ACE Your Life: Unleash Your Best Self and Live the Life You Want
by Michelle P. Maidenberg, Ph.D., MPH, LCSW-R
Morgan James Publishing

"You must chisel away those barriers and 'stuckness' to reveal and unleash your personal power."

The three components of this revelatory guide for transforming your life are acceptance, compassion, and empowerment (ACE). With insight and wisdom founded on professional knowledge and experience, Maidenberg breaks down each component and incorporates inspiring stories alongside scientific and philosophical expertise. Maidenberg also provides self-discovery exercises, questions, and prompts to engage readers and seekers in actionable work that can lead to true transformation. Each section offers definitions, benefits, methods, and strategies that combine to provide a way forward for people who may feel stuck in unfulfilling lives and cycles of frustration and missed opportunities.

This book offers an alternative to the social pressure and current trends that emphasize happiness and gratitude as ideal states, which only serve to enforce negativity and hopelessness. Instead of focusing on achieving the impossible, Maidenberg encourages mindfulness and celebrates the spectrum of emotions people feel daily and through a lifetime of experiences. With practice, readers can work through uncomfortable or negative feelings and make value-based decisions by honoring the space between thinking and doing.

The work of personal transformation is not easy, but with Maidenberg’s steady input of information and motivation, progress is possible, and growth is attainable. Lives can be changed when consistent strategies are enacted to cultivate acceptance, compassion, and empowerment. The impact on relationships, health and wellness, and self-actualization is undeniable. Maidenberg backs up her methods with examples and stories from her professional practice, which will help readers see this work in action. Many of the struggles she recounts are easily relatable and have a universal quality to them that will help readers apply the learning to their own lives. For those who may be overwhelmed by the explanations which are founded in the science, philosophy, and the self-help movement, they will find wonderful bite-sized lists of tasks to try, such as “18 Ways to Work on Habits to Foster the Empowerment Process” or “15 Ways we Beat Ourselves Up and Solutions to Thrive.” In addition, the book contains helpful graphics that highlight the main elements of the ACE method.

Having a guide is paramount to success in pursuing personal growth and betterment. Useful self-help books like this one offer people a way to focus their energy on specific behavioral changes that garner results. The past few years have proven that people cannot control many of the things that come into their lives. The need today is strong for equipping people with tools to face adversity “proactively with curiosity and flexibility, exercising acceptance and compassion to cultivate self-worth, self-belief, self-love and self-efficacy.” Maidenberg answers the call to help people with her commitment to communicating with clarity the truth of transformative practices. Along the way, the author also validates readers’ feelings and experiences and thus creates a safe place to explore and uncover inner power and deep wells of hope and change. Readers should prepare themselves to highlight passages and dog-ear pages as line after line sparks a surge of possibility and a desire to live life more fully. Integrating these principles into one’s life will likely help one move forward with confidence and purpose through obstacles and challenges.

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