MindStory Inner Coach: Overcome Your Past Stories so You and Your Business Can Thrive by Carla Rieger and Dave O’Connor

mindstory cover

I had some problems initially finding the motivation to read Mind Story Inner Coach by Carla Rieger and Dave O’Connor. The writing in the introduction and first few chapters seem stilted and full of cliches. The personal experiences were wordy rather than concise storytelling. For example, “I was starting from scratch all over again” just seems full of tautology.

Then there was the misquote from Henry David Thoreau at the beginning of chapter two. If the authors were paraphrasing Thoreau’s words from Walden, then that should be made clear because the quote that is there is not found in any of Thoreau’s works.

Despite these stumbling blocks in my reading, I was interested in the theme and persevered. I’m happy to report that it was worth it! The stories were more concise and less wordy, although there continued to be many cliches, after the first few chapters.

The book has five sections with three chapters in each section. Each of the sections detailed the AVARA Model, one for each letter in the acronym. Then each chapter highlighted a subsection of the main categories which included personal experiences from both authors. Additionally, it has self-reflection questions under the heading Homeplay to help the reader apply the information and recommendations found in each chapter.

My favorite section was about identifying and changing our mind stories. It’s true that sometimes we set ourselves up for failure because of the beliefs we’ve internalized. As discussed in this section, discovering our core values is also essential to success, both in business and personal endeavors. The activities designed to help the reader pinpoint the mind stories and core values were excellent. The Commonly Asked Questions section was very helpful in responding to doubts that may arise as the reader works through the AVARA Model.

If you are looking for some assistance in refining your business goals and making informed decisions that align with your core values as you move forward, then Mind Story Inner Coach by Carla Rieger and Dave O’Connor is the book for you.

four star

I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

The Creative Journey by Tim Cigelske

Each and every page of The Creative Journey by Tim Cigelske was a delight for me to read. There were quotes from my favorite creative people, Jim Henson, Joseph Campbell, and Mr. Rogers. Excerpts from the writings of Buddha and the bible were scattered like wildflower seeds throughout the text. Real life creative success stories and commentary from Professor Cigelske’s college students drove each chapter’s point home. And then there were the activities! Write your own obituary, create a children’s book about your dreams, keep a logbook. Wonderful stuff!

Although many of the items discussed in this book were not new to me, I did learn a thing or two along the way. We often get so bogged down in what we have to do, we forget what it is we should be doing. Thus was the reading of this book for me. I remembered what I wanted to do before paying bills and assignments and even book reviews got in the way. I want to create.

The path to creating isn’t a well-traveled road. Each of us must find our way by going on own hero’s journey, a concept made famous by the anthropological studies of the esteemed Joseph Campbell.

We are born. We go forth into the world. We are tested and found wanting or we are challenged and found sound. We need to be brave enough to search out our true purpose. We need to be humble enough to learn from those that have gone before us. We need to be committed enough to follow through and not give up. Only then can we say that we have become masters of our own destinies. Even then, sometimes the end of the hero’s journey is just the beginning of another.

Creativity is not something we are naturally endowed with or not. Rather, it’s a way of looking at life. Each section of this well-written book will encourage you to find the creative life that is already inside of you. Whether you run off and join the circus or invent the iPod, living creatively is the only way to find meaning and purpose. And who doesn’t want to live a life full of meaning and purpose? 

For those brave enough to seek a life of creativity, this is the book for you.

I received an ARC of this book from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

Piloting Your Life by Terri Hanson Mead

This book was written just for me. After having had my first hot flash a few weeks ago, I suddenly and dramatically realized how unprepared I was for this next stage of life. I vaguely understood that I belong to Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) but hadn’t even considered that I was already in midlife at 46 (which begins at 40 and ends at 65). That’s how clueless I was. 

But here I am, and I’m so glad I found this little gem of a book Piloting Your Life by Terri Hanson Mead.

Not only did this book have factual information about what I can expect as I bumble, crash and burn, (Who really sails serenely through any life stage?), this later adulthood phase, but there were life stories from other women who have successfully transitioned. Additionally, there was a “Taking the Controls” section in each chapter with questions for me to ponder as well as a template for my own personal Flight Plan for me to work through. 

If I was in any doubt that somehow the author knew what I needed to hear, then there was that quote from my all-time favorite movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that cinched it for me. Other phrases that resonated with me were “Midlife is a time to recalibrate, not surrender.” and “There are many versions of you, and they are all right.”

There were chapters on the physical changes I can expect, and the mindset I should strive to develop. There were sections on self-care and finding financial freedom. The author shared her experiences and thoughts (some were quite eye-opening) on everything from social value to sex. 

After reading this book, I’ve come to realize how much I can do with this stage of my life. It’s time for me to get started on all those things I’ve been putting off, like finding my superpower, indulging in my guilty pleasures, and even some death planning.  Let’s get started, shall we?

So, if you are flying blind into midlife, like me, then it’s time to join the crew and pick up your own copy of Piloting Your Life by Terri Hanson Mead.

I received an advanced review copy from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

Rise – In Pursuit of Empowerment by Sabine Matharu

Rise – In Pursuit of Empowerment features 25 “sparkling” women entrepreneurs who have overcome adversity and are creating successful lives. The editors of the book choose a star-studded theme as you can see from the cover. Each of the 25 sections included an inspirational quote from the featured lady on a starry themed background, her success story, a professionally done photograph and a short blurb about her business.

I had problems getting into the book initially. It seemed like there was an excess of sections before the main text. There was a dedication page,  foreward, a section of reviews (which I always skip so as not to prejudice myself before reading), preface, a page mentioning where you can go to download bonus material and finally, the table of contents.

Slow start aside, the stories these women shared were incredible. I enjoyed each and every one, whether or not I could relate to her struggles personally. I certainly felt inspired, which I believe was the intent of the book.

Take Naomi for example. After living a cautious life because of a heart condition, she took up mountain climbing in her senior years. As if that weren’t enough, she became involved with the Mending 1000 Hearts charity organization committed to educating the people about operations that could significantly impact the lives of children born with congenital heart conditions.

Then there was Sister Zeph. After dropping out of school following a beating and humiliation by a teacher, she began her own community school in rural Pakistan. She used her own earnings to buy school supplies for girls she taught in her courtyard under the open sky for 14 years. A windfall in the amount of $20,000 allowed her to buy a piece of property to build two rooms and a roof for her school. She now runs 2 schools with 200 registered students and offers training courses for more than 400 women each year.

Many of the women featured became life or health or spiritual coaches as they worked through their struggles. Whether these women overcame health problems, prejudice, abuse, depression, the corporate glass ceiling, or obstacles of their own making, they have all found their calling by providing empowerment to other women. It only proves that “if you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path,” as said by Buddha.

If you are in need of some inspiration to keep you focused on your own empowerment path, you will definitely enjoy Rise – In Pursuit of Empowerment.

You can read my review of this book at Reedsy Discovery here.