cover image All for Love: The Transformative Power of Holding Space

All for Love: The Transformative Power of Holding Space

Matt Kahn. Sounds True, $22.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-68364-914-4

In this ho-hum outing, empathic healer Kahn (The Universe Always Has a Plan) details how to embrace sensitivity and positivity in one’s relationships. The author provides “ten principles to help you transform the difficulties of human interaction into a sacred space of intimate connection,” encouraging readers to take control of their emotions and counter conflict with mindfulness. One principle contends that “anger is a reenactment of someone else’s trauma,” and Kahn urges readers to respond to the outbursts of others by pausing to reflect on the trials they must have experienced. To illustrate that “being helpful begins with listening,” Kahn tells how the capricious tempers of his parents caused him to develop a habit of tuning out of conversations for fear they might suddenly turn heated, and he recounts overcoming this by attending to how the words of others reflected the “unprocessed pain they carried within.” He also includes exercises to develop such qualities as bravery, respect, and appreciation; for example, he instructs readers to pay attention to the sensations felt during one’s daily routine and to take “breathing breaks” when annoyed as a means of practicing patience. Kahn cites few sources to back up his claims, so readers will have to accept his advice at face value. Those willing to take the plunge will find this to be an optimistic if insubstantial program for leading with kindness. (June)