It took me two months to sit myself down and write this damn book review. But not for the reasons you might think. The book isn’t badly written or boring (it’s wonderful on both accounts), nor is it long or stuffy. The simple truth is that my [love] life exploded into a hundred little pieces this winter, and I was forced to stop, evaluate, and pick up each and every little bit of myself (whether I liked what I found or not) and build myself back into the woman I thought I was, the woman I wanted to be.
Why am I telling you all this? Especially after trying my best to keep it under wraps online and among friends and family? Well, because Wake Up to the Joy of You by Agapi Stassinopoulos, gave me some clarity and helped me hold onto my personal truths as my marriage (and I) fell apart. It was probably the best book I could’ve picked up at the time, and because of that, I feel like it’s worth sharing. This book couldn’t have landed on my doorstep at a better time.
And before you ask, let me just come out with it: no, this book didn’t save my marriage, nor was it meant to. It did save my sanity, though, and god bless it for that. Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life, is a compilation of not-so-pushy-or-preachy essays focused on living a happier, more self-aware life. It doesn’t suggest making drastic life changes or overhauling your approach to people or problems, it simply calls for being more ‘awake’ to your own wants and needs, to participating in a little self reflection in order to build a better life.
I know, I know, it sounds cheesy, right? Well, maybe it is. But if you’re looking to feel better about yourself or your decisions and/or relationships, or if you need to pick yourself up by the bootstraps (like I did) and find strength and truth in who you are, then who the hell cares if it sounds cheesy?! Just give any of the short chapters a read and see if the messages resonate with you. Throughout the book, the narrative is casual, easy to follow and non-judgmental (all things I needed out of a book in the midst of my heartache). Some of my favorite chapters included “Know Your Linchpin,”Let Go of Your Limiting Beliefs” and “Healing the Pain of Separation.” And there are plenty of hard-hitting quotes waiting for you within the pages, too. Here’s one that hit home for me:
“If you want to be liberated from the pain of separation, you have to be willing to forgive over and over again, until it releases.”
I can honestly say I found solace and more than a little bit of joy in an otherwise crummy time in my life after trying some of the exercises in this book. Each chapter ends with a meditation or self-reflective exercise, which you can easily skip without losing out on the overall message. I absolutely enjoyed and benefited from reading this book each day. I tucked it into my satchel every morning for almost two months, reading it at a snail’s pace over coffee or while hanging out at Tacoma’s waterfront. I highly recommend this book.
Just sayin:’ I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.