Dr. Marcy Buehler prefaces her insightful self-help book “The Conqueress: A Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Honoring Yourself” by admitting something that will ring true for many: She took the world by storm in her youth even if it meant learning the hard way, but secretly, she felt deeply insecure. Her life steamrolled along with bravado in spite of this inconvenient fact until she experienced “The Fall,” losing what seemed to be everything of value — her husband, her financial success and her prized possessions.
Suddenly left face to face with her inner self, the blithe lack of self-awareness she clung to when things were easy turns to inescapable anguish. With a daughter to support, Buehler determines to do the hard work of enduring, and eventually thriving, with a little help from an intrinsic spark of life she calls “The Conqueress.” To better herself, and inspire her daughter, she embarks on a transformative journey towards “allowing the intuitive voice of the Conqueress to guide the course of my life.”
Buehler proclaims that she’s done sacrificing her integrity and wants to “let go of the messages, standards, and opinions of others. There is no other choice.” Her shift is miraculous, having successfully recovered from the gamut: divorce, codependency, addiction, low self-worth and eating disorders.
SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY
A transformational yoga experience led her to India and played a significant role in her spiritual awakening. Meanwhile, she’s equally comfortable dissecting neuroplasticity, or “the ability of the physical brain to actually rewire itself and build new neural pathways.” This balance between the abstract and the practical makes for an enjoyable yet functional read, one that serves as both an inspirational text and a workbook. The doctor is in to disprove “the notion that one cannot be both scientific and spiritual,” and it’s a hopeful concept. They unite mightily to create a game plan for renewal that she calls the FEATs approach: Feel, Explore, Acceptance, and Transform.
Buehler is a pro at outlines, so her book is structured handily. She identifies four necessary shifts for transformation to take hold: Physical, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual and integrates the use of light, sound, vibration, movement and imagery throughout the book. These latter components help restore homeostasis, aka the stability and balance of your body’s systems.
While Buehler says that “my most profound experiences of spiritual knowledge served as a reminder to trust myself – to always trust myself,” her engagement with a solid factual foundation allows us to trust her too. Additionally, she presents lessons that are easily understood but speak volumes.
SHIFT, UNFOLD, TRANSFORM
I’m sure you’ve heard that people are onions. Buehler takes that metaphor and runs with it, describing our journey as peeling back four layers through the application of FEATs.
The first layer contains tools of mindfulness, breath and meditation, and a breakdown of each. She even provides a soothing meditation script. In layer two, when we explore, we start getting to the sources of “fear-based messages and false and limiting beliefs.” She again introduces tools, one being journaling, and gives directions to optimize the experience and make the most of this potentially powerful tool.
Layer three, acceptance, is a tricky one. After all, the author herself had a plan for her perfect life that she had to relinquish. Naturally, a little perspective shift and some incorporation of gratitude didn’t hurt, but she has still more tips and tricks up her sleeve. The final layer, transform, uses imagery and visualizations to narrow in on that inner Conqueress.
Buehler details her own “unfolding,” and assures us that we too “now have the Tools to transform your life. The outcome will exceed your wildest dreams. Trust the Conqueress to know how to achieve them.”