Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra

Many people make New Year's Resolutions to help motivate them into making positive changes in their lives. Sometimes all that is needed is a changed point-of-view to see a situation in a different light. Other times a breakthrough is needed in order to get out of a negative thought pattern and move forward. Bestselling author and motivational speaker Deepak Chopra's books often challenge the reader to experience breakthroughs in thinking in order to improve quality of life. His latest book is no different in this regard. Dr. Chopra presents the concept that the human physical body is a constantly changing collection of cells, and that only by adding the element of our awareness, energy, or soul do we truly exist. Dr. Chopra has received numerous accolades as a motivational, spiritual speaker, but sometimes deciphering his message from his books can prove to be difficult, and sometimes confusing.

In his latest book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, Dr. Chopra tries to simplify his message. The first section of the book tries to get the reader to accept a different way of viewing the physical body and the physical world itself. He suggests that the real purpose of the human body is to join the visible and invisible realms by expressing intelligence, creativity, truth, love, and beauty. By the visible realm he means the physical world, and by invisible realm he refers to that energy or higher power, or the concept of our soul that we cannot physically see or touch.

One fascinating idea that Dr. Chopra presents is that our genes respond to our fears, relationships, habits, and environment. He shows that recent research is being done to show how positive lifestyle changes have been shown to alter genes associated with heart disease, inflammation, and even cancer. Practices such as Hatha Yoga, meditation, and social support of friends and family have already been seen as good preventative steps to take for good health. Now, Dr. Chopra shows that adopting these measures may stop or even reverse serious illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol, on a genetic level.

Dr. Chopra presents a new view for our physical world around us as well. He contends that a major complaint of most people of the modern world is a lack of time when that is really not the true problem. He suggests the real problem is that chaos and unpredictability throw your timing or rhythm off, and cause stress, disorder, confusion, accidents, sickness, and chaos in your life. The simple solution he suggests is to "make time your ally" by keeping regular hours, avoiding drastic changes in diet and activity, reducing distractions, and basically simplifying your life using his many suggestions. Each suggestion is very simply stated but could be difficult to implement, and therein lies the challenge. For example, he suggests that we should not multitask, but rather pay attention to one thing at a time, and focus on the moment. We are told to "put our house and finances in order, avoid high-risk situations, stay within your comfort zone, and become emotionally resilient." Each one of those tasks can be a huge challenge but ultimately will lead to a less-hurried, more peaceful flow of energy in your life. Eventually, the goal is to "live your life as if you have all the time in the world."

The second half of the book is the actual 'self-help' section that includes many practical ideas for a more fulfilling life. Dr. Chopra illustrates many of his points through people's life stories. The major idea to 'resurrect' the soul seems to be to lead a life that is more in harmony with the world around you so that you are more at peace, and ultimately more happy. Some of the suggestions include getting out of bad habits, letting go of the notion of being 'right' all the time, being merciful, available, and generous so that your soul will evolve through you.

The book wraps up by presenting the ten steps to wholeness that connect your mind, body, and soul. The ideas are presented with great insight and encourage the reader to commit to a deeper awareness, focus on relationships instead of consumption, and to embrace every day as a new world. Many of Dr. Chopra's books are meant to give advice on how to have a more peaceful and rewarding life. In this book his ideas are presented in a simple format, with plenty of anecdotes for illustrating the points, and surely will make this book another bestseller.

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