The second edition has been published only as an ebook and so it is exciting that it has so quickly climbed the charts.
What is interesting about The Perfect Relationship is that it is not your regular relationship advice type of book. It presents some leading-edge work in psychology and consciousness studies, with exciting implications for how we see and understand ourselves and each other, all written in simple language for the layperson. Dr Hal Stone and Dr Sidra Stone, internationally-
One of the steps in The Perfect Relationship is to realise that you and your partner both have a number of inner selves and not just the one, singular 'you' who is in relationship with the other person. So a man might have his regular nice guy self who enjoys romantic dinners and is considerate of other's needs but he will also have a sports-loving self who wants only to sit in front of the television with a few beers and mates around. Then his business self might come to the fore at work and once he starts working can't think of anything else, let alone his partner and what her needs might be. And a woman might usually be an interesting and independant person but when she gets close to someone a more needy and vulnerable 'little girl' emerges. Sometimes a fun-loving and free self may be primary but then sometimes a controlling self takes over. And after she has her first baby she may become wholly identified with the responsible mother part of her psyche, losing all that she was in the past.
There are many of these selves in each of us and each has a role to play in our lives and in our relationships. If we can learn to recognise which selves we are using the most, and which selves we have buried and no longer have access to, then we can not only begin to see what is going on when problems arise in our relationships - some of which are remarkably universal, but we can start to have a real choice in how our relatioships develop. We can begin to consciously choose to act from those selves appropriate to the situation and also respond to our partner in a way which is appropriate to whichever self they are expressing.
This way of looking at the human psyche is extremely cutting-edge and so it is promising that this seemingly simple little book is so prominent in the charts. For the ideas in the book offer so much hope, both for individual relationships and also for relationships between groups of people; they are about recognising our blind spots, the limitations we impose on ourselves by identifying with only a small part of who we are, the judgements we make of others from our limited perspective, and then taking steps to embrace the totality of our psyche.
For more information and to read other reviews of The Perfect Relationship, please see http://www.voicedialogue.com/
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Astra Niedra is a relationship and personal growth teacher and writer, specialising in the consciousness transformation work known as Voice Dialogue and The Psychology of Selves. She is author of The Perfect Relationship (in Top 10 Chart on iBooks under Relationships in Australia) and Enlightenment Through Motherhood, her ground-breaking book about redefining spirituality.