January is often a time for self-reflection and thoughts about how one wants to live over the next twelve months. That makes January feel like the perfect time for this book. It is divided into four sections: The Natural World, Cultures Around the World, Mythology and Folklore and lastly, Philosophers, Writers and Poets. Each section includes reflections, cultural examples and exercises for one to try. The book can be read in order or dipped into. It is recommended for anyone who is trying to figure out how to live their best life.
Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto for this e-galley in return for my honest opinion.
*** Three stars
A couple of examples from the book:
Chapter Three Mythology & Folklore
According to Slavic folklore, a benevolent house-goblin called a ‘domovoy’ can be found living in homes behind the stovepipe or under the floor. The domovoy was thought to be a mischievous but generally benign creature who protected the home, the family and domestic animals. Many families would leave food out for the domovoy, who would do his work at night; and in some parts of Russia, when moving home, peasants would take a burning coal from their old stove and transfer it to the new one as an invitation for the domovoy to come along. We may no longer believe in such supernatural creatures, but the domovoy’s concerns remain essential for happiness: a roof over your head, a support network of loved ones and food on the table.
Chapter Four Philosophers, Writers & Poets
Negative thinking can become a habit that impacts on our general attitude to the world, our mood and our ability to enjoy life. So, bear the words of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius in mind and make a conscious effort to think good thoughts. Here are four ways to foster positivity:
- When you speak, use positive words and phrases.
- Pick a positive phrase that sums up how you want to feel. Perhaps ‘I choose to feel joy today’.
- When you notice that you are thinking negatively, don’t use it as an opportunity to berate yourself.
- If a negative thought persists, write it down.