Color Your Life Happy: Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve
Flora Morris Brown, author
Steering clear of the expected shame and "shoulds" of self-help books, Brown weaves engaging personal vignettes and practical advice with powerful insights drawn from positive psychology, ancient wisdom, and the teachings of seekers of spiritual enlightenment. Drawing from her baby boomer experiences growing up in a segregated USA inner city, she takes us through the path she created and punctuates her narrative with laugh-out-loud stories of raising her kids, some of her favorite poetry, and actionable tips on how to live an authentic life full of laughter, curiosity, and gratitude.
Brown, a publishing coach, devotes this encouraging self-help primer to the idea that happiness is a choice. She opens with 10 promises to readers about how they will benefit from reading the book, goes on to define what happiness is (“an emotion of inner joy”) and isn’t (“the absence of sadness”), then devotes the balance of the text to self-help strategies. The author employs charming personal stories (often from her childhood in St. Louis, where her mother operated a beauty salon) and excerpts of poetry to illustrate her points about moving from pessimism to optimism. Not all of Brown’s tips are especially fresh or even of her own phrasing—as with the Scripturally-derived injunction to “treat your body like a temple”—but the references are useful and eclectic, including both The Twilight Zone and The Secret. Brown also dispenses advice on varied topics, including how to shorten your work commute, cut down on time spent texting, and, less tangibly, “access your spiritual path.” She’s occasionally blunt (“Face it—some days are going to suck”) but more often determinedly positive, as when she advises readers to ask about problems, “Is this a major setback or a divine set-up?” Brown’s joyful exuberance, evident throughout, makes her book an inspiring and worthwhile addition to the self-help field. (BookLife)