2 out of 4 stars
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“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.” — Anonymous. This quote, which I found in The MISOGI Method, perfectly summarizes what this book is trying to convey. Jody B. Miller has written a non-fiction book that has taken an old, traditional, Japanese Shintō ritual (purifying your soul by exposing your body to extremely cold water) and has adapted it in a way in which you retain the benefits of said traditional ritual, yet you are also able to perform an individual specific task (MISOGI) that holds meaning and creates value within your life.
With the use of interactive exercises and countless examples, the book takes you through the process of creating a MISOGI tailored specifically to you. You learn all about what a MISOGI is, where it comes from, how to choose your own MISOGI, subsequently perform it, and there is a continual emphasis on the benefits of engaging in this method.
There were many aspects of the book that I enjoyed: from the get-go, I was intrigued by the idea of breaking the pattern of monotony that can oftentimes come with life. The inspirational quotes, that Jody B. Miller included at the beginning of each chapter, set a good tone and the book's dialogue was simple and easy to read. I appreciated the inclusiveness of the book; for example, how it incorporated many different religious beliefs and varying examples of MISOGI’s. I found the “Takeaways” summary section at the end of each chapter, as well as the resources section at the end of the book, to be valuable insertions and the relevance of the book to the current era, in terms of its technological features, made it a far more relatable read. The exercises in the book were fun additions and through them, I felt that I personally learned a lot about myself. I found The MISOGI Method to contain an interesting theory which I intend to explore further.
Contrary to this, there were also aspects of the book that I was not so enthusiastic about. I did not appreciate the pictures included in the text as I thought them to be messy: the pictures themselves were not informative and seemed childish. The author’s constant self-promotion, in terms of referring to her other book and her TEDx talk, was tacky and caused an irrelevant shift of focus in the book. This irrelevancy also occurred in the form of certain facts being included in the book – for example, telling the readers that your friend and his wife are “the largest collectors of Buddhist and Hindu deity art in the United States” has no revelatory connection to the topic of the book. I also found there to be quite a few grammatical and punctuation errors, suggesting that this book was not professionally edited. Overall, I was disappointed in the delivery of such an intriguing concept.
With all this in mind, I have decided to give this book 2 out of 4 stars. The idea of MISOGI fascinated me when I chose to read it, however, I do not feel that the author gave it the justice it deserved. For anyone, with indifference to errors, looking for a light, easy read with some self-reflection and a desire for change in their life, I’d suggest giving it a go. But, for those who prefer a more to-the-point and challenging read, I think it would be better to watch Jody B. Miller's TEDx talk about The MISOGI Method which she so fondly promotes.
The MISOGI Method
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