Book Review: Positive Energy


by Judith Orloff, M.D.
I just finished spending the bulk of my Memorial Day weekend reading the
book, "Positive Energy" and I found it a compelling and insightful read.

daughter, Christine has battled Lupus and its tiring effects for more than 10
years now, and I too have struggled with fatigue and a loss of energy, while
juggling two jobs and a one hour commute each day. So, I was very interested in
this subject. Dr. Orloff is an Energy Psychiatrist, specializing in the
interrelationship of intuition, energy and medicine and through her work she
came upon 10 "prescriptions" for building your energy. If we don’t have a major
illness, most of us when complaining of a drain of energy are told to get more
sleep or eat better, but the author suggests that there are many more hidden
factors that deplete us. She suggests that there is a rampant energy crisis in
our world and she doesn’t allude to the high cost of gasoline or oil. How many
of your friends and coworkers complain about being tired? Most of mine do and it
seems like that is the bulk of our conversations. Dr. Orloff puts part of the
blame on a high tech volatile society, bombarding us with information overload
from beepers, cell phones, e-mail, faxes and up-to-the-minute television
coverage. "We’ve learned to tolerate tired, joyless states as normal," she
states. Without going through all 10 prescriptions, here are some of the energy
drainers she addresses. Toxic people (you know who they are), who we dread
seeing or talking to and who make us feel exhausted after they leave. Fear,
anger and worry are big energy thieves- work to let them go or they will
overcome you. Rushing seems to be a way of living. We actually "rush" to go
somewhere to relax. Rushing steals your well being. Even our breathing is
rushed. Dr. Orloff suggests that most of us unconsciously hold our breaths and
rarely breathe deeply. I was told once by a chiropractor that I was a shallow
breather and I remember thinking that my breath was something I never even
noticed and certainly took for granted. Workaholism and multitasking is somehow
honored in our society but, attempting to do so much at once, prevents us from
truly focusing on what we are doing and leaves us feeling depleted. "Our full
attention is a gift we must give ourselves and each other." All the energy
drainers are too numerous to mention, but the book gives solutions or hints to
conquer each of them. Dr. Orloff advocates regularly scheduled down times,
treating yourself well, prioritizing essentials, being able to say "no" to
others, listening to your innate intuition about people and situations, finding
a spiritual path to practice that works for you, meditating in silence for just
three minutes a day, eating for energy as a goal instead of pure craving,
drinking lots of water and making a gratitude list every day. The list of
suggestions goes on and on. I especially found credence in her sixth
prescription- Open yourself to the flow of creativity and inspiration.
Creativity is the mother of all energies but, as we grow up, many of us leave
our creative sides aside. As a Pre-K teacher, I see children every day become
excited about creating with paints, clay and craft materials. They have no
boundaries holding them back and they are thrilled at their creations. All
children are naturally energized because they have tapped into their creative
sides. We as adults need to find something we are passionate about such as
writing, gardening, dancing, whatever. "Creative energy can be an
antidepressant," Dr. Orloff reminds us. Each chapter outlines her ten
"prescriptions" and steps to achieve them. Granted, most self help or
inspirational type books do not espouse anything that we haven’t heard before,
but "Positive Energy" puts a lot of common sense thoughts in a way that rings
true and hopefully if you see yourself and your own pitfalls in the book, you
will avoid them and develop more energy as a result. I recommend this book to
anyone who’s ever been tired – I guess that means all of us.

Title: Positive Energy
Author: Judith Orloff, M.D.
Publisher: Harmony Books
ISBN: 0609610104
Review written by:Janet Pope
Reviewer’s Rating: 9