From time to time I review books relating to beauty, self-esteem, body image and the like. Well today I thought I would point you in the direction of this little gem.  It is a book that I found a little hard to read at times, a little confronting, a little unexpected and written from a point of view that I didn’t always relate to.  In fact, it was the kind of book that I only really ‘got’ at the end and that is why I quite like it.

Laura Munson. This is not the story you think it is

The book is a very personal diary-cum-story of how one woman deals with the fact that her husband comes home and announces that he is not sure that he loves her any more.  If that was me it would be a very short story. I’d probably follow him down to the man-shed screaming all sorts of colourful words while making mental notes to change the locks,  deconstruct the bank accounts and start listing who owns what CD (yes we have quite a collection which now sounds SOOOOO 90’s).   I would be anything BUT calm, blue ocean for a few hours before collapsing in a heap and checking into some health spa for some ZENNING OUT – he never said ANYTHING about not loving the kids, dogs, guinea pigs and mortgage LOL!

Anyway, thankfully I am not having to write THAT story and so we move on.

Laura Munson did something quite amazing on that day a year or so ago. She decided to choose happiness over suffering, to choose to in-source rather than outsource that often neglected commodity. She decided to own her own future and that is a beautiful thing. I won’t spoil it all by telling you all of the gory details but suffice to say that the book outlines an amazing journey of inner calm against a backdrop of outer pandemonium.

The reason that the book ended up resonating with me in the end was this whole idea of the power within.  There have been many times in my life where I have had my cage well and truly rattled by someone else.  I have spent endless nights going over and over things that people have said or done, trying to work out why they made me feel so bad and what I could have done to stop it.  I have then spent days, weeks and months trying to make them ‘see the light’, to like me or to feel better about something only to end up feeling drained and empty when my cunning plans didn’t work.   Well, unlike me Laura resisted the urge to try to  ‘make it all better’, to over-compensate or to become over introspective and needy. She focused on the only thing that she could control – her reaction to the situation and from a place of peace, poise and acceptance she found happiness for her and the rest of her family.

It is funny but when you think about it we do outsource so many of our emotions. Our happiness is controlled by how our families are feeling, what our boss says to us, how much money is in our bank account or what the weather is doing.  Our sense of beauty is controlled by how much we weigh, how many spots or wrinkles we have and how close we look to those magazine models. Our sense of achievement is controlled by the media, the Joneses or how much space we own in which to swing our cat.  This book really gets you thinking about all of these things in a non-confrontational and kind way.  Read it!

Just like in the Wizard of Oz –  happiness, beauty and success were at home all along.  Within you!