Book of the Month Pick- March

Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart

“We’re all going to get hurt. That’s just the way it is. But here’s the trick about the things that hurt us and cause us pain- they also serve an amazing purpose. When our hearts are wounded that’s when they open. We grow through pain. We grow through difficult situations. That’s why you have to embrace each and every difficult thing in your life. I feel sorry for people who have no  problems. Who never have to go through anything difficult. They miss out on the gift. They miss out on the magic.”

I just finished this book and wow! What a read. 1aI’ll admit that I was hesitant to start this book, since it’s written by a neurosurgeon, so I expected it to be entirely bland, scientific, and difficult to get through. I was so very wrong.

 This book reads like a novel, with suspense and details and plot development. I was completely enthralled through the first chapter especially. Doty is a surprisingly gifted writer (a neurosurgeon and a writer? I’m jealous!).

Centered around his rough upbringing with an alcoholic father and a mother with depression, Into the Magic Shop delves into Doty’s time spent with a woman inside of a local store. This woman teaches him some important life lessons that are centered around calming the body and the mind, and training yourself to visualize your future.

Really, these are concepts we’ve all heard before. It’s basically the principles of yoga and the essence of mindfulness and Buddhism. But these concepts are presented in such a unique way in this book that I found myself viewing things in a totally different light.

Doty shares stories about his time in the operating room. He performs these intense, life-or-death surgeries under extreme pressure. He’s learned to calm his body and mind in order to perform effectively.

So lately I’ve been working on noticing when my body reacts to things- throat tightening, heart quickening and clenching- and visualizing those areas relaxing. I’ll visualize my chest expanding. I’ll visualize the muscles around my heart softening. And it makes such a huge difference in my anxiety to simply take a few moments to tune in and relax. It sounds so simple but if we don’t remind ourselves, it’s easy to stay in a place of reactivity.

Anyway! I definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants a great read. Download it to your Kindle or grab the paperback, they’re both reasonably priced!

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