An optimistic debut self-help book about finding the freedom to be happy.
Kennedy, who has a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral-analysis psychology and a master’s in rehabilitation counseling, writes effusively about the happiness that she says is inside all of us. “Our Inner-Child lives with reckless abandon,” she suggests, “immersed in the love of love. Our Inner-Child is that place found in our heart-center where we feel happiness, even joy.” The brief chapters exude the same hopeful message as they run through such positive concepts as creativity, communing with nature, letting go of excuses, reliving happy memories of childhood, and being nonjudgmental. It’s hard not to get caught up in the author’s exuberance about being responsible for one’s own happiness, or as Kennedy puts it, “Being our own best friend.” The material here isn’t all that different from many other books that tout positive thinking and self-actualization. However, this work benefits from the author’s direct style, as she addresses the reader with short, compelling statements and probing questions, such as “Explore for yourself the rhythm of routine versus chaos” and “Are your actions steeped in love or in fear?” Her observations are often insightful as well; while discussing the need to unclutter one’s life, for instance, she writes, “Clutter in any form clogs our life-path with obstacles.” The book occasionally offers useful exercises for self-reflection, which typically involve writing down one’s positive and negative thoughts for consideration. Throughout, the author’s optimism never flags. Indeed, some readers may find the book so overtly positive as to seem naive, or even exhausting—but chances are the author would happily embrace such cynics.
Relentlessly buoyant, but engaging and instructional.