Did you know that the so-called ‘self help’ industry is a huge money maker for publishers? It’s the literary equivalent of the dieting industry: a license to print money. I get a new version of ‘self-help’ in almost every batch of review items from publishers – spiritual help, physical help, mental help . . . you name it, there’s a new book coming out (or soon) to help you.


I dislike most of them.


Seriously – I know I’m not perfect, and I have a very clear image of what I want the end result to be. Getting that result is the difficult part, and most ‘systems’ for change, or ‘programs’ for transformation just don’t do it.


Maybe it took someone non-American? The French-born and raised Edwige Gilbert has given us The Fresh Start Promise which effectively (emphasis on “effective”) combines the best practices from the self improvement industry. If you’ve read the other books (like, The Secret) some of the notions Gilbert discusses will be familiar, but The Fresh Start Promise is NOT a recycling/re-writing of previous information. There is a TON of new perspectives and ideas here. Gilbert’s been working for years as a wellness coach, and her experience shows in every paragraph.


The Fresh Start Promise makes some abstract notions very clear, and in doing so makes them attainable. The reader is taken through a 28-day program designed to manifest the change we want in our lives by bringing about change in our minds as well as our physical world. We are given countless different actions to take - morning and night - so that our minds will change, so that our thinking will change, so that our outlook will change. These practices include meditation, visualizations, yoga postures, energy work and breath work.


Highly recommended.


~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Edwige Gilbert

Llewellyn Worldwide, 2008

pp. 262, $17.95