today I will ask myself what would I be
without anything? ALL OF IT…
what would I be worth if it were all
just stripped away leaving me just
with me and I had to be just who I am?
Someone once told me that reading poems was like looking into the poet’s soul. Luke Benoit’s All Storms Pass: The Anti-Meditations consists of meditations that inspire, challenge, and guide the reader to look into their own soul and to find his or her true self. Benoit is a Certified Life Coach and a Certified Professional NLP Hypnotist. He assists people to cultivate healthy change, confront problems, and to seek joy within. His book is a compilation of meditations that he uses when helping people work through their issues. The poems help the reader to see that one of the biggest stumbling blocks that people encounter on their path to peace and happiness is themselves.
For those familiar with meditation books, Benoit’s meditations might surprise you. There are some that may seem familiar and hopeful. Many of them offer thoughts that hard times give us strength and make us stronger. Some raise interesting issues, such as how one person can be toxic for us and consume our thoughts.
Why is it we can be in a room of 100 people
and be surrounded 99 who love us and one
who doesn’t… and then all my attention goes to that
One of my favorite lines was “I need to be my Earth and not your moon.” This line speaks volumes and demonstrates Benoit’s ability to use poems to empower the reader to embrace their uniqueness and self and not let other’s diminish their self-worth or worse, take over their lives and extinguish their light.
The author occasionally breaks away from the traditional meditation and provides some that are dark. For example, in one titled “The Fairy Tale of 9 Fingers” he writes of a woman who was wronged by her husband. The wife didn’t leave him. Instead she asked a witch to cut off his finger, which she put in a jar, for his punishment.
And in time, the finger on the shelf in the jar
turned into a heart of lust and the heart of lust
turned into a heart full of pain and then
9 remaining fingers began to fall off all on their own
one by one and with no cutting.
Not all of the meditations are dark. There are riddles that challenge the reader to take a good look at their own actions and to ask who is responsible for their troubles: a spouse, a friend, a relative, a boss, or themselves. As he explains on many occasions, we have the power to choose happiness or self-destruction. The only person you can control in life is yourself. And he challenges you to seek peace of mind and to understand that difficulties will pass. How you tackle these difficulties shape who you are.
Benoit includes quotes from people of all walks of life. They range from Alanis Morrisette to Dr. Phil. Also, he has meditations for holidays, birthdays, difficult days, and days when you want to look inside yourself and find ways to improve. This book would be a great companion for anyone searching for self-help tips and it would be especially helpful to those dealing with addictions, recovery, and relationship issues. While I read his meditations, I thought it would be useful to read one of the meditations each day and to challenge myself to assess my life and more importantly, me. I give Benoit’s book 4 out of 5 stars.