Everything about Corrie Woods’  The Woman’s Field Guide to Exceptional Living: Practical Steps for Living a Big, Bold, Beautiful Life! invite you to slip it in a
pocket and carry it around for a while: the title, the volume’s slim size, and its message of courageously
embracing your truest, most creative self.

Woods urges her readers to
nurture their spirits and embrace their creative energy by becoming
Bold:  A “Brilliant, Outrageous, Luminary Diva.”  Each chapter outlines
a way to be more mindful and brave in embracing and nourishing the
creative self.  At the end of each chapter, a few blank pages present
space to write answers to prompts like: “I am so very grateful for…”
“The most powerful Possibility Question I can craft about my past is…”

This book is certainly useful and thought provoking.  If you’re
reading it while battling the post-winter blahs or a grouchy funk, you
might be moved to sneer or scoff at her upbeat tone.  Take a deep
breath, stay patient with the frequent appearance of the overused word
“Diva,” and read on.  Even in the grouchiest, least creative mood, a
reminder to breathe more deeply, and take time to for reflection and
for caring for yourself is a good idea, and might help you feel better.

Unlike many self-help books, Woods’ guide also urges focus on the
body, not just the spirit.  Devoting a chapter to nurturing care of
stretching, breathing, diet and exercise, grounds the guide and
balances its perspective.  Also, the exercises and questions Woods
poses are mostly concrete, but general enough to inspire creative
thinking about the ways they relate to a reader’s particular life
experience.  Throughout the guide, Woods tempers soul searching with
playfulness, inviting celebration as well as reconciling with the past,
and  describing the healing nature of gathering friends for a fun and
tasty dinner.  A chapter on “Making Mud Pies” is more clearly tied to
finding ways to be playful and whimsical with creative, almost
childlike activities.

Among the more powerful reminders to nurture your spirit and self
are Woods’ chapters about going on retreat, and her recurrent theme of
being brave enough to move to the spotlight in your own life.  It can
be hard for busy women to set aside even a day or two for quiet
reflection, which Woods acknowledges.  Her guide to setting up time and
space for a retreat is straightforward, and includes a writing prompt
that addresses “what might get in the way of me taking my very own
personal retreat.”  Woods also acknowledges the difficulty many women
have inviting change into their lives, especially changes that push
them into the spotlight.  Acknowledging how difficult that can be helps
her guide be grounded, yet inspiring, and definitely useful to women at
any stage of their creative life and process.

— Elizabeth Willse, Contributing Editor

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • carol April 7, 2009 at 1:06 am

    thank you for such abeautiful gift. iread it twice to study it concept i hope ilive it most times .carol