This is a book review of “The Miracle of Self-Love” by Barbel Mohr and Manfred Mohr. This is a good book for the general public.
KEYWORDS: Barbel Mohr, book review, The Miracle of Self-Love, Manfred Mohr, psychology, self-development, self-esteem, self-help, self-image, self-improvement, self-love.
In this book review I am evaluating my own copy of The Miracle of Self-Love by Barbel Mohr and Manfred Mohr. As usual, this is my very own, independent review, based on a book that I have bought myself.
- PART 1: THE BOOK AND ITS AUTHORS
- 1.1 About the Book
- 1.2 Front Matter, Main Text, End Matter
- 1.3 Type of Content
- 1.4 The Authors
- PART 2: SUMMARY OF THE BOOK
- 2.1 Summary of Part One
- 2.2 Summary of Part Two
- 2.3 Summary of Part Three
- PART 3: THE REVIEW
- 3.1 Physical Format
- 3.2 Paper, Printing, and Binding Quality
- 3.3 Layout, Design, and Typography
- 3.4 Organization
- 3.5 Writing Style
- 3.6 Good Ideas and Techniques
- 3.7 Questionable Ideas: Forgiveness
- 3.8 Questionable Ideas: Making Peace with Parents
- 3.9 Promise-to-Delivery Ratio
- 3.10 Usefulness
- 3.11 Alternative Titles
- RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- EDITION DETAILS
- LINKS TO THIS EDITION
- OTHER LINKS
The Miracle of Self-Love: The Secret Key to Open All Doors is published by Hay House UK, Ltd (Astley House, 33 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JQ).
The book is of a relatively compact size, and it is about 200 pages in length (click image to enlarge):
Figure 1. Front and back covers of The Miracle of Self-Love by Barbel Mohr and Manfred Mohr (Hay House UK, 2012).
This book was originally published in 2012, as can be understood from the two authors’ copyright information, as seen on the copyright page. To my knowledge, there is no later edition of this book than the one I am reviewing here.
Note also that The Miracle of Self-Love is available in Kindle format in the United States, Canada, India, and Australia, but apparently not in the UK. Additionally, it does not seem to be available in any audio formats in any of these five locations.
About the Book
The Miracle of Self-Love is a self-help title, as its front cover clearly suggests: the text “From the Creator of the Cosmic Ordering Service” clearly indicates that the author is into Law of Attraction in one form or other; the main, colorful illustration seems to hint at some “potential energy” to be gained by reading this book; and the quote “Help the universe help you” (appearing in Daily Mail) similarly indicates New Age thought.
Also the back cover gives us important information about the self-help nature of this title: it “teaches you how to cultivate a fundamentally positive and loving relationship with yourself so that you can know the miracle of self-love, and the abundance of joy that it will bring to your life”.
The book is clearly meant for the general public. And although its design and title (and the fact that the author is a woman herself) may make it more attractive to women, there is no explicit mentioning on the front or back cover that it is only intended for women, or for men.
Front Matter, Main Text, End Matter
The book is, as most non-fiction works, divided into three sections: the front matter (12 pages), the main text (186 pages), and the back matter (10 pages). So all in all, 208 pages.
The front matter consists of a half-title page, a title page, and a copyright page. Then comes a two-page Contents, a four-page Preface, and a quote from Meister Eckhart.
The core text of the book is divided into three parts (pp. 1-186), and these I describe below (see “Part 2: Summary of the Book”).
The end matter consists of a two-page obituary, a two-pages Resources section, four empty pages labelled “Notes”, a one-page Hay House advertisement, and a one-page About the Author.
Type of Content
This is basically a text-only book. But that text comes in several forms. First we have the normal body copy, which is the main type of content. But there is also text placed in boxes named “The Miracle of Loving Yourself”, which are found at the end of all, or most, chapters.
Another design variant is the text for the exercises, which is placed within dotted lines. This text typically features several bullet points as well.
A third variant are the quotes from famous authors. These quotes are placed on their own pages, with a decorative image in the background. There are approximately a dozen or so of these quotes.
There are no photographs in this book, other than a photograph of the author (last page). There are also no diagrams, or tables, or illustrations (except from the decorative images just mentioned).
This book contains no glossary, no references, and no type of indexes.
There are two authors: Barbel Mohr and Manfred Mohr. But it seems that Barbel Mohr is the main contributor to this book, while Manfred Mohr is less so.
I draw this conclusion not from anything that is explicitly said in the Preface or elsewhere, but from two other observations.
My first observation is that the name “Barbel Mohr” is set in a much larger font size that the name “Manfred Mohr”, as seen both on the front cover and on the title page. This indicates to me that Manfred Mohr only has a “supporting role”.
My second observation relates to the “About the Author” page at the end of the book. Here, Barbel Mohr’s biography is much longer and more detailed than the biography of Manfred Mohr. And the only author with a photograph is Barbel Mohr.
In any case, according to the “About the Author” page, the now deceased Barbel Mohr (1964-2010) was a photojournalist, photo editor and graphic designer.
After writing the book “The Cosmic Ordering Service”, she continued writing many other titles, including children’s books. At the the time of publishing The Miracle of Self-Love, she had sold approximately 2.5 million copies of her various titles.
According to that same page, “Manfred Mohr has a doctoral degree in chemistry, and works as an author, seminar leader and coach in the fields of astrology, numerology and on the subjects of wish-fulfillment, “the feeling heart” and awareness.”
PART 2: SUMMARY OF THE BOOK
There are three main parts in The Miracle of Self-Love:
- “Not Every First Step is Difficult”
- “Loving Yourself for Expert Practitioners”
- “On the Path… to Becoming a Self-love Professional”
There are eight chapters in each of these three parts (but they are not explicitly labelled as chapters). All in all, then, there are twenty-four chapters in this book.
The summary descriptions below are not provided by the original authors. Rather they are my own interpretation of what the authors say, or try to say, in each of their twenty-four chapters.
Summary of Part One
Chapter 1: Is Loving Yourself Really Okay? Yes, it is okay. In fact, it is not only okay, but it is a necessary condition for loving others. For if you have no love for yourself, you cannot love others either.
Chapter 2: No-ageing and the Decline of Self-love. Many people like to have cosmetic surgery. But I am too vain to do it. For when closely inspecting the skin of people who have done such jobs, it looks ugly. Accept yourself as you are, with all of your imperfections. Exercise: love your body parts.
Chapter 3: Better Relationships Thanks to Loving Yourself. The more self-love I have, the better my life will be. And something in other people detects the degree of my self-love. And that means that other, suitable people can find me.
Chapter 4: I Did That Really Well! Compliment yourself whenever you succeed in doing something well, especially if you are not very good at it, or if you don’t like doing it in the first place.
Chapter 5: Simply Reverse Your Obstructive Beliefs. Behind certain failures in life often lie unhelpful beliefs about ourselves. These should be replaced by new, more helpful ones. So change “no pain, no gain” to “No pain, much gain”.
Chapter 6: The Strength Behind Weakness. There is a (hidden) strength to be found in any weakness. For each weakness there may be another strength that balances it out. And maybe you don’t even have that particular weakness, but just think you do.
Chapter 7: Saying ‘No’ for Love’s Sake. Don’t say ‘yes’ just to please other people. You have to learn to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty.
Chapter 8: The Self-love Test. Here are ten questions that you can use to test how much self-love you currently have.
Summary of Part Two
Chapter 9: Complain or Value? Stop complaining and start appreciating. And don’t do that just about your own body, mind, and spirit, but about all other things as well. The beauty we find in other things is a sign of our self-love.
Chapter 10: See the Love Inside Every Single Person. We should learn to recognize different signs of love in other people, even when they are not in a loving mood.
Chapter 11: Change Your Thought Patterns. According to Joe Dispenza, we now know that the brain can rewire itself at any time, not just when we are young. By consciously focusing on positive thoughts, we can feel better, no matter what our age is.
Chapter 12: Loving Yourself Requires Time, So Do Relationships. In a relationship, loving yourself is contagious, and it has a healing effect on your partner. If you love more, you will also be more loved in return.
Chapter 13: How Do You Treat Yourself? You must learn to listen to your body, so that you can relax more. Otherwise you will face various health problems with your body, mind, or emotions.
Chapter 14: How Do You Speak to Yourself? Replace bad thoughts about yourself (“I’m such an idiot”) with better-feeling thoughts (“So what, I still love myself”).
Chapter 15: Slow Wish-fulfillment. Sometimes it’s better if our wishes are not fulfilled immediately. Be sure to double-check exactly what you are wishing for.
Chapter 16: Loving Body, Mind and Spirit. Loving your body means “go outside and do some exercise”. Loving your mind translates to “feed your mind with positive information and ideas”.
Summary of Part Three
Chapter 17: Forgiveness Becomes Easier. As we develop our self-love we develop empathy. So we tend to blame ourselves and others less and less.
Chapter 18: The Sound of Loving Yourself. Learn to use your voice in a natural way so that it sounds relaxed.
Chapter 19: Be Stable in Your Energy. You can develop an emotional stability by treating yourself in a more loving way.
Chapter 20: Are You Good at Being Alone? In order to develop real self-love, you have to learn to spend time all by yourself.
Chapter 21: Making Peace with Your Parents is Essential. Whether you do it in person or not, it is important that you, in your own heart, make peace with your parents.
Chapter 22: The Source of Power within You. If you believe in a divine power, that will help you get more self-love.
Chapter 23: Send Love to the Divine Core within You! Another way to develop more self-love is to practice a “reading meditation”.
Chapter 24: Love Your Neighbour by Loving Yourself. True love for yourself is a requirement for loving others.
PART 3: THE REVIEW
My copy of the 2012 paperback edition is approximately 5.1 x 7.7 inches (12.9 x 19.6 cm). And it’s approximately 0.62 inches (1.6 cm) thick.
This physical format is quite attractive to me. Its dimensions make it quite easy to hold. And since it’s relatively light, one can easily hold it even in cases when one wants to keep on reading for a longer period of time.
Its dimensions and weight contribute to making it portable, which is, in my view, an attractive trait. For I like taking my books with me when I am traveling (whether on a bus or a train).
The format actually reminds me of Gael Lindenfield’s Self-Esteem Bible. And when I physically check it, their dimensions match almost perfectly. The only difference is that The Miracle of Self-Love is much thinner than the Self-Esteem Bible, with its 376 pages (click image to enlarge):
Figure 2. The Miracle of Self-Love is not as portable as Boost Your Self-Esteem, but more portable than both Self Esteem Bible and The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, and Self-Image.
Compared to The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, and Self-Image by Jay E. Adams, The Miracle of Self-Love is smaller in width and height, but at the same time thicker. So portability-wise, they are quite equal.
Compared to Boost Your Self-Esteem by Christine Wilding and Stephen Palmer, The Miracle of Self-Love is bigger and heavier. So Boost is the more portable title.
Paper, Printing, and Binding Quality
The type of paper in The Miracle of Self-Love is similar to the paper used in most “mass market pocket books”.
The printing is crisp, and the binding is tight.
Layout, Design, and Typography
The design of the front and back covers is well done, and it fits perfectly with the type of self-help message that the book wants to convey.
As for the pages inside the book, the design is quite straightforward and clean. The font size is big enough for most readers, and the leading is spacious enough for a comfortable read.
Other design elements are mostly nicely done. The only exception is the bullet points, which are not black dots, but small, outlined hearts.
The logic is most probably, since this book is about about love, that the small “bullet hearts” somehow should “fit in” in that context. But, in my opinion, it is just bad taste.
But one may see this as another indication of that this book is designed primarily by a woman (whether it is Mohr herself, or Hay House’s art director or typographer that is responsible).
This feature can be understood in either of two ways: either their intended audience was both men and women, or it was only women.
If their intended audience was both men and women, then I do not understand that design decision. Men, in general, would most probably not be overly thrilled by such a design.
But, of course, if their intended audience was only women, or mostly women, then it makes much more sense. Then it would fit better with the intended audience.
So it might be the case that this book is actually written for women, although this is not mentioned on the front or back covers, or in the Preface.
I don’t like the top-most layer of organization of this book. I am here talking about the “three parts” of the book: “Not Every First Step is Difficult”, “Loving Yourself for Expert Practitioners”, and “On the Path… to Becoming a Self-Love Professional”.
The reason is simply that there is no real step-by-step procedure throughout the book that requires the reader to “master” one part of the book, before moving on to the next part. So this organization with the three parts is, more or less, simply artificial.
Also, I wonder if the placement of the eight chapter (“The Self-Love Test”) really is a wise one. They say that they avoided to present that chapter in the beginning of the book to let the readers get an opportunity to first “give ourselves courage” (p. 51) before taking the test.
A better decision, in my view, would have been to place it much earlier in the book. It would not have to be placed as a first chapter, but perhaps as a second or third chapter.
For it is imperative that one, as early as possible, not only diagnoses one’s current emotional state of affairs, but also that one identifies what type of attitudes one wants to acquire, and what attitudes one wants to avoid. And many of those attitudes are presented in connection with that “self-love test” chapter.
I must be frank: This book is not very well written. There are, in my opinion, lots of places where strange, or unnatural, or awkward, language is used.
The most probable reason for this is that the book is originally not written in English but in German. For on the copyright page we can read that this book has been translated by Andrea Maier and Nick Handforth at City Languages in Berlin, a company that specializes in translation and copy editing.
But despite being translated by a company specialized in translation and copy editing (and despite the fact that Hay House most probably have their own in-house editors), the result is not very impressive. It’s just not professionally copy edited. For example, there are lots of places where colons and semicolons should have been used, but weren’t. Etc.
And then there is also bad writing in other respects. There is a misuse of paragraphs, where there are various points made that are not directly relevant. One example is this, at the start of the chapter called “No-ageing and the Decline of Self-Love” (p. 9):
“An important aspect of loving yourself is demonstrated by how we cope with the way we look. There is a real fashion for model shows on TV and after watching them, many women feel even older and more ugly than before. Could it be that the association for cosmetic surgeons sponsor these shows?”
Whether the conspiracy theory about the association for cosmetic surgeons is true or not, it has little to do with how people in general are coping with how they look. The world is what it is, and the goal for a self-help author is to explain how the individual should handle the world, not how the world should change to please the individual. Thus, what governments, institutions, or international corporations are doing is not the topic of a self-help book for individuals.
Thus, in this paragraph, she seems to be in a “complaint mode”, criticizing the current state of affairs in the world. And later, in the same paragraph, she also says things like: “Brrrr, it sends a shiver down my spine…”; “I will dye my hair grey now”; “I will found a new society”, etc.
Thus, apart from the general “rambling” quality of passages like these, the criticizing attitude expressed in this paragraphs fits badly in a book on love and the art of appreciation.
Other examples of bad writing are (strange) stories that not only are (much) too long, but also boring. Example: the “wisdom story” featuring a talking water bowl (pp. 39-40), followed by a passage explaining the moral of the story (p. 41).
Good Ideas and Techniques
The overall idea in this book (to improve our self-love) is a good one. And there are also many individual ideas that are good, especially in the following chapters:
- Better Relationships Thanks to Loving Yourself (p. 17)
- I Did That Really Well! (p. 27).
- The Self-love Test (p. 51)
- Change Your Thought Patterns (p. 75)
- Slow Wish-fulfillment (p. 109)
- Are You Good at Being Alone? (p. 157)
So the ideas found in the above chapters are relatively solid.
Questionable Ideas: Forgiveness
On the less positive side, there are some ideas and techniques that are questionable.
One such idea is the found in the chapter called “Forgiveness Becomes Easier”. My idea is simply this: Why talk about forgiveness, at all?
My point is this. A person who has become proficient in the art of applying the Law of Attraction clearly knows that there is no room for “being a victim” or for “feeling sorry for oneself”. And since the individual is not a victim of anything, what is there to forgive?
A student of the Law of Attraction must also realize that the world is a reflection of his or her own emotional state of affairs. For we are creators of our own reality. So the less one thinks and feels like a victim, the less such episodes will play out in one’s own life.
Questionable Ideas: Making Peace with Parents
Another idea that I was not overly impressed with is found in the chapter called “Making Peace with Your Parents is Essential”. Here my question is: Why just talk about your parents? Why not talk about your sisters and brothers, your friends and co-workers, and the UPS delivery man, etc.?
In other words, why is it not “essential” to make peace with ALL people, at least in your mind? Isn’t it some sort of inner peace that Mohr is looking for?
In that same chapter there is also a technique that I believe is not helpful. It is the “put-yourself-in-your-parents-shoes” technique (p. 165).
The goal seems to be to develop some “understanding” from the viewpoint of the parents, and to cultivate some sort of empathy, etc. Sure, it sounds very empathetic and “politically correct”, but I suspect it won’t work in the long run. Why?
Because the general rule from Abraham-Hicks (who are masters of love) is that we should NOT try to “understand others” (for it is impossible, in the first place), or wish “to be understood”, or “to be accepted” , by others. Rather, we should develop our selfishness more, and embrace the idea that we indeed ARE the center of our own world, and that no other perspective is conducive to our our well-being.
So we have to stop our tendencies of empathy, and instead concentrate on being happy with ourselves, regardless of whatever else is going on in the world. And we should devote less time thinking about “morality” and “social responsibility”, etc. Our only goal should be to develop more happiness and joy, regardless of what everyone else is thinking, doing, saying, or blogging about.
What does this book promise? Well, the back cover says this:
“With numerous practical tools, including self-love mantras and visualization exercises, this book teaches you how to cultivate a fundamentally positive and loving relationship with yourself so that you can know the miracle of self-love, and the abundance of joy that it will bring to your life.”
So does this book deliver, based on these promises?
I think the delivery ratio is quite good, say 70%. For many of its basic techniques are similar to the techniques presented in the standard Law of Attraction material, as presented by Abraham-Hicks (who started their “broadcasts” already in the 1980s).
There are two reasons for limiting the promise-to-delivery ratio to 70%. First, because of the bad writing, this book is hardly a joy to read, with its rambling “flow-of-consciousness” type of writing.
Second, the negativity aspect of some passages is not in line with the overall message of the book. And that may put some readers off, and rightfully so. It seems as if Barbel Mohr is not aware of the incredibly important 17-second rule.
I think this book can be useful to many people. But I also think that its bad writing may irritate some.
So if you find yourself being annoyed by the author’s (or/and translator’s, or/and editor’s) way of expressing themselves, it might be a good idea to move on to another book by some other author.
To facilitate such a move, I am listing some titles below that might serve you well.
The best books on how to develop love are those by Abraham-Hicks. Their first book was Ask and It Is Given, and it contains 22 important processes/ techniques that work.
Another of their fantastic books is The Vortex, which focuses on creating more loving relationships, and it includes a substantial section on self-love called “Self-Appreciation, and the Law of Attraction” (pp. 173-199).
This book has many helpful chapters such as “Dehypnotize Yourself from False Beliefs”, “How to Remove Emotional Scars, or How to Give Yourself an Emotional Face Lift”, and “You Can Acquire the Habit of Happiness”.
RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Miracle of Self-Love is a good book for those of you who want some introductory ideas and methods to improve your self-love. But be aware that the style of writing might not suit you.
Rating for the general public: 70%
Title: The Miracle of Self-Love: The Secret Key to Open All Doors
Author: Barbel Mohr and Manfred Mohr
Publisher: Hay House UK Ltd
Pages: xii + 196
ISBN-10 (a): 1-78-180054-5
ISBN-10 (b): 1781800545
ISBN-13 (a): 978-1-78180-054-6
ISBN-13 (b): 9781781800546