A debut guide focuses on dealing with life’s biggest challenges.
In her well-designed and visually appealing book, Warren offers her readers a plan for encountering and surmounting the worst challenges of disappointment, loss, and suffering that life can throw in their paths. In clear, accessible prose, she lays out her “Navigating Change” program, a proposal she claims has already helped over a thousand people in workshops to cope with major events in their lives. This program is broken down into four phases. Phase 1, “Conscious Endings,” looks backward, advising readers to recall the important changes in their pasts and to look at the key people involved with forgiveness and understanding. Phase 2, “The Mystery,” centers on the idea of pausing in the now, taking stock, and spending time on reflection and inner analysis. Phase 3, “The Phoenix Rises,” as its name implies, is about embracing the personal spiritual rebirth that with luck has been made possible by the first two phases. And in Phase 4, “Visionary Beginnings,” “magical synchronicities, new possibilities, and surprising connections start appearing.” Warren doesn’t underestimate the obstacles that will face her “Navigating Change” adherents, but she promises that along the way they’ll encounter “helping friends, messages in bottles, keys hidden in the dark caves, and lanterns shining in the dark nights.” That combination of whimsy and optimism runs throughout the book, remaining its strongest feature. Warren liberally intersperses her more theoretical observations with personal anecdotes and the vivid life stories of some of the people who’ve benefitted from her program. She also gives her spiritual conception the widest possible ecumenical reach, studding her volume with quotes from all the major religions, Eastern mystics, great literature, and, just to be on the safe side, Oprah Winfrey. “Detachment brings objectivity about another’s predicament,” she writes, always urging her readers to strive for a clear inner vision—or, in simpler terms, to calm down. “Objectivity brings clarity and liberation.”
A manual that delivers a good deal of old-fashioned common sense braided into a spiritual framework built to comfort readers.