This was a little different to my usual reads. Not only is The Power of Now non-fiction, its description as ‘A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ wouldn’t be might first choice. However, my Dad had recommended it, selling it as the perfect tool to remain grounded and centred in busy London, as I had been feeling a little overwhelmed.
When I started reading, I was a little skeptical. I’ve always believed in the power of words but, as a serial stress-head, I didn’t really believe that it could change my way of thinking. How I was wrong.
The most significant thing about The Power of Now is that Tolle’s advice is not pushy or overbearing. His ideas aren’t far-fetched and difficult to get your head around. His guidance isn’t cringeworthy or over-the-top. Instead of all these negative adjectives I had associated with ‘spiritual enlightenment’ I found what Tolle was saying to be entirely authentic and reasonable.
Rather than pushing readers to try new, out-there mind management techniques, Tolle simply reminds readers of what they already know about their mind, but might not have taken time to notice. And it is this theme of observance that runs throughout the entirety of The Power of Now, as well as acceptance of what you observe.
I suppose my skepticism lied in my expectation of reading techniques to block negative emotions and prevent them from manifesting. In reality, this book argues the importance of recognising the inevitability of these feelings, but changing how we react to them, which is a much more manageable task.
As I was reading, I found myself folding over pages for later reference- something I would never usually do. However, what I was most surprising to me was that, without even really realising, I found following Tolle’s advice in my everyday life. It was only at the end of a long day that I realised the way I had been reacting to things that would usually upset me, I had developed a new way of dealing with situations.
I’m usually eager to lend my favourite books to friends, but I feel incredibly protective over this one. I want to keep hold of it for when I might need it next. It might not be a page-turner, but it doesn’t need to be. You could open this book at any point and still take something useful from the words on the page.
Everyone should read The Power of Now– even if you’re in doubt over the effectiveness of self-help books. Whilst I might not be converted to believing in spirituality, Tolle has reminded me of the sheer power of the human mind and that we can take control of it, if we approach it in the right way.