Read Watch Make: A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds

An illustrated guide to your thoughts, desires, and emotions.

Self help book review: A Blueprint for your Castle in the Clouds

There’s a little-known secret about me: I adore illustrated books.

Children’s literature? Never failed me once. Curious science textbooks for dummies? Sign me up. Crafts books with step-by-step tutorials? Hell yeah. Steampunk novels with intricate ink-black details? The Universe must love me.

Adorably embellished self-discovery books? EL. DORADO.

So you can imagine how enthusiastic I was when I found Barbara Sophia Tammes’ A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds. If the title wasn’t catching enough, the subtitle was even better – make the inside of your head your favourite place to be.

And then you open the book and see these:

Self help book review: A Blueprint for your Castle in the Clouds
On the left: “Your Mental SPA.” On the right: seeds of Connection, Integrity, Abundance, Satisfaction; a dipper.

BUT. Since this is a sort-of book review and not an illustration review, let’s talk about the content. On Hay House’s website, it says that

A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds is an inspirational guide that will help you lighten up your life by showing you how to design twenty-five mind expanding rooms to uncloud your thinking and create new opportunities in your life. Every room in your Castle in the Clouds has a special meaning and offers new insights perspectives to look at yourself in a completely new and original way.

In short, Tammes has created a 160-page long visualization, where you can examine different aspects of your life as if they were special rooms in a castle. Do you have annoying thoughts? You can cleanse them in a Mental Spa, where they become absurdly adorable birds. (This is my favourite chapter overall.) Do you want to stop going on autopilot? Go to the Head Office and see how you can label and file experiences in a different way. Do you sabotage your own creativity? Pay a visit to both the Atelier and the Gallery. (My second favourite.)

Even more amazing, perhaps, is that a lot of the things she wrote are actually techniques and reflections I’m learning in class at the counseling school. There is even a chapter where she writes, you are not your thoughts. (!) Like, at school we have a poster with those same words. (!!!)

Some bonus points:

  • It’s one of those books that you can read from start to finish or just one chapter, and it’s enjoyable in both cases. (Although I advise you to at least read the introductory chapters the first time.)
  • A lot of questions and exercises you can try in a journal.
  • Cute illustrations. (In case I didn’t make it clear enough.)
  • Insanely funny and/or sweet metaphors of your inner world.
  • The last chapter.

If you love working on yourself and learn best with pictures, this is a wonderful book to make this voyage of self-discovery a bit more playful.

In the comments: if you’ve read this book, what chapters did you love? If not, what would you like to find in a self-discovery book?


P.S. You can also study your own dreams!

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{Original picture: my own}

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