A Twelve-Step Journey to Self-Transformation
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What readers have to say about the book and some excerpts are below. First, however, for those who are asking about Mark, there are some things that most do not know but that are shared in a tribute. If interested in that, you may visit the February 20, 2010 posting at this link:
Thank you for your inquiries. Peace, Love, and Light, floyd
What Readers Are Saying about
A Twelve-Step Journey to SELF-Transformation
Dick B., author of 22 books on A.A. and the recovery process said of A Twelve-Step Journey to SELF-Transformation in a letter to Mark H. and Floyd H., "Yours is an interesting and challenging new addition to the point that sobriety or being dry is misery and that a change of the heart, of reliance, and of action is the ticket required for the 'abundant life'."
Karen M.: "I love the book. I'm using it with my clients."
Jane L.: "You amaze me, your talent, your gifts and your insight into the Truth and Living in the Present Moment. Love in Sobriety."
Fran E.: "I love the book and how clear, straight forward, and simple it is. As an additional tool, I think the book is great. I have already given two away."
Psychotherapist Marie Lachney, LPC, LMFT, MA, who uses the book with men's and women's groups said: "Since I began asking my clients to purchase a copy of this book and started using its format in my groups, I have witnessed them becoming more involved in their own healing process and gaining considerably more insight at a faster pace. They have been more willing to admit their role in their life circumstances and have expressed appreciation at the opportunity to work with the approach used in this particular book."
Psychotherapist Kathleen Cahill, LCSW, said: "I intend to give this wonderful book of hope and healing to those clients who are wanting to expand their own recovery."
Dr. Roger F. Maley, Professor Emeritus, former Head of the Department of Psychology, University of Houston said, "This book should be used by everyone seeking recovery and by everyone helping others who are seeking recovery."
Racheli C. "I think this book might revolutionize the way we start looking at sobriety as a whole!"
That effect seems to be happening. Parts of this book have been translated into seven foreign languages and people are using it to work the steps and to take other people through the steps not only across the U.S. but in Finland, Israel, Spain, Iceland, Mexico, Sweden, and Canada.
Other readers have expressed in various ways the following observations about the book:
After offering the readers an experience with the effects of working the steps, and after providing a guide for taking others through the steps to their own awakening, the book takes the intuitive reader to new levels of healing. The book can help bring the subconscious forces that drive us up to the surface level of consciousness, thus dis-empowering those negative forces that allow us to say one thing but do the opposite of what we intend. The book helps shift us from living under the influence of the Great Delusions of the world and into a consciousness of The Great Reality. The book addresses with simplicity and with clarity the whole question of identity, and it contrasts the constructive True SELF with the destructive false selves and personas and roles that the culture assigns.
The book allows readers to enter a state where they can see the underlying forces that are driving us as well as the destructive personas that the Tenth and Eleventh Steps would free us from. This work therefore allows us to return to the original relationship by knowing Who We Really Are. It lets us shift from letting false identities serve as definitions of who we are and guides us through a SELF-Transformation where we are re-connected with Who We Really Are: the One True Self, the Unicity, that which is At-One (or in a state of At-one-ment).
SYNOPSIS OF A Twelve-Step Journey to SELF-Transformation is the true story of two men whose paths crossed and whose lives were changed forever after. Their story is a story of transitioning from a seemingly hopeless state of misery to reaching the state of peace in which they live today. It is a story of two men whose lives degenerated to a point where they were useless to themselves and others; where on the brightest day they could see only darkness; where the thought of no life seemed more appealing than the thought of living another day. From those depths of despair, they rose to the heights of joy and happiness. This is the story of their past that took them to that point, of their struggling against the odds of ever recovering from addiction, of the actions they took that changed their lives and subsequently impacted thousands of others, and of their coming out the other side of a long and dark tunnel to emerge into the bliss of living full, productive, and useful lives.
EXCERPT FROM A Twelve-Step Journey to SELF-Transformation
"The Man on the Couch"
The picture Mark presented while seated on the couch in a condominium in Denver, Colorado was in direct contrast to the conditions outside. Just beyond the door, the skies were a calm blue, the summertime sun felt warm to those walking beneath its rays, and both plants and people outside were blooming handsomely. Inside, by contrast, Mark was not calm and light. He was disturbed and dark. Rather than experiencing a sense of blooming and thriving, he felt as if he were shriveling up and dying. He could not see life blooming all about him, but he could see ending his own life.
The searing emotional and physical and mental anguish that had burned away his will to live was beyond belief. He should be happy, joyous, and free, sitting in a lovely condo in a lovely state on a lovely day. At forty-four years of age, he had been sober since age thirty-four. Having suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous alcoholism, surely with ten years of sobriety under his belt he could be nothing but happy, joyous and free. At least most so concluded, anyway; yet here he sat, depressed beyond belief, suffering a pain in every cell of his body with no job, no money, no prospects for a future, and totally immobilized. Mark at the adult age of forty-four, following all of his very best efforts for the past ten years, found himself unable to walk outside his condo because of his overwhelming pain and fear. He could not move out into the light; he could not experience the calm; and he certainly could not bloom.
This was not how his life was supposed to turn out. He had an advanced degree and goals and dreams and hopes, but now they were all as far removed from Mark as he was distanced from himself. At the midday point of a bright, summertime day in the mountains of Colorado, Mark was instead in the middle of the dark night of the soul. That shadowy night proffered no hope, no future, no pleasant thoughts of the past, no pleasant forecast for a future, no God, and no self-reliance. That darkness would seemingly provide him nothing, in fact, that could work to make available a life worth living. With the ignored light all about, he could see only the path of darkness, the path of suicide that seemed to him to be the only sensible route to take. He could not walk outside, but he felt he could walk that black passageway to its end... to his end.
Sober for ten years in A.A. at the time he ended up on that couch, an improved life (sometime prior to this point) his risen from a heap of ashes. For six years he had enjoyed the benefits of a good job; of a wife; of a home purchased along with its accompanying mountain property; and of a host of friends; but the past four years of his journey had delivered him into a lethal frame of mind. From the couch this day he had reviewed how all those benefits of sobriety had evaporated like the morning mist rising from the nearby lake. What had happened? he wondered. What was this incredible pain about that had taken over? What is wrong with me? he asked. In spite of all his work to produce hope, in spite of all the work with a therapist, in spite of countless meetings with support groups notwithstanding, he had found no real and lasting solution. His present mindset could find but one resolution to his predicament: Mark, you must end your life.
Then I shall, he answered.
Having made from the depths of the darkness his decision, Mark's next awareness would be of a bright light: I've done it. I'm free. I'm experiencing what they said I would experience. The light. The beautiful brightness of a lovely radiance. Further adjustment of his eyes after squinting reflexively to block out the illumination made Mark aware that he was not soaring to some celestial retreat but was instead in a very-much-man-made room. A chain of events that some Higher Power or Consciousness had set into motion unfolded in a way that, days after having left that Colorado couch, allowed Mark to find himself locked away in a psychiatric hospital in Houston, Texas. After some initial disappointment that the final escape to a heavenly haven had been denied him, he eventually became grateful to be there, for that location marked the beginning point of the next leg of a journey that would eventually result in Mark's crossing the path of a man named Floyd. At the time Mark would meet him, Floyd could have easily been confused with the Mark who had been sitting in the depths of despair on a couch in a condo in the Four Corners area of the U.S.
Only because of the changes that ultimately began to transform Mark's thinking and thus his perceptions about life, about himself, about others, and about that incredible thing called the present moment would Floyd be drawn to him when the latter reached that same state from which Mark had been extracted. How did it happen? What are the important details that can explain such an alteration and might help others in such a mental condition to extract themselves as well?
Mark would ask Floyd one day, "Have you ever felt the way I described, the way I felt as I sat on the couch that day? Have you ever thought to yourself that perhaps your society, parents, teachers, books, television, and all the other influences that have shaped our belief systems were askew, were wrong? Have you so much as even considered the possibility that, in fact, your belief systems are designed to lead you to great suffering?" Then he explained, "Only when I began to question all of it and evaluate all of my experiences through an impartial questioning of every idea and emotion and belief I held did a course of action begin to change and transform me." The entire process he would reveal one day in the future when he co-wrote a book through which the process could be documented and shared with others.
Mark left that hospital and moved to a small town in the hill country of Texas and began a journey from 1991 to the present that is at best difficult to put into words. A journey of SELF-transformation occurred, a journey in which the "false self" died and the True SELF emerged. His would be a passage in which past trauma would finally be healed; when destructive and ineffective belief systems that he had incorporated into his life from a crazy and insane world would be abandoned; when the development of a practical approach that he could use to undergo a radical transformation could begin to be revealed to him, and would later be revealed through him.
You the reader hold in your hand the book the reveals that process, and it will not reveal the method in the usual, expository fashion. Instead, this book will use a unique approach, an experiential approach, so that one will not just read about what happened but will actually experience the process as it unfolds on these pages. Mark's transformation began in earnest when he began to follow in earnest the clear-cut path of instructions which are laid out in what many know as "The Twelve Steps." His transformation culminated when the additional steps that he took beyond those twelve lifted him even higher.
The transformation bloomed as he rigorously and intently pursued an awareness of the false for the next two years; eventually, the transformation matured after he saw the false and began differentiating that from the truth. Eventually, he would incorporate a daily meditation life into his daily life; he would study other disciplines of spiritual thought and practices; and most of all he simply began to do what was revealed to him by his sane, working mind. Suddenly, changes begin to manifest in his life. The man on the couch would become the man on the tape, a tape heard by Floyd when he had reached the deepest state of despair from which he had no hope of escape. In Mark's restored condition, Floyd would find a man capable of helping him differentiate the true from the false. That would be the beginning of Floyd's shift that would eventually move him past his pain. Subsequent actions would transport him though the healing process, would prepare his mind for the awakening, and would eventually fix him in a state of permanent peace wherein he could enjoy a life that manifested in living in the moment. He would finally shift from living the life of a warrior, constantly engaging in one battle after another, to reveling in a life truly lived from a position of neutrality.
BOOK SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback; 272 pages; Publisher: Henderson Books; Language: English; Binding: Perfect Paperback Binding
eBOOK SPECIFICATIONS: 288 pages
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