Book Rec: Into the Magic Shop

Updated: Jan 8

For Christmas I received a very thoughtful gift from my boyfriend's niece. It was a book called Into the Magic Shop by James "Jim" R. Doty, MD, which was recommended to her by her friend's mom, a hypnotherapist. My boyfriend's niece told me it was about calling in what you want in your life and then manifesting it. Perfect! This book would help me gear up for kicking off a great new year starting in the *Spring.



The book is autobiographical and starts with Dr. Doty describing his childhood during the 60s in Lancaster, CA. He grew up in poverty, his father was an alcoholic, and his mother struggled with depression. Despite the hardships he faced at home, he loved doing magic tricks as a kid. One summer day, Dr. Doty happened to stumble upon a local magic shop where he met the shop owner's mother, Ruth. Ruth offered to show him the real magic of making his dreams come true if he promised to visit her everyday for 6 weeks, which he did. (I'll leave it up to you to read about Ruth's 4 magic tricks.) The book goes on following the story of how Dr. Doty became a successful neurosurgeon and attained the wealth that he dreamed about as a little boy. Although he amassed the fame and fortune he desired, Dr. Doty talks about what happens when ego gets in the way of the heart. Anyone can learn Ruth's magic tricks and practice them often, but they really take a lifetime to master.


A takeaway I got from the book was of the balance between the heart and brain. There are definitely times when you have to be rational and logical. Dr. Doty, for example, has to be like a machine when he's in the operating room. The standard to complex surgeries he performs need to be done methodically, especially when some of the surgeries are matters of life or death. But the compassion and empathy he has for his patients, in addition to his technical skills and highly trained background, are what make him a great doctor.



I found the book to be a solid read, and there were some parts that particularly resonated with me as they related to my own wellness journey.


Excerpt from the book:

"There are two ways to picture yourself in your head. One way is as if you're watching a movie of yourself. The other way is as if you are looking out at the world through your own eyes."

My thoughts: This can be a total game changer for reaching any goal. I admittedly picture myself in my head the first way - watching a movie of myself. Case and point is when I'm trying to lose weight. It's so easy to see an image of the ideal physique in my mind, but it's much harder looking at the world through my eyes in the body of that ideal physique. When I did look at the world through my own eyes, I imagined what it would be like doing 20 full burpees straight without catching my breath. Haha. I could sense a slight sweat on my face but no heavy huffing and puffing. I could sense the high spring to my hop-ups and the tension in my triceps as my elbows are perfectly bent 90 degrees while doing the push-ups. So the end game to optimal weight loss for me isn't only about how I want to look but also how I want to feel. I realized that looking my ideal physique also entailed a feeling that I could achieve a higher level of fitness performance. Therefore, seeing yourself as if you are looking out at the world through your eyes is "believing in your magic" as Ruth puts it. What a refreshing change of perspective!

Excerpt from the book:

"My quest that began in the magic shop had taken me on a journey inward, but my journey wasn't over. I knew I had to travel outward."

My thoughts: Life is like a box of chocolates, but life is like a spiral to me too, hence the OTW2Wellness logo. (I even wrote a blog post about it.) The road ahead of us and behind us look straight into the horizon, but we're really just following the shape of a spiral if you look at life from a higher consciousness. We go inward, we go outward. And at many times in our lives, we return to a point where we have to reevaluate if we believe the dogmas from our childhood, feel the same way about certain people, need to change our goals from 5 years ago, etc.

Excerpt from the book:

"Yes, we can create anything we want, but it is only the intelligence of the heart that can tell us what's worth creating."

My thoughts: People frequently throw around the phrase, "create your own reality." What it really means to me is we create experiences that bring meaning and purpose to our lives. So if you want to live a happy life, you might as well do everything with heart... a place of love. Being heart-led brings us joy from the pursuits that truly give us passion. Having an open heart allows us to be altruistic and show compassion toward others, which in turn creates much more worthwhile relationships and powerful connections. This was another major takeaway I got from the book: things I may want may not necessarily be the best for me, so I ought to be mindful about being authentic and making decisions that are for my highest good and the good of all.


* Spring: I don't really go by January 1 of the Gregorian calendar as a "new year." I was taught to flow with the seasons, which was the way of our ancestors. When you think about it, January 1 (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) is right in the middle of Winter. It's no wonder people's resolutions fizzle out by February as it's still technically Winter. Energetically the winter is a time of hibernation, so rest, relax... and dream. Spring is about birthing those ideas. Then by the time summer rolls out the ideas you birthed in the Spring should have been brought to fruition, and now you're just out there doing the damn thing! During the Fall you're reaping the benefits of your work and turning down for Winter again. Ooh, another spiral.

#intothemagicshop #jamesdotymd #recommendedreading #bookrecommendations #mindfulness #mindfulnessmatters #manifestation #CenterforCompassionandAltruismResearchandEducation #CCARE

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