Friday, January 1, 2010
Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope it'll be a happy and productive time for us all. I'm completing the first round of edits for my manuscript, and trying to get it done before classes start again.
I also borrowed Lynn Grabhorn's Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Feelings from the library after someone recommended it as a good way to achieve success in life. It was a New York Times bestseller, so I was expecting something interesting, if not revolutionary.
Warning in advance : this is not going to be a favorable review.
I’ll start with the pros, though. Grabhorn’s main theme is that emotions have power, and positive emotions help us achieve what we want. I agree with this. I’ve always felt that optimism and joie de vivre are not only attractive to other people, but are beneficial in accomplishment as well. So while this wasn’t exactly original, it was fine.
The problem is that Grabhorn turns this simple idea into an entire pseudo-religion, revolving around “vibrations” and the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction, by the way, is that like attracts like (we’re dealing with metaphysics rather than physics here). Therefore, if your vibrations are positive, you will attract positive things and see positive outcomes in your life.
And if you vibrate positively enough, the entire universe will give you what you want. Grabhorn is short on evidence, providing perhaps a dozen anecdotes of people who followed her philosophy (and I use the term loosely) and ended up miraculously successful. But she’s long on buzzwords. And I use that term literally.
The third, which we’ll explore now, is called “buzzing”, which gives you a RIGHT NOW change in vibration… You are in absolute alignment with your Inner Being/Expanded Self… and… you can feel the sensation right smack in the pit of your stomach!
That’s what makes buzzing so much fun. Through emotion, you’re creating an undeniable physical sensation… (pg 110)
Was it good for you too?
At that point I realized I was right smack in the pit of a New Age tome, but since I’d shivered my way to the library to pick it up, I decided to finish it. Grabhorn is also fond of using the term “WHOOSH!” (repeated seven times on page 106 alone) and of stretching out the word “feel” (done so many times I lost count).
Just remember, you must feeeeel the passion behind every word.
Until the two-thirds point, though, the book was merely silly. Then it got into the causes of illness and death and became offensive as well.
Illness exists for only one reason: someone has flowed more low-frequency energy than high… Always! People who are sick have shut themselves off from their Lifeline. (pg 187)
Also, accidents only affect people who think negative thoughts, and there’s an example of this. The mother of one of Ms. Grabhorn’s closest friends was killed when a boulder was tossed from an overpass and it hit her car. Unbelievably, the author lays responsibility for this on the dead woman, because she was “resentful” of some things in life. The man who caused her death was her “executioner”.
And that’s not even getting into how genocide is caused by people who focus on negative events in the past. I get the impression that Lifeline/Inner Self/whatever it’s called is frighteningly devoid of empathy, since all this culminates in the section titled “Death Is a Joke”. Here, the author claims that when people “die”, they’re actually “bipping from one frequency to another”.
I don’t normally read this kind of book, let alone review it, but at that point I was so repelled that I decided to keep others from wasting their time (or worse, money). Especially since the blurb is about believing in yourself and gives no indication of the lunacy within.
As a postscript, I went to Amazon to check what other readers thought of this book. That was where I learned that Ms. Grabhorn is now “dead”. Opinions are divided as to whether this was due to cirrhosis of the liver, suicide brought on by schizophrenia or “an invisible entity that was murderous in intent” - link. Oh, and there are claims that she plagiarized parts of this book, but I don’t think I’ll be reading the source material to find out.