Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book Review: Things I Wish my Mother Had Said

Things I Wish my Mother Had Said by Genie Lee Perron is a must-read. It is about physical and spiritual healing, how to live and appreciate your life. It is simple, short, filled with meaningful suggestions and information, and illustrated so beautifully by the author herself. I loved the images; they inspired laughter, joy, and took me back to a wonderful space in childhood that I think we would all like to experience again. Genie Lee Perron is not a new-age guru, living a fabulous Hollywood, problem-free life and dispensing clever advice. Her life is real, and she has battled almost insurmountable health problems, things that the average person cannot imagine facing. Her mother’s words resonated in her mind constantly as a source of wisdom and inspiration; simplistic perhaps, when one reads so many uber-clever self-help books, but in that simplicity is the wisdom of ages.

Each section is prefaced with a wonderful saying by either a world leader, or a person one can totally respect, people who have earned their spiritual stripes. The chapters are short and offer a personal viewpoint from the author’s experience, and then some tips. As you read, you’ll remember at least one of your grandparents or parents giving you this advice. The author encourages us to focus on things we have forgotten in the hurly-burly of this “me-me-me” world, with so much aggression, negativity, and rampant selfishness. To change the world we must change ourselves. The author advises us to look within, for therein lies the answer, the key to the joy, peace, happiness, fulfilment, love, and serenity we deserve.

We have forgotten how to be grateful for what we have, how to be patient, how to listen to others, how to do so many things possibly considered old-fashioned these days. The author just points us back in the right direction. We can change everything about our lives by seeing things from a different perspective. There is no magic, apart from the magic of life itself; no clever techniques such as contained between the pages of thick ‘looks hard to read’ books; no special meditative skills required. It’s just about getting back to the basics of life itself, loving oneself in the right way, and learning how to see things in a more expansive, open way.

Like Genie, I lost a best friend when my mother passed away; like Genie, I feel her close; I remember her advice; I remember and appreciate her love. I’m not a self-help book enthusiast and I generally never read those kinds of books. In my opinion, we must help ourselves. Yet this book came at an opportune time for me. It restored my belief in the ‘old-fashioned’ values I grew up with and told me that they are the only valid means of dealing with what life throws at you. This is a book for everyone of all ages, and especially for those who lost a great friend in a parent. Five Stars!
by Fiona Ingram

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