"We are beings of light and love, a subtle, yet powerful energy force that is always pulsing from within our heart. Getting to know that pulsation of love is a homecoming."

An easy and fast read of 153 pages, the authors’ book delves into relationship issues and offers practical ways to develop and enjoy healthy connections. It begins with the authors’ gratitude for their numerous blessings (including family and friends), to each other, to other work-related people, and to experts in the field. They also thank clients that they have met and whose stories have been included in the book. The book continues with an introduction regarding their work as professional coaches and describes how the book is organized. It relates that it is important to start from an inner journey to an outward one by mapping how to achieve happiness. There are nine chapters, followed by an afterword regarding the importance of practices and the need for appreciation, an expansive study guide, references, and a section called “About the Authors.” Each chapter offers practical guidelines for issues such as being happy, utilizing stillness for health, expanding the capacity of love, making healthy choices, breathing exercises, and compassion and forgiveness.

Because it is a concise, simplistic, and practical read, it could be entitled Relationships 101. It is based on coaching principles for helping people who have the motivation and mental health stability to make positive life changes regarding a variety of relationships, including the relationship to the self. Offering insights into each of the chapters, it takes into account the authors’ own relationships and their struggles. In addition, their guide explores the relationships with their coaching clients as well as their clients’ relationships with their significant others.

Besides offering their own brand of wisdom, including some tender poems and heartfelt prose, the authors include stories and guidance from Eastern, Western, and Native American beliefs and practices. Also utilized is work from spiritual leaders of the past and present, including the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Martin Buber, and Deepak Chopra, which will help to lend credence to their work with some readers. Likewise, the scientific information regarding the human heart as well as the heart of the universe expands the work into greater depth.

The focus on people’s abilities to make healthy choices is a running theme throughout the book, and chapter questions work as guidelines for healing. Also, study questions at the end of the book offer a significant look into each chapter, since they offer guidance and exercises for the reader to delve further into the premise of the work. While there are helpful ideas and practices throughout the book, the work offers approaches that can be seen in most self-help books on relationships and really doesn’t break any new ground. However, the focus on their own issues as well as others’ stories and struggles, and how they have approached these concerns, offers the reader real-life examples of how these well-known techniques can be useful to anyone. Because of its practicality and easy-to-follow manner, the authors have chosen to address the topic in a simpler way, ensuring that the material can be grasped and applied by virtually any reader. This approachability may very well be one of the reasons it was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home