Reading & Writing a Life

Carla Pineda's blog

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Gathering Up the Year 2017

IMG_2197Beginning to gather up the year.  I can’t believe I put my hands on all my 2017 journals so quickly.  Often I’m on a hunt all over the house, on bookcases, in tote bags, or who knows where else to get them all in one place.  Soon I will begin to read back through them, highlighting, circling, indexing words, phrases, questions, quotes that leap off the page or that I want to forget I recorded.  It’s another piece of my writing ritual that connects my writing to my life, that helps me make sense of what sometimes feels like random ramblings over blank pages…grateful for my pen and paper and another year.

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Book Review: Hidden Treasure: How to Break Free of Five Patterns that Hide Your True Self by Alice McDowell, PhD.


This is an excellent read!  I was surprised by the amount of information in this book.  Psychology/self-help books often just skim the surface of a topic.  Or, they are too deep for the reader who wants hand-on practical ways of applying tools for growth.  Hidden Treasure: How to Break Free of Five Patterns that Hide Your True Self is hands-on and practical, not light reading yet so readable for the person on their own journey.  Alice McDowell walks her readers through the psychological, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of the 5 character structures she identifies.  She uses questionnaires, cartoons, exercises, and personal narrative to aid in uncovering your true self.  She helps identify how various issues fit into one prominent pattern, often one that stems from an early childhood wound.  Her language is simple, her examples heart-felt as she guides you on a path of psychological growth that empowers healing and a “softening” of life-long patterns of coping that hide us from our true selves.

Dr. McDowell is a therapist, retreat leader, and co-founded Light on the Hill Retreat Center in Van Etten, New York.  She also developed the Hidden Treasure program, a three year training in spiritual and personal growth.  Formerly a professor of religious studies she now leads groups devoted to the inner journey.