September 30, 2012
Book Review: 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
It is always a pleasure to read a well-written book. That enjoyment is doubled when the message is important. This was my reaction as I read 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There).
Galen Pearl is a blogger and a friend. I was pleased when she asked me to take a look at her book. I expected it to be interesting. What I didn't expect is something that could be life-changing.
She uses stories of her fascinating, difficult, stimulating, and, at times, scary life journey to weave a narrative that I couldn't put down.
With her blog of the same name as the jumping off point, Galen uses a variety of sources along with her own insight to make finding one's happy place a real possibility. Blending many parts of her own life story, her studies of the major religious traditions, and her time living in Thailand and Africa, Galen presents a detailed, yet very accessible thesis: you can find and inhabit your happy place regardless of the handicaps and obstacles placed in your way, by others, and by yourself.
Yes, she was a hippie wandering through Central and South America. Yes, she was a salmon fisher in Alaska. And, yes, she was a law professor. If that weren't enough she raised five children, two with autism and two adopted from China. Galen has a story to tell. But, importantly, what she has done is taken the good, the bad, and embarrassing to share vital insight with her readers.
Frankly, I have a hard time picking my favorite chapters. Each is loaded with wisdom and tremendous quotes from the famous and infamous to help make her point. As a reviewer I received an e-book version. My reader allows me to highlight important sentences, words, or concepts. I just counted the number of times I used this feature in Galen's book: 131 times. That tells me Galen reached me strongly.
She isn't hesitant to tell you exactly how she has made mistakes and chosen the wrong way before discovering the path to her happy place. But, in the spirit of full disclosure I found the sections on choosing to be right or happy, and not judging others (and myself) to resonate the most strongly in my life.
All the proceeds from the sale of her book go to The Edwards Center in the Portland, Oregon area, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with developmental disabilities. They provide them with the chance to live, work and socialize like those without disabilities as much possible – and to do so over the course of their lifetime. Galen's two autistic sons live at the Edwards Center and will for the rest of their lives.
I urge you to buy this book to support the Edwards Center's mission. I urge you to buy this book to support Galen Pearl. And, I urge you to buy this book for your own peace and happiness. It is available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and Independent book sellers everywhere.
Disclaimer: I received a special pre-publication e-book for review. I was not compensated.