Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beyond Human: Claiming the Power and Magic of Your Limitless Self

By Jaden Rose Phoenix
Seattle, Cherryhurst Press, 2011
162 pages     Spiritual

I thought as I began reading Beyond Human: Claiming the Power and Magic of Your Limitless Self that I was moving out into uncharted territory yet again. What I found, however, was that I understood much of what Jaden Rose Phoenix was discussing, but just not with the words she was using. When I transposed her “new age-y” terminology into the language of Christian spirituality, I kept up with her concepts and vocabulary. And I found much to value in this basic guide to mindfulness and soulfulness.

Phoenix calls herself an alchemist and spiritual healer. Beyond Human is an explanation of her techniques for moving beyond pain, fear, illness, and spiritual discomfort to a newer, higher plane where contentment—may we even say joy—is possible. She asks the question: “How does an ordinary person come into great personal power by expanding their consciousness?” The first section of the book consists of explanations and exercises to help the reader come to a greater understanding of self in order to be able to move beyond what she calls the “3-D world.” The second section of the book applies these new-found techniques to the common problems that plague the seeker—health, money, and love.

The exercises she outlines in the first section are very useful. I have used many of these same techniques in my own life and in the spiritual growth classes I teach, Companions in Christ. I especially liked a technique she uses to move her clients from their “head space” to their “heart space.” I practiced this technique several times as I was reading the book, and I will use it with my own class. 

I also agreed with her that “1) fear is an illusion and 2) that fear is not a valid excuse.” She proposes several exercises for getting the mind out of the fear mode and into the heart mode where the fear doesn’t operate. She suggests that if we follow our “guides,” we will move beyond our fears and “small self-ego” and move into the “heart space of awareness” where we can understand and act on the guidance we are being offered. One reviewer suggested that she explains “techniques to make positive shifts away from our control-freak-expectation oriented brain barriers.” 

I appreciated that she understands that people respond to her suggestions in different ways, and that what she is proposing may work differently with each individual. When the reader uses her techniques and exercises, they will find the peace and joy they seek, but it will not necessarily be what they were expecting at the outset, nor will the outcome be what Phoenix might have experienced. It is all about openness and letting go.

She does use some vocabulary that may be beyond the novice reader. I was confused by her calling herself an alchemist. I tried to find a definition of what a modern alchemist was, immersed as I am in Merlin the Magician. I didn’t find an adequate definition. A better understanding of that concept might have been helpful. Also, she speaks frequently about her left-brained self. I understood what she meant because of my experience as an educator utilizing this concept in education. (By the way, as if you haven’t gathered by now, I am very right brained!) I do know from experience that people mix-up the concept of left and right brained. A brief explanation might have helped here as well.

She closes the book thus: “Expanding our consciousness brings us into awareness of our full being. As you practice the exercises in this book, your awareness will become fluid and flexible. Eventually, you will be easily living (and even thinking) from your heart-space. As a result, you will experience a different kind of peace that comes from a connection with your whole being and whole awareness. Life is so much more immediate when you live from your heart rather than your head.”

I received this book from the publicist. I will take it to my step-daughter when we go to visit her next month. I know that she will find the exercises practical for her own use as well as for her clients.

Jaden Rose Phoenix’s website: Doesn’t she have a marvelous name!
You might also want to read my review of Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss, a book which delves deeper into a seeker's guides.

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