Concise messages packed with meaning that can be readily applied using well-crafted self-assessment questions.

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LIFE QUEST

A TRANSFORMATIONAL JOURNEY

A debut self-help workbook focuses on balancing the mind, body, and soul.

The goal of Morgan Duzoglou and Robert Duzoglou in this manual is to offer readers greater clarity, direction, and control in their life odysseys. The first realm they cover is the mind, encouraging people to identify their positive and negative thought processes and analyze their effects. By becoming more aware of thoughts and values, readers can turn their minds into powerful tools as they journey through life. The second topic the authors discuss is the body. They emphasize the amazing things that the body is capable of doing and suggest ways to amplify its energy, such as meditating and recognizing the center of energy. Finally, they expound on the soul, helping readers identify “soul experiences,” unexplainable moments of connection with God and others. Embracing the idea that “what you measure you can manage,” the authors include several useful “checkpoints” throughout the book that provide deep self-assessment questions and space to record answers. For example, “Write down one predominant thought that repeats itself daily. Try to get to the root of this thought.” Most chapters also have a “Caution Bubble” of something to watch out for, like the warning to stay away from paths “fueled by selfish or egotistical needs.” The brevity of the authors’ insights makes their advice very easy to comprehend and remember, even when exploring abstract concepts like the soul. Creative wordplay also makes the lessons memorable, such as using the word “in-sight” to describe the discernment of thought processes because “your mind is quite literally in sight.” Most of the wordplay is natural and illuminating (for example, “in-sight” and “limit-less”), but some examples seem stretched beyond obvious interpretation (“come-pass” and “identi-fly”). The book is evenly balanced between reading material and writing opportunities, and the self-assessment questions are creative, enlightening, and highly beneficial. This guide is an excellent resource for getting to know yourself holistically through examining and improving the mind, body, and soul.

Concise messages packed with meaning that can be readily applied using well-crafted self-assessment questions.

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5043-9909-8

Page Count: 108

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2018

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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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Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...

MASTERY

Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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