Key concepts of the book
In this book by Grant Soosalu, creator of the mBraining method, we find a series of explorations and tools to awaken the wiser part of ourselves, the part that allows us to grow and evolve. Grant shares ideas, strategies and techniques for loving ourselves and our lives more fully and fulfillingly. His reflections are rooted in both the most modern neuroscience and the most ancient spiritual traditions; the techniques and practices he suggests are borrowed from mBraining, Positive Psychology, and NLP. This is a really simple text, but, in its simplicity, truly deep and powerful. What this book gives us is the possibility to see our life from a new perspective, more loving, authentic and free from conditioning and from that voice, sometimes fierce, of our inner critic, always ready to point the finger; by reading “Loving your Life” we therefore have the opportunity to discover how to enhance our life and how to take it to new levels of meaning and purpose, simply by loving it a little more. What Grant emphasizes, in fact, is that love is not a thing, a container or an object, but a verb, a process. Therefore also a competence that we can develop and improve. Thanks to practice, we can learn to do it better, to love ourselves and our lives more! So, on the one hand it acts as a guide, providing reflections and opening windows of awareness, on the other hand it is a tool that anyone can use as a source of exercises to practice this competence. But is it really possible to learn to love oneself more? According to Grant, of course, it is, and in support of this conviction he tells us how in the field of Neuroscience it has been discovered that our brain has neural plasticity, i.e., the brain, when it thinks, modifies its structure, and this does not happen only in the first years of life, but during our entire lifespan. This means that when we explore or shape new ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and understandings, we can change the structure of our brains, thereby changing our habits and, essentially, changing our lives. Through a guided learning process, we can develop neural plasticity that produces changes in synaptic connections and leads to the formation of new neural connections. Among the topics covered are the right to make mistakes, forgiveness, the value of flexibility and the possibility of freeing oneself from the need to always be right or to be perfect; moreover, it is stressed how important it is to continuously learn new things in order to evolve and give oneself the opportunity to express the best of oneself. A relevant part is occupied by emotions, it talks about the possibility that we have to choose to transform those feelings that generate in us more fatigue, such as anger, sadness and fear, to prevent them from dominating our lives and not allow us to evolve as human beings and to manifest the highest expressions of creativity, compassion and courage. The author speaks directly to us by inviting us to take specific actions that allow us to get in touch with feelings of gratitude and appreciation for ourselves that cause us to love ourselves and our lives more.
Quotes from the book
Perfection doesn’t exist in the world. Nothing is ever perfect. Focusing on perfection can create a lot of anger, frustration and negativity. A need for perfection can be a recipe for disappointment. […] Instead, a much more useful focus is on Excellence. Excellence implies fitness for purpose. It’s about something being excellent for its intended outcome. Even if it’s not perfect, it can still be excellent for what you want to do or have with it
As signals, anger and fear of course, can be useful emotions. They are part of the Autonomic Nervous System’s fight and flight response. You can use them as signals that you need to sort things out. If you are feeling anger or fear toward something or someone, then it is time to examine yourself and your feelings to determine what is motivating that angering and fearing
By taking a moment to breath in a balanced way, to bring yourself back thereby to Autonomic balance and from there to decide what feeling you want to respond with, you allow yourself to know that you truly can choose how you feel
So, in order to be deeply and wisely creative in how you do your “human becoming”, in how you author an enchanting and delightful self-ing, you need to start from a base of self-acceptance. You need to bring compassion to yourself, to love yourself and nurture and support yourself
Thought is creative. It literally changes the structure of the neural network that is doing the thinking. So by thinking, feeling and acting creatively you create the brain structures that support the skills of creativity-ing
Allow yourself to think more freely. With compassion, creativity and courage make your life a journey of discovery by continuously exploring the maps of the world you are using to guide your life’s journey.
Book Structure & Contents
After a brief introduction in which the principles that guide the text are explained, 30 chapters follow, each one dedicated to a theme to be explored, and also to some suggestions or specific exercises aimed at training the capacity to love one’s life in a more authentic way. A final appendix provides some insights related to the theories on which reflections and experimentation are based. The book can be read in order, cover to cover, but it was originally intended to be a “coffee-table book,” a book to keep in the living room and dip into every now and then to explore, enjoying one paragraph at a time without necessarily following the sequential order of the chapters. A sort of “healthy snack” for the mind and soul, designed then to allow the reader to scroll through the table of contents and find what resonates most with him or her at the moment and then enjoy learning specific ideas, strategies and ways to love one’s life more wonderfully through that specific filter or lens. The theoretical foundations on which reflections and exercises are based are NLP, Positive Psychology, and mBIT, an acronym that stands for “multiple brains technique”, a new and fascinating method of coaching, leadership and personal evolution that is based on the recent discovery, in neuroscience, that we have complex neural networks, functional and adaptive (so multiple actual brains), in the region of the heart and the gastro-intestinal tract. These brains have their own areas of expertise and specialization, which explains why we all perceive the importance of visceral instinct or deep intuition in our lives, such as how our hearts represent a source of fundamental intuitive intelligence related to feeling and emotions. Research in the field of mBIT has found that wise decisions require the alignment of our multiple brains (head, heart, and gut) and that if we don’t tap into the intuitive intelligence of heart and gut, our decisions and their outcomes can lead to serious consequences for our health, happiness, and quality of life. A very interesting aspect on which the author dwells, is the nominalization of verbs: Grant underlines how words such as anger, fear, forgiveness, love, etc., are actually nouns derived from verbs and therefore refer to a process rather than an object; in this, English helps a lot through the suffix -ing, widely used in the text to indicate and underline every time a reference is made to a process, to something in progress and in continuous change.
In times when the speed of change has an exponential curve and when the lives we lead are increasingly hectic and conditioned, pausing to reflect on how much our lives are in line with who we really are and focusing on ourselves, on our automatisms, and reflecting on the possibility of doing something different to make our lives more full and fulfilling, is a great opportunity; with simple tools, first of all the breath, which I call our superpower, the author gives us the opportunity to listen to ourselves, to look inside and ground ourselves. The style of this text is very simple and straightforward, at times even naive, but that is precisely its value and its goal: to go straight to the heart and to accompany the reader to open him or her up to parts of themselves that can thus be more fully supported and loved. It is like a beacon to be used to illuminate aspects of self-acceptance, self-affirmation, self-fulfillment, and the creation of a deep and generative “self.” At the same time, it provides us with some important teachings on how our mind and body work, presenting some aspects of the recent innovations in the field of mBIT (Multiple Brain Integration Technique), Positive Psychology and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming); different themes and different tools, each of which would perhaps deserve a more in-depth analysis, but which represent a first step in a path of awareness that each of us can take to be able to appreciate ourselves more and feel more in harmony with our lives.