The Answer Is Simple
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2008
in this post modern age the complexities of every day life can seem overwhelming and full of obstacles. in the ANSWER IS SIMPLE sonia has written a book that speaks to all us longing for a connection to the divine mystery within us. she writes with such beautiful clarity how as a society we can transform our hearts and minds. she shares how we can access these profound states of insights thru the love and higher truth of our heart. it is clear that that sonia's life work and message is the reconnection to the true embodiment of love. This book is wonderfull! READ IT and carry its truth with you.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
"A miracle happens when you stop believing that you are your ego self and start connecting to your Spirit--when you stop controlling and fearing life and start enjoying it," Sonia Choquette writes in The Answer Is Simple. It is this journey from fear to joy that is the overarching focus of Choquette's latest book, and each chapter includes ideas for how to connect more fully with your authentic self.
In keeping with the book's title, the steps Choquette encourages us to take on this journey are simple. Beginning each day by stirring up a sense of gratitude; treating your Spirit as you would an honored guest, that is, providing a well rested, clean, properly fed body for your Spirit to reside in; loving yourself and experiencing the joy of your Spirit while you're facing your most dire challenges instead of waiting until after you have solved all of your problems and your fears have dissipated: these are just a few of the simple practices and approaches to living she urges us to adopt.
The Answer Is Simple is filled with stories about people who used simple tools and techniques to move from the drab and painful existence of a life under the ego's reign to a more free experience of life. For example, we are introduced to a woman who was diagnosed with cancer at the same time her son was imprisoned for sexually abusing his daughter. After months of living in shame and fear, suffering from depression and fatigue, she prayed to God for a miracle and overnight her energy returned. She discovered that her prayers had been answered by a shift in her level of acceptance. No longer was she blaming and shaming herself but instead she simply accepted that the issues at hand were simply her lot to face in this life; no longer was she letting her problems rob her of peace and contentment but instead she set herself free by approaching her problems out of the love within her. Eventually, through grace, her cancer was healed and she found meaning in life from teaching her granddaughter self-love by modeling it.
A story of the Dalai Lama being interviewed on television is also recounted. When asked how he stays centered, friendly and loving all the time, he attributed his kind spiritedness to consistently leaving early for appointments.
If I had been the interviewer, I probably would have judged the interview as going poorly. It is easy to dismiss as insignificant such a simple, ordinary habit. But to do so overlooks the profundity of his answer: by preventing the ego from taking over with its distracting, chaotic "hurry or you'll be late" chatter, he is choosing kindness for himself and thereby making it easier to be kind to others. Clearly, he is committed to living his Spirit rather than existing out of his ego.
It is this straightforward simplicity that is the charm of this book, a simplicity which addresses our Spirits first and foremost, not our minds. Her words often jump off the page with a sweet warmth that is sure to connect you with your authentic self and bring you back home.
Much of the wisdom contained in this book can be framed as questions that can help us get back on track: "Do I give priority to seeking approval and making others happy or to doing what I truly love to do?"; "Am I spending my time doing things that stir up a loving vibration within me, or is my time devoted to activities that leave me flat or drain me?"; and "Am I willing to make peace with my humanness--and to approach my problems with the love of Spirit rather than the fear and control of the ego?"
In addition to guiding us in our quest to love ourselves and live our Spirits, Sonia Choquette explores the nature of the human heart, aiming to show us how to remove any obstacles to experiencing the deepest level of love for our Divine Spirits.
Focusing on the importance of having an open, clear, wise and courageous heart this exploration is particularly comforting. "Without an open heart, there's no way life can really improve. With one, it always improves," Choquette assures us.
Later, she promises us that fear isn't our main obstacle to having a clear heart so long as we admit we're afraid. "It isn't fear itself so much as the effort of hiding or denying it that's so self-abusive and destructive," she writes. (I imagine St. Teresa of Avila would agree with this insight for she instructed her nuns to face their fears in the presence of the Divine, most especially the subtle fears that they had been suppressing and denying for years.)
Reading The Answer Is Simple is like being showered by light and wisdom. I know my soul will be taking me back to this book in the weeks ahead for another drink of its sacred water.
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214 of 268 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2008
This is Choquette's third book, I believe, just this year alone? That made me suspicious, and it turns out my suspicions were right. There's nothing more irksome than a New Age author who tosses credibility out the window and starts doing hackwork for money, which is exactly what this book is. It's EXTRA disappointing because her other books, particularly on intuition, have been so good.

My first objection is that there's nothing *new* here. Nothing that hasn't been in oh just about any new age title in the last five years. Her 'secrets' are things like breathe, practice gratitude, meditate (well, not really, more on that in a moment), get exercise, etc. Any of that sound new to you?

Second, she doesn't seem to have digested her own terminology. Most of the book she uses the non-denominational 'safe' term 'Spirit' but in the section recommending meditation, she calls it 'talking with God'. To me, talking with god is called 'praying', a nice thing, yes, but quite distinct from meditation. And it makes no sense that in a book that claims that if we only turn to our inner Spirit, all will be well, to suddenly have us talking with something *outside* ourselves--God. Why not 'talking with Spirit?' It would have made much more sense.

Third, she and her family come off as completely obnoxious in her book. Her four year old daughter, who speaks in complete sentences including subordinating conjunctions, harangues her father about his unspiritual behavior. Choquette's mother discourses at length to a waiter in a restaurant about why she doesn't want a certain dessert because 'I love myself.' I'm sure he cared. Choquette, who, no kidding, apparently saved her family from a tornado becuase she wanted to have a family dinner, becomes the ultimate buzzkill at a neighborhood party by refusing to share empathy with others.

That last one really bothered me: She suggests we don't talk about anything bad, only the good. That sounds good on the surface (see my second objection about her not thinking things through), but.... First of all, many of us consider sharing the fact that we're not perfect and our families aren't perfect either immensely empowering--oh, you have a child like that too!? Such sharing builds community spirit and bonding. (Sure it can devolve into a competition of whose life sucks worse, but that doesn't mean that all talking about bad things is to be avoided). Second, Choquette sure looks old enough to remember the bad old days when everyone only talked about the perfectness of life. How wonderful their children were, how smart and how generous and how great. If you're old enough to remember that too, you probably remember that that was an awfully dysfunctional period. Everyone felt that they had to be perfect all the time.

Choquette suggests that following her 'teachings' will make you unpopular, and she does this several times in language that promotes a very disturbing elitism--you, the enlightened, against those other, unevolved miserable, unenlightened losers. That sort of divisiveness is rife in the New Age community right now and I'm frankly disappointed Choquette is feeding into that. I had thought from her previous books that she was a down to earth well grounded real person. (Just watch how people will bash me and this review based on their 'spiritual superiority' and my 'inferiority' if you need extra proof.)

I wanted to like this book. I thought Choquette was an ethical author with integrity and clear vision. I thought wrong. She's turned into another dash-for-the-cash author. Fooled me once, Sonia. Never again.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2008
Sonia's books have been my lifeline for the past several years. When my abusive husband died I was lost, but the universe allowed me to find my way to her books and they saved me. Now anytime I feel lost or confused I read her words and they help me find my way back to my center. You cannot go wrong reading anything Sonia has written ... this world is a much sweeter place because she is in it!
Rebecca Lawton
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
This book is simplicity itself......kind of like going back to your ABCs, in a good way. There is so much going on in our lives and in the world that it's easy to get caught up in the have-to's and the needs of others, and finding yourself getting burned out.

I believe that this book reminds us that honoring the needs of loved ones and others is wonderful and that we need to honor our personal needs and concerns in the same loving way.

If your life isn't evolving in the way that you choose, read this book. I think it will help you to remember who you are, why you are here, and how to create a happier life for yourself and those around you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2009
I've been a fan of Sonia Choquette for a few years. This book caught my eye in the bookstore the other day, and I devoured it later that afternoon/evening.

While not profound, I found it an excellent reminder of practices to return to when you're stuck, have hit a plateau or have stopped living consciously.

A quick read, with simple to apply practices, and easily accessible for future reference.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2008
This is a great book that shows you how to enjoy life now and not wait til it's too late. In the face of the impersonal bureaucratic and technological society we live in today, Sonia emphasizes how important it is to value your individuality and uniqueness. She shows you how to live in the spiritual dimension, rather than in the ego, which holds anger, jealousy, and so many other negative emotions, while the spirit loves and forgives, and heals, and brings you a contentment the ego never can. By doing the things you love to do, and not letting others control you, you will be the authenic joyful person you were meant to be. As always, Sonia's books give us insight, wisdom, and guidence, a clear easy pathway to follow, and a bit of humor to lighten our way.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2008
This book came at just the right moment in my life. It was so beautifully written, easy to read and yes, the answer was so simple. It helped me thru a very difficult period in my life and it was almost as if I was suppose to read that chapter at that time. I feel I was guided to buy and read that book at that moment. Thanks for a wonderful book and I know it will be a favorite reread. I have told many about it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2009
I love this book. It's simple and it's full of daily ways you can connect with your spirit. Whether it's moving your body, listening to music, meditating or walking in nature, you will be glad you have some antidotes to your ego. Our ego often gets too dominate, so I loved being reminded the importance of staying connected to spirit, which is where our inspiration comes from!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Sonia Choquette is a modern spiritual teacher and intuitive advisor whose books and workshops have helped thousands of individuals learn to let go of their egos and seek a life lived in recognition of their Divine, spiritual selves. Pain, anxiety, and fear are the result of disconnection from Spirit, a conditioning by society to live life in a certain expected and respected manner. Those who have discovered success and happiness in life are the ones who have reconnected with their Spirits and live within the Divine flow of creativity and inspiration. The Answer Is Simple... breaks down reconnecting with Spirit into ten simple steps.

First, you must recognize your spirit, distinguishing between your ego and your true Divine nature. To get in touch with the Divine, Sonia suggests several deep breathing exercises that help in relaxation and creating a Spiritual state of mind. Next, you acknowledge your Spirit and welcome it into your life. You must love your body and treat it with respect, as it serves as one of your greatest spiritual tools providing intuitive awareness and a vessel through which your Spirit serves its purpose. Knowing your Spirit encourages you to understand what in life you truly love and what type of expressive Spirit you are. Sonia explains how not to get caught up in the misery and unhappiness of others and remain an authentic, happy, Divine soul.

Next, Sonia suggests that you must be able to discuss your Spirit with both your blood relatives and your extended Spirit family, those individuals with whom you are in complete comfort on a deeper level. Spirit wants to keep life simple, and Sonia recommends beginning each day with an expression of gratitude. Living in an ego-based world can leave one feeling physically and psychically drained, and so rest and relaxation are also critical to the process of spiritual evolution.

Midway through the book, Sonia offers four suggestions for keeping your heart in line with Spirit. To keep your heart open, you must expect great things in your life. Keeping your heart clear involves taking nothing personally and moving away from self-pity. A wise heart is one that recognizes that an individual is one expression of a greater universal whole, and having a courageous heart means sticking to your convictions and living your values.

To continue your spiritual evolution, you must share your gifts and talents with others, engaging in creativity and expression. You must also understand what you love about life and express those sentiments as often as possible. Understanding life's challenges as incredible learning opportunities is the sign of a highly developed Spirit, and Sonia suggests that no challenge is too great that our souls cannot learn from them.

In learning to love oneself, Sonia suggests connecting to Spirit through music as fuel for your Spirit. Finally, she discusses living a life of kindness, explaining that whatever kindness you generate to others will be returned to you many times over.

Through her own personal experiences along with those of her family and many clients, Sonia exemplifies these concepts and explains that they are much more than theories. When applied and practiced, they can have a profound impact on your life.

What Sonia Choquette fails to adequately cover in The Answer Is Simple... are the many emotional aspects of the transition from an ego-based life to one that is founded in the Truth of Spirit. Such an evolution can appear to send one's life spiraling out of control and can also have a profound impact on the other people in that person's life. This book fails to sufficiently acknowledge those more challenging aspects of this process. Thankfully, Sonia Choquette has recently written The Power of Your Spirit, what seems to be a follow-up to The Answer Is Simple..., a book that more satisfactorily handles these challenges. I recommend both books studied together as a complete workshop for spiritual evolution.
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