What do you think of when you hear the words ‘self-help’? Probably what I think – I don’t have time, it’s all the same gibberish, it’s too convoluted and complex to practically apply it to my everyday routine. I hear you. I understand the reluctance to read spiritual guidance – life is busy enough as it is, and I can barely follow common sense practices that I learned when I was twelve, let alone complicated spiritual teachings. But this is what makes Jennifer McDonald’s little book Vegetarian Vampires and What We Can Learn From Them a miracle for impatiently dubious people like me.
It is drawn from Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, a collection of seven laws that are renowned for their simple yet effective laws of nature that when followed and applied to your everyday thinking, can transform your life. He teaches all the fundamentals of spirituality, from daily meditation to practicing non judgement to the laws of karma – reaping what you sow, and so forth. But he also instructs to accept things as they are, to release yourself of expectations and to give and receive everything in life from possessions to love, as if everything can be thought of in terms of currency.
Many have interpreted his laws, but sometimes, for the busy student or the frantic parent, without a voice that one can relate to and examples that mirror those of your own life, spiritual guidance can be tough waters to wade through.
Divided into seven small chapters, Vegetarian Vampires takes Chopra’s laws and explains them with aplomb from McDonald’s personal experience. She is a small business owner and mother, and has taken these verbose and at times confounding laws and brought them down to earth for us mere mortals.
But what makes McDonald's interpretation of Chopra's laws different from every other commentary on achieving success in your life is her ability to take his laws, and through her honest, unique perspective, explains her failures and identifies where Chopra’s advice would have or did guide her to success. From everyday joys and issues, to deaths in the family, to dire work situations, to health issues - she explains how the laws got her out of it, or would have if she had been following them to begin with, helping you understand how to maneuver yourself easily from issue to issue. I have to say, I’ve already noticed subtle changes in my own life - stressing less, focusing more and reflecting on my experiences with a fresh perspective.
So, throughout this blog post you may have been dying to know: what in God’s name is a Vegetarian Vampire? And what do pale monsters on a diet have to do with applying spiritual practices to your life? Sorry folks, there will be no spoilers here. However, suffice to say, a few pages into the book where McDonald’s intent was divulged and her assortment of approaches to life unfolded, I was entranced. Her distinctive perspective on the tribulations we will all face at some point or have already bore is written with a relatable, humble, wise, humorous and supportive voice, and will make your head throw back with laughter and your eyes prick uncomfortably.
This little pocket-sized, self-help book includes something for those of all ages. It will live and breathe in your bag and your bedside table, until you start to notice changes in your life; a trigger in the mind to change its patterns, and once the mind has been changed, the reality changes with it.
You can buy your copy of Vegetarian Vampires and What We Can Learn From Them here!