Disclosure: I received a copy in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% mine.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the right books or words fall into your lap just when you need it? Since I have started this blog I sure have. I will admit that I am a little behind in my book reviews but like my grandma always said better late than never. I believe the distraction that were put in my way just made me appreciate what the message of Smile at Your Challenges by Danielle Pashko. Here is a little bit about the book.
After losing her mom to breast cancer and having an absent father, Pashko was living as a teenager on her own in Manhattan. She worked as a model to support herself, although much of her free time was spent studying yoga, holistic nutrition, and healing. While later working as the “go to” practitioner for everyone’s health issues she ironically was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Her strongly ingrained philosophy of restrictive eating and physical discipline had to be questioned. “Was going gluten-free, drinking green juice, veganism and a daily yoga practice a cure all?” Danielle believes that we can take all the external measures in the world to achieve health and happiness, but there are never any guarantees. Smile at Your Challenges is her personal story of overcoming unexpected obstacles (in all areas of life) and even having humor about it. We plan and God laugh, but there’s always a reason behind our circumstance. This a book that invites thoughtful consideration of our relationships with others, our relationship with a higher power and most importantly, the ongoing relationship we nurture – or should be nurturing- with our own selves.
I know what you are thinking another self-help book but it isn’t like this at all. It is an awesome story of one woman’s struggle to keep her wits when everything in her life is falling apart. I admire Pashko’s bravery in coming forward with her story to show that you can always rise above your circumstances. It is all how you look at things. You can either let the situation define who you become or you can rise above it and learn the situation to make yourself a better person. I personally wrote myself notes in the margin of this book so that I could look back and reflect on the weight of her words and realize that I will no longer let my circumstances ( Gracie’s illness, the car accident, my surgery and recovery, and my dad’s failing health) define who I am.
This book would be great for any book lover in your family. You can find it on Amazon.