I read Black Ice and Banana Peels with some sense of trepidation, having just finished a ton of other “self-help” books, most of which simply repeated each other and offered nothing new and fresh. I was surprised to find myself learning a thing or two about why I am the way I am, stuff that has been covered in other books, mind you, but certainly not in such a powerful and interesting way.
Author Mark Bender, a licensed psychologist with over two decades of experience as a counselor and therapist, combines elements of Psychology 101 with body/mind studies, motivational and self-help aspects, and a strong emphasis on healing to make this a unique book about how our minds will do anything to have control. AND I MEAN ANYTHING! Not only does Bender present his case well, he also never fails to give us tools and techniques for lessening the terrible grip our minds and egos keep on our true selves, a grip that is responsible for many of our illusions about life and the suffering those illusions instigate.
Our minds have an agenda all their own, and unfortunately it isn’t always aligned with our highest and best will, or with the will of our greater Mind, which is connected to our concept of God. Bender teaches us about the mind’s many mechanisms for using fear, doubt, guilt, shame, illusion, misperception and a whole lot of other nasty strategies, all of which keep us from really being authentic, and living from that place of authenticity.
Some of the most fascinating material is about giving ourselves permission - yes, permission - and accepting things the way they are, rather than denying or giving into the illusions that our mind desperately wants to hold onto. I got so much out of this book that I was glad I gave it a chance, and recommend it to anyone who is tired of the “same ole, same ole” when it comes to self-help books.
The title refers, obviously, to the ways we trip ourselves up when we let our minds do all our living for us. And once you’ve read this book, you will be shocked at how powerful, clever and manipulative our minds can be, and how often they keep us from being happy, awake and aware. With Black Ice and Banana Peels to guide us, we can silence the loud and obnoxious ego, and begin to learn to listen to our inner voice, where wisdom and guidance stand ready to greet us.