4 out of 4 stars
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‘Growth happens in the space between where you are and where you desire to be.’ Anita D Russell is a certified life coach, and she seeks to inspire and encourage one to live positively and meaningfully. Cultivating Change from the Inside Out is a book that focuses on daily growth, personal and interpersonal connections, and a wise choice of values. Anita has had a long and accomplished career path, starting in the sciences before ending up as a full-time life coach. Anita encountered her first obstacle when she was just five years old. Her playtime with her sister Laney turned tragic when a car appeared out of nowhere, hit Laney, and killed her.
Anita blamed herself for the accident for years up to her adulthood. As she excelled in her career as a research scientist, first in the Department of Psychopharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh and later at BMS, she still felt the need to inspire and explore her abilities more. Through several interactions and more life challenges, Anita finally ventured into coaching on a full-time basis. She developed the SOAR concept, an acronym for Step Out and Redesign, which focuses on realizing your maximum potential. This is what the book highlights, along with six keys to nurture, grow, and empower your life. These are driven by a sense of personal accountability and responsibility.
The book is a highly engaging read as the author poses several questions and hypothetical situations to ponder about and help discover more about yourself. The book also implores the reader to note down thoughts and answers to the various questions, inducing self-reflection. My favorite is a question about two doors, one wooden and opaque the other a transparent glass door. The glass door is locked while the wooden door is unlocked. They are on opposite ends of a bridge, and it is raining. Which door would you go for, and what does your choice signify? The book expounds more on this and leads the reader to an enlightening conclusion. Anita also writes using an intimate and friendly tone, enabling one to relate to the writing.
My favorite aspect of the book is the wordplay and analogies. For instance, when comparing life to the making of a diamond. The words and their arrangement produce a poetic feel, making the read quite enjoyable. I equally love the tables and diagrams spread across the book. They reinforce the points and ideas presented, making them more memorable and easy to practice. Personally, the ‘Wheel of Life’ is the one that spoke to me the loudest, and I can see it when I close my eyes. There is nothing to dislike about the book; however, the author bases her teachings and lessons on the Christian faith and God. The SOAR concept, apart from being heart-led and people-motivated, is also God-based. There are also several Bible verses and passages that help to add weight to the points. Therefore, the book might not be as impactful to those of alternate or non-religion.
I found only one grammatical error, evidence of the book's professional editing. The language employed is intelligible and free of any profanities. Cultivating Change from the Inside Out implores the reader to discover their strengths, creativity, and purpose while creating a better connection with others. It highlights the various forms of communication like verbal and body language. It further highlights how to be mindful of the impact of your communication. It is all about living a life that propels you and others towards possibilities and fulfillment. It deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend the guide to anyone looking to challenge themselves and those around them to live a purposeful and intentional life.
Cultivating Change from the Inside Out
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