- Clearing Emotional Clutter by Donald Altman
- Format: Paperback
It is widely accepted within the spiritual community that ‘living in the light’ effectively means ‘traveling in the light’ – ‘light’, in this context, referring to both spiritual power via our Sun and to the process of carrying as little psychospiritual baggage as possible.
For many people the act of traveling the path of life completely uncluttered is a an optimum condition to be in but despite our best efforts there are invariably times when we are faced with deeper issues – the residue of problems that arise from unresolved problems, old dilemmas and deep traumas that we have suffered in the past.
The question for many us is how exactly do we approach the process of clearing out our accumulated junk and dissolve its lasting effects.
In his book ‘Clearing Emotional Clutter’ psychotherapist and award-winning author Donald Altman reveals the blockages that we face in life and offers his readers practical guidance on their removal from within our psyches.
As he explains in his commentary on approaching the clearing process
Constant dwelling on negative clutter, or Velco thinking, creates a well-worn groove in the brain that plays over and over just like a favorite song – one that we now know affects the body’s health.
Atman’s book is arranged in four parts. Part one deals with the way in which we can become more aware of the old emotional clutter which, even today, can determine the way that we subconsciously act and behave. At this point Altman presents a powerful set of tools that are said to rewire the brain and to force it to act in accordance with new sets of values and more constructive concepts.
Part two of ‘Clearing Emotional Clutter’ focuses upon the sort of clutter that directly impacts upon our ability to connect openly and genuinely with others. Here the author extols the virtues of engaging with others in a variety of ways that promote openness and trust.
Part three draws upon the work that he covers in the earlier parts of the book and extends them by advising the reader on a number of effective exercises that can be used to avoid building up new layers of emotional junk. This includes such practices as mindful grounding, connecting with nature and simplifying your life. He believes that from making these changes we can move into a position of experiencing more joy each and every day.
In part four Altman offers the reader specific approaches towards discovering one’s life purpose. This is a process which the author states can
…can bring your most cherished values into the world in a truly self-sustaining and life-affirming way.
Connect With Purpose
In the closing of his book Altman examines the role of having a ‘purpose in your life’ – a goal which he believes emerges from a four-step process.
Here he specifically refers to Joseph Campbell’s extensive research into the archetypal hero’s myth – a long and difficult process which requires the initiate to undergo great personal tests and privations before experiencing the spiritual transformation so necessary to discover one’s personal path and destiny.
It is only when we reach that important point of personal attainment that all the work previously done on personal emotional clutter-clearing returns a reward.
Our Review of ‘Clearing Emotional Clutter’ by Donald Altman
This is a publication that whilst not overly unique in its approach to self-transformative work is, nevertheless, an engaging and personalised experience for any reader who is new to psychospiritual philosophy and inner work.
It is a book which, in the main, is more consistently focused upon the development of a grounded and philosophical approach to life than of being a cozy fireside amble through New Age fluff.
In a way the philosophy that Altman espouses takes the best of traditional Buddhist practice and mixes it with slightly edgier Western psychological themes to create an approach to the subject of emotional clearing that goes slightly deeper into the world of the inner psyche than many books on the same subject.
The exercises contained in the book are pretty standard fare but the sense of deep self-analysis that is central to this book is strengthened by the inclusion of questions that one can call upon oneself to answer. In this regard this is a book that draws out transformative actions from its reader rather than enforce them externally through imposing exhortations to do this or that.
Thus, whilst not a book to overly excite the senses it is a consistently good and entertaining read.
Clearing Emotional Clutter provides a powerful and objective-based approach to unravelling any emotionally confused and dragged-down reader leaving them to move forward into specific future-focused directions. It makes for enjoyable and insightful reading with a slight edge for readers who might be looking for a more incisive approach to the subject of emotional clearing.
Book of the Month: March 2016
Credit: Review copy kindly supplied by PGUK, London.