Good Morning, I Love You

I first heard of Dr. Shauna Shapiro on the Being Well Podcast. The ideas she presented are something I would have considered “sappy” and “unmasculine” not very long ago.

But I was intrigued, and have started reading her book, “Good Morning, I Love You.” Normally I wouldn’t write about a book until I’ve finished it, but there have already been a couple of things that really struck me.

Here’s one of them:

“We must change our mindset from one of self-improvement to one of self-liberation. Self-liberation means freedom from our limiting beliefs, our misguided idea that there is something wrong with us that needs to be “fixed.””

Which reminds me of something I’ve heard from Steven Hayes (paraphrasing this one) : You and your life aren’t problems to be solved, but processes to be experienced.

I’ve lived most of my life as a “personal development” addict. But the only thing that I’ve stuck to developing is a vast knowledge of personal development material. Just like food, sex, alcohol, most drugs, shopping, gambling… all the stuff that we do, but some go over the line and abuse them rather than use them – that’s what I did with personal development. I had good intentions (I think), but I used it as a distraction from life rather than as a way to engage with life. Embarrassingly, I also used my “vast knowledge” (which was 99% bullshit) so that I could feel good about myself – of course I was better than all of the people out there who didn’t care about “getting better” (whatever that means).

Liberating my mind. Moving from self-improvement to self-liberation. That’s the direction I’m going to point myself in today.

I said there were two things that struck me so far. I’ll write a second post about that one soon. A little teaser – it’s what motivated me to write this post in the first place.


2 thoughts on “Good Morning, I Love You

  1. Jorah Lavin

    Fascinating post, Lyman. I was never particularly fascinated by the self-improvement thing, but never really knew why. Your post might have given me some insight into that, or at least much to think about.

    Also, I’ve been talking lately with my therapy about transforming my way of being in the world to become more expansive, and less fearful and contractive. This feels somehow related.

    1. Lyman Reed Post author

      More expansive is an awesome way to look at it. Another of the many problems with self improvement is that it’s by definition focused on me me me. While that’s necessary some of the time, too much of it and we turn ourselves into narcissists.

      Less fearful also has a lot to do with it. For me, it was (is? is.) a constant fear of not being good enough – but hey, look, this guy in the infomercial says he knows what to do! So I better follow what he says to the letter – any deviation or disagreement is just proof that I suck. It’s really amazing that I never full on joined a cult!


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