In Chameleon Butterfly Dragonfly, Cindy Silbert guides you beyond your ego and intermittent happiness to your true self and lasting fulfillment. Based on her own encounter with the Divine Feminine, she reveals untouched wisdom and three Divine Archetypes that hold the key to balance, expression, power and your destiny. Chameleon Butterfly Dragonfly is more than just another "self-help" book, it takes you on a mystical journey to manifest your greatest desires. Through a self-quiz, readers discover their eminent archetype further revealing their unique characteristics, lifestyle tendencies and life purpose. Ultimately readers receive inspiration and practical guidance to create their destinies and make their mark in the world.
Author Cindy Silbert finds that she is compelled to write a spiritual book that will help women overcome their tendency to let ego rule, in order to find the True Self buried beneath ego. The message, as it were, is fed to the author by the Hawaiian goddess Hina. Cindy's Hawaiian home (at the time of writing) sits on top of the "eye of Hina", so it's only natural that the channeling occurs at her island home.
Why I read this book:
The cover blurb sounded a little New Age but I love reading books about finding fulfillment and balance -- positive-thinking, go get 'em books -- and Chameleon Butterfly Dragonfly sounded right up my alley.
Minor oops . . .
Google is just too handy. I was looking for a cover blurb and, instead, happened across this review at Breeni Books. Usually, it's my policy not to read other reviews when I'm preparing my own; one tends to absorb another person's choice of wording and it's preferable to be totally objective and original, right?
But, I really enjoyed what Breeni had to say -- in part because my viewpoint is so different from hers. The sections of the book I really enjoyed the most were the introduction and the epilogue, in which Silbert natters on about how the idea for the book came to her, the influence of the Hawaiian goddess, her own personal challenges at the time, the chaos of her early notes and the literary agent who said, "Oh, you're a woo-woo, too?" then later told Silbert, "If you don't write that sucker I will." She has a pleasant, chatty style.
Unfortunately, I found the meat of the book extremely disappointing. The concept of the three Divine Archetypes is certainly unique and, if I were to believe the quiz, I'm a combination of chameleon and dragonfly with hardly any butterfly at all. Not surprising, since the butterfly is all about beauty and being in the spotlight. I hate being in the spotlight and never thought of myself as pretty. But, while reading about the archetypes, my feeling was roughly the same as what I feel while reading a horoscope in a major publication-- there's too much cross-over, too much generic content that could easily apply to anyone. Here's a perfect example:
You don't like clutter but can also become overwhelmed by it so your home is immaculate, messy, or inconsistently somewhere in between the two.
Doesn't that pretty much cover every base? You have an immaculate home, a messy home or something in-between. Duh. We all have one of those, don't we? And, I'd say most people -- even those who are cluttery -- tend not to actually like clutter (hence the proliferation of books about ridding clutter from your life) so the clutter comment strikes both sides of the coin, as well.
However, the author had some good advice and some of what she described made total sense to me. I've copied all quotes directly from the book, so please don't blame me for the horrendous punctuation:
In an effort to become the best you can be, your ego begins to compare you to your ideal ego self and of course you always come up short. You end up spending your life trying to measure up to the standards of your ego; which isn't even real. On top of this, add traumatic experiences, emotional abuse, or just plain old disappointments. Then sprinkle on more and more responsibilities and different roles pulling you every which way. Finish it off with the imbalance of Yin causing you to deny your femininity inadvertently causing a break at your very core. The result is layer upon layer of distortion and more and more separation from your True Self and natural integrity; not to mention reality.
Eventually, I found myself taking notes saying that my chameleon is injured (and thinking, "Not possible, since I don't have a freaking chameleon!") then occasionally laughing out loud. That was the point at which I realized that what the book sounded like, to me, was the author's life coaching job combined with a little hippie philosophy and . . . maybe I'd be better off if I rolled it up and smoked it. Kidding, I don't smoke and I didn't give up on it, ever. I kept going because there were some occasional gems of wisdom. But, man . . . the number of capitalized words, alone, honestly did make me roll my eyes:
The stronger the balance among your Chameleon, Butterfly, and Dragonfly, the more powerfully your Eminient Archetype will emerge and the more fulfilling it will be to express your True Self and experience your True Feminine Power.
Eye roll. But, I love this:
Live Courageously as your True Self and you'll encourage other women to live courageously as well. As the women you've encouraged step forth, they in turn will encourage more women to do the same. Soon, an exponential explosion of Yin will occur bringing our Universe back into balance and the Divine Feminine will have fulfilled her mission. Beyond this, where will bold and courageous expression lead you? The answer is your Destiny.
But . . . I'm not going to say it. I'm not going to say it. Yes, I am. The word "destiny" with a capital D? That reminds me of Back to the Future and a young man whispering, "You are my density. I mean . . . my destiny." This, however, is another passage that has merit (except for all those capital letters):
Begin to Tell the Truth by making a list of all the things you've always wanted to say. Then, look at your life and Tell the Truth by writing down what's currently working and not working. Continue to Tell the Truth by writing down what's been stopping you from pursuing what you know would be True Self expression or a source of joy in your life. Reformat your responses into an action list. Work your way through the list until you've eliminated each item one-by-one. This can be extremely liberating. Once you get going you may not be able to stop, and that's a good thing.
That is a good thing. We all build our own imaginary road blocks. It's that kind of suggestion that makes Silbert successful as a life coach, I'm sure.
In general: A little weird, with occasional smatterings of excellent advice. I would not recommend against reading the book, simply because I think most people can squeeze a little juice from this lemon. But, it's not a book I would ever shove into a friend's hands, proclaiming it a "Must Read" (rampant capitalization: it's infectious). Like Breeni, I was a little dismayed that the book only contains 150 pages of content and a raft of blank journal pages.
Also: Not really a guy book.
Other thoughts: I think the author's chatty style would lend itself well to a memoir; and it would be awfully interesting to read about how she became a successful life coach with two homes (in very expensive locations) and a nanny.
Still reading: Far World: Water Keep and Walking Through Walls
Added to current reads: Occasional Therapy for your Midlife Years by Dr. Ellyn Gamberg
Weekly Geeks quote of the day: