any moment, to be peaceful and free? In The End of Self Help: Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary Brilliant Life, psychologist Gail Brenner, Ph.D. reveals that in fact, it is—once we realize that who we are is not defined by our distorted thoughts and painful feelings. With an infectious spirit, Dr. Brenner describes how personal suffering is a case of mistaken identity. She walks with readers as they expand their attention beyond their well-worn troubles to the very source of happiness and peace: presence itself. Guided audio meditations, included with each chapter, help light the way. The End of Self-Help makes ancient teachings accessible to the modern mind. It’s a must-read for anyone who has finally realized that self-help doesn’t actually help. You’ll discover the fulfillment you’ve been longing for— the living, breathing possibility of peace now…and now…and now…


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The self-help industry perpetuates the myth that we are limited, damaged, inadequate selves who need to be fixed. Sadly, it keeps millions of us hoping for a better future when we will finally be happy and fulfilled. But what if it’s possible, at any moment, to be peaceful and free? In The End of Self Help: Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, The self-help industry perpetuates the myth that we are limited, damaged, inadequate selves who need to be fixed. Sadly, it keeps millions of us hoping for a better future when we will finally be happy and fulfilled. But what if it’s possible, at any moment, to be peaceful and free? In The End of Self Help: Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary Brilliant Life, psychologist Gail Brenner, Ph.D. reveals that in fact, it is—once we realize that who we are is not defined by our distorted thoughts and painful feelings. With an infectious spirit, Dr. Brenner describes how personal suffering is a case of mistaken identity. She walks with readers as they expand their attention beyond their well-worn troubles to the very source of happiness and peace: presence itself. Guided audio meditations, included with each chapter, help light the way. The End of Self-Help makes ancient teachings accessible to the modern mind. It’s a must-read for anyone who has finally realized that self-help doesn’t actually help. You’ll discover the fulfillment you’ve been longing for— the living, breathing possibility of peace now…and now…and now…

30 review for The End of Self-Help: Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary, Brilliant Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    Dr. Brenner, from a completely Western point of view, presents a method of self realization that feels quite Eastern in its premise. To escape from troubling thoughts or life situations, go within and stay in awareness. From this new way of existence, external problems will either change or cease to exist in your new perspective of non-being. In fact, this book read a lot like Eckhart Tolle but was, I felt, a lot more understandable with some easy exercises thrown in. I think sometimes it helps t Dr. Brenner, from a completely Western point of view, presents a method of self realization that feels quite Eastern in its premise. To escape from troubling thoughts or life situations, go within and stay in awareness. From this new way of existence, external problems will either change or cease to exist in your new perspective of non-being. In fact, this book read a lot like Eckhart Tolle but was, I felt, a lot more understandable with some easy exercises thrown in. I think sometimes it helps to read the same type of material from different people because maybe something that they say will finally penetrate the fog in your mind. It can be a frustrating slog through buzz words and generalities. Or, perhaps, this author's life experience is closer to yours and you are more able to figure out what the heck they're saying- the finger pointing at the moon and all that. I try to have an open and empathetic mind when I read self-help because you run into a lot of authors who want you to jump through the exact same hoops that they did even though your life experiences or difficulties aren't the same. Yes, you may find some techniques that work for you but it's never quite the extraordinary break through that they're claiming. I run into the same messages again and again in self-help, but, I'm always thinking, maybe THIS time it'll stick and I won't have to try, yet another, author. Dr. Brenner has written a message that resonated with me even though it wasn't the first time I'd run into it and it's almost universally applicable in its technique. She wrote this book so that, theoretically, the reader would never have to delve into self help again out of feelings of lack, loneliness, fear, etc. I'm certain that I will go there again, the self help shelf, out of a sense of curiosity which Dr. Brenner doesn't discourage. She doesn't ask readers to check out of their lives, but she wants to make sure that you're going into self help for the right reasons. This is a great read. If you like Eckhart Tolle, but he feels too far or you don't dig his teachings about the "pain body", The End of Self-Help might be just what you're looking for. If you're looking for more of this type of teaching, listen to the audio lecture, In the Presence of a Great Mystery by Eckhart Tolle or Resist Nothing: Guided Meditations to Heal the Pain-Body by Kim Eng. I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. FTC guidelines: check!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gisela Hausmann

    This is probably a good book and most certainly not a bad book. Though I was expecting a book similar to "SHAM" I was interested in whatever this author had to offer. In retrospect I realize I should have read the sample of this book. I read about 50% but could not finish this book. Though the author presents great points, I find the book's prose old-fashioned/unappealing/unreadable. (quoting a few samples) "... If you strive for money or material goods, you’re searching for the moment of ease when This is probably a good book and most certainly not a bad book. Though I was expecting a book similar to "SHAM" I was interested in whatever this author had to offer. In retrospect I realize I should have read the sample of this book. I read about 50% but could not finish this book. Though the author presents great points, I find the book's prose old-fashioned/unappealing/unreadable. (quoting a few samples) "... If you strive for money or material goods, you’re searching for the moment of ease when you finally fulfill your desire...." "... Contemplate the possibility of freeing yourself from mental and emotional habits. Close your eyes for as long as you like; allow space to enter all the rigid parts of your brain..." "... Have patience and keep the fire burning. Every time the structure of a habit collapses, it loses its fuel..." This is the day and age of twitter, social media, and texting. Who communicates the way this author writes? This writer's prose sounds like 19th century language. Not my cup of tea. Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger

  3. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Reshetiloff

    Dr. Brenner has a beautiful voice in this book and writes clearly and poetically, making every sentance resonate deeply. "It's the infinite is-ness of pure being uncontained by time or space". Gorgeous. She leads you gently, clearly and openly to that which we are all seeking and which is freely available to us in a way that feels simple and completely do-able. The Explorations and the end of each chapter feel like a bonus and the guided meditations (which I LOVE that you can download and take w Dr. Brenner has a beautiful voice in this book and writes clearly and poetically, making every sentance resonate deeply. "It's the infinite is-ness of pure being uncontained by time or space". Gorgeous. She leads you gently, clearly and openly to that which we are all seeking and which is freely available to us in a way that feels simple and completely do-able. The Explorations and the end of each chapter feel like a bonus and the guided meditations (which I LOVE that you can download and take with you) are the perfect companion on the journey. Thank you for this book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sally Underwood

    I bought the audiobook and listened to three times. As soon as I finished my first round, I knew I had to listen again, and I am glad I did. Each time I heard new things in the book and gained a deeper understanding. I am already familiar with non-dual teachings but somehow this book hit the spot. I got quite lost in the self-help world, looking for fixes and ended up poorer and more dissatisfied as a result. Nothing has brought me more happiness than unsubscribing to all forums and newsletters t I bought the audiobook and listened to three times. As soon as I finished my first round, I knew I had to listen again, and I am glad I did. Each time I heard new things in the book and gained a deeper understanding. I am already familiar with non-dual teachings but somehow this book hit the spot. I got quite lost in the self-help world, looking for fixes and ended up poorer and more dissatisfied as a result. Nothing has brought me more happiness than unsubscribing to all forums and newsletters that tell me to improve my mindset or 'be a better me' - or worse still 'hack my nervous system' (a suggestion so full of body-mind disconnection and hubris that it beggars belief).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Great little tidbits There are some great little tidbits within this tome. Everything from merely feeling to lowering the expectations place on us by others. This will certainly be in the reading rotation and I will refer to it often when I realize I lost my way. A definite must own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jerilyn

    Well thought out. I read self help books to better understand myself but also to better understand and help others through tough times. This book did both for m. Thank you!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    3.5 stars really, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. 3.5 stars really, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Irene Conlan

    I must admit that when I read the title of Brenner's The End of Self Help, I clenched my teeth a bit and prepared myself for a "battle of wits" wondering if this heralded the end of The Self Improvement Blog and reacting like a mother whose child was about to be attacked by a bear. But there's no contest here and I wholeheartedly encourage you to read this book. Why? Because it will set you free, that's why. Isn't that what we all want? Freedom from what? Only you know the entanglements that hol I must admit that when I read the title of Brenner's The End of Self Help, I clenched my teeth a bit and prepared myself for a "battle of wits" wondering if this heralded the end of The Self Improvement Blog and reacting like a mother whose child was about to be attacked by a bear. But there's no contest here and I wholeheartedly encourage you to read this book. Why? Because it will set you free, that's why. Isn't that what we all want? Freedom from what? Only you know the entanglements that hold you back. Only you know what it is that causes you to suffer. Only you know your own story intimately. Brenner gives us a refreshing new approach to looking at ourselves. Where general psychiatry looks at "what's wrong with you" (they have the DSM filled with diagnoses), and positive psychology looks at "what's right with you," Brenner looks at you from the perspective of "you are whole right now." Brenner walks you through the recognition of your own wholeness. Not only does she give you clear direction in the book but she also has on her website guided meditations and videos that fill in any gaps and engage your other senses in the endeavor.At the end of each chapter she has a set of "Explorations that bring the lesson home and makes it yours. She has done everything she can do to help you discover your own wholeness and now it's your turn. I'm not saying this is an easy trip. Brenner invites those who have a "burning desire" to know the truth to do this work, and she asks for openness and awareness which are rare commodities for some of us. It is a moment by moment job of feeling what you feel and being aware of those feelings at a deep level. Guiding you through the process of remembering who you really are she states, "... you’ll be liberated. You’ll find exactly what you thought you were missing. It’s been here all along—you: boundless, exquisitely fresh, unendingly fulfilled." Who should read this book? Anybody who has an interest in self help and/or self improvement. Those who wonder what the "oneness" talked about in quantum physics looks like in daily living And anyone who wants to be free of the subtle and sometimes not so subtle encumbrances that keep us from being truly free. But take note. This is not a book to be read. It is a book to be consumed, digested and lived. Beware, this book could change your life and empty the book store shelves that are marked "Self Help."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anne Martin

    I've read this book slowly, shaking my head a lot of times. After a while, I thought shaking my head must be a body response I should get rid of and tried to close my eyes and feel he being overcome me. It did not work. When I went back to reading, I shook my head again. In 200 pages, the author tells us to be happy and not let the small imperfections of our lives affect you. I totally agree. Except that many of those small problems have to be dealt with in a practical matter. If your sink is ful I've read this book slowly, shaking my head a lot of times. After a while, I thought shaking my head must be a body response I should get rid of and tried to close my eyes and feel he being overcome me. It did not work. When I went back to reading, I shook my head again. In 200 pages, the author tells us to be happy and not let the small imperfections of our lives affect you. I totally agree. Except that many of those small problems have to be dealt with in a practical matter. If your sink is full of dirty dishes, you may meditate in front of them, but someone has to clean them. And that is an example of something you can fix in half an hour! Lots of things you don't like but have to do take longer. What about the big bumps in life? how can we cope better with them? I did not see a line about them. Death, disease, real financial trouble... The only way I know is rely on people close to you, don't worry too much and try to get through it. Time will take some of the roughest parts away. But feel the happiness? I'm sorry, I am not and will not be able to do that. How old is the author? I thought she sounded like a recent graduate kid, discovering real life, getting married, having better relationships with her parents, dropping some (college?) friendships. Yes, very much in the new adult class of age from an upper middle class family. Although she says she has been working for 25 years... I never used self help books, because if they did help, you would know it.You would have only a few of them and not a hundred new one each week. I'm not worried too much about appearances, nor about small social glitches. I have learned a long time ago many things are not about me, and if people look upset and gloom it is mostly not my fault. I even accept I am not able to change many hings and try to deal with the way the world is with a shrug. Up to a point. I'm mad people join ISIS, I'm mad kids suffer from hunger, animals are hurt and pain exists. I don't have to think of it all the time and I don't. But sometimes, you must think outside your belly button, no? Otherwise, the world could even be worse.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jef

    extremely grateful for this book! it offers practical tips, ideas about letting go of the notion of separate identities between the body and the ego. opens up a whole bunch of possibilities and a book that although not offering the "solution", helps you find your own answers extremely grateful for this book! it offers practical tips, ideas about letting go of the notion of separate identities between the body and the ego. opens up a whole bunch of possibilities and a book that although not offering the "solution", helps you find your own answers

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen Sherwood

    Repetitive drivel. I could barely follow the thread of thought, each sentence being a cyclical repetition of some abstract concept, that ultimately made no sense. A self-help book that markets itself as not a self-help book. Authentic much?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Best Indie Book Award

    Winner of the Best Indie Book Award!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ayesha Charlton

  14. 4 out of 5

    Royale

  15. 5 out of 5

    Madhu

  16. 4 out of 5

    mark cheyne

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bella Mahaya Carter

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linden Priest

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pam O'Leary

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dianna

  22. 4 out of 5

    Frank Healy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Reynolds

  24. 4 out of 5

    Deloris Moore

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nina Banks

  26. 5 out of 5

    Clegnet

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Tolley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paola Melecchi

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ikraam Ghoor

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen Podany

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