The strongest thing I felt when reading this book was John's frustration, aggravation, and overall negativity. I felt like I had to "clear myself" after reading this!
Let me backup here and say that I became a "fan" years ago. I admired John's humility and his "every person" appeal that came through oh his show. I had also read one of his earlier books more than several years ago and it was warm, engaging, and seemed heartfelt. Where did THAT guy go? His desire with this book is supposedly to encourage intuitive exploration and growth in others, NOT to help anyone become psychics or mediums, but rather to help individuals enhance their own lives. However, in writing a book to encourage others to tune in to their intuition and develop skills for personal enrichment, the writer ideally should come from a place of encouragement, warmth, support and love, not from fear. John makes a huge point that two things motivate our behaviors: fear, and love. (This is a spiritual truth found in many wonderful texts). Well, I didn't feel a lot of LOVE coming from the pages of this book, nor as the inspiration behind its creation. For example, it is full of DO NOT's, YOU ARE NOT's, DON'T EVER's, etc. You get the point. I found a lot of irony in this book. It was so ridiculous at times it was actually what kept me reading. In understanding the way spiritual energy works, John should have had more confidence that one disclaimer would suffice and relax and write the book with faith that it will be used appropriately. Public materials can always fall into the "wrong" hands, but he addresses the readers of his book as though most of us could at any moment decide we are powerful and professional (and irresponsible!)psychic mediums because we "just read a John Edwards book on intuition." (I thought that was hilarious but sadly, John was very serious!) Not only that, but then we would go out and use our abilities in a hurtful fashion. This is his fear behind nearly every tangent. We are scolded and warned throughout the text. It made me feel like I was about to go do something bad, or had ulterior motives other than the loving heart and desire to heal, and support others that I have ALWAYS had (thus my Psychotherapy background). More irony? He warns against our "inner monster" (EGO) overtaking us as we develop skills and again, doing readings before we are "ready", or considering ourselves professionals when, he is quite sure, we are not, etc. He also reminds us of the ethical considerations and emphasizes that we are not trained counselors (some of us are...I am, and know very well about the ethical repercussions of my sessions). He shares his angst over being "copied" so often. (Really, John? You were the first one to come up with the idea that Spirits do pull their energy back?) Also, there are extended tangents about people he read for who struggled with the message(s) and his abilities, and sometimes would attack him(an obvious risk with this type of work). If your ego is in check, you do not feel a passionate need to defend your skills and your work. Yet John proudly shares and even detailed, on a couple of occasions, the ways in which he shuts down such individuals. I am not impressed. In fact, my stomach knotted. John believes they acted out of ego, I believe it was fear (of the unknown, of the message,etc). His response was certainly ego, in my opinion.
From the beginning of the book he suggests that if you want to learn how to do readings for others, do not bother reading this book as it is a guide for primarily your personal development. That is certainly an important step, for we must know ourselves and understand how our own intuitive senses work before working with others in this manner. But alas, we have more irony in that every couple of pages or so he discusses what to do in your readings with others (or, rather, what NOT to do..). But remember, most of us aren't going to read for others, right?
Honestly, it seems to me the thing John is most qualified to write about is mediumship. That is his "skill", and frankly what he is best known for and what most of us find fascinating about him. Does he share any information on mediumship? Yes. He saves it for five pages at the end of the book. He does offer a lot of material on psychic tools, creating your ideal space, and protecting your energy. That is probably the most useful part of this book, but then again, I don't think you need to use psychic "tools" if you are simply developing intuition to enhance your life. Some folks even grow too dependent upon them. So my point is, it is very unclear who the target/ideal reader is for this book. If you are new to developing intuitive abilities, there are MANY texts on the market which I feel are much more informative, helpful,loving and supportive of a beginner's journey (Sonia Choquette comes to mind).
My final point is that in tuning into yourself, realize that no one is an authority on your talents and abilities but you. Surrpund yourself with people who are supportive, not doubtful. John states (rather arrogantly) that one is either born a medium or not,and that you KNOW and recognize this in yourself early on in life. He believes there are many psychics out there, but a "true" medium is rare. He is entitled to his beliefs, of course, but the reader needs to remind him/herself that is his opinion only, and he is not an authority on YOU. He is not an authority on mediumship either--he certainly didn't "invent" it. He is a personality who became well known thanks to the media. Even in discussing his mediumship abilities, all he can be sure of is what is real for him. If you receive information differently--if your process of connecting is an entirely different experience--that does not make it less valid. I hope if he decides to write yet another book, he returns to his heart to write.