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Reviewed by Nandita Keshavan for Readers' Favorite
Naked and Transparent: Six Vital Tools for Knowing Yourself and Attracting Healthy Relationships by Vladimire Calixte is a very useful book for anyone who is interested in transforming negative thought patterns and reclaiming their sense of self worth and inner peace. Initially when I started reading this book, I assumed that it would deal predominantly with relationships. In fact, it deals predominantly with purging the negativity within and increasing one's own inner peace and positive energy.
The book explains that people often grapple with self worth issues and this causes them to generate a fake facade which they strive to maintain since they are fearful of exposing their inner insecurities. Calixte explains that in coming to terms with one's inner vulnerability, you do not become weaker. In fact, you initiate the process of healing and you build a stronger, more secure personality from within. There are several sections that form a workbook approach due to the useful questions and spaces provided to write answers. I found many of these useful and apt, really encouraging the reader to take an active approach to applying the issues presented to their own lives.
There are many realisations that I have had prior to reading this book which I found very simply and elegantly expressed here. However, I feel that many people who read this will begin to initiate their self questioning on whether they have truly owned their inner persona and have healed from past traumas. The messages are truly powerful and worth reflecting on and re-reading until they are practiced in real life. Also, the questions are sharp but in a direct way that allows one to get straight to the most pressing issues at hand.
Calixte has bared her own past traumas by publishing letters in this book written to her absent father. In reading them, you gain a sense of the intense agony, the self esteem issues and hurt that she started off with. But as the letters progress, a change occurs and she begins to work towards inner peace. In showing this, she has proven that she has worked hard to overcome her own issues and she can understand the pain of others. A key point in the book is the importance of journalling which acts as an outlet and a window to one's own thoughts. I agree with Calixte that this method is very valuable in accelerating the growth of people who are in need of healing.
I also wholeheartedly agree with the approach taken by Calixte, which is working predominantly on healing yourself before entering into a relationship, since this process would transform you from within and change the way you interact and what you can contribute to a relationship. It is obvious from Calixte's book that she has a wealth of experience in counselling and that the key goals of the book are to wake people up and motivate them to begin a journey to inner healing and peace.
I found the title truly apt and also I noticed that it resonates with philosophies of some religions, where one is advised to discard the veil of artifice and instead work towards knowing and rejoicing in the inner self. I highly recommend this book to the active reader who is looking to examine their own selves and heal from the past. I would also recommend it to people who have already achieved inner peace if they are interested in reflecting on how far they have progressed, or if they are interested in helping others.