I think one of the most impressive aspects of Diane R. Gehart’s Mindfulness for Chocolate Lovers is her willingness to recognize, from the outset, that her potential readers likely know what changes they need to make in their lives to enjoy greater personal happiness. She identifies motivation, or lack thereof to be exact, as the principal stumbling block preventing people from incorporating a different design for living promising greater personal satisfaction and a stronger connection to individual ideas of happiness. Her positive point of view on the latent potential within us all is refreshing; each of us, mired in discontent, can slip into the trap of blaming insurmountable internal limitations on our failure to know joy. Gehart sees no such limitations, only possibilities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: dianegehart.com/books
This is an inspiring element, one of many, about the book. Gehart never spells out in a blunt way, but she makes it clear we bear personal responsibility for our own happiness – many readers will find that a relieving truth. We spend so much of our lives assigning blame to others and external forces for our pratfalls and misfortunes but Gehart’s take on mindfulness, like many others, places the onus on us for realizing our potential for personal satisfaction and maximizing our potential. The inclusion of various worksheets, exercises, and steps interested parties should take to bring them closer to such goals deepens the book’s impact on readers.
It is an easy read. Gehart has a conversational yet eloquent prose style that brings you in from the first and avoids unnecessary digressions. Gehart doesn’t have anything to prove as a writer or thinker; she is here to serve the reader, sharing her experience and knowledge, and self indulgence is scant if not absent from the text. She does bring a great deal of herself to the text but it is an unassuming and likable fashion rather than adopting the strident tone of someone talking down to the readers from their ivory tower on high.
She deserves kudos, as well, for tackling some heavy topics common to all adult lives in a way that doesn’t weigh readers down. Taking on subjects like suffering, the need for non-attachment, accepting life’s natural trajectory and making friends with it could, in lesser hands, lend itself to a wearying read, but Gehart avoids such possible pitfalls. Mindfulness for Chocolate Lovers, as well, has a natural progression and it reflects the considerable work Gehart has put into assembling this work. She makes the sweat and long hours writing the book seem effortless.
The digital edition of the book is polished and well put together. It runs a little over two hundred pages long and has some useful citations included after the text’s conclusion for those wishing to delve further into the subject. Diane R. Gehart’s book is an invaluable reference work but, as well, a “how to” work that anyone interested in self improvement can glean much from. Mindfulness for Chocolate Lovers isn’t a breezy read, but it doesn’t demand a great deal of the reader while still providing ample substance for anyone interested.