Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel

Source: Penguin Random House
Paperback, 128 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel is an interactive book that will require its readers to use the pages, fill them in. From what 10 places you wish to visit to what things make you happy, Patel is asking us to look deeply into our dreams and desires. But this journal does not stop there. Readers also will have to delve into losses and failures to learn the lessons they teach. These are the lessons that guide us through life, keeping us aware of what we truly want out of life and what things we’ve tried that are not right for us.

“The hardest questions are the ones that open doors.  Every spread in this book features a universal life lesson paired with an exercise.  These exercises, often taking the form of a chart, list, or written prompt, are designed to help you apply the sentiments behind each lesson to your life.” (pg. 1)

Patel pairs famous quotes with a variety of activities for readers to dig deep into themselves.  Two of my favorites from the book: “Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken” from Oscar Wilde and “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known” from Carl Sagan.  If the activities do not inspire readers, the quotes surely will.  Readers will want to take a few moments to think about each activity, especially ones that require determine which four possessions they would be unable to do without.  Others may not require as much contemplation.

Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel is a book that will require readers to interact with it and to engage in deeper thinking than when the next appointment in the day is or what they’re having for dinner.  In this modern world, it is often hard to look beyond the daily schedule of activities to think about one’s life without becoming distracted.

Rating: Quatrain

About the Author:

Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist raised by the New Jersey shore, where she swam the bright waters and climbed cherry blossom trees until she grew old enough to draw them. Her illustrations are inspired by the magical mysteries of nature, the quiet stories that lace through everyday life, and the bold colors of her native India. Her first book, DAILY ZEN, was published by Ulysses Press in October 2014. Her second book, START WHERE YOU ARE, will be published in Fall 2015 by Perigee (Penguin USA). Meera lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Mailbox Monday #362

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel for review from Penguin.

Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.

Featuring vibrant hand-lettering and images that have attracted a large following for her stationery and textile line in boutiques across the country, Meera Lee Patel’s uplifting book presents supportive prompts and exercises along with inspirational quotes to encourage reflection through writing, drawing, chart-making, and more.

Featuring inspiring quotes from writers, artists, and other visionaries paired with open-ended questions and prompts, with plenty of room for writing and reflecting, this appealing full-color book will make a perfect gift and keepsake as well as being a powerful tool for positive change.

A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century by Jerome Charyn from LibraryThing Early Reviewers

We think we know Emily Dickinson: the Belle of Amherst, virginal, reclusive, and possibly mad. But in A Loaded Gun, Jerome Charyn introduces us to a different Emily Dickinson: the fierce, brilliant, and sexually charged poet who wrote:

My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun—

Though I than He— may longer live
He longer must—than I—
For I have but the power to kill,
Without—the power to die—

Through interviews with contemporary scholars, close readings of Dickinson’s correspondence and handwritten manuscripts, and a suggestive, newly discovered photograph that is purported to show Dickinson with her lover, Charyn’s literary sleuthing reveals the great poet in ways that have only been hinted at previously: as a woman who was deeply philosophical, intensely engaged with the world, attracted to members of both sexes, and able to write poetry that disturbs and delights us today.

The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love for review from TLC Book Tours. (my second copy, so this one will be passed on)

The first meeting between Antonio and Olivia at the Paradise Ballroom is brief, but electric. Years later, on the dawn of World War II, when struggling Italian singer Antonio meets the wife of his wealthy new patron, he recognizes her instantly: it is Olivia, the captivating dance hostess he once encountered in the seedy Paradise Ballroom. Olivia fears Antonio will betray the secrets of her past, but little by little they are drawn together, outsiders in a glittering world to which they do not belong. At last, with conflict looming across Europe, the attraction between them becomes impossible to resist–but when Italy declares war on England, the impact threatens to separate them forever.

What did you receive?