Publishing Info: HarperOne, 1999
Number of Pages: 214
Book Category: Spirituality
The book presents 75 different secrets—with each covered in a short page or two. Some of the secrets include: Invite Adventure, Trust Your Instincts, Conserve Your Energy, Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk, Acknowledge All Blessings, Watch Your Words and so forth. Each secret is described succinctly, with an example or two of why this secret is an important part of creating a charmed life. The author often provides down-to-earth ways to implement the secret in your life, and the end of the book includes a list of resources if you want to read more about a particular topic. For example, for Secret 18 (Let Your Menus Change with the Season), the author provides information on a seasonal recipe book
The book is an easy read. However, implementing the secrets in your own life is the challenge. My advice would be to read the entire book and then choose two or three of the secrets that you need to work on the most in your life. Once you have successfully incorporated those secrets into your life, then choose a few more to work on. I suspect that before long, you truly will be living a charmed life.
I like that the secrets are not too “New Agey” or gimmicky. The author is very practical, and the advice she gives is reasonable and doable. As I mentioned, I don’t think any of what she is saying is earth-shattering. It is just that it is so easy to forget these things when we rush around in our daily lives. I think using this book to remind you of these important lessons is why it is so valuable. I plan on leaving this book by my bedside and reviewing the secrets I am working on each morning and evening so that I keep them front and center in my life until they become truly integrated into my everyday actions. (I think this is how the book is intended to be used—hence the compact and attractive design!)
But perhaps the best way to illustrate the value of the book is by sharing an excerpt from one of the secrets. Here is a bit of Secret 16: Live Your Life In Chapters. (I thought this would be particularly apt for all us book lovers!)
Somehow the notion cropped up that we’d better do everything today. The idea took hold, and now almost everybody believes it. This is why so many women are running nonstop just to keep up. In a frantic attempt to realize their dreams, the dreams retreat and the frantic feeling takes hold.
A charmed life is different, because you live it in chapters, the way you would read a long novel. When you’re engrossed in a story, nothing exists except what is happening now. Even though chapter 10 is laying the foundation for chapter 11, the book only makes sense one chapter at a time.
When you live your life this way—focusing on one chapter now, another later—you can devote more unfettered attention to what is yours to do at this time of your life, a time that will never come again. Look at the chapter you’re now living: You may be in the college chapter, the crummy-first-job chapter, the home-with-small-kids chapter, or the second-career chapter. Circumstances can certainly make things more complicated and less clear-cut than these examples, but if you can keep in mind the main point of your present life chapter, you can give it priority.
Chapter living is the rational way to “have it all,” because when you live this way, you’re not expecting to have it all at once. Its essence is paying close attention to the current chapter and not worrying about what you may be missing from prior or future ones. Their times are past, or yet to come.
The key is letting go of the compulsion to pursue every possible opportunity right now—even if pursuing it means a crowded life, an alienated family, or a hospital stay for exhaustion. That old saying about opportunity knocking once is as archaic as the flat-earth theory and as patently untrue. Opportunity knocks all the time—and it rings your doorbell, calls you up, and sends you e-mails.
There is more to this secret, but I think this excerpt gives you a good idea of the tone of the book and the type of advice you’ll find within its pages.
Why and Where I Got The Book
I read this book as part of my own Take Another Chance Challenge. This was the book I read for the “Phone An Author” challenge, which asks you to:
Pick a random last name out of the phone book. Find an author with the same last name and read a book by them. Write about it. (I’m flexible … if the first random name you pick is Xprxyrsss, you can pick again!)
As fate would have it, I landed on Moran and just happened to find this book on Paperback Swap. I’m so thankful to have found this book—and it just goes to show it can really pay off to take a chance in your reading sometimes!