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Words That Free You, by Jacques Martel

Words That Free You: What You Say Is What You Become, by Jacques Martel
Findhorn Press, 9781644119624, 128 pages, January 2024

In his life-altering book, Words That Free You: What You Say Is What You Become, Jacques Martel provides the reader with a primer to rewire your brain and connect with your heart for a more abundant life.

As a psychologist and trainer, Martel has been a leader in the personal development field for more than 35 years. In addition to his education in engineering, Martel has trained in Reiki and Reconnection Therapy. He has also created his own healing modality, which he calls ITHT (Integration Through the Heart Technique). Martel has written several other books and travels around the world teaching and lecturing. He resides in Quebec, Canada. You can learn more about him at his website.

Although this book is small, it is packed with many helpful tools and tips for living a more abundant and positive life. I have recently become more aware of the thoughts that come into my head and the words I speak. I picked up this book to see how I could make changes to both aspects. On the first page of the book, Martel shares that he often makes suggestions in his seminars regarding the words that participants use and the reasons for making such changes. After being asked several times to create a book of these tips, he decided to do so.

“The purpose of this book is to provide simple means for changing my language to gain more freedom, wisdom, and love in my life.”1

Martel discusses consciousness, how the brain works, and the power of intention in order to introduce the reader to his subject matter. He does a great job explaining the difference between the conscious brain and the subconscious brain. He advises the reader:

“It is vital to know that my brain cannot tell the difference between what is: 

  • Real 
  • Imaginary 
  • Virtual 
  • Symbolic”2

Touching on how the brain processes homonyms, Martel shares several stores about the different meanings of words that sound the same to the brain. Interestingly, he shares examples from his native French and English! Later, he discusses the “Power of using ‘I’ in positive thoughts,”3 and provides 60 examples of such thoughts.

For many of the positive thoughts, Martel inserts the ♥ symbol, which is his way of marking passages for which he recommends “moving from my head toward my heart, which then leads to a healing in love or to the reinforcement of a positive attitude.”4 He has sprinkled the heart symbol throughout the book.

Words That Free Youis very well structured. It includes a complete contents section that allows you to go back to chapters for further review. Each right-hand page is marked with the chapter title at the top of the page, which is very helpful, as well. There are also many tables and lists, which are so helpful for pulling out the important content. Martel also includes a conclusion section, where he wraps up the book and refers to how others have used the information from his seminars through the years. Then he adds a list of books for further reading and includes books in both English and his native French.

My favorite chapter in the book is the one entitled “The Power of Saying ‘I Know’ Instead of ‘I Think’ or ‘I Believe.’” Martel provides realistic examples of how this works in life and how he addresses naysayers in his seminars:

“We clearly understand that ‘I know’ doesn’t mean that in our physical reality ‘I know’ 100 percent of everything I say and do, but in so doing I open myself to the likelihood that this will show up more quickly in my physical consciousness, and I thus become more aware of my connection to the Soul that I am, who does KNOW EVERYTHING.”5

He also includes testimonials from students and apprentices who have used this tip and how it has changed their lives. 

I especially enjoyed the Table of Negative and Positive Expressions. Martel begins with a comprehensive list of phrases that are negative or pessimistic. In his words, these are: “Negatively slanted sentences or common expressions that manifest the dark side.”6 Examples are: “It’s a pain” or “It’s terrible.”7

Next, he has a list of phrases or sentences that “bring in the light.”8 Here, he shares uplifting replacements such as “Life is great” and “It’s brilliant.”9 I’d like to point out that he has four pages of negative expressions and six pages of positive ones! He also has a chapter on the importance of mantras and another on the benefits of chanting.  

I really enjoyed Words That Free You. Its small size hides its brilliance and the truth and wisdom that Martel shares. I will enjoy using the various tips, tools, and tables as I work to change my thoughts and words to create a better life for myself.

Anyone who is interested in consciousness and becoming more aware of the impact of words and thoughts will benefit from this book. It is written in a conversational style that is easy to comprehend. The various testimonials that Martel shares show how impactful his seminars are and are a testament to his legacy as a thought leader.

Living a Hygge Lifestyle This Winter

Hygge. You might have seen the word. You might even be familiar with some of its concepts. You probably have a hard time pronouncing it! (It’s pronounced “hoo-guh” by the way.)

The concept of hygge is that of creating a feeling of coziness in the winter months. But really, it’s more than the accoutrements of coziness such as blankets and candles, although they are important parts. Hygge is a way of life in which one not only copes with living in the winter months but thrives.

Hygge is most associated with Denmark, where the Danes experience dark, cold winter months. Despite the weather, Denmark consistently ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world, if not the happiest. The country even has a Happiness Research Institute, a think tank that focuses on wellbeing.

It’s known that embracing the concept of hygge increases feelings of wellness and contentment. This is because hygge encourages you to embrace the winter season instead of curse it. It’s a shifting of mindset from thinking that winter is an isolating, depressing time to one in which you gain the opportunity to engage in self-care, warmth, quiet, and introspection. Seeing the benefits of each wheel of the year is the supreme act of living seasonally.

How can you embrace hygge and incorporate it into your winter lifestyle?

Comfort is key

Embrace comfort. Pile up the blankets. Wear comfy clothing and thick warm socks. Layer extra throw pillows on the bed or sofa. Create an environment where you feel warm and safe. Instead of wide open spaces, aim for creating a cocoon in a part of a room. Maybe it’s a chair in a corner that transforms into a reading nook.

Flame your fires

Cozy up to a fireplace. If you have one, light it. If you don’t have a fireplace you can improvise. Buy a space heater that simulates a fireplace, flame and all. Or, upload an image of a fireplace on your computer or television and sit for a spell.

Seasonal eating

Cook and eat comfort foods. Stews, soups, bread, warm drinks. Fill your belly with warmth. These winter foods tend to take longer to prepare, so slow down and enjoy the time chopping, kneading, baking, and simmering.

Decrease the electricity

Fill your space with candlelight. As daylight tends to be shorter, bring light in with candles. Allow the soft glow of real candles or even flameless candles to create ambience. Remember, don’t curse the darkness, light a candle! Turn off electronic devices and decrease the use of artificial lighting.

Fill up on fresh air

Get outdoors even if it’s in short spurts! Look at the different perspectives available to you in the winter months, when the bones of nature are exposed. Breathe in fresh air. Embrace a star-filled winter night sky.

Dress the part

Dress appropriately for the weather. Bundle up. Wearing the proper clothing will make it an enjoyable experience. Meik Wiking, Chief Executive of the Happiness Institute, is a proponent of what she calls the benefit of “outdoorphins.” The Danes have a saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

Gather with loved ones

This year, with the world experience of pandemic, one of the most important components of hygge can’t be easily or safely experienced: communing with friends and family. Normally, sitting around a table sharing food, conversation, and laughter with friends and family is a big part of the hygge lifestyle. Just because socializing needs to look different this year doesn’t mean you should forgot about it as part of your hygge winter plans. If possible, have a bonfire party with social distancing. Ask everyone to bring a basket of food and drinks for themselves, and sit around the fire socializing, eating, and covered in blankets. However, if outdoor socializing isn’t possible (or permitted), embrace the moment and let 2020 be the year that you focus on communing with yourself.

Living a hygge lifestyle turns the concept of “coping” with winter into embracing it. Look at it as an opportunity to engage in self-care. Winter is all about turning inward. Use this time to rest and relax. The concept of hygge is meant to be lived and experienced as it provides real physical and emotional benefits. Remember to focus on the present, live in the moment, wrap yourself in warmth.