“Life is Full of Sweet Spots” by Mary O’Connor is truly a journey to find the joy in our world. Mary invites the reader to look beyond the undesirable and find the “sweet spots” within that circumstance. The book is divided into three different parts: Drawing on Nature, Tapping into our Bodies and Stretching Our Minds and Souls. Each section has sub-categories within each, taking a deeper look into specifics in nature like the sea and the sky. Within the pages there is a lot of great information and suggestions on what one might search for and then “Case in Points” from authors sharing their ideas of the best ways to experience joy.
I found myself reading some of these ‘case in points’ and actually tearing up. In the first story, “Reawaken through Flowers” by Barbara Parsons, a former inmate shares her memory of how one of the teachers in her rehabilitation program brought in lilacs and it made her cry. She reflects that she feels happiness is just an illusion and that something always gets in the way of that happiness, it almost as if to “set us straight.” Not only did this move me, but I can honestly say that I feel this way often. Just when things start getting good in my life it seems like something must go wrong or I am just not worthy of having or finding joy.
Taking in this reflection of Barbara and how she uses flowers and gardening to bring back the joy in her life, it is reassuring that even at your darkest moment, finding the sweet joy in your circumstance is possible, making it easier for me to remember that it is much easier to focus on the bad and forget to find the good.
Another story that pulled on my heart strings is in chapter six under “The Essence of Touch, Taste & Smell” where Mary talks about the five senses and how hugs made its way into its own holiday celebration, observed on January 21st each year. The case in point is made by Tammy Hendricks, a woman who makes teddy bears out of the fabric or other memorable items for families so that they have something to touch and to hold while remembering their loved ones. Once I began reading Tammy’s words, I immediately started crying. Tears of joy for sure, Tammy takes much care to help families in their times of grieving. I was so touched by this as it is probably the most wonderful, humbling way to help people find their joy, as well as creating your own. Knowing that you have done something for someone so profound that well, speaks for itself.
“Life is Full of Sweet Spots” by Mary O’Connor is one self improvement book that I will keep on my nightstand. Packed with websites and references at the end, I will have something new to look up and enjoy as part of my own journey in finding my own sweet spots. I highly recommend this book for those who may need a little direction on where they should refocus their attention, or even the person who loves to gather new ideas to incorporate into their meditations. This book is beautifully written and eager readers are sure to find their own “sweet spot” inside in their hearts if their minds are open to the simplest of ideas to make the most amazing effect in their lives.