A debut memoir and guide offers an approach to clearing the mind and filling the heart.
When the pain of a migraine emptied Kelc’s inquiring mind, she was able to integrate her female and male sides, allowing for inner balance. As a result, she discovered how to live from her heart rather than her head. Following a short chapter on that pivotal moment, she offers exercises to clear the mind, including one from the author’s role model and teacher, Phyllis Krystal, originator of a method that uses symbols to contact inner wisdom. In the remaining chapters, the bulk of the book, Kelc shares her key findings, all within the context of commonplace, real-life situations. The “first and foremost lesson” is self-love, writes the author, a graphic designer by vocation and personal coach by avocation. Subsequent teachings build on that bedrock, instructing how to apply this love when encountering daily challenges such as managing guilt and criticism; nurturing relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners; creating psychic borders; and refraining from being controlled by anger and fear. In the final chapter, Kelc comes full circle: felled by the flu, she is voiceless for almost a week yet sees the painful experience as a dictum “to be happy under any conditions.” Kelc’s prose is clear and unadorned, if sometimes a little stern: “My desires should never gain control over me. It is within my power to do that.” Invitingly, her realm is the everyday, and thus her suggestions have immediate, practical application, such as how to realize the connection between anger and discomfort. Audiences who like their spiritual direction straightforward and grounded in the ordinary should be drawn to this work. Kelc’s earnest sweetness is the kind many readers will want to emulate: “I begin with my day only after I’m filled with a sense of happiness and joy.”
Aimed at analytical readers, this no-nonsense book delivers basic help for cheerfully navigating the material world.