Cheryl Richardson’s books are often quite alike. Her advice is usually similar in every book that I’ve read of hers, from Take Time for Your Life to Life Makeovers (which was probably my favorite). They all can be helpful if you’ve never read any of her books before or if you are brand new to coaching and self-help, but generally there’s not a whole lot of new concepts. Still, they are enjoyable reads so I bought myself a used copy the other day.
This book will help me achieve one of my goals while 30—to complete a program and pass it on. I have a bunch of programs already, from Julia Cameron books I haven’t opened yet to boxes of breathing techniques and other self-empowerment courses. I am at the point where I don’t think I need any self-help anymore; I’m quite alright as I am. That said, I actually enjoy doing these programs in my journal and learning more about myself, sometimes even becoming a better parent or wife in the process, and that’s why I keep doing them.
The Art of Extreme Self-Care really just reminds me of a lot of Richardson’s other works, and I have to keep the demographic in mind to avoid getting irritated. Much of what she suggests, for example, is for privileged people without full-time jobs and young children. I know many single working moms who could not interview and pick and choose health care providers, for example—not just because they cost lots of time (that many health care providers don’t have, either, by the way) but also because many of these people don’t have health insurance, either. That money’s going to be spent elsewhere, like clothes and shoes for children. The same goes with anything from using a coach or even nurturing a hidden passion when all some of these moms want is a damn nap when they can fit it in.
All of this said, I think some of her ideas, such as the absolute no list that you make of things that you will not say yes to, are good ones that can benefit lots of people. The book is filled with good questions to think about, too, which I really like. It’s things like guided questions that make me see the most changes in my life—and help me to recognize what problems I might be ignoring. I do think a lot of people could benefit from this book, and I plan on passing it along to someone I love once I finish it.