But a school of thought that integrates Western psychology with Eastern philosophy has devised a systematic account of how this wisdom actually works. It has been honed over six decades of clinical and practical application, but never revealed to the reading public until Lifeshocks was published in June 2018.
This book explains how shocks to the system awaken us to our conditioning, our unconscious fears and all the ways we limit our potential – in very personal ways.
While the word “
Similarly, my father’s prolonged illness and death was an ongoing, heart- cracking experience that lasted two years. But the moment two paramedics carried him into his care-home bedroom on a stretcher, ashen grey with an oxygen mask on his face, after a traumatic day in a hospital ward where he didn’t want to die, was a
In the simplest terms, a lifeshock is a moment in time we did not want or expect. They surprise us, blindside us, soften and stir us. Sometimes they slap us hard in the face. Some scratch the surface of our lives while others strike deep into our being. They often seem random, unfairly distributed, out of the blue.
The specificity of these moments is important. You know those times when you are telling a story from your past and, as you relate a particular part of it, the emotions you felt at the time rise again – sometimes with surprising force? This is because those feelings – and the thoughts that create them – are locked in the memory of a
In this book I explain how lifeshocks awaken us through my own engagement with them as well as the teachings that have been passed down to me. My mentor, Dr. K. Bradford Brown, was a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and theologian who was mentored by some of the great awakeners of the twentieth century: Viktor Frankl, Alan Watts and Carl Rogers, to name a few. These are the giants on whose shoulders I stand.
In particular, I focus on three kinds of lifeshock we all receive: limiting lifeshocks, which challenge our arrogance and illusions of control; exposing lifeshocks, which challenge our self- deception and pretences; and evoking lifeshocks, which challenge our cruelty and cold-heartedness. I also show how lifeshocks guide us back to the best in ourselves and the possibilities we have abandoned at the roadside – while answering the question, “Yes, but how do we decipher and learn from them?”
Life is not what it seems. We are not what we fear we are or believe we have to be. Extraordinariness is not the reserve of the few and the sacred is not confined to other realms. To recognise the purpose of lifeshocks is one thing that can change everything. It can answer our deepest longings and it
can bring us home to ourselves at any moment in any situation on any day.