Showing posts with label self-help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-help. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Reviewing My Own Fear Factor

Admitting You Have Fear Is A Beginning

I've been struggling with some personal fear in the last several months. Maybe a review of my journey might help others begin to face their own fears. I know I'm not alone; most of us have fears that overtake us from time to time. With the recent events that have gripped the world, many have found new things to be afraid of. Fear is normal but sometimes we aren't ready to admit that we are afraid. I am a firm believer that admitting something is the first step in beginning to overcome and move forward.

fear factor
We all have fear, overcoming it is the trick
image courtesy of pixabay.com

What I have realized in the last few days is that I've been almost frozen with fears just below the surface of my consciousness. I haven't been walking around thinking about being afraid or thinking that I was scared but the emotion had been there for quite a while just waiting for me to do something. I've decided to start working on what I'm fearful of; kick those debilitating thoughts to the proverbial curb, so to speak.

There were hints that went unnoticed


As I have worked through some of my feelings in the last few days, I realized that there were some subtle little hints back in December. A tiny little flag was waving in the distance, I just didn't notice it for what it was trying to warn me about. I think it started when I had the idea for a new book that would be about a rabbit. More specifically, an Easter Bunny that did something bad. It was the rabbit that should have alerted me that fear was dwelling deep down in my psyche. 

Now, before you shake your head and think that I've gone off the deep end, let me explain. The message of the spirit animal rabbit is about fear. Real rabbits are fearful little creatures and often become frozen, unable to move, when their fears take hold of them. We humans can experience this phenomenon, too. I missed the significance of a rabbit being so active in my mind. 

About the same time that the idea for the book was consuming my thoughts, my Dad fell and broke his elbow pretty badly. Fear did swell up to the forefront of my thoughts for his well being. There were life threatening complications that obviously caused a great deal of stress and fear for him. Taking care of my Dad sort of pushed the writing completely off of the burner. 

As Dad began to slowly get better, we (the world) find out about the virus and learn words like social distancing and stay in place orders. I will admit the idea of Dad being exposed scared the daylight right out of me. I wasn't fearful for me but for him. Rabbits come into play again. I discovered the book Watership Down, it is all about rabbits. Another hint? I think it might have been. 

I'll fast forward a bit, an idea started niggling in my mind about a totally different story that felt like it needed to be written before I finished the other one. It is a young girl who is called to become the next healer in her village. She is faced with prejudices, an unwillingness to be a healer and some adventures along the way. It is customary in her world for a healer or shaman to be assigned a spirit animal. She doesn't get to choose, the gods decide what she will need. She is appalled when she meets the hare (big rabbit) that will travel with her in her journey of becoming what she was destined to be. Of all the creatures for the gods to give her they give her a rabbit. What the heck good is that going to be? She is supposed to gain wisdom from an animal that is afraid of it's own shadow? Hmmm!

There it is again, a rabbit consuming my mind! Finally the light bulb comes on in my addled brain. Rabbits in my thoughts, looking up rabbit behavior, real rabbits hopping around in my yard. I can't get away from the freaking rabbits! Fear is the message of the rabbit. Do I have some fears to overcome? Well, apparently, I do.

What are my fears?


Turns out, I have several that I have ignored for a while. I guess that is why the rabbit has come as a messenger. I can't move forward until I face some of them head-on and let them go. I won't go into what they are exactly, that is a little too personal. Suffice it to say, I have identified some big ones and have begun to work on hopping around them. As I work on my journey, I have found a new motto. It is summed up best on this coffee mug:



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Sunday, March 22, 2020

15 Additional Distracting and Calming Things to Do During Quarantine

15 Distracting Things to Do During Quarantine

Last week I wrote about ten calming and distracting things you can do during these crazy quarantine times.

This week I'll add another 15 suggestions for you.

1. 5000 Piece Puzzles

Ok, maybe just 1000 pieces will do. Family members of mine have tackled this one already.

2. Read the Hilarious Twitter Hashtag #QuarantineLife

The top tweets will crack you up. My mom and I were in stitches reading them!

3. Crossword Puzzles

Do you love to do crossword puzzles? If so, get out the book.

4. Redecorate a Room

That may involve trips to the store, so you may be restricted on what you can actually do. But hey, if you can even tackle one or two aspects of a redecorating project, good for you! Here's a brief helpful video on how to mix patterns in home decor:



5. Reorganize Your Cupboards and Closets

To some people, this is therapy, to others torture. Either way, get it done! If you've been putting off dealing with the disaster behind your closet door, now is a good time to get 'er done.

6. Learn a New Language

There are several common APPs you can use to learn a new language. Here are a few you can check out: Babbel, DuoLingo, and MemRise.

7. Learn to Play Piano Via an App

Yes, there's an APP for that. Here are two Apple Apps you can check out - Flowkey and Note Quest.

8. Assemble All Those Poems You've Written, And Self-Publish Your Book

Do you have a box of personally written poems that need a permanent place? How about writing that poetry book you've always wanted to write. I crossed that one off my bucket list last year and self-published my first book. I've since published five more and am working on my sixth. Here are some things I've learned along the way that may help you get started.

9. Crafts - DIY Crafting

I know, this is obvious. Knit, sew, or crochet those virus blobs. If you have friends who also enjoy crafts, turn it into a game. Tackle the same project and whoever finishes first gets a prize - maybe a book.

10. Learn Calligraphy

Family members of mine did this one the other day. You can get multiple tutorials on YouTube.



11. Coloring Books are Fun, Even for Adults

This is one I plan to do to relax. Coloring can be utterly satisfying. Color with the kids or you can always buy grown-up coloring books online.

12. Turn Your Life Into a Reality Show

If you're bold, go for it. Vlog your life and upload your daily routine to your social media audience. If you don't have an audience, you could end up with one fast lol - be careful!

13.  Take Cooking Lessons Online

Head over to Youtube and start watching all those addictive cooking videos! Have you always wanted to learn French Cooking? Now's your chance.



14. Assemble and Sort All Your Photos on Your Laptop & Phone

Sort all your photos and store them on a USB or in the cloud. Or create a family wall of photos - finally frame and display all those family favorites.

15. Handwrite Letters to Your Family

Handwrite a letter. Don't type it. Handwrite it and mail it to mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, or the kids. Include the kid's drawings or photos as well. Yes, you can do this online, but there's something very special about getting something like this in the mail.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, March 15, 2020

10 Calming and Distracting Things to Do

Calming and Distracting Things to Do
With all that's going on in the world, some distraction is in order.

When you've had your fill of news, and consumed as much info as you need for a day or so, here are some things you can do to take your mind off the world.

1. Listen to Music

Yes, I know, that's predictable! You've heard it a million times. The principle of Occams Razor applies right now (the simplest solution is often the best or right one - paraphrasing). With that in mind, turn off the TV for a while or forever, and pick a few songs that speak to you.

Here, let me recommend a fantastic song for country music fans; have you listened to Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's song "Nobody But You?" If not, take a minute. It's a perfect song to cuddle up to or think about the one you love, and what's most important in life.

Lyrics
"Don't have to leave this town to see the world
'Cause it's something that I gotta do
I don't wanna look back in thirty years
And wonder who you're married to
Wanna say it now, wanna make it clear
For only you and God to hear
When you love someone, they say you set 'em free
But that ain't gonna work for me"




It's currently my favorite country music song - hope you enjoy it.

2. Watch Inspirational Videos

This is a little self-serving; here's one of my most recent video-poems. Written about a month ago, it's about finding clarity and calm in life.

This year I've vowed to work on body, mind, and spirit. The video speaks to the spirit side of life. I call it Living in Light. If you need a little calm, mixed with a teaspoon of hope and faith, this one is for you.


3. Cooking - Do You Love to Cook?

If you love to cook there are a ton of recipes from our writers here on ReviewThisReviews. Be sure to check out the recipe section. You can find it here.

4. Puzzles and Games

You've already thought of this right? Board games, riddle games, and puzzles. If you're not in the mood to play family games, distract yourself with riddles. Yep, I happen to write them. Here's one, can you solve it?
Find more at StumpedRiddles.com
5. Dance in Your Kitchen

Oh, that sounds really dumb, doesn't it? It's not. Turn up the radio and dance. The exercise is good for us physically and mentally. Who cares how silly we look. Blast your favorite music and go for it.

6. Exercise

If your health permits and you have exercise equipment, use it. If not, there are plenty of yoga and exercise videos on Youtube and TV you can follow. I like this basic exercise video for Arms. This lady features short easy-to-do videos.


7. Draw, Paint or Create

Now is a good time to tackle that book you've always wanted to write. If books aren't your thing, sketch or paint. Stepping back in time, it's said that the plague may have influenced Shakespeare to create his best works. You can read about it here.

If you've wanted to write a book, but aren't sure where to start, I've written several articles with tips from my own personal experience of writing my first books. You can find them here:


8. Binge Watch TV

Oh my, that's too much couch time, but if you can't help yourself, here are some comical tips on what not to do when you binge-watch.

9.  Read a Book

If you're looking for a book to read, check out the book reviews by the Contributors on this site. There are some serious book-readers here! You can scroll through the reviews by starting here.

10. Express Your Love to Family and Friends

Don't hold back. Say it out loud or by text or phone if you have to, but say it. Say it over and over, and even say it for others to hear. Spread love - let your voice be heard.

My own Mind, Body and Spirit tips for 2020 are reviewed here.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Option Ocean: Navigating the Sea of Possibility A Book Review

Devotional, spiritual, christian books
                                                           
Image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay


Option Ocean: Navigating the Seas of Possibility is categorized in the Christian Devotional category on Amazon.com.  

 **Warning, Warning**  It is more than just a book to be read, it is a workbook!   Just published on May 28th 2019, it is the second book in a set of inspirational books written by Kristi Bridges.  Unlike other books (like a good novel), this book is so much better if you take the time to read it as a "guide"!  

How long or how quickly you go through this book, is entirely up to you.  But, if you are searching for meaning in your life, this book should be read slowly and very mindfully.  Each day will bring a new way of looking at your life.

Where most books are broken down into "chapters", Option Ocean: is broken down  into "days".  That is one reason I suggested that it's not a book to be read in a hurry.  It's best taken one day at a time.  There are lessons  for us as we grow in  devotion, understanding  and prayer.  We will take what we understood in the first day and build on that foundation as the month unfolds for us.  Each day there is a "theme" and then there are questions for us to ponder.  Personally I think this book is better when we are prepared to share, with ourselves, the insights and questions that will come to our minds. We will open up our physical, mental and spiritual understanding of God.  To that end I would encourage anyone to have a journal ready.  Use your own style of writing to make points to consider, passages to revisit, and questions that come to mind.

The world today has little time for us to ponder those things that are of a spiritual nature. We are constantly encouraged to live for today, live in the moment and not to think about anything beyond that. Navigating the Seas of Possibility encourages us to live in the moment of course, but to also listen and see the Hand of the Almighty at work in our daily lives. 

Christians are called to do much more than that.  We are called to have a personal relationship with our God.  To proclaim Him in our lives and our actions and be inspired by His Words to us in the Bible.  We are called to worship and adoration to the God who created all things and calls us each by our name.

As Christians we can find living life mindful of God,  hard to do sometimes.  Especially when things happen around us that are not nice, kind or loving.  We can lose our way so easily.  That's why it's nice to have some help and guidance for our individual journeys.  Everyone walks their own path to God through all the trials and tribulations of life.  Your way and my way might be completely different.  But our ultimate goal is the same.  To come to know the will of God in our lives and to give thanks for all we have.

Christian Devotional, Olivia Morris, Book Reviews
                                       
Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Navigating the Seas of Possibility would be a great book for any Christian that is questioning their faith.  It's not a book just to be read, but rather, it is called to be "lived".  It is a workbook for  Christians, all Christians.  After reading the introduction you will already see that this book is more than words on a page or a story to keep our interest.  It is a call to action, a call to prayer, understanding, and a call to search for God in our lives.  It is also a call to remember Gratitude, Love, Peace and Joy!



Christian devotional, faith workbook, spiritual book, Olivia Morris
                                       
Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay



My hope is that during the summer months, when you get a chance to sit back and relax, read one day of Option Ocean: Navigating the Seas of Possibility.  Use what you have learnt and keep a journal.  I bet there are lessons for everyone, but most importantly for you!  This is your life and He knows your name.  



** I was given a copy of this book to read prior to publication, by the author, in exchange for my review.  The opinions stated are my own and no coercion was involved.






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Monday, March 26, 2018

No Fourth River Book Review

No Fourth River book review.
I just finished reading No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield. As soon as I read the final word, I turned to my laptop to begin writing this review. Christine has shared her life with us - from her very painful beginnings to the moment she took control of her own life and beyond. She shows us how she created safety, happiness, love, and success and assures us that we can do the same. 

Christine was born into a family in which her father's parenting style was over-the-top abusive. At the tender age of 5 (just old enough for kindergarten in the US), she was sent to a boarding school with nuns who not only shamed and tormented Christine but encouraged the other students to do the same. So it is no surprise that Christine turned to sex and alcohol as a teen. Then things turned really bad. 


No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield


Set in Belgium and the UK, Christine describes her life from age 5 to 58. She describes how the actions and inaction of others leave scars - physical and emotional. 


No Fourth River's Cast of Characters



Christine's Father - Christine's father is a wealthy businessman and well-known in their village. We are given the impression that he's ruthless in business and clearly he's ruthless in his expectations for his wife and children. 

Christine's Mother - Christine's mother conspires with the children to have happier times, to hide some things from their father, and provide for their material needs. And yet she is unable or unwilling to stop the abuse.


"Mum regularly got the worst of my father, and she never seemed to be able to please him for long, although she never gave up trying"
"I remember my mother telling me once, in later life, that she stayed in the relationship because of my father's money."

Christine's Brothers - Of the 5 children in the family, all are boys except Christine. The children take their roles in the family. Kane takes the role of being most able to meet dad's expectations and avoids some of the physical punishments. However, it is clear that even he has not escaped unscathed.

Christine's Husband - After Christine leaves home and is living independently, yet constantly in the realm of poor choices, she marries her 1st husband.  During that marriage she is nearly murdered. She decides "enough is enough". Christine finds her voice, and the trajectory of her life changes. 

Shame & Doubt - Shame and Doubt are so tangible in this story that it as though they become part of the list of main characters. Humans make decisions, usually horrible decisions, based on Shame and Doubt. Christine was not immune to this. Through the story she describes how shame and self-doubt initially controlled her but then how she learned to take control of herself and her life - relegating shame and doubt to the shadows. 

Well-meaning friends and miscellaneous onlookers - I have learned in my experiences at work and in life that it often seems easier to take the physical abuse from the abuser than the hurtful things they say. And sometimes, even more hurtful, are the reactions (real or imagined) of friends or onlookers.


"I felt their eyes on me and their pity and anger. It felt terrible to be so exposed like this, for people to see how my husband treated me."

There are many other very important characters in this story, but I don't want to risk any spoilers. I want you to discover these important people naturally as the story unfolds. To learn how Christine finds her true self and not only survives but launches into a life of her creation.



This book begins with the harsh realities of child abuse, teen rebellion, and domestic violence. The subject matter is TOUGH. There are no gratuitously violent scenes in the book. However, there are many violent scenes described. I felt nothing was told in a shocking manner just for the shock value and to sell the story. But the truth of this subject matter cannot be told without exposing the cruelty that occurs when people choose to abuse. The lessons can't be learned without honesty - even if that honesty is what nightmares are sometimes made of.

Christine Clayton describes the transition from the abuse and turmoil to her life as a happily married wife, successful business woman, public speaker and advocate. She ends the book with an afterword that includes some of her philosophy, why she doesn't blame her abusers, the reality of some of her health issues as a result of the abuse, and 12 valuable messages meant to help others.

Christine writes: 
"If I can change one person's life who will read this book, I will have achieved my goal. I have shared my life experiences and hope to make a difference in someone else's life" 

Having worked in the field of social work for over 20 years, I am quite sure that her story, her style of telling it, and her sharing of the lessons learned will help many people in a variety of ways. I highly recommend No Fourth River. This is the most important story I've read in quite some time.


Note: I received a copy of this book from the author for review. However, all comments are mine and based on my honest reaction to the book.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Social Media For Writers Reviewed

Authors Need To Market Their Work

writers market
Writer Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
One of the gifts that I just received for Christmas was the book Social Media For Writers. My daughter thought it might be helpful for me to brush up on the skills needed to be successful with the use of Social Media in regards to my marketing strategy in order to sell my books. 

If you are a regular reader of Review This, you are probably aware that I published my first Cozy Mystery novel in October of 2017. Then in November I published my second book in the series. It isn't like in the past when if you were lucky enough to find a publisher for your books who offered you a contract. Back then if you were a writer with a large publishing firm, they did a lot of the marketing for you. A lot of us have gone the self-publishing route which means that all of the marketing is up to us, the author. Even if we had a big name publisher we would need to market our own work. Most publishing companies of today only spend their advertising money on well known authors (who kind of don't need it but that is another topic all together!). 

Those of you who know me probably think that I probably already understand how to use social media because this isn't my first rodeo with a writing gig. I might have published my first fictional work but I've been around the block several times when it comes to promoting my online writing ventures. I do understand the basics of social media and use it regularly but I will admit not to its fullest potential. The game is different for authors in particular and let's face it...the way to use these social networks changes on a regular basis. How many times have you reached a point where you feel that you have figured it all out, to have one or two of the popular sites change the playing field? I'm guessing a lot!

So, I really appreciate my daughter gifting me this book! I'm reminding myself of the basics while being able to come up with a strategy for my writing and promotions.

What I like about this book by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine is that it is written in an easy to understand format. As I said, I'm not new to social media but even if I were the content would be easy to understand. They do a really good job of explaining how each option works and best practices for a writer to use on each platform. They cover blogging, podcasting, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Do they recommend that you try to use all of them? Actually, no. They understand that if one were to try to have a solid presence on all of them; there would be no time for the actual writing of the books. They suggest that you pick the three that you are most comfortable with and go from there.

As I am studying this book, I feel confident with their advice. They are both authors in their own right and I can tell by the content that they actually use social media to promote not just this book but a series of books that they have co-authored together. I don't know about you but for me that is huge. I'm sure that you have experienced the same as I have over the years with getting advice from a so called expert who has less experience than you do when the dust all settles.

I really like that the authors break down the formats and give realistic time frames for using them. Having experience with most of these social media networks, I can tell that they are giving good information on the time that can be invested in working with the different options. They are even honest about having invested a lot of time on a few of them and figuring out that for their needs and their time constraints, it wasn't worth it. That doesn't mean that you will come to the same conclusion because we all have different styles and comfort levels. I do appreciate their honesty in the results for themselves!

Now, I realize that not all of you are planning to write a novel or a work of non-fiction; that being said I do know that many of you have a strong online presence either contributing here on Review This or your own sites. Perhaps you contribute on another multi-user site. My point is that much of the information will be beneficial for your online work as well.

I know in the past, I have tried to have a presence on all of the social media sites. It doesn't take long to get burnt out trying to keep up. Reading a book like Social Media For Writers is helpful in reminding us of what it is we want to accomplish and the audience we are trying to reach. This book gives some realistic advice on coming up with a strategy that is not overwhelming and that with the proper effort put forth should offer a successful result. It is not going to happen overnight but with dedication and a good plan, it can happen.

I am finding this book very helpful and I think that many of you will, also. I know I am changing my strategy after having read it. I am going to concentrate on three platforms and not worry about all of the others. How about you? If you were going to limit your marketing to three platforms, which would you be willing to invest your time in?



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Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Art of Tolerance

Get For All Good on a Pillow
The Virtue of Tolerance: Making an Effort with Empathy, Kindness, Goodness and Grace

Getting Better, with Tolerance.
A personal saying 'Kindness breeds Tolerance' ...Tolerance requires an accepting mind and a willing participant. It's not a spectator's virtue. To see life from another person's perspective suggests that we are attempting to live outside of ourselves, to mentally travel the journey of another soul.
This world is our home, we all live here, and we all deserve the best from each other.
Below you'll find a few of my works on Tolerance, Perspective, & Self Awareness.
I hope all your flowers grow

TOLERANCE



Hold my hand
then judge me
Or better
Feel my sameness,
Look me in the eye
then tell me I don't matter
Or better
See I am you,
Sit at my dinner table
Sharing food and conversation
then tell me I'm not worthy
Or better
Understand my hunger is like yours,
Take a walk with me
then hate where I live
Or better
Understand my plight,
Watch my children play
and tell me they are expendable
Or better
Love them as your own,
As I hold your hand
Look in your eyes
Eat at your table
Walk with you
Understand your plight
And watch your children play
I know I want to be better too
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

PERSPECTIVE
From Your Perspective
What do you want me to know about you
I'm interested in your life
You're journey is my teacher
I'm wrong about so much
How can I make your day better
Show me what I can do
I am a willing spirit
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

SELF AWARENESS


I can't judge you
I'm too busy judging myself
I can't hate you
I'm too busy learning about myself
I can't envy you
I'm too busy competing with myself
I can't expect anything from you
I'm too busy expecting the best from myself
I can love you
By loving myself
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak, Copyright

COMPASSION



Youtube Channel - DragedaPoemsLyrics
Drageda.com




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Monday, December 22, 2014

Reviewing Chicken Soup for the Soul

By now, it is likely that everyone has heard of the book series "Chicken Soup for the Soul". According to their official website, the idea of touching lives through telling positive stories began during Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen's motivational speeches.  After some time, they compiled these stories into a book. A small publisher gave them a chance after they had been turned down by the big publishers. And so, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series began.

Over the years, I have read several of the books.  Then I had basically forgotten about them. Until recently.  

For several reasons, work related and writing related, I picked up newer copy of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. And I was again reminded of how down-to-earth and wonderful these books are.  

Living with Alzheimer's photo by Amazon

I am currently reading Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer's & Other Dementias.  As I read, I am struck by how educational and supportive the book is. It is quite a bit like being at a good support group but never having to get out of my pajamas or leave the couch.  I do not currently have any family members or close friends who are suffering from dementia. But I have learned a great deal from this book and believe it would be very helpful to the family members and friends of folks who are living with dementia.



Teenage Soul photo by Amazon


Because I work with special education students and am always on the lookout for positive messages for them, I purchased Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and took it to work. I understand that the kids will always listen to other kids before they listen to a boring, old social worker.  While many of my kids at the school are too young, I did have some teenaged students who read portions of this book. Some of the the students seemed to benefit from these stories.  In fact, my book disappeared. Which means, one of them related well enough that they borrowed it permanently. 



As I mentioned, there are 250 books in the series.  Some of the topics or themes you will find include:holiday:

  • pets
  • age-specific (teen, pre-teen, seniors)
  • motivational
  • dealing with illness
  • religion (angels, miracles)
  • self-help (empowering yourself, finding happiness)
  • and much, much more


It's Christmas photo by Amazon

If you've never heard of the series, I strongly recommend that you find a copy on a topic that interests you. Because there is such a large variety of topics, I'm sure you will find a one that suits you perfectly.   If you've heard of the series, but like me, hadn't read any of them for awhile, I urge you to pick up a copy. 

Slow down during this hectic season and take time to feel good.  Soothe your soul with a little chicken soup.



Disclaimer: In affiliation with Amazon.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of Amazon products


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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