The Fearless Path by Leah Guy is one part memoir, one part yoga, one part spirituality, one part inspiration, and one part exercises (yoga, meditation, and others).

It is well written, interesting, and easy to follow. For those of us who only have a vague idea of what chakras are, the book does a good job of explaining them; I’m not a good judge if this would be too basic for a student of energy work, but it didn’t seem like it.

I was particularly excited about reading this book because the blurbs on it promised to teach, “why ‘letting go’ is the worst advice for healing, and how to really move on.”

I have heard the phrase, “Let go and let God,” in many different forms and ways for years, so I was looking forward to hearing someone else’s take on a new way to heal. In short, Guy teaches readers to feel their trauma, or “to lean into it.”

I don’t have a yoga practice or do energy work, and I identify as a Christian, so the book wasn’t really written for people like me. I would have said that quite lightly until I got to this:

“Those who have not developed or nurtured a spiritual foundation often have noticeable imbalances in their lives,” writes Guy.

The passage goes on to conclude that a lack of spirituality can cause a blockage to the crown chakra resulting in a variety of symptoms, followed by a list of illnesses including bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s and schizophrenia. This is where I no longer found the book helpful, but instead found that it could be harmful.

I have schizophrenia, and I feel like the author presented my illness as a spiritual problem. Well, I happen to believe that it is a brain disease and that I did nothing wrong in my life (like not being spiritual enough) to develop it.

I also have two loved ones with Parkinson’s disease. For one of them, the doctors believe their illness was a response to pesticides, and the other from exposure to chemicals in the work environment. I don’t believe doing work on their crown chakra would relieve the symptoms of a disease brought on by toxins. And lastly, I know many people with bipolar disorder that simply couldn’t live a “normal” life without altering the chemicals in their brains with medication.

Also, if schizophrenia was/is a spiritual crisis then why does medication work so well to stop the voices? I come from a belief that medication saved and continues to save my life, and I feel like people are blaming the “victim” of illnesses when they say or believe it is anything other than biological.

You can do everything right (eat right, exercise, never smoke) and still end up with cancer or almost any other illness, including a mental illness. And in my opinion, all the chakra work in the world isn’t going to protect you from your genes or environmental factors.

I realize that others believe differently than me, though. This book, as well as the hearing voices movement – which tries to teach people to work with the voices they hear, and doesn’t necessarily attribute voice hearing to mental illness – prove that my way of looking at things isn’t the only way.

There is an audience for this book, and I think many people would discover and learn a great deal about themselves along with tricks and tools for healing. This particular meal is not for me, but I can understand how it would be a fantastic entrée for a different audience.

The Fearless Path
Leah Guy
New Page Books
May 2017
226 pages, Softcover

Psych Central's Recommendation:
Not worth your time

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