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Book Review: The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit by Azim Khamisa and Jillian Quinn

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“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, for the most essential things are invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint Exupéry.

I started reading The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit on a very frustrating day when technology wouldn’t do what I asked, and my spirit was indeed shot. So I picked up the book, and, while still in the Introduction, I was quickly brought back to the reality of what matters in life, and it’s not a computer. Use this book to take a breather, get in touch with your life, and assess what’s important to you.

Both authors, Azim Khamisa and Jillian Quinn, are committed to helping people remember to grasp true spirituality – however one chooses to define it. Khamisa is a recipient of the California Peace Prize for his work in the forgiveness movement, while Quinn is Associate Minister at the Interfaith Temple in New York and is a National Endowment for the Humanities recipient. Both have experienced more than their share of heartbreak and loss.

Much of their attention is focused on the issues that hurt us most deeply. I learned a great deal reading of their personal experiences and the ways they learned to cope with deep grief. They teach us to pay attention to the path that grieving takes. And, as we all know, grief takes its time with us. Eventually, periods of trial and suffering can lead to transformation and growth if our spirit is resilient. The essence of the book examines the qualities possessed by spiritually resilient people, as compared to the spiritually fragile.

Recognizing that the concept of forgiveness requires we step out of our comfort zone, the authors describe forgiveness as the ability to “give love ahead of time.” It helps you recognize that forgiveness will let you bounce back from hurt.

Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying: “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” We need a new way of seeing people so we can understand ways of dealing with grief and ways of forgiving. That’s why the emphasis in The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit is on spiritual resilience. Through life, we encounter many traumas, and learn that we eventually bounce back from them.

Spiritually bulletproof people recognize their human impulses to find fault and look for the worst in others. But we learn we can increase our own spiritual strength and joy by catching others being good and looking for the best in the world. It’s a matter of remaining conscious of the way we see people and situations that confront us every day.

The cleansing feeling that comes from our found moments of spirituality is an appropriate metaphor for “spiritual hygiene” routines. These are ways to feed your soul and strengthen your spirit, just like our daily personal hygiene rituals. Spiritual hygiene practiced daily is ongoing and comprehensive, just like personal hygiene, and it rewards us with stamina to draw upon when adversity strikes.

As we know from the famed “law of attraction,” our desires, channeled through imagination, thoughts, intentions, and words, flow out into the universe. Your desire is never “doing nothing” – it is always working for or against your highest good. Desire is one of the keys to successfully manifesting anything in the material world.

While you can want something fully, you must also learn to open your heart to whatever outcome occurs. So the authors’ concept of detachment is not forcing you to want nothing and not about letting go of any goals and dreams. Practicing detachment helps us separate from the expectation and accept the reality of what unfolds.

In The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit you’ll find an interesting section on confidence and consciousness, discussing the way intuitive people seek solitude to cultivate their intuitive faculties, and how they fully listen, and confidently act upon their intuition.

Finally, we are all spiritually bulletproof people. We have the resilience to bounce back from life’s toughest hits. When we become more conscious of our goals and values, our purpose or calling in life comes into focus. “The key," according to Khamisa and Quinn, "is to figure out where your goals and your values intersect. It‘s not enough to know what you want, you need to be clear about what really matters to you and who you really are.”

Fortunately, The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit includes a “Bounce Back Boot Camp” section at the end of each chapter, to aid your thought process and journal keeping as you move closer to spiritual resilience, and includes helpful affirmations to keep you on track.

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About Helen Gallagher