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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Power of Heart

The Power of Heart

When and How to Get Out of Your Brain

Amy Bloch, M.D.

St. Martin's Essentials

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The secret to a good life is not what you think.

Most of us have been raised to believe that we can solve any problem if we think about it hard enough. We spend years honing our intellect, knowing that our brains are our best line of defense against whatever roadblocks life throws us. But each and every one of us has a secret weapon to call upon when brainpower isn’t enough, and that is Heart.

Amy Bloch discovered the power of heart quite by accident. An accomplished psychiatrist, fully in control of her professional and family life, Amy was dealt what she thought was a devastating, insurmountable set-back when her daughter Emily was born with a severe brain malformation. Amy tried desperately to “fix” Emily, and exhausted herself in her efforts to deal with the “problem” using her intellect, going at it brain-first—the default way we tend to approach challenges in our society. Emily, on the other hand, lives completely heart-first: she simply doesn’t have the capabilities to approach life brain-first. Yet to Amy’s initial surprise—and ultimately, to her great admiration—Emily is remarkably happy and successful.

The Power of Heart is the distillation of what Emily taught Amy—lessons that are applicable to anyone’s life. Learning to be Emily’s mom and observing how Emily approaches life prompted a radical change in Amy’s life. It also transformed her work with patients in her professional practice, where she witnessed over and over again how getting out of brain and into he… More…

The secret to a good life is not what you think.

Most of us have been raised to believe that we can solve any problem if we think about it hard enough. We spend years honing our intellect, knowing that our brains are our best line of defense against whatever roadblocks life throws us. But each and every one of us has a secret weapon to call upon when brainpower isn’t enough, and that is Heart.

Amy Bloch discovered the power of heart quite by accident. An accomplished psychiatrist, fully in control of her professional and family life, Amy was dealt what she thought was a devastating, insurmountable set-back when her daughter Emily was born with a severe brain malformation. Amy tried desperately to “fix” Emily, and exhausted herself in her efforts to deal with the “problem” using her intellect, going at it brain-first—the default way we tend to approach challenges in our society. Emily, on the other hand, lives completely heart-first: she simply doesn’t have the capabilities to approach life brain-first. Yet to Amy’s initial surprise—and ultimately, to her great admiration—Emily is remarkably happy and successful.

The Power of Heart is the distillation of what Emily taught Amy—lessons that are applicable to anyone’s life. Learning to be Emily’s mom and observing how Emily approaches life prompted a radical change in Amy’s life. It also transformed her work with patients in her professional practice, where she witnessed over and over again how getting out of brain and into heart made life deeper and richer, less stressful, and more meaningful. While the brain is amazing, powerful, and useful, it does come with limitations. There’s some stuff the brain just doesn’t know, which is where heart comes in. Tapping into heart helps your brain perform better, and makes you stronger and smarter than you will ever be trusting only your brain. Heart will allow you to live with uncertainty; find strength, resilience, courage, and persistence in tough times; cast off self-criticism and doubt, and have a lot more confidence and fun. The Power of Heart is for readers of all ages and walks of life who are ready to move beyond the brain-first strategy, and embrace heart as well.

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How a Brain-First Mom Learned to Be More in Heart—and How It Saved Her Life


The secret to a good and meaningful life is not what you think.

Literally. The good life comes from more than thinking, more than smarts,...

Praise for The Power of Heart

"Every day we make important choices and vital decisions relying on our overtired and distracted brains. Amy Bloch’s beautiful, inspiring and wise book, The Power of Heart, is the gift of grace we all need to remind us that our true source of wisdom is only a heartbeat away."—Sarah Ban Breathnach, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simple Abundance and Something More

"The Power of Heart isn’t the sort of book one might expect a doctor to write. Based on her experience with a perfect daughter who happens to have an atypical brain, Amy Bloch has written a gently perceptive guide to releasing the mind’s death-grip on intellect and replacing it with a wiser, deeper way of knowing. In these pages, Bloch shows us a hundred simple paths from suffering and stress into peace and happiness."—Martha Beck, New York Times bestselling author of Finding Your Own North Star

"The Power of Heart shows that when we get out of our brain and into our heart we are able to live deeper, more meaningful, more confident, and more enjoyable lives. After reading this wonderful book, I don’t doubt this for a second… neither will you."— Matthew Emerzian, founder and CEO of Every Monday Matters, and author of You Matter: Learning to Love Who You Really Are

"[Bloch's] strengths as an experienced psychiatrist and parent of four shine through in her words. Her analogies,
examples of patients’ breakthroughs, and her own change in perspective will help readers feel that they… More…

"Every day we make important choices and vital decisions relying on our overtired and distracted brains. Amy Bloch’s beautiful, inspiring and wise book, The Power of Heart, is the gift of grace we all need to remind us that our true source of wisdom is only a heartbeat away."—Sarah Ban Breathnach, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simple Abundance and Something More

"The Power of Heart isn’t the sort of book one might expect a doctor to write. Based on her experience with a perfect daughter who happens to have an atypical brain, Amy Bloch has written a gently perceptive guide to releasing the mind’s death-grip on intellect and replacing it with a wiser, deeper way of knowing. In these pages, Bloch shows us a hundred simple paths from suffering and stress into peace and happiness."—Martha Beck, New York Times bestselling author of Finding Your Own North Star

"The Power of Heart shows that when we get out of our brain and into our heart we are able to live deeper, more meaningful, more confident, and more enjoyable lives. After reading this wonderful book, I don’t doubt this for a second… neither will you."— Matthew Emerzian, founder and CEO of Every Monday Matters, and author of You Matter: Learning to Love Who You Really Are

"[Bloch's] strengths as an experienced psychiatrist and parent of four shine through in her words. Her analogies,
examples of patients’ breakthroughs, and her own change in perspective will help readers feel that they’ve
just had a great counseling session."—Booklist

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Reviews from Goodreads

Amy Bloch, M.D.

AMY BLOCH, M.D., has been practicing child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry for 23 years. She received her pre-Emily education from Dartmouth, Yale University School of Medicine, and The Payne Whitney Clinic, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The mother of four children, Amy lives in suburban New York, where she spends her free time with her family, and her dog, but finds time to blog at her newly launched website.

image of Amy Blocho
Lorin Klaris