Seeing Your Life Through New Eyes,
InSights to Freedom from Your Past,

by Paul Brenner and Donna Martin,
published by Beyond Words, 2000.

Reviews

Branches of Light Summer 2001…
Banyan Books and Sound in Vancouver:

"The process that we present in this book, using techniques that we call FamilyTriangles and InSights, has been developed through years of use and refinement in counselling sessions, workshops, and personal work. It offers a roadmap to help you navigate to a new point of view – regarding your personal family history, your self-image, and the meaning of your life. True health is the acceptance and appreciation of your life."

This hands-on worksbook. complete with graphic visual arts and write-in tools, gives you the opportunity to look at yourself without blame, judgement or guilt. Therapists and teachers Brenner and Martin have created a simple, visual, psychological model to help you break old patterns.
This book reveals those obstacles that too often interfere with loving relationships and creative expression, includes diagrams to use for your personal exploration and growth, and inlcudes a very helpful List of Gifts, Hurts and Unmet Needs, and Coping Skills.

"The power of the FamilyTriangles process lies not in the specific information revealed at any given time, but in the process itself. Allow it to keep revealing itself to you. It offers a key, a map for exploring new territory, a way of resolving recurring problems and of creating new possibilities for change. Your willingness to enter into and stay with this ongoing process called "life" is a testimony to your nobility and courage as a human being."

Seeing Your Life through New Eyes helps you see the gifts in the hurts of childhood and provides a "diagram for future reference – a map for understanding how your childhood experiences shaped your psychological and spiritual life journey."

Amazon.com… 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Reviewer: Pauline Arneberg from Sherman Oaks, CA December 23, 2000
Seeing Your Life through New Eyes is a great tool for investigating the origins of our beliefs

This book is a gem. Brenner and Martin make a valuable contribution to the growing literature of freedom from the archaic past and its limitations. They present a process to help us examine the roots of our thinking, feeling, and automatic behaviors which can bind and paralyze us. The Family Triangles process they recommend is a simple, but not simplistic tool to navigate the confusing inward journey of understanding what motivates our experiences.

The process uses the metaphor of triangles: mommy, daddy, and me. For both parents, we are asked to identify the gifts and hurts we inherited. Then we examine the coping style we developed to deal with our hurts. Once these are recognized, we are shown how our coping styles, turned inward, are actually the exact solution to the discord we experience in our lives. Another useful insight is that the hurts we experience are in actuality blessings, for each hurt carries with it the gift of the shadow side. Once we identify the shadow of the hurt, we can come to truly appreciate all the gifts of our childhood experience, and embrace everything we have encountered, thus becoming whole and capable of choosing another path.

For example, an adult may identify the gift from his or her mother as stability, however the hurt might be criticism. In day to day life, the adult may project or automatically assume that those who are stable are also critical, thereby misinterpreting the actions of others. This inaccurate assumption will unconsciously frame and determine the outcome of his or her relationships. By investigating the source of this assumption, he or she is able to identify the gift in the hurt, which may be discipline, determination or independence (to name a few). Additionally, the child most likely developed coping skills to compensate for the hurt, such as acceptance of others (the opposite of criticism). As an adult, these coping skills are generally directed at others because we all fear hurting others, as we have been hurt. These coping skills will provide the solution to the pain we experience. By applying these skills to ourselves, we learn to nurture ourselves when we hurt.

This is a great tool for those who shy away from "metaphysical" or "higher power" based tools of self -knowledge. However, for others, it will beautifully compliment investigations into self –imposed limitations that deny realization of grace.

Pauline and Kristen Arneberg: Mother/Daughter Team using this process.

Here is a letter Donna received from someone else who found the book helpful:

Dearest Donna:

I want to attempt to convey to you how meaningful your book has been to me
since purchasing it. I have not actually completed the process - about 1/3 to 1/2 way through because it was interrupted by my Dad's death.

I am so grateful to have begun the process you have so beautifully mapped out in your book and I have been able to look at my relationship with my Dad in a completely new way.

Being able to look at him as a human being with wounds and struggles who has actually gifted me with very useful and beautiful attributes, rather than only as an abusive, incompetent father, and to be able to see where I am so like him, yet, see myself as a good and quite remarkable human being has made his passing an exquisite learning experience. I find tremendous gratitude in that I actually "feel" sadness and loss of this man whose passing I did not believe I could grieve in this way.

I am convinced that beginning the work in your book has facilitated the beginning of a healing experience that may just ripple out through the rest of my family. I am however, letting go of any attachment to that happening and trusting the Mystery.

Thank you Donna and your partner for so thoughtfully creating a method that has facilitated self study in a way no other has. I have recommended the book to many. I would like to buy about 10 for "gifting" to special people in my life. Blessings to you. Much love, deep gratitude and acknowledgment. (EM)

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