So apparently I started this blog at just the right time because one of my favorite bloggers- Athol Kay of http://marriedmansexlife.com/blog/- just published his third book “The Mindful Attraction Plan” and asked for fellow bloggers to review it. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to have my own signed copy now! Thanks! You can buy it here and even read the intro chapter! http://www.amazon.com/The-Mindful-Attraction-Plan-Practical/dp/149045151X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373426250&sr=8-1&keywords=the+mindful+attraction+plan
First a little background: Married Man Sex Life is basically taking player/pick up artist techniques and using them to improve one’s marriage. I love it! It’s not very PC but that makes me love it more! Most of PUA advice is loosely based on evolutionary psychology which is a very interesting theory. I’ve basically loved it since I first encountered it back in college and more in depth just looking for intriguing books to read from the library a few years ago. (“Do Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was such a fun read!) I probably like it so much because it states our primary motivation for doing anything in life is to get SEX (and therefore make babies). Funnily enough, MMSL was introduced to me when a midwife friend on Facebook shared a post just over a year ago.
The newest book, The Mindful Attraction Plan, actually is even more far reaching and “palatable” PC wise than previous writings. So while Athol’s concepts started out as mainly marriage advice, it applies to much more in life. It’s also not as hetero-normative as before so more people can directly apply its concepts. I truly feel it’s something everyone could take some good ideas from- married, single, monogamous, poly, straight, gay, bi, male, female, transgender; essentially anyone and everyone!
The book itself reads more like the life manual you *SHOULD* have gotten passed down to you verbally from your dad growing up. Unfortunately, many of us either didn’t have dads around or if we did, they lacked the know how and street smarts to explain all this to us:/ Maybe give your dad a copy himself- and one for your mom while you’re at it! It’s not that the advice is so outrageously revolutionary but that it’s so rare in this world of ours so lacking in common sense. You know you probably should have focused more on tangible job skills in college rather than just majoring for fun in a basically purely liberal arts field, but seeing it in black and white drives it home. You know you should get in shape and keep up a regular work out schedule but having it explained how that affects the other aspects of your life make it clear it’s a “must do” not just something that would be *nice* to do. You know you should get your finances in order but realizing that it’s limiting you in so many ways really makes it more urgent.
I’m still figuring out how exactly I want to set up my MAP beyond doing the basics of trying to get my act together and working out regularly so I have energy and health to better my life and marriage. I hate to say it but there’s a lot to work on:( However this plan is laid out pretty plainly- I can zero in on the worst areas first. I can say if this or well any of Athol’s writings had been around back in my teens, my life today would be much different. My 30′s, which are coming up in a few years, would be much less scary too! I’m hoping to see significant improvement by then. Having plowed through all his blog posts as fast as I could (which luckily was before he cut off the posts he turned into his second book “How To Answer ‘Do these pants make my ass look fat?”- also fabulous!), reading his first book “The Married Man Sex Life Primer” (nearly every page is dog eared it’s THAT awesome!), and now having read “The Mindful Attraction Plan”, I can say this newest book is what I’d direct someone to first but all his stuff is gold.
I liken this book to the guy version of “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Dr. Christiane Northrup. That book really changed my outlook too and deeply understood how essential sexuality is to a vibrant life and vice versa. My husband probably will never pour over Northrup’s tomes like I have (I even read “The Wisdom of Menopause” lol that’s how significant her message is to my life!) but Athol’s work is very similar in getting to the heart of things and is much more applicable to men, though still relevant to women as well!
One of the things that has come up a few places before in Athol’s writings but really stood out in “The MAP” was how one’s personal environment affects one’s life. I grew up with a manic depressive/bipolar hoarder mom. At the time, I just felt bad I couldn’t really have friends over growing up (which also made making friends and keeping them extremely difficult). Now growing up and realizing just how toxic hoarding is, I’m shocked I’m not more messed up! Many people don’t get how important your home environment is! My mom is basically the poster child for the low energy person/energy sucking vampire that so runs one down as described in the book. She sadly hasn’t seen as many therapists as I think she should (yay for crappy insurance that only wants to cover drugs and barely even that! Not to mention lack of motivation… she lives in an area with one of the largest universities in the country with a couple different therapists training grad programs all with low cost public clinics not to mention the various resources of a very large metropolitan city- where there’s a will, there’s a way! Don’t help people who won’t help themselves!) Yet from the therapists she’s told me about, very few have ever asked about the state of her home! She was shocked when one asked if she has trouble staying organized (as if she was just a fumbling Martha Stewart wannabee instead of full blown extreme hoarder!). In my experience with therapists, pretty much no one has that on their intake forms! NO ONE! Granted not everyone is a hoarder or an adult child of a hoarder, but still it’s such a huge thing and it’s not even mentioned!
Some people may be reminded of Feng Shui in the advice about making your home tidy and a nice place to be. It can sound hookey but it really does deeply affect one’s mood and outlook! The fact that it is so underscored in this book is just one of many examples that I could point to and say “OMG he gets it and actually knows what the hell he’s talking about!”
The other thing I really love is the discussion about energy which is the over arching theme of the book. Basically people with abundant energy just tend to have easier, more fulfilling lives than those who struggle with it. Their “luck” also seems to be amazingly better. So there’s lots of discussion how to stop energy thieves and find things that revitalize you. For some people this is easier than others but the concept of knowing what affects your energy and how to increase it is important for everyone.
Seeing as my mother also has fibromyalgia as well as being bipolar (which almost everyone who has an autoimmune disorder like fibromyalgia or lupus or such almost always have it concurrent with some degree of depression- and most autoimmune sufferers are women BTW) it makes a lot of sense that low energy is depressing. I’m also reminded of the popular “Spoon Theory” and how important it is even with a disease like lupus to be mindful of your energy. Most people who have it “together” in their lives usually are not very conscious of how they manage that and so take it for granted. Then when they meet people who don’t have their lives as put together as they do or they themselves fall into some bad circumstances, they often have little idea how to fix it. This book solves that issue.
All in all, it’s a great resource! I could go on and on but I think you’ve heard enough for the time being;) If you are easily offended, please heed my advice to read Athol Kay’s “The Mindful Attraction Plan” first. The blog and other books are great too but if your feminism hasn’t been tempered with a background in the men’s movement like mine has, it may be a little shocking to you. (Ironically his blog is one of the most mild manosphere works out there lol! He genuinely likes and appreciates women though so don’t be too scared!) Let me know how putting his advice in practice works out for you!