Verdict: This thoughtful, well-organized daybook offers theoretical and practical suggestions for living a peaceful existence.
EVERY DAY SPIRIT: A DAYBOOK OF WISDOM, JOY AND PEACE offers gentle inspiration in the form of affirmations, quotations, anecdotes, blessings, and prayers for 365 days a year, ranging from broad spiritual concepts to specific ideas for better coping with that particular calendar day.
Written during a year of solitude in an isolated rented cabin in Virginia, the author abandoned technology, social media, and other trappings of civilization to practice yoga, walk in nature, reflect, read, and write her own spiritual daybook. Providing 365 days of inspiration, this book kicks off the new year on January 1 with “Blessings” (an acrostic poem) and ends on December 31 with another blessing, “We Fly,” which encourages readers to learn from the past year and move on to the next with joy and gratitude for the days ahead. The 363 days between these dates (there’s a February 29 Leap Day Prayer) also feature page-long calming messages on spirituality, either personalized, generalized, or focused on seasons and holidays.
For example, this entry about her ex-husband (both personalized and focused on a holiday) appears on July 4. “It was the Fourth of July when I told him we were done. Finished. No more tries. How’s that for an Independence Day announcement?” She concludes by saying they were able to salvage a loving relationship beyond the bounds of husband and wife by avoiding intentional infliction of pain and focusing on coming from a place of love. As with all the other daily messages, the July 4 inspiration is intended as a brief morning reading to be reflected upon during the day.
Like her story about Independence Day, many of the daily messages feature personal anecdotes, such as angry posts she received from “Scuba Man” on social media and the inconvenience of living with tinnitus. Other inspirations come from quotation by poets and spiritual teachers and focus on less personal topics. Takeaways of how to use these ideas come at the end of each day’s inspirations in notes to be used “In the World” and “In the Heart.” As the titles imply, readers are encouraged to take practical, logical steps toward implementing these concepts through interactions with other people, and to use the ideas to change the way they think about themselves, talk to themselves, and treat themselves.
The book contains no page numbers, table of contents, or index. Inspirations are categorized by day of the year. However, for those seeking specific information on several spiritual practices, the author provides a list in the back of the book with dates for easy retrieval. For example, “Gratitude Awareness Practice” is found on February 6, “Power of Prayer” on March 6, and “Clearing Negative Energy” on April 7. Other back matter includes resources (special books, infant loss and grief, websites, and hotlines), a bibliography, and prayers and blessings. Soothing prayers are offered from a Christian perspective and lean toward the religious more than the spiritual. Even the physical appearance of the book may remind readers of a beautifully covered bible.
This thoughtful, well-organized daybook offers theoretical and practical suggestions for living a peaceful existence.
~Carol Michaels for IndieReader