I have mixed feelings about this book (Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein), but all in all, I’m glad to have it.
First, I think the title may be misleading. Its content is not about what most people think of as miracles.
According to the Oxford dictionary, a miracle is “A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency. The miracle of rising from the grave.”
But just so you can see the contrast, the author says you’ll experience ” … positive inner and outer shifts. Each shift is a miracle.”
She includes helpful quotes from A Course in Miracles (which IS about miracles IMHO, although also not as defined by the Oxford dictionary). However, taken out of context and standalone they don’t have the same effect as when you’re actually a student of the course.
So while I do think that calling what she offers in this book “miracles” is an extreme overstatement, the subtitle is very much in line with what it offers: less stress, more flow, and finding your true purpose (although there’s not much directly about purpose).
I didn’t find this book to be really profound or deep or even radical if that’s what you’re looking for. But for what it is, I think it can be useful.
Most of the tools are related to working with energy. They seem subtle, yet because they work at a deeper level, they can have more impact and their effects can be expansive.
I think for the mainstream it might be a nice, gentle lead-in to acknowledging the idea that energy itself is something to be considered and worked with and played with and that we can take advantage of our knowledge and use of in our everyday lives, in practical terms. That it’s not just a far-out woo-woo kind of idea.
Included are a lot of tools that can help physiologically with moods and “raising vibes”.
It depends on where you are with being exposed to things like this, but majority of these tools I’ve seen or heard of before. They include practices such as smile, hug someone, use a God box, be willing to say “no”, and focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Many are the kinds of tools you can find on the internet. Just search on a term and find them all over on blogs. Even so, it is nice to have these all together in a book.
And many I have NOT seen before.
She does give you crash-courses in kinesiology, tapping, yoga nidra (complete with a downloadable audio but it’s very short), kundalini yoga, some guided meditations and meditation techniques.
NOTE: My disappointment at the yoga nidra audio made me appreciate even more the wonderful yoga nidra CD I have and very much enjoy. It’s Yoga Nidra Cat Naps by Debbie Jensen-Grubb (also available on Amazon), and I highly recommend it! (FYI, yoga nidra is a specific type of guided meditation where just 1 hour equals about 4 hours of sleep. It’s amazing.)
I appreciate that she backs up a lot of what she says with data and also has quite a few references to other resources.
She makes her own related resources available to you — these are mainly how-to’s and audio versions of exercises — but it turns out that very few of the downloads are free and there’s one video that can be watched online but not downloaded.
Most of the videos she mentions are accessed via a package you can buy from her site.
Time Investment and Effectiveness
Many of these tools take a decent amount of time/focus to do them, so you’ll need to make a commitment and be willing to invest some time.
Any one may affect you in a unique way such that it can make a big and positive difference. For example, one is about introspection, getting things on paper and looking at things that you might not typically take the time to make a note of and decide to address. Another one encourages you to feel your feelings directly; to go through the process of fully feeling them and allowing them to pass through you as you watch and experience them.
She often explores reasons why you might have difficulty following through with some of these, which helps give you some insights into your own self.
How to Use the Book
Most of the tools are not just ideas or concepts but practices or exercises. Toward the end she encourages you to choose one to practice for 40 days, for a lasting change.
I believe in adding up subtle shifts. I also believe in repetition. There’s no need to push, control, or force anything to happen. Trust that real change occurs subtly over time.
She also gives what she calls quick exercises to give you relief. Many are related to certain issues you might experience infrequently, and it seems to me that those are tools you would NOT practice regularly.
But because this book addresses an odd assortment of topics — and some to use regularly and some to give quick relief — I think it might be a little hard to use.
I think it could benefit a lot from an index. Not all the tool names are descriptive of all that they address. It would be great to be able to look up whichever tools are relevant to whatever topic you want to work with.
A few of the index references could be (for example): indecision, forgiveness, prayer(s), relationship, accessing intuition, fear, abundance, synchronicity, sleep.
On the other hand, if you want to play with trust, intuition, or guidance (also topics of several of the tools), then take some of her suggestions to heart:
This book is not designed for you to do all at once. It’s a self-study curriculum. Trust your intuition and let your inner voice lead you to the exercises that are best for you at this time.
Whenever you’re stuck, open the book to any page and trust that your inner guide has led you to the perfect exercise.
Ultimately, it seems to me this book can help you live more consciously, resulting in less stress and more flow. That is, if you’re willing to use the tools!
Note: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes and this review reflects my honest evaluation.
[All quotes from Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein, except where noted.]