“Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarrelling (brawling, clamour, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or base ness of any kind)” -Ephesians 4:31 AMP
Dr Caroline Leaf was a breath of fresh air to the Christian Community when she first started making an international name for herself while, on her world-tour to promote her book “Who Switched off My Brain?” back in the beginning of the 20-teens. I remember as a tired, worn out Christian Servant, sitting in church and listening to her speak was life changing for me, and I thought, finally here is a Christian Woman, not afraid of Science, or the opinion of her fellow Christian Family, ready to revolutionise the way we think. I thought I was ready to hear, and change my negative thoughts as I sat in Church continuously trying to correct my attitude, thinking my imperfect thoughts, were the reason I was doing everybody else’s job and not receiving any recognition. So I purchased all the resources available at the time, made by Dr Leaf, and I thought I was ready to read them. Unfortunately, like most of the “Christian Self-Help” Books I bought, her materials stayed in my book shelf for several years, only to remain there as a reminder that I purchased way too many books from Evangelical Preachers telling me how to live a successful and prosperous life.
Opinion: Dr Leaf is unique, in the fact that she takes a Scientific approach, rather than a Philosophical Approach to what is considered a Christian “Self-Help” book. This approach I find is a successful one, as she communicates in a conversational way, as oppose to it sounding like an Essay on Motor Neurons and the detailed research that it undertook to come to the conclusions that she did. The Switch on Your Brain Process also known as The Brain Sweep in Leaf’s book, includes: Gather, Reflect, Journal, Revisit and Reach. This needs to be done before tackling what she explains to be The Dirty Dozen, “The Brain Sweep questions trigger this process, sweeping away each area of toxic thinking, the Dirty Dozen”(Part Three, “The Science of Thought”, p47). Dr. Leaf describes The Dirty Dozen to be (in order): Thoughts, Emotions, Words, Choices, Dreams, Seeds, Faith, Love, Touch, Seriousness, Health and Schedules.
Likes: Dr. Leaf, mentions in her book, the dangers of holding onto Bad Memories, by simply understanding that we can change our brain chemicals, which effect all aspects of our body, we can do this by changing our thinking. The Book that I purchased was the revised edition, with a workbook to follow along, as I read through the Dirty Dozen, that Dr. Leaf says are important to change in our thought life. For the sake of time, I did not go through every single exercise, nor did I reflect and linger on each part of the Dirty Dozen, but I will go back and do this, as I feel like it may be beneficial to do, for my own personal development.
Dislikes: While I thoroughly enjoyed Dr Leaf’s refreshing approach to science and merging it with philosophy, I do not recommend this book for anybody that is currently having a negative mental health experience, or who is currently living with a serious Mental Illness. I would recommend it more for the person who has maybe recently found a moments victory through their depression, or someone who is finally experiencing life again after a spell of grief. Dr Leaf remains positive throughout the whole book, and while that sounds like it would be beneficial, it is more likely not going to reel in someone who currently struggles to hear their own thoughts, let alone the writings of someone else. This is because Dr. Leaf approaches this method like a Neuro-Psychologist, rather than a Counsellor, and while she makes it sound simple, and provides us with a colourful, moving image to help us see what can happen if we change our thinking, the reality of making the choice to do this, I believe needs to come from a personal level, relatable to the individual receiving the information (however some may disagree).
Final Note: Would I recommend this book to everyone? Well, it has a lot of Christian Lingo in it, which can become confusing to people who do not identify personally as someone who lives as a Christian. There are similar books, with different methods, that teach similar ways, just without the Neuro-Science language and Christian Lingo. If you are not interested in Neuro-Science, I recommend you find another self-help book, however find something with rituals or simple daily habits, that you can do to improve your life, and improve your thinking, if that is what you are interested in. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this book, I personally enjoy listening to Dr. Leaf, and I follow her You Tube Channel and Podcast, as I find the way she explains information very motivating.