In her book, Becoming Yourself: The Journey From Head to Heart, author Jan Engels-Smith shows you how to incorporate the creative heart and soul powers into the process of Western rational thought of self-analysis. The results are a journey towards complete self-awareness – one that ultimately integrates the total self – mind, heart and soul.
The revised and expanded edition of Becoming Yourself: The Journey from Head to Heart contains numerous new teachings and spiritual insights that have come through as “downloads” that the spirits share with Jan. The spirits were clear during the book’s revisions that basic truths must be revisited and that instead of writing a new book, Jan was to expand this material, building for the reader 21st century concepts that are applicable for extraordinary understanding of universal truths that create well being.
While a number of books address the individual’s need to connect with one’s spiritual nature, Becoming Yourself shows how to connect to it and to use this energy to restore wholeness. Jan’s book conveys spiritual lessons through personal accounts and offers proven healing methodologies and exercises based on her decades of experience as a science teacher, counselor and shamanic practitioner. Jan seeks to intertwine physical, emotional and mental concepts and convey them with warmth and support. This creates a powerful, practical and comprehensive guide that enlightens and inspires readers on all levels of the spiritual quest for self.
While working as both a licensed professional counselor and a shamanic healer, Jan has found that people are eager to learn; they want to heal. The continual cycle of unhappiness takes its toll, moving people to look for a better way. They are tired of the pain and victimization, and they are interested in having more power in their lives. We have a society crying out for change and for spiritual connection. Our culture reflects a climate of more openness to spiritual topics. Spiritual growth has never been easy, but we are in a good position for this growth right now.
Table of Contents
A sculptor was once asked how he created such marvelous results from the stone he worked. He replied, “If I want to carve an elephant in stone, I simply chip away all of the stone that does not look like an elephant.” The artist’s creative process involves finding the inherent qualities of the stone and revealing them to the eye. The challenge is to find the truth within the medium. The sculptor’s statement is relevant to the process of self realization as well. In our efforts to find ourselves, we often believe it necessary to reinvent or alter ourselves into someone entirely different from who we are. We overlook the inherent truth within ourselves. Becoming yourself is the process of chipping away that which is not yourself and discovering the self that has always existed. Becoming yourself is finding the divine self, the work of exquisite art, that the universe embedded in your soul. Becoming you – the true you – is a path to healing and enlightenment
2. The Basic
This chapter outlines and defines a belief system that is empowering and fosters the connection between Spirit and self. This chapter lists eight Universal Truths that the author has learned and formulates them into specific statements. These truths are the basis and foundation, not only for this book, but also for an enlightened perspective of life. They preface what you can expect to achieve in terms of enlightenment as a result of reading Becoming Yourself.
3. The Awakening
This chapter opens with an account of the author’s own initial experience by having a vision and contact with the spirit world. Confusion and curiosity regarding the encounter prompted Jan to become more mentally and emotionally open to the meaning of her vision and to potential lessons it shared. Through two years of supposed disappointments in seeking answers to the vision, unable to find adequate resources, meaning began to unfold through serendipitous accounts of spiritual interventions. After a move cross country, Jan was connected to a woman who channeled the author’s guardian spirits. The information received about her vision from two years earlier and her life’s purpose transformed her way of thinking and her life.
4. Shamanic Healing and Soul Retrieval
This chapter defines the cultural belief system of shamanism and its approach and purpose in soul healing. Once a “lost” soul is retrieved and/or cared for properly, healing of the mind, body and emotional state will manifest as a result. What is soul loss? What are the warning signs someone has experienced it? Who is at risk for soul loss and how does the retrieval process happen? These are only a few of the questions that get addressed in this chapter.
5. Life Experiences – Choice – Karma – Unconditional Love
The terms life experiences, choice, karma and unconditional love are all part of the same whole and must be understood holistically. This chapter illustrates how combined, these terms explain the wonder of life. Life experience is defined as the physical realm in which we live and interpret emotions. Jan explains how each lifetime experience is a chosen set of circumstances that ultimately contribute to the unfolding of an individual’s soul.
6. The Universal Laws of Energy and Change
This chapter is designed to give you an understanding of how change is able to occur. The basic principal is that if we are to have control over the changes in our lives, then it is necessary to have an understanding about the role and importance of thoughts, beliefs, ideas and feelings as energy. Jan explains in depth the following four Laws of the Universe:
1. Energy follows intention.
2. Whatever you add energy to multiplies.
3. Thought followed by word and action equals form.
4. What you believe becomes.
These laws apply to all of life and are fundamental in understanding how to work with energy in order to create. Healing, both of self and others, is possible by developing skills in working with these laws. The author explains these laws in an easy to understand approach and diagrams them for reader- friendly appeal. This chapter is inspiring and welcoming; it serves to give confidence in self and to be able to start manifesting positive changes in life. By the end of the chapter you know what the laws are and can apply them to any personal circumstance.
7. Belief Systems, Attitude and Change
Belief systems are the core for all manifestations. What you believe about yourself, about God, about money determines the outcome of your life. Jan outlines over 20 common belief systems that have been tabulated from her extensive psychology work with clients. Readers are encouraged to engage in an exercise that enables them to scrutinize their own belief system. Outlines of thoughts around God and money are given as examples to help illustrate the nature of limiting beliefs and how to replace those beliefs with more positive ones that help clear a path toward fulfillment. Surveys gathered by the author indicate the activities in this chapter are a favorite among readers.
8. Energy is Electrical and Magnetic
Energy fields surround all things. This chapter explains how these magnetically charged forces affect all life through laws of attraction and how readers can learn to use the energy to better manage their life. The author uses stories to explain these ruling forces of nature. She teaches you to be aware and open to these forces. As with most of the laws of nature, these laws are always in motion. Jan explains that they are working regardless of awareness about them. When people learn about these laws, they have the capacity to make the laws work for them because in ignorance, or negative thinking, they often work against people.
9. Collective Consciousness
The collective consciousness follows the same laws of energy that were explained in earlier chapters; however, you now have a larger perspective of how this energy works. We often create a thought form around us that acts like a filter and alters perception. This thought form also pulls energy to it to reinforce it. This chapter starts joining together components from former chapters. Change individual thinking–change the world. Whatever we add energy to multiplies. All thoughts are energy. Energy attracts similar energy. When enough people think the same thoughts, this energy accumulates and creates a collective consciousness. This collective consciousness affects individuals, in turn, they respond from it.
10. Creating Change – A Practical Application of Universal Laws
For readers wanting the tangible ‘how-to-s’ of making positive, lasting life changes, this chapter is full of ideas. Jan takes years of motivational technique experience, psychology approach and teaching wisdom and captures you in this practical, fun, motivating chapter. The techniques and skills of visualization, affirmation, mantras and thought monitoring are explained step-by-step. There are also plenty of examples and thought stimulating references for readers to draw from. The chapter gives you a reflective worksheet in problem solving to complete. Surveys from readers indicate that the act of encouraged contemplation coupled with the outline of specific hands-on techniques makes this chapter a clear example of the value and resource of Becoming Yourself. Jan also pulls spiritual concepts back into this chapter creating a greater connection for you.
What exactly is prayer and how does it work towards creating meaningful change? Jan explores the importance of prayer and why it works. This chapter provides readers with seven concrete and realistic ways of incorporating prayer to fit into anyone’s lifestyle. The author guides you through a series of questions about prayer to ponder. Answers to these questions enable readers to discover for themselves the role and nature of prayer in an individual’s life and inspire the enthusiasm and willingness to get started.
12. Faith and Miracles
This chapter is designed to guide readers towards the belief that spiritual connection is available to anyone. Moreover, that the connection can happen by applying previously presented concepts. Jan defines and diagrams the process of faith building and shares with readers the outcomes to be achieved as a result. Working with energy to achieve a specific reality, based on committed belief consists of love, intention, willingness and mystery. An example story of faith is shared about the author’s ability to walk on fire as a way to illustrate the combination and manifestation of these concepts. Jan reinforces the importance of trust in the healing and self-discovery process and as part of the capacity to create powerful, positive change, even if our experiences are mysterious and unexplainable.
13. Rituals and Ceremonies
The nature of ritual is that is supports change. Rituals are performed to make something happen, to invoke spiritual power, or to identify something as sacred. They are designed to transcend the linear mind, stimulate the senses, and open the subconscious to inner work, inner change and transformation. Jan explores why rituals and ceremonies carry so much power and the importance of including them in everyday life. Jan reviews basic rituals and ceremonies to make them more familiar to people and then expands into ancient ceremonies, such as sweat lodges, that are still performed today. These ceremonies have a clear intention to bring healing and well-being to those who participate in them.
14. The Spiritual Path
The spiritual path is one of transition, movement, and change. As Jan explains, it also a path of commitment and patience. This chapter’s message reiterates the work involved and the rewards that come from the quest for spiritual enlightenment. The author offers reassurance that the path is no different for spiritual masters or lay people–we all follow the same process and approach.
15. Negative Energy
According to the author negative energy is one of the most powerful influences in life. Negative energy is what prevents us from closer self-examination. An important step in enlightenment is to understand negative energy and to conquer the fear that feeds it. Based on accounts of the author’s own healing, psychological and soul retrieval work, the role and manifestation of negative energy is described. Jan discusses the role of spirit helpers in overcoming negative energy and that they protect and love us when we let them. The chapter emphasizes the importance of self-examination and the scrutiny of belief systems when dealing with negative energies on any level.
16. The Shamanic Journey
As the author conveys, one of the most effective ways to make contact with spirits is through the shamanic journey. Jan explains in easy to follow terms and examples: the magic, mystery and method of this ancient practice. You learn what a shamanic journey is and how to do it on your own. A thorough and step-by-step “how-to” method for making contact with spiritual helpers is designed. Although the method is tradition, Jan combines it with years of teaching experience to incorporate proven techniques into the shamanic approach. Jan has had amazing success in teaching journey work using the same approach.
Jan realizes that in any spiritual practice, a focused mind is necessary. She explains in a very unique way the importance of meditation, the benefits of meditation, and how to gain and hold visual and auditory focus by using a designated process. Readers are encouraged to be patient and committed to the process of effective meditation.
Life is a journey of becoming. Jan merges and concludes all the ideas, suggestions and affirmations in this upbeat, encouraging chapter. For those interested in enlightenment, they must seek healing and must create change. The process of getting closer to who we really are begins by looking at what we believe and why we believe it. The final chapter summarizes the book in 22 clear and memorable words of advice that are easy to follow statements. Jan highlights that choice is up to all of us and that it is within each reader’s capacity to be happy, fulfilled, enlightened and part of the amazing journey of becoming ourselves.