Dancing in Rhythm with the Universe, by Barbara Miller. Barbara & Company. 186 pages. $14.95 trade paperback.
Most self-help books offer ideas that aren’t really new. The value of a motivational guide has to do with presentation. Organization, accessibility, and authority can lead to a successful presentation of familiar concepts. The author’s voice and the ways in which the author engages the reader are also determining factors. On all these issues, Barbara Miller’s “10 Steps to Choreographing Your Best Life” is strikingly effective. She’ll make her primary readers, women who seek encouragement and the tools to empowerment, actually pay attention.
The advice, familiar enough, can now sink in.
Ms. Miller, who has lived and worked in Naples for many years, is concerned with women who have lost the keys to self-esteem. They have repeated unsuccessful patterns in their relationships and reached, inevitably, stasis and despair. Tempted to interpret their predicament as caused by outer circumstances and other people, they have to learn how to take responsibility for their lives and their happiness.
The author carefully leads them back into themselves to convince them they have always had – and neglected – the tools to live the lives of their dreams. The missing ingredient has been gaining control of the knowledge, skills, and tools – and then developing them further.
Ms. Miller does not allow her reader simply to accept blame for her unhappiness. Blame is not really the issue, and wallowing in blame means looking backward. However, the past cannot be changed. Meaningful, strategic commitments in the present, confidently put into action, can create a successful future. Mantras help. Thoughts and language make a difference on the road to action, accomplishment, and well-being. . . .
To read this review in its entirety, as it appears in the June 26, 2013 For Myers Florida Weekly, click here Florida Weekly – Barbara Miller 1 and here: Florida Weekly – Barbara Miller 2. It also appears as the “Healthy Living” lead article in the July 4 Naples edition.