Blog-Buddies, in the age of Amazon, book reviewing has assumed new importance. An informative, fair review scores credibility with readers. Any review carries influence, both what it says and what it doesn’t acknowledge.
Yesterday I received notification of a review by an influential writer and empath, Birrell Walsh. With his permission, I quote his review of “Become the Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment.”
Unlike the Amazon review page, which offers no space for rebuttal, here I just might add a comment or three. Sweet though Birrell is, and despite his helpful intent, some of his words really stung.
Will you agree with him or me? Either way, today’s post may take you one step deeper inside the hidden innards of book reviewing. Also maybe inspire you to follow up with Amazon reviews of your own!
Incidentally, some folks think that you must purchase the book through Amazon in order to review it. Not so. You just go to the page for the book being sold, scroll down to Customer Reviews, and add your thoughts.
One of the biggest favors you can do for an author is to spread the word via a review at influential Amazon.com. I am so grateful to you Blog-Buddies who have done that already.
Birrell Walsh Reviews My Quick and Easy How-to for Empaths
By Birrell Walsh (San Francisco, CA USA)
This review is from: “Become The Most Important Person in the Room: Your 30-Day Plan for Empath Empowerment” (Paperback)
Suddenly a strong feeling comes over you. You feel sad or angry or frantic, for no reason at all. Are you going crazy?
Or are you picking up the feeling from someone else? One in 20 people, says author Rose Rosetree, are empaths; and most are not very skilled at it. If you recognize this experience, if you feel what is going on with other people whether you want to or not, you will be glad to have a book about getting control of this blessing-curse.
Rosetree provides a 30 day program in which you can learn to direct your attention to your own experience, and disconnect from involuntary empathy. Once you know how to get free of the emotions and physical sensations of others, you can afford to turn your empathy back on – when and how you want to.
Rosetree clearly knows what she is talking about. She is aware of the many varieties of empathy and will help you discover which kind is your gift. She writes with humor and lightness. If you follow her program for a month you may find, as I did, that you can turn this experience off and on at will.
Some people will object to her humor. A friend of mine to whom I recommended the book did not like the flippancy, and she found that the techniques succeeded.
More serious is Rosetree’s primary metaphor, “becoming the most important person in the room.” I know she uses this expression because for some empaths, everyone else’s reality is more real than their own.
But do we really need more people who think they are the most important person in the room, yet another Lord Narcissus or Lady Moi? I wish Rosetree had chosen another theme, and emphasized more the sheer joy of encountering The Other. (And she has done some of that with another of her books, “Aura Reading Through All Your Senses: Celestial Perception Made Practical, 2nd Edition” )
No matter, though. If you or someone you know picks up every suffering and craziness in the environment, they should have this book. Rosetree’s methods WORK.
Daring to let everyone be important
Rose here again, Blog-Buddies. Life on earth can be sweet-bitter, for sure. There stands Birrell’s kind review and yet I am not happy.
Others have complained to me, though not so wittily, about the grave error of helping empaths become “The Most Important Person in the Room.”
Sure, many people are already such egoists, or worse. Horrid indeed is the thought of encouraging them further.
Here’s my perspective, though. Between when I published “Empowered by Empathy” and “Become The Most Important Person in the Room,” I taught empaths on three continents and did phone sessions with clients on six continents. Lots of them, actually.
I have spent thousands of hours helping empaths, often traveling minutely into their consciousness via Skilled Empath Merge.
I didn’t find a single empath with a big fat ego. I found people who felt less important, less empowered, less individuated than non-empaths. Not “some empaths,” as Birrell wrote. Every single unskilled empath, period.
Trying to help empaths to overcome their biggest and most universal problem — Hello! Is it really fair to criticize me for that?
In the unlikely event that some egomaniacal narcissistic psychopaths were to purchase my how-to for empaths, would my instructions push them over the top?
Hardly. It is a how-to for EMPATHS. Like a recipe for making a fine cheese souffle. Written for good eggs. Should a steak happen upon the recipe, there is absolutely no danger of an exploding souffle.
Or any kind of souffle, actually.
Daring to lighten hearts
Oboy, there I went joking again, about that sacred ideal of “souffle.”
About that so-controversial topic of my sense of humor. (A sense of humor, admittedly, not much in evidence as I respond to Birrell’s review….)
Horrors, “the flippancy”!
Note that Birrell, a professional writer, did not say that his friend called my tone flippant. No, “the flippancy” is apparently a fact. To him as well as his friend.
I’d like to share with you, Blog-Buddies, why I use humor in some of my books. Some of my books. Always on purpose.
If you want a more earnest how-to from Rose Rosetree, you don’t have to go all the way back in my body of work to “Aura Reading Through All Your Senses.” Just pick up “Empowered by Empathy.” That would be a better referral, since this is also written expressly to help the 1 in 20 people born as an empath.
You may know, “Empowered by Empathy” was the first self-help book in English for empaths. Plenty of other teachers for empaths have emerged since then. Most common, I gather, is a so-compassionate tone because those wounded, fragile, empath people suffer so greatly and require absorbent shoulders to lean on.
That’s a fine approach for emerging victims. It’s also fine if you’re not asking your readers to shift their consciousness but, instead, to rearrange their problems. In the manner of Whose Stuff Is This?: Finding Freedom from the Negative Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You by Yvonne Perry and Dancers Between Realms-Empath Energy, Beyond Empathy by Elisabeth Y. Fitzhugh.
More on these books later. For this point, suffice it to say that I use humor quite purposefully as a teacher and healer.
- Humor stops things. Like wallowing. Like getting all sentimental about how hard it is to feel other people’s feelings.
- Humor starts things. Like a moment of clarity that allows a fresh point of view. Or jump-starting a person’s resourcefulness. Because YOU are the one who positions your consciousness effectively as an empath. Only you can do that.
Daring to pioneer
Birrell noted that the techniques in my how-to for empaths really work. He never explored why.
That seems like a key consideration to me. So often book reviews are about style, or the author’s likeability, or whatever the reader thinks a book on that topic ought to include. Call me a Hopeless Consciousness Nerd if you must, but I have a different viewpoint about self-help books.
Content matters to me. If someone teaches a skill set that works because it is dramatically different from everything else out there, I think that’s worth acknowledging.
Empath Empowerment(R) is trademarked because it offers a unique way of using consciousness to solve problems that empaths have.
That system works not just temporarily but long-term. If you use skills of energetic literacy, you can tell drilling down all the way to the level of chakra databanks.
A skilled empath’s aura functions differently from the aura of an unskilled empath. Which would include a clever but unskilled empath who questions, “Whose STUFF is this?”
Empath Methods Viewed Technically
Depending on how you search at Amazon, two books for empaths that are either more popular, or slightly less popular, than “Become the Most Important Person in the Room” are the previously mentioned ones from Yvonne and Elisabeth.
- Yvonne Perry defines an empath as “a person who uses emotional intuition to understand or connect with others.” Techniques she offers include bathing in salt water, breathing, and centering.
- Elisabeth Fitzhugh offers psychologically-based strategies such as “learning to balance and manage receptivity.”
Such approaches give empaths plenty to do, amid all the suffering. Neither approach demands that a reader make shifts in consciousness.
Instead, there are ways to use same-old, inexpertly positioned, consciousness while cleaning your aura temporarily or analyzing your experiences all the better to “manage” them. All the while, picking up ever more STUFF.
(For explanation how that STUFF is picked up by every unskilled empath, see the illustrations in “Become the Most Important Person in the Room.”)
So, yes, if you’re interested in educating prospective readers about “Become The Most Important Person in the Room,” such a point might be worth mentioning. Whether theoretically or in terms of your personal results.
Finally, acknowledging Birrell Walsh
A prolific writer of novels and poems, Birrell has also written this superb non-fiction book, Praying for Others: Powerful Practices for Healing, Peace, and New Beginnings. So far, that’s the only one of his I have read, but I aim to dip into his novels soon.
See more about hard-copy books by Birrell Walsh here.
Here is a link for Birrell Walsh’s ebooks, too.