Caroline A. LeBlanc from Adams, New York , October 31, 1999
"Happiness is good for the immune system"
Reeves gives us a map for finding the "happiness that is good for the immune system." In a fundamental way this book is for both men and women since men must also become familiar with the Feminine Inutition that dwells in all matter. By weaving neuro-immunological and psycho-spiritual theory with practical insights and exercises she has created a substantive user's guide for what she calls SPONTANEOUS CONTEMPLATIVE MOVEMENT (SCM). SCM IS "A NON-INTERPRETIVE WAY TO HONOR THE INTERACTIVE RELAITONSHIP BETWEEN THE CONSCIOUS AND UNCONSCIOUS IN THE BODY...IT EVOKES INSIGHTS INTO THE NEGLECTED BUT EVER-PRESENT KNOWING THAT WE ALL HAVE"-that is our EMBODIED INTUITION. "Your body's natural impulses will inevitably guide you toward the intuitive resolution that will help you untangle the emotion that has you in its grip. Don't bother with interpretation. A good keen intellect is only an impediment here. You can assassinate bodymind's wisdom by attempting to interpret logically what is happening. The natural rhythms are all the interpretation you'll need. Deep sighs, bowel motility with soft rumblings and the breaking of wind, a sense of relaxation are but a few of the many ways you'll begin to recognize your embodied sense of 'Yes!'" Pretty earthy work! Like any apparently simple contemplative or meditative process, SCM demands continuous, devoted attention, embracing an often circuitous route. The road begins with a desire to reconnect to our body wisdom (Ch 1), learning to read the map (Ch 2), and speak the language of the body (Ch 4). On the way we encounter and relate to ignored aspects of our inner life such as memories, demons, self-betrayals (Ch6) and the infamous Loathly Lady (Ch7). The path is not free of discomfort though it is imbued with the pleasure of knowing that one is on a journey to "authenticity, which breeds security, self-confidence, and contentment." The process of SCM consists of becoming aware of the remarkably dreamlike reactions we continually have to particular occurences, thoughts, images, feelings or emotional states. Through a process of concentrated and contemplative attention, that reaction is allowed to express itself through whatever large or small physical sensations, movements and/or sounds that follow. Once the expression has run its course it is helpful to give it a more intentional, descriptive form through writing, drawing or speaking the story of its energy and associated memories. Then live as consciously as possible and see how your living has shifted. Body knows our deepest needs and will tell us if we choose to listen. "Beneath every mood, each symptom, dream image or feeling lies some unclaimed remnant of the true self, the original and as yet undiscovered, soul-filled Self." Too often we ignore or pervert psyche's messages in our pursuit of ego's desire. Eventually we experience symptoms-big or small, emotional, spiritual or physical-and we realize it may benefit us to listen. SCM is an invitation that welcomes rather than resists the knowing that is EMBODIED INTUITION. It is an invitation to cherish and attend to body as much as we cherish and attend to mind and spirit, and by so doing, the soul and spirit we think and talk about will have a more loving and conscious container. We will feel ensouled and embodied in a new way. It is an invitation we ignore at our own peril. When answered it promises great riches-including the "happiness (that) is good for the immune system."
George Williams,PhD from Santa Cruz, CA , October 31, 1999
Groundbreaking body-mind material written for men and women
The reader is at once engaged and intrigued by this powefully moving coceptualization of the body-mind in relationship to the feminine. While the personal disclosures are interesting the academic and scientific well underpinnings are well grounded in logic-even when approaching the whispy topic of intuition. Dr. Reeves has found a nerve that needs to be stimulated for both men and women. A good read which could also serve as one's spiritual reading for the day. A book to be relished not hurried and, of course, returned to as needed.
Jeanne Shaw, Ph.D. from Atlanta, GA , October 15, 1999
A practical and much needed guide for women
A gripping read, it is hard to tear away from a book that helps women regain trust in our own intuitive bodies for the first time in over 700 years. Both the author and her writing are grounded in scientific search and spiritually rooted. In addition, a poetic rendering of practical exercises of a psychological, physical, and spiritual nature is a pleasure to read and easy to carry out. For women who are skeptical about the wisdom of our bodies (as we have been trained to be since childhood), this book is an easy read. I heartily recommend it to women and the men who want to understand us.
VergeH@aol.com from California , September 21, 1999
An illuminating and transforming guide for women.
Paula Reeves superbly articulates and weaves together the embodied cultural, theoretical and experiential aspects of intuition, the language of the bodymind. She shares exercises and examples from her life and clinical practice which illumine and inspire. This book is a useful map for any woman who is finding her way through the territory of her own traumas, longing, and healing. As a psychotherapist and breast cancer survivor, I highly recommend this book, for it teaches one to listen to the langu age of one's symptoms and attitudes. Reeves shows us how to embrace the rejected parts of ourselves where we are sure to find many stories of love, grief, courage and wisdom that live in our cells, waiting to be told.
A reader from Tennessee , September 4, 1999
I found this book as appropriate for men as for women
I felt that for the first time an author has been able to address an issue as important as body wisdom in a practical and down to earth "real" fashion. Dr. Reeves' approach is both scientifically grounded and spiritually meaningful. I would encourage her, when she writes her next book, to include men in a more direct fashion. Meanwhile, I will continue to recommend this book to both my male and female friends. Thanks for making this forum available.
From Booklist , June 1, 1999
Reeves is a therapist and a pioneer in applied psychoneuroimmunology, the "study of the biochemical relationship between the mind and body." She is also a woman who learned at an early age to trust her intuition, the internal signals about what is best for her and what direction to take in life. Reeves applies both her scientific expertise and her intuition in listening to client's dreams and helping them utilize those messages in their lives. She maintains that many women suffer health problems because they've begun to mistrust their intuition in a misguided effort to avoid the stereotype of the woman who is more emotional than rational. All of us have intuition, Reeves maintains, but we don't all have the same capacity to use it. She explores how instinct, emotions, and intuition work together; how intuition works; and how people can use it to be in tune with their bodies, reduce stress, and promote health. Readers particularly interested in new age philosophies may enjoy this book. Vanessa Bush
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