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Marlan Warren is a free-lance publicist who promotes entertainers and book authors (Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan, respectively). She is also a film maker (Roadmap Productions), Reiki Master/Teacher (Light Hands Reiki Studio and Institute), Screenwriter, Novelist, PhotoJournalist, Tai Chi practitioner. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

REVIEW: ALL STORMS PASS: THE ANTI-MEDITATIONS ("Keeps Recovery Real")



Title:                           ALL STORMS PASS: The Anti-Meditations
Author:                     Luke Benoit

Date published:     2012 by CreateSpace

ISBN-10:                    0615520138
ISBN-13:                    978-0615520131
Author’s Web Site:  All Storms Pass
Available on Amazon: Amazon: All Storms Pass

 "If anyone ever told you that you were less than wonderful...
They lied."
--All Storms Pass: The Anti-Meditations by Luke Benoit

I love this book. It fell into my life during a rocky time of self-doubt, anxiety and regrets, and I started dog-earing pages five minutes into my first reading. The title "All Storms Pass" is fitting since the book's brief passages (written in non-rhyming poetry format) focus on the transitory nature of life. At a whopping 635 pages, an alternate title might have been "The Big Book of Self-Esteem."

Benoit urges readers to share these "anti-meditations" with others to stimulate dialogue and promote healing. They function as the jumping off place for discussion rather than the end of it. "They beg for personal interpretation," says Benoit on the back cover, while acknowledging that "All of them require introspective rumination."

This is such a personal book and at the same most of us can relate to the struggle to gain peace and balance in our lives. Life Coach/Therapist Benoit has obviously suffered and continues to wage war against internal forces that threaten his peace of mind. This honest approach makes the book riveting.

Reading this book is like reading someone's life-journal, and as you gather the bits of wisdom, you realize you're looking in a mirror. What Luke Benoit has suffered and transcended one day at a time, each of his readers can suffer and transcend one page at a time, right along with him.

It is a brave masterpiece.

Each segment has an enticing title. My personal favorite is "Today I Will Stand Back and Leave You and Your Trip over There." Other notables include "Meditation for New Year's Eve," "Today I Will Stop Waiting for the Stars to Align," and "The Fairy Tale of 9 Fingers."

Benoit pulls ahead of the "recovery meditation book" pack by mingling popular recovery and pop-psychology slogans, concepts, sayings and lyrics while putting his own unique spin on them.

The only inconvenient thing about the book is the lack of a Table of Contents or Index with the titles or opening lines in the tradition of anthologies, so readers can quickly find their favorites. But perhaps that will be corrected on the next printing.

"How do you measure a life?" is one of the few lines from pop-culture lyrics not referenced in this recovery anthology. "All Storms Pass" nevertheless answers the more pressing question: "How do I measure my own life...and then throw away the measuring stick?"
Whenever I read any of the passages in this "recovery" masterpiece, I feel more centered and reminded of what is known and unknown, and more inclined to embrace my life as it is, not as I wish it would be.

A soothing, grounding read just before bedtime. Or anytime someone is just bugging the crap out of me.


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Review originally published in my Open Salon Blog (2012):