Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shea Vaughn’s Breakthroughs by Shea Vaughn

51-0H-oWWeLShea Vaughn the founder of SheaNetics decided to further explore her 5 Living Principles in her latest book Shea Vaughn’s Breakthroughs: The 5 Living Principles to Defeat Stress, Look Great and Find Total Well Being. Before you read this book you should first familiarize yourself with SheaNetics. Although she briefly fills you in on the program it is much more helpful to do a little research or even enroll in a class before picking up this book. That being said here is the basic idea of what SheaNetics is about… it is a blend of Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, Martial Arts and more designed to not only work you out physically but allow your mind to create positive energies. The main foundation of SheaNetics is what Vaughn calls the “5 Living Principles” (Commitment, Perseverance, Integrity, Self Control and Love). How it differs from other exercise programs (the claim is…) is that it is geared to find total health and fulfillment not just short term goals.
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The above is just a basic outline of SheaNetics if you would like more information about it I suggest you visit the website http://www.sheanetics.com/index.htm.  The book that is the subject of this book review is designed to help the SheaNetics student further develop their 5 Living Principles. Across eight chapters Vaughn breaks down for the reader what a Breakthrough is and how to achieve one and then once you achieve a Breakthrough what to do with it. The book is very accessible to almost any reader. The tone is that of a friend giving advice. There are numerous personal stories throughout the book illustrating her points. Some of them are heartfelt and well thought out and do illustrate the moment or breakthrough she was trying to convey. Others are not as well written or illustrative, but on the whole the book provides the reader with many examples to plant the seed of meditation and Vaughn’s 5 Living Principles in the their brain.

There are places in the book that could have been more informative to be truly useful to the reader. For example, the early chapters are at times hard to follow and the point of the book cannot really be grasped until the later chapters. It would have been nice if the anatomy of the Breakthrough and how it differs from a “moment” were explored in a little more depth.

One of my favorite chapters of the book was Chapter Four Modern Meditation. I thought her approach to mediation was refreshing and accessible to any reader. Another thing that was pleasing about the book was the whole interactive feel. As I mentioned earlier the tone of the book is one of a friend giving advice. In addition to an accessible tone there were also places in the book for you to write your own comments and reflections (this is the type of book you will want a paper copy of). Perhaps the best thing about this book is Chapter 8 Shea’s 5 Day Breakthrough Boost. It is one thing to discuss theory throughout a book but it becomes much more real when the writer gives you concrete examples of how to make the changes they suggest. In Chapter 8 Vaughn breaks down the 5 Living Principles and tells you exercises you can do, foods you can eat and mind boosts you can perform to achieve each of the principles and ultimately  daily well-being.

As a practitioner of yoga and a student of meditation, many of the principles in the book were not as groundbreaking for me as they might be for a student who has never or rarely embarked on a physical/spiritual journey. That being said I can recommend this book to many readers and here is why; it is easy to read and understand and anyone regardless of their position in life can embrace at least some of the ideas explored in this book. In the end she promotes well-being through physical and mental work… and who is not in favor of some well-being?

Novel Moments:
“But what exactly is a Breakthrough? It is a change in the way you view something. It can be subtle or radical shift in perception.” (21)

“It’s not the essence of the moment; it’s the awareness and understanding of it that elicits Breakthroughs.” (44)

Note: I was given this book by the publisher for review, in no way did it effect what was written in this review.


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