A Literary Spirit

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Recommended for:

I think this book will be best received by fans of Louise and Cheryl’s ideas and workshops.  But it is an accessible read–and likely to appeal to men, women, teenagers, mature readers, etc.

One note: I found the ideas particularly helpful as a women.  Many of their examples directly spoke to my experiences as a woman and so I place a strong recommendation to buy this book for women of all ages.

You Can Create an Exceptional LifeBy Louise Hay and Cheryl RichardsonReview: Louise Hay is the founder of Hay House publishing and a titan in the world of self-help and spirituality.  Her ideas would now be put under the umbrella of Positive Psychology and Self-Improvement–but she was in many ways a pioneer of this entire field.

In this book, Cheryl Richardson, plays the role of expert student to Louise Hay (who at 84 years old, is as fresh and relevant as ever).  Cheryl is also a life coach, author and celebrated public speaker–but she easily slips into the role of asking the questions and Louise–with her life story and company as a sure sign of her success–provides helpful and sage answers.

Throughout the book, Louise retells the story of her success.  How she fell into the role of life coach, how her small blue pamphlet became a best-selling book and how she grew her company (slowly) in response to demand for her products.  It is a rags to riches story–but Louise adds many new dimensions to this archetype.

She talks about minimizing her ego and genuinely trying to help others.  She describes the daily challenge of seeing the positive in all of life’s situations.  And she swears that life simply unfolds (at it’s own pace) and suggests that readers simply “open the mail and answer the phone” rather than pursuing an ambitious (and ego-driven) arc of success.

It’s easy to write off Louise’s philosophies as trite or polyanna-ish–but the truth is that her ideas about how to feel good and do good are true and WORK.  Approaching each day with hope and optimism is a real formula for success and happiness.  Louise stresses the importance of behaving in this way every day–not just on the sunny days when everything is already going your way.

I read this book in an evening and was immediately able to apply the lessons to my own life.  I taught a few of Louise’s tricks to my daughter–to help her manage a bully at preschool.  And yes, after just a few days of practicing the ideas in this book, I felt as though I was creating a better life for myself.
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