Do you ever feel like a book has chosen you rather than you choosing it? This might sound strange but I do believe that resources (books, people, articles) come to us exactly when we need it and this was the case with Gabrielle Bernstein’s Add More Ing to Your Life. I first read this gem about three years ago and recently it started calling me to share its most valuable lessons.
As Gabrielle explains in the introduction, the purpose of the book is to help you shine light on the darker areas of life and create positive change. Each chapter focuses on a separate issue and provides step-by-step guidance on how to apply the -ing Equation to effect change within that issue. “-Ing” means “inner guidance”. -Ing is the voice inside of you that screams intuitive loving thoughts and says “bug off” to fear.
Below, I’ve outlined key passages (that which resonated most with me and I believe could be useful to you) from each chapter. By all means, don’t use this as a substitute for buying the book because it’s truly worth getting your own copy. Use this as an initial encounter with Gabby’s teachings if you don’t know her yet or simply to get a better idea of the path this book can put you on. Enjoy!
Chapter 1 | Feeling: Surrender then release
We all have experienced instances where we have buried feelings of hurt and pain instead of dealing with them head-on. Repressing feelings is the very thing that causes them to wreak havoc. If you don’t face your negative or painful feelings, you will remain stuck in the Ego’s getting over it stage and continue to evade your true healing. Resisting the pain causes more of it.
Chapter 2 | Forgiving: Set yourself free
With the slightest willingness, you will receive change. Today you have two choices where forgiveness is concerned. One, continue to be angry and miserable, or two, forgive, let go and be happy. Until you release past hurts through forgiveness, you won’t be able to create the change necessary for enjoying life in the present.
Chapter 3 | Balancing: bring serenity back
Our culture has nurtured our left brain’s rational, calculated abilities at the expense of our right brain’s intuition and creative capacities. The right brain is about intuition and inner guidance. It has no problem dealing with ambiguity and no need to control every outcome. In order to get your life in balance, you have to figure out how to balance the way you use your mind.
Chapter 4 | Mirroring: The Good, the bad and the ugly
The people and situations that tend to push our buttons the most are actually our best teachers. They serve as opportunities to uncover things about ourselves that are important for us to learn so that we can either heal a chasm within ourselves or recognize something positive about ourselves in order to nurture it and allow it to blossom.
Chapter 5 | Releasing romantic illusions
Romance is where the Ego can really take you down. For instance, the Ego’s voice can tell you that you are either not good enough for your partner, or that he or she isn’t good enough for you. Or, your ego can also tell you that your happiness lies in the arms of another. The Ego also uses your fears from the past to freak you out in the present.
Chapter 6 | Climbing: -ing your way to higher thoughts
Your thoughts create energy. When you think higher thoughts such as love, kindness and joy, your energy is stronger. When your thoughts are focused on low-level emotions such as sadness, fear or anger, your energy is weakened. Your thoughts not only affect your own energy. They transmute energy outward. Negative thoughts are toxic and send nasty vibrations out into the Universe (i.e. your work environment, family life, social circle, etc).
Chapter 7 | Stretching beyond the Ego’s backlash
Your Ego has been hanging out with you for so many years that eventually it’s the only voice you hear. The Ego stuffs you into a box where you only feel safe living in fear and playing small. Therefore, whenever you step outside the box and shine light on the darkness (by doing personal development work for example), the Ego freaks out and amps up its game (bringing back old fears, creating guilt or attack towards yourself or others). When your ego starts acting up, there are ways to stretch beyond it (more on this in the book).
Chapter 8 | Quantum shifting
Quantum shifts are about deciding who you want to be and then going for it. The quantum shift requires an open mind and a deep desire to release the chains of the past. Key question: Is who you want to be much different from who you are today?
Chapter 9 | Focusing: Tuning your energy to a positive frequency
Unfocused use of energy attracts unfocused outcomes (i.e. not getting what you truly want). The energy that is vibrating inside of you will bring similar energy to you. Identifying with fear talk (what your ego tells you) is what has deprived you of working with your inner source of power. Negative thoughts block your energy. When energy is blocked it causes mental, spiritual and physical stagnation.
Chapter 10 | Knowing the Universe has your back
There is a vast difference between “wishing” and “knowing”. When you wish for something, your ego believes you can control the outcome. Behind a wish is a sense of need which leads to a grasping type of energy. A wish can be perceived as a pipe dream that might come true. When you are in a state of knowing, you are relaxed and your energy vibrates at a positive frequency. Time becomes irrelevant because you’re enjoying the moment and have faith in the future. Most importantly, you know that if your exact desire does not show up, it’s because the Universal map has a detour that leads to something better.
Chapter 11 | Manifesting: Co-create with the Universe
Manifestation is the outward result of an inward intention. The process of manifesting your desires into form requires activating your energy with powerfully focused thoughts and precise vision. The 3 major elements of the Manifesting Equitation are: focusing, releasing and knowing (i.e. being patient!).
Chapter 12 | Add More Ing to Your Life
The key to happiness is the decision to be happy. You can choose to see the light over the ego’s darkness. Regardless of your life’s circumstances, there is always a loving view open to you. Make a choice to release the ego and stop playing small. Humbly laugh at the ego’s silly stories. And ask for help to release your fearful mind.
I hope this glimpse into Add More Ing to Your Life has inspired you. It truly is a great read and it was one of the books that helped me on my journey of personal growth, self discovery and self love. Gabrielle has written three other amazing books that I have also read and loved: Spirit Junkie, May Cause Miracles and Miracles Now (read my review).
What are your favourite spiritual or personal development books? Share them below!
Image source: gabbybtv.com