Author Debra Dane draws on her study of numerous religious philosophies, yoga and her experience as a professional Counselor in this smooth and uncomplicated guidebook to finding your way, staying on your path through the hard times, becoming resilient and learning to appreciate your life.
Dane’s straightforward and no-nonsense approach to facing life’s ups and downs by learning to love and trust yourself and respect your feelings, or what Dane calls “Messengers,” is gentle and encouraging; while her language is clear and concepts flow easily from one to another.
The book is equally well organized to facilitate the fluidity of the book’s ideas. Each of the twelve chapters that address an aspect of internal development, such as Growing Self-Sufficient, Perseverance, Rejuvenating and Tolerance, are further subdivided into sections to make for easy-to-digest concepts and steps. These concepts are further illuminated by brief and vignettes that reveal the author’s own past struggles and epiphanies. Though for the most part the message of these vignettes is obvious, at times they are a little unclear and their wording distracting at times. For example, one vignette in the chapter Connecting, tells about the “strong and eerie sense of danger” that the author felt when she and her friend were at a street fair. Though her friend wanted to stay, she offered for the two to leave. The explanation that follows is titled Rigidity is Expensive and offers that “Most of us have at one time or another been the one imposing the rigid expectations . . . Loosen your expectations of others. . . Let something go a way that you hadn’t intended.” The vignette used in this case is a little confusing and contradictory to some of the other concepts of the book that emphasize: “Pay attention to these Messengers and respond to them.”
Dane’s ideas about being everything you need to grow in the world, and her realistic views about pain, and obstacles in life that make one resilient are down-to-earth, credible and empowering. Metaphors about rejections being inoculations that make us more resilient, or temporary opportunities and assistance being ships or bridges that we use to move us from one place to another but don’t rely on permanently, are both evocative and effective.
The positive title of the book, in addition to other phrases within the book such as “Failure is an F-Word”, “Remember to Replenish,” “Keep Shifting Your Balance” and “Give Again,” are memorable for those readers needing a catchy mantra to help them focus along their journey. Overall, the coherent organization and unfussy language of the book make it conducive to a wide audience ranging from inspiring reading for high school students to adults.
BOUNCE FORWARD is a well-rounded, empowering and unpretentious guide to success in life by accepting “weaknesses,” harnessing your “strengths” and always, bouncing forward.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader.
* formerly title BOUNCE FORWARD