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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment by Moneeka Sawyer is an inspirational and motivational self-help book for anyone who wants to know how to experience life in a more peaceful and fulfilled way. The author experienced bullying and low self-esteem during her childhood and growing up years, and later a number of difficult and challenging life events. This gave her the basis from which to develop strength, resilience, and remarkable strategies and values, and through this book she shares her techniques and methods. Bliss is described as emotional contentment, an underlying feeling of joy, satisfaction and peace. The chapters describe exactly how this state can be achieved and maintained – by living by core values, understanding your own limiting/judging thoughts and beliefs, having self-love, practicing gratitude, forgiveness, self-responsibility, knowing how and when to make the right choices, allowing yourself to “play” or be creative, being authentic, and helping others.
I’ve read many books about how to find inner contentment and live in an authentic and fulfilling way, but Choose Bliss has a refreshingly lovely down-to-earth tone and I found it very appealing and immensely sensible. Well-written in an easy to read and empathetic style, the book takes us on a journey to understand our inner selves. Moneeka Sawyer's sharing of her own experiences is its strength. I think many readers will identify with the struggles the author describes, and how this led to her ability and motivation to seek out truths and meanings in life. Her resilience and determination to be herself and aim to be free from limiting self-judgement and the judgement of others inspire the reader to seek how to do the same. The strategies and methods are all very do-able and achievable.
I like the idea of seeing the ego as a natural and, in many ways, useful part of ourselves, and the chapter on forgiveness will ring true for anyone who has been unable to let go of grudges and critical thinking of others. I thought it was a great idea to include a chapter on play and creativity: play/being creative seen as having many cognitive and healing benefits. An inspiring and encouraging read that reaches out to all readers, regardless of background, culture, race, religion, and conveying strength and hope to anyone needing sustenance on their spiritual/life journey. Recommended.