Lifestyle Book Reviews

Book Review: Creating Space for Happiness

By Sandy Amazeen Jan 3, 2009, 22:29 GMT

Book Review: Creating Space for Happiness

Five days a week, seven-year-old Holly awakens promptly at six; she ensures that her five-year-old sister is washed, dressed for school, and has something to eat; and then she prepares breakfast for her single mother. With military precision and a gut-wrenching sense of responsibility far beyond her years, Holly follows a strict regimen in an attempt to avoid the wrath of her abusive mother. From one day to the next, ...more

Personal life lessons and insights gained during his years as a clinical psychologist come together in this informal self help guide designed to provide readers with some basic tools to jettison useless baggage while creating lasting change. Despite most people’s insistence that they want to change for the better, they find it nearly impossible to do so. Using Holly, a seven-year-old girl responsible for taking care of her little sister and to a lesser degree, her abusive mother as an example, Dr. Castro shows how the lack of genuine downtime leaves little room for personal growth. Holly must constantly be “on” as she goes through her strictly regimented day; she has no time to be child and most certainly will have issues trusting others.

Dr. Castro uses a series of stories drawn from his patients to illustrate the importance of giving ourselves the time and space to de-Velcro the mental baggage. Staying balanced, not following gut instinct, giving yourself permission to make mistakes and accepting that there is no such thing as the perfect parent are a few of the guidelines offered in this light read. The most important message to be taken from this book is the need to regularly step out of the Rat Race and take time for yourself, hardly a new message.

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