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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
A Beautiful Morning: How a Morning Ritual Can Feed Your Soul and Transform Your Life is a nonfiction self-help book written by Ashley Ellington Brown. Brown’s whole outlook on life changed dramatically when she discovered what a few moments for herself in the morning could do. She had begun a Martha Beck course which stressed the importance of rituals, loved her new morning ritual, and found the inspiration to write a book about the experience. Brown chose twenty inspiring women to interview who share what their morning rituals are, what these rituals mean to them, and how these rituals have altered their lives. Women are especially made to feel that they must place others’ well-being ahead of themselves, and when they are caring for young children, this is especially so, but Brown and the contributors to this book show how even the busiest schedule can be tweaked to allow for morning rituals and the lasting benefits they bring.
A Beautiful Morning: How a Morning Ritual Can Feed Your Soul and Transform Your Life urges readers to stop worrying about being productive and getting things done, and to set aside some time for themselves. I liked the fact that she doesn’t prescribe specific activities, but rather she and her contributors discuss what works for them. The women she chose to interview come from all walks of life and are of all ages, and the diversity of views is both refreshing and informative. There’s no end to ideas for readers to try, from meditation to sitting out in your garden with a cup of tea to stand-up paddle boarding at the beach. There are people who espouse early rising and others who tend to stay in bed just a bit longer -- it’s all how you choose to design your time.
While I’m familiar with and have practiced Transcendental Meditation for some time now, I was intrigued by the other forms of meditation discussed. I also found the premise that social media and reading the news in the morning can make one stressed and fearful instead of relaxed and harmonious. This made a lot of sense and I am considering ways to wean myself of those habits. Brown includes thumbnail comments of other influential teachers, coaches and writers as well as a list of her Top Ten Takeaways for crafting your own beautiful morning. Her appendices include a Permission Slip form, Morning Ritual Tracker, Morning Ritual Ideas, Questions for Reflection, Affirmations and an extensive list of Resources and Recommended Reading. A Beautiful Morning: How a Morning Ritual Can Feed Your Soul and Transform Your Life is highly recommended.