Inside-Out Healing, by Richard Moss (Softcover, 2011)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
I was a bit skeptical of this book at the beginning, because it
seemed to share the word repurposing used by "new age" self-styled gurus
who don't know what they are talking about. But really, there isn't a
better way to express the principles and ideas than in using the words
as Dr. Moss uses them.
As I continued to read, I found myself drawn ever deeper into an
appreciation for Dr. Moss. What he's talking about in the book isn't
some "new age" mumbo jumbo. Instead, it's about both the philosophy and
a particular methodology of being fully present in what you are doing at
the moment. This may sound elemental and seem like one of those "I
already nailed that one" things, but it's not.
Being fully present is not something people tend to do. Our very
culture works against it, as do the demands of life in general. We are
easily pulled in multiple directions at once. Often, we try to live in
the past, present, and future simultaneously.
For example, consider a fairly typical situation. A man is having a
conversation with his wife. She's telling him about her day while
comparing this or that event to something that happened a few months
back. He's giving her advice while thinking about the ball game
scheduled for later that evening. They are having a collective
Maybe that example doesn't fit you. But if you will review in your
mind conversations you've had earlier in the day you will probably see a
similar pattern. Instead of focusing on the now, each person is bringing
something else to the table. They aren't truly engaging each other.
And that's just conversations. The same issue arises in other ways.
For example, why do you experience stress if you are behind on a
project? Because instead of being in the now and dealing with the
project work, your mind is dealing with the future consequences of a
late project. We also dredge up the past in ways that hamper our ability
to deal with the present.
This book shows you a methodology for dealing with that issue. The
context is that of healing, as the title suggests. So many of the
examples are about dealing with sickness. But it is clear to me that the
same methodology can be used for inside-out maintenance, inside-out
growth, and inside-out whatever else you want. In fact, if you watch an
elite athlete performing in his/her sport, you are very likely watching
someone who is using these "in the now" principles.
I'll give you an example. Dr. Moss is a climber. That's something we
have in common (I started climbing in the previous century). The ability
to be in the moment is, I feel, a make or break for a climber. And the
more of the now you occupy, the less you are limited as a climber.
Fear of heights? By focusing on the now, you aren't thinking about
falling in the future. You just climb, with your attention on what you
are doing now. And that's true of other challenges in climbing.
In fact, I was climbing the day before I finished reading this book.
My climbing partner asked me about a bouldering route that he had been
unable to solve, despite many tries. After watching him fail to ascend,
I remarked that he needed to be fully in the now at each point. I then
solved the route on my first ascent. The problem, I said, was he wasn't
putting his center of gravity where it needed to be at the moment and
this was pulling him off the face. Do not look ahead or behind, but be
fully in the now. He then tried the route, and succeeded.
This kind of change in ability is one of the kinds of payoff brought
about by being fully present. Think of the potential for your career,
health, personal relationships, and other areas that are important to
This book consists of 13 chapters, an appendix, and endnotes in 252