Be Wise Now: A Guide to Conscious Living
by Gael McCool

"You can be wise now, despite whatever difficulty is presenting itself, by consciously engaging and integrating the wisdom that is already alive within you."

After a traumatic experience in her life, the author took exception to the famous quote by Descartes, "I think, therefore I am." This resulted in her creating a multi-dimensional model of self: fifteen parts used as interrelated filters through which to experience the world. These filters are explained in-depth, each in a separate chapter of this 440-page self-help book.

The author discusses the "intellectual self" and points out that worldviews differ for various countries, cultures, and religions. For example, in the U.S. and Canada, people filter their lives with an individualistic worldview versus Japan or Korea, where this filter focuses on family and community. The author draws wisdom for her book from other cultures and religions. McCool references her Native American elders and a Buddhist text that rescued her troubled younger self. Likewise, she quotes Americans such as Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Soul is not a function but the illuminated presence that animates all functioning."

The relevant information in the third chapter about the "survival self" can serve as a wake-up call regarding problems people face that result from being out of alignment. A person may feel justified based on a past life event and proceed past socially-accepted responses into a radical survival mode. Unfortunately, this type of reaction to dangerous circumstances could lead to a person's demise rather than safety. In the first chapter, "The Deeper Story of your Soul," the conscience shows up. The author claims the conscience also keeps one accountable and safe. Some readers will be interested in the chapter on the "dreaming self," where she ties various dream types and their warnings into her multi-dimensional approach. McCool candidly blankets her book between glimpses of her own life trauma, which could have ended in suicide. She points out that if she had listened to the warning in the chapter concerning the "intuitive self," she could have avoided being brutally assaulted by someone she didn't know asking for help. She claims that intuition can be a lifesaver if you respond.

Besides heartfelt and personal knowledge of her subject, McCool has thirty-five years of experience in the counseling industry. She is a coach, teacher, and registered clinical counseling hypnotherapist. Her sharing of client case studies help illustrate her topics. As a professional, she explains what is happening within the brain and nerves, addressing the timelines for development that apply to these fifteen self or shadow-self filters described in the book. With her vast experience, she has developed useful tools for gaining personal transformation, which are briefly introduced at the end of each chapter. For example, the author recommends that the reader set his or her top three goals for the next twelve months, applying the filter of the "intellectual self."

As an established communicator, McCool keeps her content up-to-date by incorporating current buzz words into earlier material. With five appendices, the author includes helpful resources to provide fuller explanations. Readers can also expect a companion workbook soon. That this book has won multiple awards will likely come as no surprise to its readers. It is also one of those books that will undoubtedly be referred to again and again by its owners.

A 2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award Montaigne Medal winner

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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