Book Review: Neale Donald Walsh’s Little Book of LifeLauren Earle December 1, 2010
Author: Neale Donald Walsh
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Co.
Book Publication: 2010
Neale Donald Walsh, best known for his Conversations with God series, is back, providing his insight into three important facets of our lives – our relationships, professions, and interactions with the world at large. While his Conversations with Godseries offered, according to Walsh, God’s direct lectures, the Little Book of Life contains the messages that Walsh has deemed “seminal, pivotal, and vital to any real understanding of how to apply the wisdom in Conversations with God to our everyday lives.”
While Walsh is adamant that the first series was the result of a direct dialogue with God, he asserts that it’s not necessary to agree with him on this point in order to absorb the true messages of this material. So, the message is what matters, whether you believe its source or not.
The book is divided into three sections, the first of which examines our relationships with others. Relationships are, according to Walsh, “the most important experience of our lives. Without it, we are nothing. Literally.” And despite, or perhaps because of, their magnitude, we have difficulty understanding and maintaining them to our satisfaction – we interact with one another in so many different ways, yet we still fail to master this realm.
Walsh says this is mostly the result of the approach that we take to relationships. We work so hard to keep others interested in us that we’re willing to sacrifice parts of who we are just to keep them happy and to make them stay. We also dive into relationships with expectations, which Walsh says is the last thing we should be doing: “The purpose of a relationship has nothing to do with what you think you can get out of it, and everything to do with what you choose to put into it…simply putting something into it as a means of noticing Who You Really Are.”
The process of connecting with someone allows us to define and recreate ourselves in relation to that other person – we can’t find a certain aspect in ourselves until we’re able to recognize it in another. So, a healthy relationship will allow for self-realization (which, by the way, can’t be done alone, as the name might suggest, but must involve our relation to those we love), and will be completely unconditional. Walsh believes, then, that the three most important words in a relationship are not “I love you,” but are instead, “as you wish.” We must be willing to do things for others for their sake, and not for our own.
The next section of the book examines the way in which we view and relate to ourselves. It’s all about abundance, and it’s all about our own perspective of that abundance – most of us are unable, or unwilling, to acknowledge just how much abundance we have in our lives. Walsh isn’t talking about how much money we have, or any other type of material possession, but rather about being who you are and radiating your beingness to others around you. When you “share your abundance of beingness abundantly,” things will come to you automatically.
When it comes to finding the profession that will make you happy, it’s not a matter of determining what you want to do with your life, but what and who you want to be – you need to find a profession that allows for complete self-expression. You will also be happiest with this livelihood if you opt to share your abundance as fully as possible. As Walsh says, “All we have to do is share with each other a level of beingness that others recognize as something they want to be touched by, all the time. And if we’re willing to do that, it doesn’t matter what our doingness in life is.”
The final chapter of the Little Book of Life has to do with your general state of mind. You have to remember that your mindset plays a major role in what happens to you – the more positively you approach life, the healthier you will be, and the easier your life will become. Our emotional baggage weighs on us, so if we want to live holistic lives, forgiveness is essential. It is also crucial to face your fear, never allowing it to control any aspect of your life. Walsh asserts that when you can say to yourself, “I am guiltless and innocent” with confidence, you are well on your way to allowing yourself to truly be you.
Walsh has a lot to say, and this conversation is always compelling. He never errs toward preaching, despite the fact that his knowledge, as he says, has come to him from a direct conversation with God. He’s just a regular and oftentimes funny guy, whom you don’t mind listening to, because his outright honesty makes him easily relatable. It’s not hard to find merit in his messages – it’s just a matter of whether you choose to listen.