First, the facts:
Title: Find Your Awesome: A 30-Day Challenge to Fall in Love with Your Playful, Imaginative & Colorful Self
Author: Judy Clement Wall
Published by: Health Communications, Inc, 2017
The In-Depth Look:
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll already know that adult coloring books are rather popular these days, and why wouldn’t they be? They’re fun and give you a chance to be creative in a relaxing, no-pressure way.
I’ve dabbled, but my mother has thrown herself whole-heartedly into this trend, and one of her favorite coloring book artists (because of course she has a favorite) is Judy Clement Wall.
So, first, let me just recommend her coloring books to you–not to mention her art (which includes a fab set of Protest postcards, if you’re into the democratic process).
But now, she’s got something new–a book that kind of sounds like a self-help book, but feels like so much more.
She says in her intro: “In a perfect world, maybe you wouldn’t need a 30-day challenge to find and fall in love with your most playful, imaginative, and colorful self, but we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a fast-paced, info-packed, high-octane society where feeling lost in the jostling crowd is the norm and locating our own significance is sometimes the biggest challenge of all. During a particularly difficult time in my life, when I was struggling both professionally and personally, I used my blog to publicly commit myself to a Year of Fearless Love. I went into that year needing to believe the power we all have to touch, lift, and heal each other.”
Which, I know, all sounds a little fluffy and like the cheesiest of self-help books–and if she had followed it up with trite chapters expressing ways to connect with your inner child, or something, I’d agree. But she doesn’t.
What follows are 30 days’ worth of … they’re not even exercises. I’m not sure what to call them, but they’re little personal challenges to help you appreciate you … because how can you expect other people to love you if you don’t love yourself?
Taking the position that sending love out in the world helps invite love back in, the challenges, exercises, tasks, goals she gives you are meant to make you more aware of how you present yourself–to the world and to yourself. She challenges you to send positive texts and messages or to give strangers hugs, but also to make lists of things you’re grateful for, or to clean/organize one thing. Or maybe to do creative things like drawing or coloring a Mandala, designing a t-shirt …
Yeah, the list goes on for thirty days–though she says up front that you can take as long as you want, or feel free to skip some. The number one rule, she says, is that there are no rules.
The book is filled with cute illustrations (because Judy is very good at cute illustrations), and worksheets and pages to color or fill out. It’s a charming little book.
So–why would you need this book?
We are living in trying times, and in many ways, it feels like the world has basically gone insane in the last year. There is so much hate-mongering and complaining and them-versus-us attitude (no matter who your “us” actually is). Even without the regular stresses of daily life–paying bills, raising the kids, figuring out your knitting problems–it’s stressful out there.
It’s easy to say things like “Love Yourself,” but so many of us are used to putting our own interests last, to ignoring our own admirable qualities. We don’t give ourselves enough credit–and we don’t tell the people in our lives how important they are often enough, either. (This goes for the “little people” like the waitress who brings us coffee to the “big people” like our parents or spouses or kids.)
Judy’s intent seems to be as simple as it sounds–a way to spread some love to ourselves and to others in an effort to make this stressful, oft-times hateful world a little less terrible. Even the people you disagree with are just people who are going through their own stressful times.
And if we are so lost in our troubles that we need help to share a little kindness? Judy’s book is here to help.
Do check it out at Amazon or at your local bookseller. This lovely book comes out in April.
This review copy was kindly donated by the publisher. Thank you!
My Gush: Love.