Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Art of Extreme Self-Care - Book Review

I have read Cheryl Richardson's book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care (2009).  It's a hardcover book, filled with pictures of seascapes, beaches and information on a monthly self-care program. It's an easy read, with 113 pages of tips, resources and personal stories of how to take care of ourselves.  Richardson's approach to transforming your life one month at a time includes topics like "End the Legacy of Deprivation" and "The Absolute No List". 

Richardson encourages the reader to think about ways of nurturing ourselves, and chapter 2, called  "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" teaches us the importance of self-love and acceptance.  Richardson challenges us to look in front of a mirror every day for 30 days, and say to ourselves, "I love you, (insert your first name)".  She says to do this while looking directly into your eyes, and say it out loud.  Mirror work is not a new concept, and Richardson drives it home.  Her resources for that chapter include a recommended reading, "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle.  I have read this book also, and it is a fascinating read.

The book is divided into 12 chapters, and the intent is that if you do the exercises for one month each, after one year you would have completed The Art of Extreme Self-Care.  The chapters are:

1.  End the Legacy of Deprivation
2.  Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
3.  Let Me Disappoint You
4.  The Power of Rhythm and Routine
5.  Take Your Hands off the Wheel
6.  The Absolute No List
7.  Soul-Loving Space
8.  You're So Sensitive
9.  Tune-Up Time
10.  Does That Anger Taste Good?
11.  Wake Up!
12.  Your Extreme Self-Care First Aid Kit

Overall, the book was easy to read, and offered some basic concepts of self-care.  One could view it as a form of self-coaching to enlightenment and achieving a better connection to oneself.  I enjoyed the reminders and like having the references to other resources that I can check out.  Not sure that I would be able to put this into action as the book was intended.  A whole year of dedication to self-care, that may be for another time. On pages 67 and 68, Richardson reminds us to Put Limits on Toxic People.  This is in the chapter called, "You're So Sensitive".  She tells us to have an honest conversation with the people who hurt us, or get off on putting other people down.  We can also chose to limit the time we spend in their company or avoid them all together.  Richardson empowers us to make some positive changes in our lives, for the better.

If you are looking for a quick read on self-care, please consider picking up Cheryl Richardson's book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care.  It's an interesting read, and is a good reference guide as well.

Have a wonderful day!

~ Angela Gentile

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