"I have designed this book with the thought that it can be particularly meaningful as you are actively engaged with the material."

Daily self-help guides are a well-known genre. Here, author Craigie invites readers to take a deeper look at issues and complications that arise in our lives by contemplating them over seven days. He has arrayed fifty-two musings in twelve sections: Miracles, Aliveness, Purpose, Laughter and Joy, Presence, Activism, Acceptance, Gratitude, Forgiveness, Creativity, Civility, and Hope. Each segment contains meditative material beginning with a quotation, followed by Craigie's observations. These lead to questions that invoke exercises for inner consideration and end with a short biography about each quotation's author. A message about miracles attributed to Albert Einstein opens the selections, with the reader invited to think of everything as miraculous. The segment on presence cites Thomas Merton's thoughts about reaction to drastic change and suggests that spontaneous action can bring intuitively inspired healing. Has an act of forgiveness ever touched one's heart? Desmond Tutu, quoted in that section, believes it can.

Craigie, a psychologist and educator, was moved to begin creating these contemplative, self-instructive passages by the passing of a friend, providing the genesis of a project he named "Fred's reflections." He is careful to note that his book does not take any specifically religious stance. The quotations range widely from Native American tradition to writers such as Willa Cather, philosopher Wendell Berry, and jazz musician Charlie Parker. Craigie's suggestion for activities to be followed based on the subjects presented include remembering difficult and trying persons and situations and how one dealt with them, pursuing further reading, and making a bucket list of activities that can enliven a person's thinking and move one forward. A source list provides the chance for approaching the material more intensively. Craigie's meditations are intelligently, sensitively presented for those who seek genuine improvement through thoughtful, thorough introspection.

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