Lately pretty much everyone around me is going through small or big painful transitions. People are stuck or just unhappy without realizing exactly why, or they have to deal with serious health issues, job loss, divorce or even death of a partner. “Life sucks” is an expression I hear a lot these days. The 3 Cs, Chaos, Crisis, Confusion: Your invitation to a new life by Alana Fairchild seems to want to tackle exactly that issue.
I go through life trying to make the best out of very little. But I am quite allergic to writers who tell me I just need to ‘stop thinking negative’ and abundance and health will come my way. If you end up in a wheelchair you’re allowed to be pissed off at the world for a while. No amount of positive thinking is going to give you your legs back. I don’t support wallowing in self-pity, but pain is pain and unless you’re a robot no-one can ignore that without doing further damage. So, if I see a book telling me misery can be averted as long as I ‘believe’ (with probably the reverse as well) I have my hairs standing on end.
Two books in one
Luckily with Alana Fairchild’s The 3 Cs the story is a little different. No hives necessary. The book comes in a 220 pages thick paperback with reddish quality soft cover and bookmark flap. The titles are in relief. It fits what I’ve seen from Blue Angel so far: they always choose quality materials. Fairchild’s work consists of two different parts: the section where you read about Chaos, Crisis and Confusion and how to deal with them, and the workbook segment with exercises linked to all the three C’s (and a couple more. Who knew there were so many interesting words with a C!).
Important points in The 3 Cs
The word destiny is one of the most important concepts in The 3 Cs. The author is of a mind that when life throws you a curve ball it is to eventually reach your true destiny. What you wanted or had is not (or no longer) for you. If you fight the change it will only take you longer to get there. The focus of The 3 Cs:
If I needed to describe this book’s message in one sentence I would say: grow into your inner power and have faith that ‘everything happens for a reason’. No-one has control over life and change. Despite dramatic or extremely hurtful changes it is important how you deal with it. Fairchild truly believes that as long as you accept the pain of life, move through it, you’ll eventually find the purpose behind your crisis and move on to better things. A caterpillar becoming a butterfly is also messy and uncomfortable, but the little bugger does it anyway. Even if you think that the things in your life are currently too painful to deal with: you are wrong. It means you have more potential than you think.
It is obvious this statement comes from a position of trust and while I agree with a huge portion I am not sure how realistic it is. Say you’ve just lost your partner to cancer and/or the roof over your head. How on earth is being homeless ‘for the best’? But this is more about me not having seen proof of the Law of Attraction in the almost 40 years I have been on this planet and less about the actual book. And I am sure The 3 Cs will give you some much needed strength – and for some a necessary kick in the behind.
If you are intimately acquainted with mindfulness training or cognitive behavioral therapy you won’t find groundbreaking material in The 3 Cs. That’s not to say there isn’t something new and helpful in this book. These 220 pages are meant for people who are 1. newbies to mindfulness and 2. are going trough a rough patch + looking for a way to deal. And I think The 3 Cs is well equipped to do that in a refreshing way: it is written from a personal standpoint, without becoming an autobiography or an “I survived illness X”-pamflet.
Fairchild’s writing style is a relief amongst books in this genre
Alana Fairchild uses her own experiences to explain how damaging it can be if you don’t take charge of your own life and how rewarding it can be to trust everything will be allright. In order to do so she uses both anecdotes and an enormous amount of metaphors. Quite adequately I might add. She has a very nice, descriptive writing style and is able to place a wink here and there. Quite a relief amongst the mass of tedious or woolly books in this genre. I do think the first part of the book could have been a little shorter. There is power in repetition, but here the repetition and overlap reached the point of over-kill at times.
The text focuses mostly on behavior, emotions and personal development. It never becomes airy-fairy if you catch my drift. Fairchild’s writing has a sturdy base in both experience and science. For example she explains that emotions are energy and we can control what happens next. Indeed, your real emotion passes quickly (according to scientific studies: max 90 seconds. See for example Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight) and during you can already decide what to do next. It think this might even be the true core of The 3 Cs. Basically everything in the first half of the book is preparing you for part 2: a goldmine of exercises that’ll help you deal with chaos, crisis, confusion and ‘negative’ thinking as a result of hardship.
The 3 Cs felt like a friend helping me
The amount of exercises is not only extensive (4 chapters) but there’s also great variety. Think visualization, affirmation, writing, questions and meditation. The great thing according to the author: you can be a sceptic all you want, you don’t even need to be a believer when you do them. If you do them on a regular basis you will start to feel the difference. Of course for the purpose of this review I just did a few for two weeks, so I am not able to tell you if it has changed my life in any way (or will). But some definitely make you relax to begin with.
I am no stranger to mindfulness training, so the type of exercises felt familiar without being on repeat. What I really like about The 3 Cs Workbook, is that every exercise has its own introduction with examples of every day life or personal anecdotes. Fairchild’s way of writing felt like a friend helping me and I really understood why some exercises were necessary for a specific state of mind. Basically this book is one big guided meditation with a voice that’s actually soothing *and* has a little sense of humor.
It is no surprise Alana Fairchild was a psychotherapist for over a decade and her faith in the Law of Attraction is also obvious when reading this publication. Both her working knowledge and her beliefs about life are integrated in The 3Cs. She has a sharp pen and based on this book I am willing to say: a big heart too. She has not convinced me on the Law of Attraction bit (If you do believe in that, it’ll be your bonus), but everything is well written and useful.
If you have a practice as a coach I think you could use this book with clients as a complementary therapy because it is more ‘personal’ than books written by other therapists. If you are ‘just a person’ and not willing or capable of going to a therapist or mindfulness training The 3 Cs can be an ideal compromise to finding help. Life can be super rough at times and while I don’t believe this book is going to change your circumstances it will definitely help you to deal with them. And maybe *that* will eventually lead to improvement. In other words: mission accomplished.
|Author or artist||Publisher||Publication|
|Alana Fairchild||Blue Angel Publishing||Jan 2016 (Aus) or April 2016 (US)|
If you’re in Australia you can order the book from Blue Angel Publishing already, others can pre-order The 3 Cs from Amazon (Bookdepository is expecting stock in June 2016).