Review: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Amy Morin's Book Should be Required Reading for Everyone

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do Review
 

I love it when I’m sent a book to review and I, literally, have trouble putting it down. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin is the latest book to fit this description.

I’ll tell you what reading it reminded me of: Sitting in a Baptist Church in the South on a Sunday morning as the Man of God in front of the congregation was on FIRE! He paces and preaches and preaches and paces – the whole time leaving you thinking things like, “That’s right!,” “That’s SO GOOD!,” and “AMEN!”

I’ve had the supreme privilege and honor of sitting in many Sunday morning services just like that. They’re downright tingly to your body, mind, and spirit because they serve as wonderful wake up calls.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do is a wake up call in its own right. I can’t say that it stirs the Spirit necessarily, but that’s not what it’s setting out to do. THIS particular wake-up call stirs your mind and even your heart.

And does so with aplomb.

Expanding on her viral post that has become an international phenomenon, a psychotherapist offers simple yet effective solutions for increasing mental strength and finding happiness and success in life.

As a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor, and psychotherapist, Amy Morin has seen countless people choose to succeed despite facing enormous challenges. That resilience inspired her to write 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, a web post that instantly went viral, and was picked up by the Forbes website.

Morin’s post focused on the concept of mental strength, how mentally strong people avoid negative behaviors—feeling sorry for themselves, resenting other people’s success, and dwelling on the past. Instead, they focus on the positive to help them overcome challenges and become their best.

In this inspirational, affirmative book, Morin expands upon her original message, providing practical strategies to help readers avoid the thirteen common habits that can hold them back from success. Combining compelling anecdotal stories with the latest psychological research, she offers strategies for avoiding destructive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors common to everyone.

Like physical strength, mental strength requires healthy habits, exercise, and hard work. Morin teaches you how to embrace a happier outlook and arms you to emotionally deal with life’s inevitable hardships, setbacks, and heartbreaks—sharing for the first time her own poignant story of tragedy, and how she summoned the mental strength to move on. As she makes clear, mental strength isn’t about acting tough; it’s about feeling empowered to overcome life’s challenges.

Each chapter goes into great (eye-opening) detail about the pitfalls of the 13 things successful people do not do.  As you read through the book, you will (given the fact that you look human to me) recognize yourself in a few scenarios.

This is a good thing! WHEN you realize bad habits or choices, THEN you’re able to give yourself a good old-fashioned kick in the seat of the pants and vow never to go down that dead end road again.

That’s why I call these moments wake up calls. They sound off alarms that help you shake out of a deep sleep and get moving in the right direction.

Amy Morin has put together an absolutely wonderful book that reads fast but leaves a lasting impression.  Since I read it (a few weeks ago), I’ve often thought of her words.

Chapter 4: They Don’t Focus on Things They Can’t Control

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” - Maya Angelou

One of my favorite chapters in the book addresses the fact that Successful People Don’t Focus on Things They Can’t Control. Not only would it be a colossal waste of time and energy to focus on things you cannot control – it sucks time and energy AWAY that could actually be productive.

It feels so safe to have everything under control, but thinking we have the power to always pull the strings can become problematic.” (Page 74)

The chapter includes examples and “symptoms” of this type of thinking.

We can’t possibly make all of our circumstances and all the people in our lives fit into the way we think things should be. When you learn to let go of the details you can’t control, the amount of time and energy you’ll be able to devote to the things you can control will give you the ability to accomplish incredible feats.” (Page 75)

How great is that?!

This one chapter, alone, should be required reading for everyone in the world. If you cannot control it… let it go. Not only will everyone else around you be happier, you’ll be freer.

As I read through this chapter, I thought of a few modern-day illustrations of this bad habit.

  • Women who call or text their boyfriends/husbands again and again and again while he is on the golf course, fishing, watching a game, etc.  If the truth came out…. they don’t want them THERE! They want them where they want them and yet, somehow, lost control of the situation. He wandered away! What’s a gal to do?  She can retain a little bit of control by keeping tabs on him.  Personally, I think a trip to Target would be a lot funner, but that’s just me.
  • This one’s timely – how about holiday get-togethers?  Tension often runs high because every family has that one person who acts as though no one EVER does enough for them. They’re sour and resentful because they’re unable to control what everyone else says and does.
  • Anyone with co-workers knows how maddening control freaks can be.  They aren’t the least bit interested in being a team player because they want to be the puppet master. They want to tell everyone else what “their job” is while refusing to let any “job descriptions” stick to them!

The list goes on, of course.  This is one of the most powerful chapters in the book -but  each chapter is profoundly powerful.

I know that  13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do is a book you’ll love. Even more importantly, I know it’s a book you’ll get A LOT out of. One of the first things I thought after I finished the book was, “The phrase game changer is woefully overused… heck, I overuse it on a gruesome level… THIS book truly is a game changer and could help SO MANY PEOPLE!”

I thought it then and I think it now. You need this book. Period.

On December 23, you’ll be able to buy  13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do on Amazon. Click through and pre-order  it now!

~ Joi

From the Inside Cover

The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Your Mental Strength

Everyone knows that regular exercise and weight training lead to physical strength. But how do we strengthen ourselves mentally for the truly tough times? And what should we do when we face these challenges? Or as psychotherapist Amy Morin asks, what should we avoid when we encounter adversity? Through her years counseling others and her own experiences navigating personal loss, Morin realized it is often the habits we cannot break that are holding us back from true success and happiness. Indulging in self-pity, agonizing over things beyond our control, obsessing over past events, resenting the achievements of others, or expecting immediate positive results holds us back. This list of things mentally strong people don’t do resonated so much with readers that when it was picked up by Forbes.com it received ten million views.

Now, for the first time, Morin expands upon the thirteen things from her viral post and shares her tried-and-true practices for increasing mental strength. Morin writes with searing honesty, incorporating anecdotes from her work as a college psychology instructor and psychotherapist as well as personal stories about how she bolstered her own mental strength when tragedy threatened to consume her.

Increasing your mental strength can change your entire attitude. It takes practice and hard work, but with Morin’s specific tips, exercises, and troubleshooting advice, it is possible to not only fortify your mental muscle but also drastically improve the quality of your life.

About the Author

Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor, and psychotherapist. She is the only person in the psychology industry who is talking about mental strength on a global level. She lives in Enfield, Maine.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do Review

Book Reviews on Self Help Daily

I just wanted to share few quick words about book reviews on Self Help Daily: 

  1. I gladly accept and write non-fiction book reviews – not only on the self help blog, but also on my other blogs/websites (including a food blog, Hollywood Yesterday, and quite a few others.). If you have a self help, self improvement, inspirational/motivational book you’d like reviewed on Self Help Daily, simply contact me through e-mail (joisigers @ aim.com) . If you want to know what types of books I review on this particular website, you can get an idea by taking a look at the book reviews I’ve done.  Books are an obsession, so doing book reviews is something that feels more like play to me than work!
  2. While I LOVE books (reading them and reviewing them), I don’t accept fiction books. It’s not that I don’t love fiction – I do. In fact, a little strange secret about me is that I ALWAYS have an Agatha Christie mystery I’m in the middle of – yes, even those I’ve read before.  The Bible and Agatha Christie are my daily reads. I kind of run the gamut on that one, don’t I?

Who do I TOTALLY recommend for writing fiction book reviews?  She’s the same person I TOTALLY recommend for reading fiction book reviews, Emily Dill at She’s Got the Book.  She is completely, 110 percent honest with her reviews and reading her reviews is as entertaining and humorous as any book of fiction could hope to be.  She has a wicked sense of humor, loves books to distraction, and is, honestly, the only fiction book review source you need.

She’s got style and sass – in fact, I often call her “Sassy Pants…”  which is perfectly okay, since I’m her mother.

When looking for fiction book reviews, just shoot over to She’s Got the Book.

Choose your books as carefully as you choose your company,
~ Joi

She's Got the Book: Fiction Book Reviews

Furry Logic (10th Anniversary Edition): PERFECT Gift for Animal Lovers

Cat Pause
11/14/2014

Furry Logic
I just wrote a review on my Cat Blog for an adorable book I know you’ll love as much as I do – Furry Logic: A Guide to Life’s Little Challenges.

One of the secrets to happiness is filling your life with things that make you smile and… hopefully… even laugh. This wonderful little book is filled with smiles and laughs just waiting to happen. Not only is it something I know you’d love, it’d make a wonderful gift idea for any cat lover, dog lover, ostrich lover… let’s just say, any animal or bird lover – that’ll be easier!

Read my Furry Logic: A Guide to Life’s Little Challenges Review on Cat Pause or simply click through and check it out on Amazon: Furry Logic, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Guide to Life’s Little Challenges

This is one ADORABLE book!
~ Joi

Review: Bend Your Brain (From the Minds Behind “Marbles” The Brain Store)

151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (And Grow) Your Mind

Bend Your Brain
Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind has a few questions for you: Want to get your frontal lobe breaking a sweat? Make your blood pump to your cerebellum? Stretch your occipital lobe to its limits?

If you’re as interested in mental fitness and brain health as I am, you’ll answer this question with a question of your own: How soon can we begin?!

Fortunately, you can begin the second you get your hands on this outstanding book. Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind is actually more than a book, if we’re being honest here. It’s more of a workout program for the part of our body that is probably taken more for granted than any other part.  Which is perfectly ridiculous when you consider that it runs the whole shebang.

Bend Your Brain
From the Back Cover:

Then you need to bend your brain! This first book from the team behind Marbles: The Brain Store, a chain devoted to building better brains, offers puzzles and brain teasers to help enhance memory, build problem-solving skills, and reduce stress.
Since Marbles started helping people play their way to a healthier brain, they’ve sold, solved, and been stumped by more than their fair share of puzzles. Along the way, they’ve learned which puzzles tie people in knots (not in a good way) and which ones make the neurons downright giddy. With the help of their in-house team of BrainCoaches and access to cutting-edge neuroscience, they’ve designed these puzzles to keep your mind flexible and fit.
Arranged in five key brain categories—visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory—Bend Your Brain offers a variety of puzzles ranging from mind-warming (easy) to mind-blowing (hard!):

·  Connecting the dots? More like working your spatial-orientation skills.
·  Identifying famous smiles? Flexing your visual memory.
·  Taking a closer look at your keyboard? Coding, storing, and retrieving.
·  Word-doku? Summoning cognitive abilities like appraisal, inference, impulse control, and evaluation.
·  Word scrambles? Tapping your brain’s association areas.

Your brain is your most important muscle, so let the brain-building begin! –  Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind

Bend Your Brain
I have to say, I love everything about “Bend Your Brain.”  I know the STELLAR reputation Marbles: The Brain Store has in the mental fitness world.  When it comes to brain fitness, Marbles is “all in.”  They invest their hearts, bodies, and souls into discovering how the brain works, what it needs to keep working at an optimum level, where problems can arise, and what steps can be taken to avoid these problems.  I’d have as much confidence in their teachings on brain health as I would Rachael Ray’s teachings on cooking, Jillian Michael’s teachings on physical fitness, Albert Pujols’ teachings on swinging a baseball bat…

Well, you get the idea. We’re talking about experts in their chosen field.

MARBLES: THE BRAIN STORE is in malls across the country. They’ve been featured in Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, USA Today, and Wired, as well as on the Today show and Martha Stewart Living.  Like I said… experts.

While the book is flexible, the cover is made of a very sturdy material – it isn’t the type of “romance novel” paper covers that dog-ear or tear. It’s ideal for curling up in a comfy chair with a pencil and a hot Chai Tea Latte as you treat your mind to a FUN and STIMULATING workout.  I’m, perhaps, more familiar with brain games and brain puzzles than the average person. Another one of my blogs (“Out of Bounds“) involves mental fitness and brain health.  While doing research for the articles on “Out of Bounds,” I’ve bought and used countless books with “brain stimulating” puzzles.

Frankly, there are quite a few on the market that are outstanding. However, the puzzles throughout Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind are different from other puzzles I’ve seen in other books. Bend Your Brain does a much better job of letting you know WHY you need each type of puzzle.  I also love the fact that the puzzles address the five key brain categories (visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory).

What good would it be to focus on just one or two?!?!

If I were to recommend one book for the individual who is interested in protecting and strengthening their mind, this would be the book.  The puzzles are a PERFECT blend of challenging, very challenging, and OMG challenging.  What’s more, they’re a lot of fun!

If you’re looking to strengthen your mind and memory, increase self-confidence, and even improve your problem-solving skills, Bend Your Brain shouldn’t just be the next book you buy… it has to be the next book you buy.

Click through and learn more about Bend Your Brain: 151 Puzzles, Tips, and Tricks to Blow (and Grow) Your Mind. Trust me, this is one you and your brain are going to love.

Never stop learning!
~ Joi

Bend Your Brain Book Review
Note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.

Great Quote About the Calming Effects of Tea

There's a Great Deal of Comfort in a Cup of Tea

Quote About Tea
This morning, my trip to the grocery store wasn’t as uneventful as it normally is. Seems my car’s brakes forgot how to do their job.  Thankfully when I first noticed their sudden case of amnesia I was in a parking lot so I was going really slow.  So thankfully I didn’t hit anyone or anything.

Just as it approaches that time of year when my brain begins to think about the holidays, Christmas shopping, and all the wonderful things that come from September – December… that’s when my car says, “You know what’d be cool right now? A big fat Mechanic Shop bill!”

It has such a sick idea of good times.

As soon as I got back home, I did the only thing I could do or needed to do.  I poured myself a big tall glass of sweet tea and everything was right with the world again.

Tea is the comfort food of drinks, isn’t it?  I love it for that.

The quote at the top is from a great book I recently reviewed on my tea blog. The book’s aptly titled Tea Wisdom and it’s absolutely a little beauty.  Click the title to read more about this book and see more tea quotes.

As for me, I think my day calls for another pot of tea.
~ Joi

Why The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman Should be the Next Book You Buy (Review)

Ten Reasons Why You're Going to Love this Book

The VB6 Cookbook Collage

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore

If you’re looking for fun, simple ways to eat healthier, here’s a book that’ll prove to be a dream come true for you. The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night doesn’t just provide you with delicious, easy to make recipes that won’t break the bank, it makes eating healthier fun and.. yes… tastier.

Okay. Before you accuse me of getting my Self Help Blog mixed up with my Food Blog (Get Cooking) let me assure you I’m posting a cookbook review on Self Help Daily for an excellent reason. You see, this isn’t just a cookbook. This book is actually part of a life improving program, The VB6 plan by Mark Bittman.  Anything that can improve someone’s health and life is a perfect fit for a self help and self improvement blog.

Have you ever heard the term “flexitarian?” Flexitarian refers to a relationship with food that isn’t 100 percent strictly vegan.  It’s a way of eating that is flexible, meaning more people will actually STICK with it. Mark Bittman’s VB6 program is simplistically beautiful: You simply eat vegan before 6:00 pm.  The program has helped a great number of people improve their health, lose weight, and feel better than they’d felt in years.

See? I told you this book was a perfect fit for a Self Improvement blog!

Below are the Top 10 Reasons you shouldn’t wait another day before you buy The VB6 Cookbook:

  1. Gorgeous Book. Whenever I review a book on Self Help Daily or Get Cooking, I always pay close attention to my first impression of the book. Is it well-made (meaning it’ll stand up to years of use and enjoyment)? Is it attractive? Does it look like the publishers were serious about impressing the readers or was their heart only halfway into it? The VB6 Cookbook is a real looker. The beautiful, hardback, 250+ page book is everything, visually, I’d want a book to be.
  2. Mark Bittman. Period. To say I cook a lot is a ridiculous understatement. I’m in my kitchen more often than a Priest is in church.  I’m seldom happier than I am when I’m cooking meals for my family and I LOVE trying out new recipes as much as I LOVE using and re-using favorite recipes.  Mark Bittman is the author of many of my favorite recipes. When I want to try out a new recipe for something in particular, I’ll turn to Mark Bittman’s recipes before I turn to a lot of household name celebrity chefs.  His recipes never fail, it’s as simple as that.
  3. Healthy Eating = Healthy Living. Not long ago, I spent a few days in the waiting room of a cardiology surgical center.  I was with a family member who was WAY too young to find themselves in a hospital gown in such a place. Sad thing was, as I looked around, I saw A LOT of people who were WAY too young to be where they were. Heart disease isn’t just frightening, it’s striking more and more people and it’s striking them at younger ages.  Plain and simple, it’s the American diet and something has got to be done about it.  We’re creating our own plague of Biblical proportions and if people don’t wake up and start eating healthier, they’ll find themselves in hospitals, cardiology departments, and worse.
  4. KISS.  No, not the rock group.  KISS as in Keep It Simple, Stupid.  This book – or more to the point, this program – makes it painless and incredibly simple to start eating healthier. If you don’t know why that’s important, you must have skipped number 3.
  5. Delicious Food! Even if, somehow, you didn’t associate these recipes with healthier eating, you’d still love the delicious flavors.
  6. Fun Food.  Whether you’re one of those people who live to cook (like me) or you’d rather do just about anything BUT cook, you’ll love The VB6 Cookbook.  The recipes are fun, creative, and mix things up a bit in the kitchen.  You’ll find recipes you’ll be so excited about you’ll want to try them the very day you get the book.  I actually made my first recipe (Chipotle “Mayo”) from The VB6 Cookbook within 2 hours of getting the book in the mail. That’s a new record, even for me.
  7. Your Family. While this one may somewhat tie in with number 3, it’s important enough to get it’s very own number.  The more healthy meals you’re able to feed your family, the better their health will be. Not only are you giving them wholesome, healthy food at one particular meal, you’re introducing them to a whole new relationship with food. They’ll soon realize that healthier eating is actually more flavorful than unhealthy eating.  When you get right down to it, most unhealthy food tastes pretty much the same.  Fried. Fatty. Salty.  The VB6 way of eating will introduce your loved ones to a world of wonderful flavors that’ll make them fall in love with healthier eating.  Here’s a little secret about eating healthy – you can keep this between you and me, the kids and spouses don’t have to know: Healthy eating becomes addictive.  When you get rid of the bad stuff, you’ll find yourself craving the good stuff.  Where you once said, “I need a big fat cheeseburger with a farmer’s wealth of bacon,” you’ll find yourself thinking, “I have to have a Cherry Vanilla Smoothie and Vegetable Pot Pie or maybe Schezuan Beef and Celery..” (3 of the recipes in the book).  I don’t know why – but it’s my experience that the healthier you eat, the healthier you want to eat. Sadly the same is true about unhealthy eating.
  8. Motivation and Inspiration.  The first pages of the book include Mark Bittman’s “My Story.”  The motivational intro makes you even more committed to eating right. Basically, you jump right in the boat with the author and agree to go on a healthier journey with him.  He’s one of those authors who write in a manner that makes you feel like he’s talking to you, personally.  Reading his books (and even his recipes) feels like you’re having a nice little visit with him.  This type of writing cannot be taught, it’s a gift and when he was gifted, he was gifted generously.
  9. Information and Advice Beyond the Recipes.   After the wonderful Introduction, pages 12 through 45 lay out the VB6 plan beautifully. There are charts, information, meal plans, ideas, suggestions, and more.   There are also personalized tips and ideas with each recipe in the book – including “variations” and “more ideas.”
  10. You’re the Boss of You.  While The VB6 program is best (as in you’ll see the most results) if you follow it as designed, when all’s said and done, You’re the boss of you!  If you want to approach the program strictly and eat Vegan before 6:00 on most, if not all, days – go for it!  If you want to simply add MORE vegetarian meals to your diet, then approach the cookbook in that way.  If you’re simply looking for fresh new healthy recipes to serve your family… the cookbook is still a must have.

 Some of the recipes you’ll love:

  • Chipotle “Mayo” (the first recipe I made from the book – delicious! This “mayo” is a great dip for vegetables and is excellent as a condiment for burgers or protein patties)
  • Scrambled Sweet and Hot Peppers
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Nut Butters
  • Everyday Salad Bowl
  • Blueberry Spoon Bread
  • Schezuan Beef and Celery
  • Cherry Vanilla Smoothie
  • Avocado Banana Smoothie
  • Morning Milkshake
  • Pork Chop Pan Roast
  • Raspberry Sorbet on a Stick
  • Green Toast
  • Fruit Candy
  • Frozen Tropical Truffles
  • Red Paella with Scallops
  • Beans, Shrimp, and Fennel
  • Southwestern Bean Dip with Peppers (black beans, cloves,cilantro…)
  • Red Soup
  • Creamy Tomato Soup
  • Big Batch Cooked Beans
  • Rice Pudding with Slow-Roasted Fruit
  • MANY MANY MANY more.

From the Back Cover:

Mark Bittman’s breakthrough diet plan, first introduced in the #1 New York Times bestselling VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good (click through for the hard back version of this bestseller  – a Kindle edition is also available), has been hailed as “compelling” (Publisher’s Weekly), “commonsense” (Washington Post), “sustainable” (TheKitchn.com), and a “small painless change” that can have a “huge impact” (Salon.com). Now he expands on his appealing, simple, reasonable approach to flexitarian cooking with a companion cookbook, featuring hundreds of delicious new ways to make VB6 your permanent style of eating. It’s never been easier to eat vegan before 6:00 – and deliciously all of the time.

I hope you’ll click through and take a closer look at The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night – I’m really excited about this particular approach to eating and I’m having a ball with the wonderful recipes.

I know you’ll love The VB6 Cookbook just as much as I do.

~ Joi

Note: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.

The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

How Something as Simple as Gratitude Can Chase the Blues Away

Plus a Review of Living a Life of Gratitude by Sara Wiseman

Living a Life of Gratitude

When you’re feeling blue, you don’t just want to feel better, you want to feel better INSTANTLY – as in 10 minutes ago. One of my favorite tricks for picking yourself back up is, at once, ridiculously easy and ridiculously hard.

Easy because it simply involves expressing gratitude and hard because that’s the last thing we feel like doing when we’re feeling down.  And yet, it’s the best – and fastest – way to snap out of a really rotten mood.

A while back, I was feeling kind of like a grump’s grump.  I could’ve given Oscar the Grouch a few pointers on sourness. I honestly can’t even remember what put me in such a way, but I distinctly remember just sitting and fuming on my living room couch for the better part of the morning.

It finally occurred to me that it really wasn’t much of a way to spend the day – especially one so close to Christmas. I decided to give my favorite “mood zapper” a try and, sure enough, after thinking of a few things (more like people) I was grateful for, the dark cloud lifted and whatever had gotten  me off course that morning suddenly didn’t seem so important.

The thing is, we can only entertain one dominant thought at a time – whether it’s a negative one or a positive one is just about entirely up to us. If we put our energy into focusing on positivity, there isn’t any room left for negativity. It has to pack up its nasty little bags and leave.

Good riddance.

A book I was recently sent to read and review fits perfectly with this approach AND it takes it one step further.  Living a Life of Gratitude (Your Journey o Grace, Joy & Healing), by Sara Wiseman, is a beautifully written book with a very powerful message.

What I love most about this lovely little book is this: It will help you to focus on gratitude, joy, and hopefulness BEFORE negativity has a chance to take root.

From the Introduction:

In the moment we give thanks, everything changes.

Our hearts crack open. We are flooded with love and light. And in that exact instant, we shift from our negative state to an awareness that positive, joyous, and brimming with bliss – we experience the Divine healing that is our birthright.

The trick is to learn how to create this moment not just once in our lifetimes, but over and over again.

The secret is found in gratitude – in the surrender to the grateful heart, the open heart, the heart that willingly walks in the magic and the mystery – not just for a moment or moments, but at all times. – Living a Life of Gratitude (Your Journey o Grace, Joy & Healing), by Sara Wiseman

From the Back Cover:

In the moment that we give thanks, everything changes . . .

. . . Our hearts crack open. We are flooded with love. And in that exact instant, we shift to an awareness that is positive, joyous, and brimming.

Sharing uplifting stories that travel from the beginnings of life to the end, Living a Life of Gratitude shows you how to open your heart to a journey of reflection that will help you slow down and appreciate life for what it is. Whether you use it as a source for discovering inspiration or for strength in times of struggle, this book is a guide to finding light and love, even when you least expect it.

I hope you’ll click through one of the links and read more about Living a Life of Gratitude (Your Journey o Grace, Joy & Healing), by Sara Wiseman. Read the reviews and even take a look inside the book.

One of the most important resolutions we could all make this year is one that few… very, very few… will actually make, and that is to simply be more grateful for all that we have and all that we are.

There’s a lot of peace, contentment, and joy in simply being thankful.

~ Joi

Appointments With Heaven (Review of a Very Special Book)

Four Reasons this HAS to be the Next Book You Read

Appointments with Heaven by Dr. Reggie Anderson with Jennifer Schuchmann

I write a lot of book reviews on Self Help Daily. Generally, I’m sent books from publishers or even authors in exchange for writing and publishing a review. I’ve received some really amazing books and I always strive to “do right by them” in my reviews. The last book I read was Appointments with Heaven: The True Story of a Country Doctor, His Struggles with Faith and Doubt, and His Healing Encounters with the Hereafter.

Here’s the problem: There is absolutely, positively no way on earth I can possibly do right by this book or even come close to doing it justice.

Trying to convey the essence, the beauty, and the potentially life-changing power of this book would be like trying to describe…

  • … how amazing cheesecake tastes
  • … how seeing your grown children pull into your driveway makes you feel
  • … how your heart soars when the love of your life says I love you
  • … the peaceful feeling of a snowy winter morning

You can completely understand, yourself, that it feels like Christmas morning any time your children come to visit, but trying to put it in words? Nearly impossible.  Even someone like me, who works with words every day of the year, can find their brain overwhelmed by their emotions and realize that, in the end, the brain is no match for the heart.

Not even close.

 From the Back Cover:

 Meet the country doctor who visits the front porch of Heaven… and witnesses what awaits us there.

When a patient first asked Dr. Reggie Anderson to sit at her bedside as she passed from this life, something miraculous happened. As he held her hand, the veil between this world and the next parted… and he received an astonishing glimpse of what awaits us in Heaven.

Little did he know this was just a foretaste of what was to come – a lifetime of God-given “appointments with Heaven.”  Join Reggie as he shares remarkable stories from his life and practice, including the personal tragedy that nearly drove him away from faith forever. As he reveals what he’s seen, heard, and experienced of the afterlife, we’ll learn how we can face the passing of our loved ones with the courage and confidence that we’ll see them again; discover what might happen when we expect the miraculous; and prepare for our own appointment with Heaven.

Soul-stirring and hope-filled, Appointments with Heaven is a powerful journey into the questions at the very core of your being: Is there more to life than this? What is Heaven like? And, most important: Do I believe it enough to let it change me?

Reason Number 1 Why This Should Be the Next Book You Read: You’ll Love “Meeting” the Colorful People

I’m intrigued with this particular book possibly more than I’ve ever been intrigued by a book (not counting the Bible, which intrigues me every time I open it).  Appointments with Heaven reads in an exciting, I can’t turn the pages fast enough fashion similar to an Agatha Christie mystery or John Grisham novel.  Literally, each person author Dr. Reggie Anderson wrote about, I found myself longing for an entire book written about them and them, alone!  I could read a novel centered, exclusively, around the life of Dr. Anderson’s mother, father, wife, patients, or friends (Stephen Chapman and Mary Beth Chapman).

When he spoke of his childhood, I only wanted to hear more. His writing style made you feel as though you were there with the child version of him, and you could “feel” the love his family had for one another.

Every time Dr. Anderson wrote about one of his patients (particularly the ones in nursing homes), I’d find myself wondering what their personal histories were.  He made everyone and everything he wrote about beyond fascinating.  If Dr. Anderson had written textbooks, I’d have paid more attention in school!

I thought a lot as I read through this wonderful book, but I thought even more after I’d read the last page.  In fact, I’ve thought about it every day since…. which brings me to…

Reason Number 2 Why This Should Be the Next Book You Read: You’ll Love the Effect it Has on Your Life

If you’re familiar with me at all, you know I’m a baseball fanatic. Seriously, if the St. Louis Cardinals are on my tv and you have something to say to me, you might want to wait between innings – and approach me  then with caution if it’s a close game!  I once told someone, half kidding, that as far as I was concerned, there were two seasons: Baseball Season and Withdrawal.

One of the things I love about baseball SO MUCH is that you never know which pitch, which at bat, or which defensive play will change the momentum of the game. It usually comes when you aren’t watching for it and, even more fascinating, it often comes from a player who isn’t even re-mote-ly a “franchise player.”  These “game changers” are often the players most people overlook, but they’re usually my personal favorites. They’re often the difference between winning and losing.  This year, in fact, it was one of these “game changers” that (in my opinion) was the key to our successful season. The guy no one was talking about in April, everyone was talking about in October.

Game Changer.

If Appointments with Heaven were a baseball player, it would be this type of player.  There are books by more famous authors, such as Max Lucado (one of my personal favorite authors).  There are books with titles that are being tossed around for movies and television series.   These would be the “franchise”  players with names on the back of everybody’s jerseys!  And yet… sitting on another shelf, there’s a beautifully written book with an author’s name you’ve surely never heard of – a very humble “country doctor” in Tennessee who isn’t even re-mote-ly a household name.  A guy not even on the most avid inspirational book reader’s radar with a book the may never have heard of. An author no one has heard of is the very author everyone needs to read.

Life Changer.

As you’re reading Appointments with Heaven, you’ll only think about how wonderful the book, itself, is. You’ll kind of feel miffed anytime you have to set it down, whether it’s to cook, eat, or sleep. You’ll find yourself rushing back to it as fast as you possibly can.  I actually cooked supper one evening with the book in one hand while the other hand did all the work!

Agatha never made me do that…

As I said earlier, this book made me THINK a great deal. I have a lot of love for anything that makes me think. I have even more love for anything that makes me FEEL – which is the one thing Appointments with Heaven caused me to do even more than think.  The reader is reminded that the often trivial things we get bent out of shape about really don’t amount to a hill of beans. We each have our own “Appointment” one day and these trivial little matters are just that – trivial little matters.

It affected me another way, as well.  It caused me to realize something I already knew but needed to be reminded of – everyone else has their own appointment one day as well.  When you allow that fact to really sink in, it’s difficult to get annoyed with the “Sunday driver” in front of you or the “Baby Jeff Gordon” on your bumper.

This particular book and this particular author is exactly what this particular world needs right now.

Reason Number 3 Why This Should Be the Next Book You Read: You’ll Love the Peace of Mind It’ll Bring

Just about all of us have loved ones in Heaven. The longer God allows us to live on earth, the more loved ones move on before us, making Heaven sweeter and sweeter.  If we picture, in our minds, eating with our family around the dinner table as a child, a lot of us would realize that we’re the only one still here.  Some may have lost a father or a mother – then there are those, like myself, who lost both parents way too young.  Everyone has lost someone they love (parent, spouse, child, grandparent, friend..) and sadly it’s sure to happen again.

Appointments with Heaven brings much needed peace to the hearts and minds of those of us who are “left behind.”  I could easily… easily… see this book healing many open wounds.

There’s another way Appointments With Heaven will bring peace (and even forgiveness) to your heart.  You may just see yourself through Dr. Anderson’s struggle with faith and search for “answers.”  Maybe there’ve been times when you found yourself running on empty when it came to hope while the “Tank of Discouragement” was over-flowingly full.  There’ll be many ways that you’ll identify with different individuals in this book and this identification can help you realize that you aren’t alone – never have been, never will be.

Reason Number 4 Why This Should Be the Next Book You Read: It’s a Real Page-Turner!

While I read both Fiction (make believe) and Non Fiction (real life), I strongly favor Non Fiction. As an only child, my imagination has always been far wilder than anything novelists can come up with. However, “true life” is a whole different story, so to speak.  I think that’s the main reason I prefer Non Fiction – life catches me off guard.  That was certainly the case with Appointments with Heaven  – I kept thinking things like, “Oh! Didn’t see that coming!” and “Whoa, didn’t know that was going to happen…”

You come to care about the different people in Appointments with Heaven and riding the roller coaster of life with them will keep you glued to each page.

Before I end this book review that’s nearly turned into a book on its own (gift of gab… who, me?), allow me to simply say this: If I could recommend only one (besides the Bible!) book to each and every person in my life – whether online or offline – this would be the book.

Appointments with Heaven will touch you deeply and its imprints will last forever.

~ Joi

Click any of the links above for the paperback edition of this book on Amazon.  This book is also available on Kindle (Appointments with Heaven: The True Story of a Country Doctor’s Healing Encounters with the Hereafter on Kindle). There’s also a 30 Daily Appointments with Heaven: Devotions to Bring the Hope and Joy of Heaven to Your Every Day on Kindle which sounds extra special too.

The 2 Day Diet? Now You’re Talking!

Diet Two Days a Week, Eat the Mediterranean Way for Five

The 2 Day Diet
 

I love it when I’m able to write a book review about a book that I actually got a lot out of.  Today I have the opportunity to do just that.

I was sent a copy of The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five to review and the benefits are twofold:

  • I get to tell you beautiful people all about a book that I know you’ll love.
  • I learned a lot about nutrition, calories, and eating healthy from reading the book myself!

I regularly read a great deal about health and nutrition (as in daily… 24/7).  Before reading The 2-Day Diet, I actually felt like I was sitting on an impressive amount of information when it came to the whole game of calories in/calories out.  However, after reading the book cover to cover, I now have a much better understanding of a body’s needs and a better handle on how the body uses food as fuel.

From the Back Cover:

Lose weight fast with the international diet sensation. Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five.

The 2-Day Diet is easy to follow, easy to stick to, and clinically tested. Simply eat a low carb, high protein diet two days a week, and follow the classic Mediterranean Diet (now recognized as the gold standard in warding off heart disease) for the other five.

The 2-Day Diet is designed to  maximize weight loss, minimize muscle loss and keep you feeling full. It  can have dramatic anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits. With this diet you can finally be slim, fit and healthy. With meal plans and 100 delicious and filling recipes.

“A far more effective way to lose weight.” –Daily Mail

“Put an end to 24/7 calorie counting.” – The Sun

“Revolutionary and clinically proven.” –Good Housekeeping

 

The Value of Updated, Clinically Proven Information

A lot of people cling to out-dated fitness and weight-loss information that really amount to little more than old wives tales. So much clinical research has been done over the years and it’s kind of nuts not to take advantage of the information this research has uncovered.

Researchers, doctors, and nutritionists are sitting on more information today than they were 20 or even 5 years ago.  In spite of this fact, most people still struggle with their weight and if most of us actually went for yearly checkups, we’d probably find several numbers that didn’t mesh with the numbers on our doctor’s chart.

I guess part of the problem is the fact that, sure, there’s a wealth of nutritional information available – but there’s even more junk food and empty calories available.  Pile that fact on top of the fact that we’re basically a non-active society and it’s a wonder the problem isn’t worse than it is!

The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five presents a clear plan for taking control of your diet and your health.  In addition to naturally solving weight issues, following this plan will also help you age better and will provide you with anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and anti-heart disease benefits.  If you aren’t at your optimum weight – this program will help you find your way and if you ARE at your ideal weight, it’ll help you stay there.

Some of the information covered in The 2 Day Diet Includes:

  • the combination of exercises you need to be doing
  • eight steps to weight loss
  • the foods you should eat on the five days you aren’t on a “diet”
  • WHY this program works
  • meal planners
  • how to become more active
  • recipes for each of the 7 days
  • and more…

(review continued below)

The 2 Day Diet
 

From the Introduction:

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this that we are getting fatter. Rates of obesity have reached epidemic proportions, and worldwide there are now more overweight people than those who are a healthy weight.  Despite massive government investment in healthy eating campaigns and any number of different diets promising effective weight loss, the number of us who are overweight just keeps rising…..

…. With so many different diets available, can The 2-Day Diet really make a difference? We believe that it can. The 2-Day Diet is designed to help you make the right choices, lose weight, change your habits, and actively improve your health without leaving you feeling deprived. Our work with serial dieters has shown that this unique approach offers a real alternative for anyone who struggles to stick to a conventional diet. We were so impressed by the positive results of The 2-Day Diet that we wanted to make it available to everyone who is struggling – or who has struggled – to lose weight.  The 2-Day Diet has paved the way to a slimmer, healthier future for many of our dieters…. – From The 2-Day Diet: Diet two days a week. Eat the Mediterranean way for five by Dr. Michelle Harvie & Professor Tony Howell

Click through any of the links above to learn more about this revolutionary (and common sense) approach to weight loss and management.

 ~ Joi

 

Guardians of Being

Guardians of Being by Eckhart Tolle

If you love animals and count your own pets as family members (I seriously wouldn’t want to meet the person who doesn’t think of their pets as family), you’ll love Guardians of Being by Eckhart Tolle and you’ll love it with a wild passion.  The uplifting and inspiring words read as beautiful meditations and the illustrations by Patrick McDonnell (“Mutts”) are absolutely priceless.  You’re reminded why Charles Schulz (Peanuts) once called Mutts  “One of the best comic strips of all time.”

If you love animals, humor, motivation, and positive affirmations – here’s one place you can get them all in one place! Click through for more information.  Personally, I’d grab several for gift-giving.