An engaging book for readers seeking to reconnect to their inner selves.

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MOUNTAIN 10

CLIMBING THE LABYRINTH WITHIN

Three experienced educators and consultants present a method for achieving inner wisdom, reimagining the ancient ritual of the labyrinth walk.

Labyrinths or pathways have been used as a tool for meditative and spiritual practices for centuries. Boelhower, Miguez and Pearce adapt the concept on paper as a way for readers to reflect on experiences and to visualize future goals. Integrating and balancing mind, body and spirit is key for accessing one’s “inner wisdom,” the authors write, which in turn enables the transfer of knowledge into action, or “practical wisdom.” Chapter 1 discusses the concept of inner wisdom in depth, leading to an insightful discussion of the “odyssey myth,” a theme replayed throughout history. The myth follows a predictable pattern of call, journey and return, and the authors note that the path of adolescence is similar: Teens feel a call to greater independence, journey away from parental influences and finally return home as full-fledged adults. The pattern continues throughout adulthood, assert the authors, and their “Mountain 10” process aims to help readers define and map out their journeys while gaining insight and wisdom. The task of constructing a paper labyrinth helps readers maintain focus as they reflect on the authors’ open-ended questions, such as “What is your vision of the possible?” The book’s large format, meanwhile, helpfully leaves ample space for journaling. However, the authors caution that the inner reflection required to complete the Mountain 10 process may result in feelings of “sadness as you reflect on betrayals, recall losses, or confront the internal demand to let go of hurts”; alternatively, “[e]xhilarating feelings of new possibility and gratitude may wash over you.” The authors scatter motivational quotes in the book’s margins and pepper the text with occasional bits of poetry; some readers may find these helpful as additional reflections, but others may find them distracting. The pages’ bright colors may also make the questions difficult to read. That said, the Mountain 10 process serves as a practical tool that may help readers focus their minds on what their spirits are trying to say.

An engaging book for readers seeking to reconnect to their inner selves.

Pub Date: July 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-1481126991

Page Count: 104

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2013

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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