How the Ancient Discipline of “Spiritual Reading” Can Heal Difficult Relationships
Coming February 14, 2024, from ACTA Publications: Less Helping Them, More Healing You: The Transcendent Gift of an Ancient Spiritual Practice by Jean P. Kelly
All of us recycle pain, but few of us caught in a spiral of suffering have the energy, the knowledge, and the courage to spot and manage deep dysfunction in family and romantic relationships. As the “healthy ones,” we simply try harder, praying that the next mindfulness app or bullet journal or self-care routine or sacrifice will ease our anxiety and reveal the road to wholeness. Author Jean P. Kelly has been there more than once.
In the introduction of her new self-help spiritual memoir, Less Helping Them, More Healing You, Kelly writes “When I fell in love and made a family with an unrepentant alcoholic, I was navigating blind. I was unable to distinguish signposts toward fulfillment from those pointing toward a toxic mix of old insecurities, self-serving concepts of self-sacrifice, and false humility.
“I was detoured for miles and years by patterns I now recognize as codependent behavior, until I happened upon this ancient approach to mindfulness and the straighter, healthier, spiritual path trod by so many before me. Spiritual Reading taught how to detach from my situation with love in order to experience divine love, accepting that my only obligation was mercy, not sacrifice. Once I learned four simple steps—Read, Reflect, Respond, Receive—I found space not only to recognize but also avoid roadblocks set by the dysfunctional people in my life.”
Less Helping Them, More Healing You offers an approach to mindfulness that is not another task to add to a fraught day of healing one’s self…by one’s self. It is an invitation to join an ancient community of seekers who have practiced, taught, and embodied centeredness—a certain detachment—achieved through reading. Each chapter explains not only the process with easy-to-follow prompts, but also provides guidance for choosing books, art, music, or even life experience as “textual” starting points for healing.
Join Jean Kelly and the wise guides she has discovered as they point the way toward self-knowledge, self-acceptance, self-gift, and above all love.
Jean P. Kelly, Ph.D., is a storyteller, seeker, and guide. She is the host of the award-winning podcast Read. Pray. Write. at www.readpraywrite.com. She is Associate Professor of Journalism at Otterbein University in Central Ohio, and teaches writing, branding, graphic design, and podcast storytelling.
Author about her book
“Reading, mediation, and contemplation not only calmed my anxiety; a vibration told me that the daily practice was an act of resistance. Even if I struggled to settle, defiance awakened an inner voice to drown out the babble of self-judgment and resentment. I would not allow hurt to harden my body, mind, and spirit, as it had so many troubled souls in my life. The past would not limit my future possibilities. Grace was mine, a gift opening me to advice from unexpected guides along my intentional path.”
“The words of Julian of Norwich and other wise scribes of the past that I discovered during Spiritual Reading were like a sacred susurration, across time and space. I inclined my ear toward a subtle energy, a synchronous vibration well below my physical hearing range that seemed positive and challenging at the same time.”