***I won this book on a GoodReads First Reads Giveaway!***M. Gail Woodard
reiterates the importance of many of the mantras we've heard since we were small children. Pay attention. Say Thank you. Be Quiet. However, when we think of these mantras we usually relate them to some authority figure imposing them upon us...they come across as somewhat negative. But if we change our beliefs (another one of Woodard's rules to achieve joyful living), these mantras can help lead us towards this joyful living we wish for.
The premises behind Woodard's rules and practices are not new, and she admits to this, but the exercises she suggests to learn these rules and actually put them into practice are unique and instill a sense of curiosity in the reader. They are not outlandish, but seem like they may quite possibly lend the reader the ability to delve deeper into their unconscious thoughts and feelings in order to provoke a change that may lead them to a more positive existence.
Woodard's voice is one that all readers can relate to. It is not forceful or authoritarian, and therefore allows the reader to proceed at their own pace. Woodard merely makes suggestions, and offers a feeling of empathy and understanding to those who are fearful or resistant to facing the feelings that one might encounter while practicing the exercises. The book is a light and fun read, yet at the same time it shows the reader how to look deeply at one's own feelings, experiences, beliefs, etc. I applaud Woodard's ability to turn something so heavy and serious into something light and simple.
I have not had a chance to put these exercises into practice yet, so I can not vouch for their effectiveness in any way, but i will say that the ideas set forth in this book are intriguing, and I truly believe that practicing them could help an individual begin to see the more positive side of life, thereby leading to a more joyful existence. Personally, I can relate to this goal. I have a two year old, and as of this moment in time, I feel like not everyday or every situation with my toddler is very positive (or at least sometimes I view my days with my child is negative...) I plan on using some of the exercises in order to change this thinking. Will I be able to successfully practices all of the 7 rules? I don't know. Is it worth giving it a shot? Sure. I would definitely recommend reading the book and finding out if Woodard's ideas work for you...