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Irene Watson

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A Gift of Hope by Shadonna Richards: Book Review
by Irene Watson   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, January 09, 2009
Posted: Friday, January 09, 2009

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At the center of "A Gift of Hope" are Shadonna Richards's Hope Initiatives-activities to create and sustain hope. When recently interviewed, Richards explained, "I believe that hope is the driving force that moves us forward during our difficult times...Having hope is like a gift of motivation. A dose of encouragement for the soul. That's why I titled the book ‘A Gift of Hope.' I'm imparting wisdom as a gift from many sources I've collected over the years." That wisdom includes interviews with courageous individuals who have overcome great odds, stories of well- known people like Barack Obama, NHL player Kevin Weekes, a Polish immigrant with a disability who created a modeling and talent agency for the disabled, and Richards' own great- grandmother, whose positive thinking helped her overcome cancer and live to age 105.

A Gift of Hope: 52 Ways to Live a Better Life

Shadonna Richards, R.N.
Infinity Publishing (2009)
ISBN 9780741451675
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (10/08)


Shadonna Richards, a Canadian registered nurse, freelance writer and former newspaper columnist, has put together a simple but concise book on how to live a better life.  As a nurse working with terminally ill cancer patients, who are told they have only six months to live, she was inspired to write empowering words of wisdom.  Richards also interviewed many individuals for her newspaper columns, thus compiling inspirational stories to encourage us to look at our own lives, makes changes as necessary, and to live a fulfilled life. Although her resources are Canadian, the concept of her book is global and I’m sure readers will find similar resources in their respective countries and areas.

“A Gift of Hope” is designed to be used as a workbook, with each week having an exercise to be done daily. For example, the first week starts with “Stay Mentally Fit.”  The text talks about the stresses in our lives and then gives exercises. The first exercise for the first week is to “Identify, then rectify.”  Richards says “A crucial part of any solution is locating the problem. Do worries keep you up at night? Go directly to the source of your tension.”  The second exercise for the first week is “Detox Your Mind.”  Richards says “We always have a choice. We can choose to dwell on being hopeless in situations or dwell on having hope.”

The second week covers “Dare to Dream:  Believe that Anything is Possible” and captures president-elect Barrack Obama’s “Yes We Can” powerful slogan. Using his story and his dreams, Richards iterates that our dreams can become reality if we persist and believe.

Other weeks cover topics like: Understand That Money Isn’t Everything, Reach out to those in Need, and Be the Friend You Desire to Have.  For the purpose of this review I didn’t have the opportunity to test the system for a full 52 weeks; however, being a student and teacher of transformation, I know it works.  Shadonna Richards has provided a book, “A Gift of Hope,” to take us to a higher level of consciousness, a place where we can manage our personal lives with ease and contentment.


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