The Mountain is You is a self-help book written by Brianna Wiest — a brilliant author known for writing other life changing books, such as 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think, Ceremony and When You're Ready, This is How You Heal. It’s a ‘healing guide’ written for everyone who seeks to elevate their current situation.
Feeling down and lonely most of the time? Can’t stop ruminating on your past mistakes? Having self-deprecating inner monologue? Wondering what went wrong with your previous relationships? Struggling with managing your finances? Can’t seem to let go of anger? Feeling stuck and confused with your life?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then you might want to take it as a sign that something in your life warrants some changing. The Mountain is You is a book you shouldn’t miss if you are dedicated in improving your life.
So what makes this book promising?
First and most importantly, the amount of learning you will gain from reading it is ineffable. Each chapter unravels a part of you that contributes to your current situation. What separates The Mountain is You from other self-help books is it requires you to CHANGE.
Yes, you have to make conscious and active changes within yourself – could be your belief system, habits, thinking patterns, coping mechanisms – in order to circumvent your mountains. This book won’t just tell you how wonderful and worthy you are. It will tell you areas of your life that might have contributed to your self-sabotaging tendencies. It doesn’t contain flowery words that sugarcoat your miserable situation just to make you feel better. It will give you insights where you need alterations or shifts. It won’t tell you what life should be. It will make you dig into your inner desire of what kind of life you ought to have.
Given this information, you must be ‘mentally’ and ‘emotionally’ prepared to read this book.
This is not a discouragement.
The commitment to do actual inner work must be present because you may even find it cumbersome to internalize everything said in the book. You may even feel inundated with the awareness it brings, most especially when a subconscious part of you doesn’t want to heal. Similar to my journey with this book, I wasn’t entirely prepared to heal when I first grabbed a hold of it. I tried reading the first two chapters and eventually stopped. I was unmotivated at that moment. I know it was a good book, but something inside of me was resisting. I didn’t like how I feel at that moment so I stopped. Perhaps I was only excited with the idea of healing, but not committed to take any action of climbing my mountains.
It was only when I reached the lowest part of my life months after that made decide to read it again. It was the exact moment when I told myself “I don’t want to be in this dark place any longer.”
Just like in the first paragraph of page 23:
"Rock bottom is very often where we begin on our healing journey. This is not because we suddenly see the light, not because our worst days are magically transmuted into some type of epiphany, and not because someone saves us from our own madness. Rock bottom becomes a turning point because it is only at that point that most people think: I never want to feel this way again."
I didn’t expect to experience it firsthand, but I attest to it. Once you hit rock bottom, you will only be left with two options: to remain in it until who knows when or to move forward. I never wanted to feel that kind of pain and emptiness ever again.
And I didn’t! It didn’t get worse; it only got better. Of course, I had to make conscious actions each day to better manage life. This is probably one of my main takeaways in the book, as emphasized in page 111:
“A mind-blowing, singular breakthrough is not what changes your life. A microshoft is. Breakthroughs are what happen after hours, days, and years of the same mundane, monotonous work.”
Hence, reading The Mountain is You and applying what you learned each day of your life can eventually lead you to the breakthrough you have been aiming for.
The second feature I highly appreciate in this book is its structure. By structure, I meant the outline and flow of each chapter. It may only have seven chapters, but reading through them can take you to the depths of your past and to the promising future ahead of you. The book starts off with a powerful introduction – indicating that passing through your mountains is not the endpoint of healing. Instead, what matters most is the process of getting over them, particularly who you become as you gear towards healing. The book then jumpstarts to the reality that the main hindrance between your current situation and your desired destination is YOU. It is followed by concepts and behaviors that explain why you suffer at the moment. Once you are aware of your internal mechanisms, it provides insights on building emotional intelligence and releasing your past. It also imparts ways on building a new future. The book ends with transforming self-sabotage to self-mastery.
Anchored in Psychological concepts
Lastly, I love how this book is anchored in Psychological concepts. I applaud Brianna Wiest’s efforts to research on the psyche of a distressed individual. She talked about the roots of irrational fear and self-sabotaging behavior, how to resolve different forms of self-sabotage, how to interpret various unpleasant emotions, the role of our subconscious mind, differentiating intuition from intrusive thoughts, and so on. There is even a whole chapter on how to build emotional intelligence. As someone who has a background in Counseling Psychology, I am impressed with the amount of information and skill-building this book offers. Little did I realize I had so much to learn about myself simply from reading this book.
Just a disclaimer though, how I experienced The Mountain is You may differ from your experience. Reading any book, especially self-help ones, is a personal journey. You take in information that you deem beneficial and relevant, meanwhile disregarding ones that don’t have significance in your situation. This is reality. Nonetheless, I can assure you that this book will lead you closer to your healed self. It will guide you how to move forward, while emphasizing the immense power you have over your life.
"To become a master of oneself is first to take radical and complete responsibility for your life. This includes even that which is beyond your control. A true master knows that it is not what happens, but the way one responds, that determines the outcome.” (p. 237)."
No matter how challenging and paralyzing your life may be, you always have the option to make a change. Remember, you are completely capable of saving yourself.
Written by Franzine Tampus
Franzine is a registered psychometrician. She is currently finishing her degree in Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology in Ateneo de Manila University. She likes engaging in activities that boost her mood and calms her mind such as yoga, meditation, talking with people, and reading. Her bias in books are ones that develop her character and mindset (aka "self-help") and romance.