After 20 years in the making, the book Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life by author Jude Bijou has finally hit the bookstores. Recently, the Santa Barbara marriage and family therapist appeared at Chaucer’s Books on State Street to explain “how honoring our emotions physically and constructively can without fail, bring us more joy, love, and peace.”
In her book, Bijou introduces a blueprint of the mind which is a theory based on her own experiences in life, conversations with clients and colleagues, and meditation among other things. Based on the blueprint, Bijou believes that anybody can turn around negative emotions — sadness, anger, and fear — and instead feel joy, love, and peace. The key is to allow yourself to feel.
“It’s okay to be angry, sad, and scared. It’s the way you deal with these emotions that can truly help you,” Bijou said in an interview with The Independent. “It’s natural to cry, to feel angry. Don’t hide your emotions. Let the sadness out. Shake off the energy. The energy needs to move through us.”
Once the energy is out, Bijou explains, “You can start thinking about how you can get rid of the angry, sad or fearful thoughts. People and things are the way they are — not the way you want them to be.”
On that note, Bijou also points out the importance of not blaming others, even if your anger or sadness is caused by something someone else has done. “You need to be honest about how you feel without blaming. Talk about yourself. If you tell others what to do, they’ll immediately refuse.”
It all started “way back” when Bijou was a child. She grew up in a family where you didn’t show emotions — you didn’t cry. Despite her “cool childhood,” she still felt like something was missing — happiness.
“I knew I should feel happy but I didn’t. I wasn’t neglected or anything like that. I just didn’t feel happy. I guess through my intuition, I knew I wasn’t the way I should feel.”
Bijou’s father was a psychologist, and she believes it is in her DNA to “figure out how things work.” One thing led to another and Bijou eventually came up with the blueprint that was literally written on one single piece of paper. At a get-together, a friend told her, “You can’t sell one piece of paper,” and the author realized the need to write a book. She emphasizes, though, that “this is not a book you just read through unless you’re a serious reader — which I’m not — and that’s why it took me 20 years to write it. It’s more like a handbook.”
Bijou hopes that people will buy it and “feel comfortable, feel relief.” Her goal is for the book to be “next to Gideon’s Bible in all hotel rooms” because, as she states, “some need the Bible but others could use a handbook in how to handle emotions if they have a crappy day.”
People should see the book as an anchor that can help them through difficult times and, according to Bijou, the blueprint can also help treating addictions. “What’s underneath addictions? Sadness, anger and/or fear. But if I take a couple of minutes to think before I reach out for the fifth cookie, I can confront my emotions. Emotions are behind addictions. Doesn’t matter what kind of addiction we’re talking about.”
Bijou also suggests, “If you wake up in the middle of the night, get up, shake off the energy, and then go back to bed. Otherwise you’ll lie awake, be annoyed, twist and turn.”