3 out of 4 stars
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Transformation-Keep It Simple by Stacey D. Persad is a contemplative collection of poetry. By focusing on the connection between our daily thoughts and situational responses to others, Persad provides a series of questions and scenarios to accompany the poems. At the beginning of the book, she explains how to best apply the exercises for reflection and self-transformation. By keeping the book concise and simple, her goal is to help readers strengthen their virtues while overcoming their weaknesses.
With 157 pages, this professionally-edited book is a relatively quick read. However, readers who desire to use the poetry, questions, and exercises for personal transformation, will prefer to linger and reread much of the content. The book addresses themes including love, peace, courage, power, and forgiveness. In an informal writing style, Persad clearly discusses how our opinions, doubts, fears, illusions, and perceptions can interfere with our thoughts and negatively impact how we think of ourselves and interact with others.
Continuing in the same vein, I particularly liked some of the questions Persad poses for readers to consider. In one instance, she asks, "Which scenario gives you peace and which causes feelings of anger, irritation, and resentment?" She follows the question with a reminder that the choice is ours. She also provides helpful charts to illustrate her points. One chart contrasts negatively-posed thoughts and actions with positive alternatives. The chart is divided into two columns titled "What I currently say or do..." and "Why not try this instead?" I appreciated her chart modeling virtues, as well.
On the other hand, I found some of the scenarios and suggestions Persad offered to be oversimplified, while others were slightly distorted. For instance, she asserts that when we become strong internally, we won't feel sorrow. This implies it is a weakness to experience sorrow, and I strongly disagree. To the contrary, in order to properly grieve and move forward, professional counselors teach the importance of acknowledging and expressing sorrow. In a chapter discussing ownership, Persad asks why God's fruits and vegetables are sold for profit. While I thank God daily for his provision and blessings, I also realize that farmers work hard to earn a living. God provides the rain and harvest, but He uses farmers to till the soil and plant crops.
Overall, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. While Persad provides a helpful resource for personal transformation, a few of her assertions are unfounded and inaccurate. I recommend the book to fans of poetry and readers who appreciate contemplative exercises. I would not recommend it as a definitive guide for those dealing with grief.
Transformation~Keep It Simple
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