Book Reviews

The Heart of the Matter

Darren R. Weissman, Cate Montana

Empowerment, Spirituality


How do you access your authentic self in order to have a fulfilling and meaningful life? The Heart of the Matter introduces you to a simple but extraordinarily powerful tool called the See Feel Hear ... More

Dec 15, 2013 Katherine's Daughter
“From the clear center of my heart, there are no edges to my loving you. I’ve heard it said there’s a window that opens from one mind to another, but if there were no wall, what need of installing a window?” – Rumi

So begins Chapter 1 of The Heart of the Matter: A Simple Guide to Discovering Gifts in Strange Wrapping Paper by Dr. Darren R. Weissman and Cate Montana, M.A. , a beautiful book in theory but a challenge to work through none the less.

I found it interesting that the authors believe that most aches, pains, diseases and emotional suffering are gifts in strange wrapping paper. They are messages to discovering the truth of who we are. There are some stories and examples given that illustrate how early traumatic incidences can have deep emotional roots in our subconscious.

The theory is to learn that these symptoms are not personal in any way, but rather spiritual in every way; they are wake- up calls to alert us to evolve to our fullest potential.

Do I agree with this? Tentatively, yes. I have to say that I think many illnesses are stress related and triggered by old emotions we have no conscious awareness of.

The book identifies a way to work through uncomfortable problems and just about every situation. It’s the See Feel Hear Challenge. I’m not going to give it all away but basically the authors teach us how to slowly allow ourselves a way in which to face and work through anything that is causing us pain or discomfort. No crazy stuff, just good old fashioned introspection- and a whole lot of courage.

My favorite section is on setting an intention. This is something I am trying to do more of lately and the book describes the process in very good detail and easy to understand directions.

Other chapters are on responsibility and the freedom to choose, social conditioning, addiction and compulsions and some other challenging subjects. If you are looking for a book to guide yourself into the next spiritual plane, this one may be exactly what you are looking for.

And here is my disclosure per Hay House Publishers. I get to choose the book I wish to review, it is given to me free of charge, and I am not compensated for my endorsement of this book. This review is my personal opinion.
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Oct 24, 2013 ginadrellack
The Heart of the Matter: A Simple guide to discovering gifts in strange wrapping paper is a collaboration by Dr. Darren Weissman and Cate Montana, M.A., and I was given this book by Hay House in exchange for my honest opinion of it. If you are familiar with Dr. Weissman's LifeLine Technique, this book is the See-Feel-Hear Challenge in a nutshell. If you are not familiar with this, don't worry--I wasn't either and I still gained much!

In all honesty I don't think I ever fully grasped the See Feel Hear Challenge the exact way the authors would have intended me to. I did, however, enjoy a profound awareness that awakened within me because of reading this book--so I think that still counts!

1. Ask myself the truth question. I am now more tuned in to observing when my body is talking to me through a negative symptom, whether it's a headache or judgmentalism. Since I am able to choose the creation of my life, would I ever consciously choose to experience this? "Hell, no!" (That's Chapter 2, by the way.)

2. Set my intention. Am I ready, willing, and able to change what I have just identified through my truth question? "Hell, yes!" (That's Chapter 3.) In my intention I focus on where I want to be instead of what I want to change--as if I were already there. Immersed in the feeling of the desired result is where we want to be, folks--claim it now.

3. Give each emotion its attention. When going through Hell no! and Hell yes! emotions become more easily identified. By being identified, they seem to increase in number--in fact, at times similar to a zombie horde--but that's just because we can finally see what is already there anyway. Allow each to have its say, and listen. Each one is a learning gift, and the only way they will eat you alive is if you ignore them.

This book helps readers to connect our experiences, emotions, and subconscious messages--and thus to move through them, positively. Whether you are beginning this concept for yourself or consider yourself a seasoned practitioner, you will grow from reading this book.

Remember that everything you hope to become, you already are. Claim it by feeling it now, instead of waiting to see if it happens in the end.
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Oct 18, 2013 cmwaugh
See, Feel & Hear – How to Harness the Power of Our Emotions

Want to feel more infinite love and gratitude?

How about filling your heart with love, and more love, and more love?

Maybe you want to uncover the buried treasures holding you back?

I’ve got just the thing for you!

An outstanding interactive book, The Heart of the Matter, A Simple Guide to Discovering Gifts in Strange Wrapping Paper by Dr. Darren Weissman and Cate Montana is just the book for you.

This book reminded me about my own experience of Hebb’s Theory that “neurons that fire together wire together.”

While I was working on my master’s program in education, we often referred to Hebb’s Theory while attempting to learn how to recreate new levels of learning.

Simply put, Hebb’s Theory is about how encoding of memories are created by a perceived event (typically our memories from childhood). Giving these memories continuous attention makes the experience more intensely embed in our memory channel.

Our emotions tend to increase our attention to this embed memory like glue and we act unconsciously every time a similar event occurs. The Heart of the Matter taught me what to do to break this unsettling behavior.

The book shares a technique, the See Feel Hear Challenge, that taught me to observe my body during emotionally charged moments and to do the See Feel Hear Challenge to interrupt these emotional cycles and triggers.

Get the picture?

The result is pretty remarkable.

The See Feel Hear Challenge breaks my emotional connection to the stored memory, it circumvents my habitual reaction and restores my ability to rewire a new forgiving and loving response to an emotionally charged moment.

Let those crazy emotions and memories that are buried in your bones release themselves from their shackles.

Work the magic that Weissman and Montana have spelled out for us in their book as you experience your body and mind bringing you to a level of joyous re-creation and cooperation for the gifts that life has to offer.

I send you love, blessings and wishes for a prosperous and abundant life!

(I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I am also an affiliate for Amazon.)
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Oct 17, 2013 stephaniesherie
“When we get in touch with our heart, our authentic self shows up.”

Weissman & Montana, The Heart of the Matter

Following our heart sounds like a simple enough request. But according to Weissman & Montana, we spend most of our time in our head, oblivious to the importance of the heart. Purposeful living is from the heart. Life is constantly bringing us back to this place of authentic, heart centered living. The authors summarize that “we are always 100 percent on target and that we are where we need to be 100 percent of the time.”

Living on purpose and authentically requires setting an intention. I have seen many of these types of steps before about manifesting but one portion in particular seems to be the focus of this book and it is the heart. “Once you know your heart’s desire, now it’s time to focus on it as if you were already there.” This is where our imagination comes into play. We must not simply rattle off affirmations or bible verses but really feel them in our hearts. What would it feel like if it already existed? There is also some discussion regarding use of a Heart Math device to facilitate the process.

I tried a portion of this technique in the car, the part where you really feel into what you want. I thought of my heart’s desire and said it out loud. Then, I started feeling into what it would be like and tears came to my eyes. It was so apparent to me that I clearly knew what my heart’s authentic desire and plan is for my life and yet how often I become side-tracked when I get into my head, following the rules of others for my life – past or present.

“Emotions are a far more powerful influence on the brain than thought when it comes to shifting our mental processes and patterns.”

When we become still and quiet, we can see that each thought carries with it a feeling or emotion attached to it. If you have problems connecting to your emotions the author’s suggestion is this. “By focusing on where we’re going rather than what we want to get rid of, we shift subconscious protective patterns into conscious acts of growth.” I don’t know about you, but thinking about what I don’t want is my fast track to getting stuck in stinking thinking and victim hood!

“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that exists within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone!” Marianne Williamson

Chapter 10 is a brilliant discussion on the power of media. When we begin to live from our heart center and authenticity, it is important to be selective in what we hear and see. Subtle and not so subtle images and sounds affect us more than we realize. I appreciated the point brought forth in this chapter, particularly the connection to shame. In Chapter 11 we are told that addictions/habits are “speaking through you, telling you to wake up and live your life with intention.” This is what this book keeps coming back to – using their “See-Feel-Hear Challenge” to method of clearing the conflicting emotion, set an intention, and feel yourself there with infinite love and gratitude.

There is a Q&A section towards the end that I found very beneficial. It includes running the “See-Feel-Hear Challenge” in any situation. The SFH Challenge is very simple and it seems the name doesn’t represent how easy it is. It’s just a few questions you ask yourself then get in touch with the emotion of how you want to feel. You are moving yourself to love and gratitude no matter the situation. You are centering and balancing yourself, taking control over the default pathways of our brain that want to fly off the handle and react.

I suggest this book for people who want to up level their life and especially for those who feel overwhelmed and victimized by their emotions.

Hay House sent me this book for my honest review.
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Oct 01, 2013 melissa6705
This book was really inspiring. It makes you sit back and look at your life and different things that happen in your life with a different point of view. It specifically asks in the book "Do you think any person would honestly ever choose to be sick, Have unhealthy relationships, etc." Of course they wouldn't. Things happen in all of our lives as well as habits that each of us have. We just need to have a different perspective when looking at out lives. There is a see, hear and feel technique that is explained in the book which is great. It helps you understand and cope with you emotions. This technique can work with anyone from 2 to 92. What an amazing tool to have. The book will help anyone but especially anyone that has ever been hurt in the past (who hasn't?) cope with the emotions that they still have from that event.
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Sep 08, 2013 hhreviewer2

The Heart of the Matter by Darren Weissman and Cate Montana introduces the reader to Weissman's See Hear Feel Challenge which is a simple, step-by-step format for an individual to, as the title suggests, get down to the "heart of the matter". It is, in a way, a condensed and simplified version of the author's LifeLine technique.

While I don't believe that a person could heal some of the more truly deep hurts that a person can experience in their lives, it is a great way to slowly peel away layers to start getting closer to what my actually be the issue.

All of us, at various times, have acted irrationally or unexpectedly. Yet it is often due to that we are reacting to a situation that has little or nothing to do with what's going on right then and there, thanks to association. I believe that the See Hear Feel Challenge is particularly helpful for discovering associations that may not exactly be hidden, but that we may not be fully aware of either.

The Heart of the Matter itself is well written by the authors and an enjoyable read. Those familiar with or who read a lot of self help books may not find anything new, but it is a different technique to try if one's feeling stuck using affirmations, oracles, tapping, etc. It is always a great idea to switch things up every once in a while. Darren Weissman and Cate Montana have certainly added to the plethora of tools that are out there for us to use.

This is my review of The Heart of the Matter by Darren Weissman and Cate Montana. I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

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Sep 02, 2013 timlarison
We are all born into this world with simple joy within, believes Dr. Darren Weissman and Cate Montana. How we lose that joy, and how we can get that connection back is the basis of their new book: “The Heart of the Matter: A Simple Guide to Discovering Gifts in Strange Wrapping Paper”.

As we experience life “the litany of heartaches and grievances add up, all too quickly,” say the authors. They reveal the “See Feel Hear Challenge” – a process that brings to our awareness the hurts of our past, buried in the subconscious, with the intent of healing these painful emotions. “When we begin to understand the mind, specifically the subconscious, we learn that these symptoms are not personal in any way, but rather spiritual in every way: they are wake-up calls to alert us to evolve to our fullest potential,” they believe.

After devoting several chapters to defining the “See Feel Hear Challenge”, I liked how the authors in the concluding chapters clarified the process through a series of questions from Montana (in the role of the lay person) to Weissman (the “m.d.” expert). In one of these exchanges Weissman writes, “I find that most people, when setting an intention, do so out of fear rather than love. They’ve focused on getting away from something or preventing something from happening, rather than genuinely focusing on where their hearts are leading them. Love always moves toward things; fear always moves away. A fear-based intention will keep a person anchored to the current situation he or she is in.” Wise words which I will remember the next time I am setting an intention.

While I found the See Feel Hear Challenge a helpful approach to healing with many valuable insights, I feel it would be difficult for a person to work through his or her painful emotions just by reading the book. Weissman’s and Montana’s work is a good guide for therapists in revealing a process that could be applied in sessions with clients. I think it is too much to expect the average person to work through these emotions by himself or herself without the aide of a skilled counselor.

In the final pages of the book the authors quote Marianne Williamson – “We were born to make manifest the glory of God that exists within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone!” The Heart of the Matter is a good book in raising the reader’s awareness of what may be blocking the Spirit within, with steps to heal those blockages.
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Aug 31, 2013 Lu47
The Heart of the Matter: A Simple Guide to Discovering Gifts in Strange Wrapping Paper, is a truly amazing book that brings healing and gives you the tools you need to change your life for the better. Not since Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth, have I found a book of this nature to be so powerful.

Topics such as present moment awareness, setting intentions, addiction, feeling discontent in the now moment, healing feelings of shame, over coming fear, reconnecting with your own intuition, as well as attracting what you want from life, are all found in this book. There will surely be something in this book that will inspire you on your own spiritual path.

Shortly after starting this book, I encountered a personal crisis that propelled me into a downward spiral of despair. Within moments of trying the technique found in this book, I was relieved of my negative emotions and my harmony and balance were restored. Some may at first feel a little silly using the technique since it is so simple, but a sincere and solid effort is required to experience the benefits. It's important to set all judgement aside, and do the exercise with an open mind. I encourage you to take the See, Hear, Feel Challenge - it works!

Note: This book was provided to me by Hay House Publishing at no cost in exchange for my opinion.
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Aug 27, 2013 ClorisKylie
Each of us has special quirks and distinct personality, but Dr. Darren Weissman and Cate Montana figured out two questions that every person on the planet would answer almost identically:

First question: Would you ever choose to be sick, have unhealthy relationships, or feel angry, depressed, anxious, or fearful?

Answer: Hell no!

Second question: Would you want to manifest your dreams and desires?

Answer: Hell yes!

With the “Hell-no” question, Weissman and Montana introduce us to the role of the subconscious mind in our beliefs and actions. The majority of the time, we’re carrying out the programs that were loaded into our minds by well-meaning parents, relatives, the media, and society. These limiting programs are the reason we experience negative emotions and their corresponding physical maladies. If we could’ve made conscious choices, our life experiences would’ve been very different.

It seems we’re doomed!

Not really.

With the “Hell-yes” question, the authors show that it’s possible to make different choices and to manifest our intentions. We start by decoding the messages in our feelings and physiological symptoms to discover the truth of who we are. Next, we manifest our intentions by focusing on where we desire to go (rather than on what we want to go away,) and by focusing on our wishes as if we were already there.

The Heart of the Matter shines the light on fascinating scientific studies about the way our bodies and emotions are interconnected. Did you know that a study group that mentally exercised their little fingers 5 days a week for 15 minutes over a 12-week span increased their muscle strength by 35 percent? Compare this to the 53 percent increase in strength achieved by the group who did physical strengthening exercises.

Here’s a fascinating fact about the heart that The Heart of the Matter reveals: “Neurocardiologists have discovered that the heart has its own internal nervous system.” Who would’ve thought the heart could “independently sense, process information, make decisions, and even demonstrate a type of learning and memory”?

This book combines the knowledge about the subconscious mind found in Biology of Belief, by Bruce Lipton, with the principles of manifestation expressed in books such as The Moses Code by James Twyman and Wishes Fulfilled by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I especially liked the question and answer section at the end of the book, in which the authors answered my own questions about the manifestation method they call “See Feel Hear Challenge.”

The Heart of the Matter: a thought-provoking and inspiring Hay House book!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Aug 11, 2013 BookLover
The Heart of the Matter: A Simple Guide to Discovering Gifts in Strange Wrapping Paper by Dr. Daren R. Weissman and Cate Montana, M.A., guides us through the See Hear Feel Challenge to live a more authentic life that is true to our heart's desire. This book enables us to live authentically and truly hear what our heart is telling us.

The See Hear Feel Challenge presented in this book is so simple and easy to use, yet it will profoundly change your life to live more true to yourself. This challenge shows us that through truly acknowledging our emotions we can live our heart's desire and overcome our personal self-undoing patterns and negativity.

I was profoundly moved by this book. The exercises found inside the book showed us how to use the See Hear Feel Challenge in every aspect of our lives from addictions to personal shame.

In The Heart of the Matter we are shown that our emotions can either inhibit our lives or empower us and our lives. The one thing I loved most was that we are shown how to create a garden of self-love for ourselves.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to overcome fearful emotions and live a more empowered life.

I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from Hay House in exchange for my unbiased opinion of this book.
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