Spiritual Constipation

Discover Your True Nature & Get Shift Moving

Non-Fiction - Self Help
312 Pages
Reviewed on 04/22/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

Stephen Ladd lights up the field of self-help books with his book Spiritual Constipation: Discover Your True Nature and Get Shift Moving, a humorous collection of essays about our feelings and the ways we can choose not to react to them. The author discusses his journey and his interpretation of Sydney Banks’s Three Principles. In addition, he intertwines insightful takeaways from other religions and alternate schools of thought to lead his readers into making their own informed choices.

Stephen Ladd injects his book with colorful anecdotes and real-life examples that make Spiritual Constipation easy to read and understand. Ladd’s conversational tone was refreshing and illustrated his message about calming down and refraining from being affected by stressful situations. I enjoyed the author’s views on insightful understanding, and I think the examples and timing of its introduction were well-placed. Preconceived notions were addressed, and mindfulness was stressed throughout the pages of his work. The thought-provoking questions at the end of each section encourage the reader to use their knowledge to form opinions about the way they feel.

Ladd gives his readers the freedom of choice to use his words in the way they will derive the most benefit, or choose to discard the information. In doing so, he is leading by example, and it gives more credence to his book. The book is better digested with an open mind, so approach it with thoughts free of judgment. I recommend the book to mature readers, as the conversational tone is sometimes peppered with expletives and what some may consider more mature content.

Lois J Wickstrom

Spiritual Constipation by Stephen Ladd is a series of short essays on the meaning of life. These essays are designed to be confusing but in a good way. As Ladd says, he believes the state of being calm and confused at the same time will help people see how their minds work. That is his focus. That and freedom. To simplify his book in a few sentences requires me to use steps, which is something he abhors. But I’ll do it anyway in the hope of creating something of the mental state his book induces.
Emotions come from thoughts. Thoughts are always changing. Just wait. Freedom is doing the things you want to do for the reasons you want to do them.

One of my favorite examples in this book is Steven Ladd’s approach to coaching. He does not care if his team wins. He cares that the team members enjoy playing the game. That way his team is doing what they want to do and they’ll go home having had a good time. Feeling happy after a game does not depend on winning or losing. I think this is a super way to sum up another of the author’s key points: The past is thoughts. The future is thoughts. The only thing going on right now is Now. If you like having your beliefs challenged, your preferences treated as unimportant in the larger picture, and your self-image called into question, I highly recommend Stephen Ladd’s Spiritual Constipation.

K.C. Finn

Spiritual Constipation: Discover Your True Nature and Get Shift Moving is a work of non-fiction in the self-help and motivational subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience owing to some explicit language and mild drug references and was penned by Stephen Ladd. As its title suggests, this is a work that seeks to do away with the scores of rules-driven self-help books that encourage strict regimes to try to deliver eventual peace. In a work that flips the scripts and suggests that we shouldn’t overstrain ourselves to solve life’s stresses, Ladd offers great advice on bridging the gap between practical and emotional problems in order to achieve harmony.

I enjoyed every part of this book, from its sweetly sardonic authorship through to the down-to-earth, heavy-hitting advice for life that is both hard to hear and also very welcome to the most neurotic and stressed of us. Stephen Ladd delivers a well-organized work that covers everything you could want, from addressing bad habits to letting things go, nurturing love in one’s life, and being open to new philosophies. For me, the chapter ‘Ego is NOT the Enemy’ was so refreshing to hear and explore. I thought the additional audio content was such a good idea and a really accessible path toward meditation that does away with the stressful mental discipline concept. Spiritual Constipation is a book you’ll want to read whether you’re currently suffering from this condition or not, as it’s an essential primer on not taking life’s problems too deeply to heart when they come along, and treating everything in your world with the right balance.