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September Book Review: "Wise Inside"

This book is not a casual read. It is a quick one, sitting at just over 100 pages, but it definitely shouldn't be rushed.

This month, Inkberry Books lent me Danae Shanti's book Wise Inside, and I honestly didn't know what to make of it at first. Initially, especially based on the cover, I thought it would be some chakra-inner-self type of book, and there are elements of that. Reading the first few chapters, I had the impression that it was more on the self-help side of literature, and there are elements of that as well.

What the book is not–despite the subtitle–is a handy-dandy listicle of how to improve one's life.

Shanti does give readers "seven easy steps to access your intuition and live with confidence," but I don't quite agree with the "steps" label. This isn't some book that's like: Step 1, set a daily routine; Step 2, go to nature and listen; etc. Instead, Shanti's steps were more of a retrospective analysis of how to approach an event in one's life.

Her steps are essentially: define yourself in the moment, define the problem faced, ask for guidance, find guidance, make decisions, take action and look at the results.

I'd say that steps one through three are the closest thing to actual how-to steps, it's outlining the "who," "what" and "how." But steps four through seven seem to require a sense of self reflection and observation.

So when I got into Part Two of the book, where Shanti introduces the seven steps, I wasn't sure entirely what to make of them. I wasn't skeptical, per se, but I was surprised that instead of her saying "okay, reader, do x, y and z," she instead says, "now reader, ask yourself these questions."

I liked this approach, I found it novel and a really useful way to go about analyzing future predicaments, no matter the size. I also appreciated the fact that Shanti included many examples of this formula, ranging from, "How do I be less lonely and find a partner?" to "How do I handle the fact that my cat is sick and I'm panicking?"

The only thing that I'm not "sold on" is that steps three and four seem to require a pre-established sense of intuition. Shanti doesn't go into detail about how one develops intuition, so I could see where someone who casually picked up this book might be resistant to it. While she does give examples of how people may receive intuitive messages, had she gone a little more in depth, I think there would be potential to reach more people with this book.

Shanti's voice helps with the task all writers face in reaching their audience. She has such a conversational, lovely tone that definitely helps to make the book enjoyable. Since so much of the book is also explaining the seven-step guide through her own stories, Shanti's persona comes through and she seems very personable.

Wise Inside seems to be the kind of book where you, as a reader, have to be open to its message before you even pick it up. At one point, Shanti acknowledges this when she says, "If you weren't interested in growing this relationship [with divinity–whatever that looks like to you], you would not have read this book," (111).

So, if you're someone who's interested in having a relationship with whatever you deem as "divine," this is definitely the book for you. If you're curious about developing your intuition and the general realms of inner peace/balance, I still recommend it, but with the caution that you ought to be open to Shanti while reading.

It would be easy–if you don't have a background in spirituality–to write off her experiences as coincidence. But if you're open to spirituality, I think it's a good introduction to what some people call "shadow work," where one looks within for the answers.

This is definitely a book that I'd consider taking notes in the margins or journaling while reading.. As I said, it's a quick read, but it's packed with emotion and connection. The advice Shanti gives is somewhat subtle and asks readers to have both their minds and hearts open to experiencing a shift in perspective.

If you're still unsure about the book–maybe you're on the fence about spirituality and divine intuition–Shanti will be at Inkberry Books at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. Her talk will revolve around her life, her book, and the seven-step formula she developed.

Happy Reading!


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