Book Review – 365 Days of Happiness

365 Days of Happiness

If, in this strangest of years, you are finding yourself fighting against the tsunami of negativity, suffering, and bleakness, that Covid has unleashed upon the world, then it’s time to prescribe yourself a healthy dose of positivity.

Jacqueline Pirtle’s ‘365 Days of Happiness’ is a wonderful collection of positive anecdotes, written by someone who wants to bring the joy she has found to her readers. Jacqueline, aka FreakyHealer, is the perfect representation of positive energy, a free spirit who uses her gifts of understanding and empathy to enrich the lives of her clients and readers. Born in Switzerland and now living in the Unites States, Jacqueline has spent her life travelling, experiencing, and learning, and those lessons she now passes onto us through her workshops and writings. ‘365 Days Of Happiness’ can be read in two ways; you can delve into a tidal wave of positivity and consume the entire book in a sitting or two, or you can take a page a day and spread the positivity out over a year. As someone with the attention span of a fruit fly I find the latter technique harder to stick to. I prefer to settle down and consume a book with the same vigour I would a cup of tea, or a doughnut. 

When first scanning through the pages my eyes were caught by the words ‘energy’ and ‘imagine’, and more exclamation marks than I have used in my life to date. I’ll admit I was skeptical, I have never been one to countenance energy, spirit, and soul, that isn’t to say I don’t believe in it, but I am someone driven more by rationale. Perhaps, deep down inside me, there is a curiosity, though that is another post for another time. Despite the difference in the spiritual beliefs between myself and the author, I am able to appreciate the book for what it is, positive. I have come to realise that, whether you believe in life-energy, souls, a capacious worldly power beyond our understanding, or whether you are a fact-driven realist, there is no reason not to read this book. I found the pages that contradicted my own world-view encouraged me to debate with myself. They challenged my beliefs, my cynicism, and encouraged me to look beyond what I perceive as positivity. 

How do you pour your coffee or tea?

I am going to take a real safe guess here, and say that you pour it very determinedly into a cup, instead of kind-of-sort-of point the stream of coffee or tea at the cup and loosely hit or miss the cup. Some of you might even go all out and choose a cup you really like, or have a ritual for pouring your tea into a very nice cup. Either way, your focus is on pouring into the cup without spilling or wasting it. 

I invite you to do the same with your energy, love, compassion, and your light. 

Focus yourself to pour your energy without spilling or wasting!

The cup can be yourself, someone, or something else, or even better, choose many someones and somethings you really love, are passionate about, and feel good to you. Then – very precisely – start to pour your energy, love, compassion, and light into it. Enjoy the goodness you co-create with that someone or something. 

Fill it and don’t spill it!

Jacqueline Pirtle, Day 230

This passage was my favourite, and not just because I love tea, but because of what Jacqueline has expressed, do not waste your energy. Now, Jacqueline may be talking more about spiritual energy, but I think the fundamental lesson is one we could all do with adopting, focus on what makes you happy. My mind is drawn to Marie Kondo’s philosophy of de-cluttering, keep what brings you joy and discard the rest. Sarah Knight then applied this philosophy in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, to the worries and jargon that litter our minds, and how we can apply Marie’s techniques to clearing out our brain-boxes. Although these three woman may seem to be on different journeys, I guarantee that we can draw it back to that fundamental lesson; don’t waste time and space on anything, or anyone, that does not bring you joy. Be picky, be precise, it is your life.

If you want to try Jacqueline’s ‘365 Days of Happiness’ then it is available through Amazon. If you want to read more about Jacqueline, and her fascinating journey, then visit her website.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Happy Living,


Book of the Month, January

The Cockcroach by Ian McEwan

Buy at Waterstones

The Cockroach, the latest work of the masterful Ian McEwan, is a dazzlingly satirical reflection of our current political climate.

“That morning, Jim Sams, clever but by no means profound, woke from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a gigantic creature.”

We follow the journey of Jim Sams as he navigates the British political establishment to deliver the will of the people, Reversalism. Reversalism is a theory whereby the money flow in an economy is reversed. At the conclusion of the working week an employee hands over money to the company for the hours laboured. However, when the employee then goes shopping they are compensated for each item carried away. (If you think this sounds like a convoluted process, that would inevitably damage the economy beyond repair, then you have grasped the concept of McEwan’s work.) Sams is determined to deliver Reversalism at any cost; dissent within his ranks, fierce opposition, parliamentary democracy, none will get in his way. We observe Sams as he hijacks international incidents, charms the American President, and plots against those opposing Reversalism.

McEwan achieved in this novel what I thought impossible, unearthing a humorous tone about this country’s dire political affliction. The scabrous humour masks the very real dread and scepticism coursing through society as we are pulled along with this political farce. In ‘The Cockroach’ McEwan makes no effort to mask his feelings about “Reversalism”, a detrimental decision serving only to benefit the sinister Blattidaean plot. “Reversalism” is, of course, McEwan’s mirror for Brexit. For those of us who have been, shall I say, despondent following the result of the referendum, McEwan accurately channels our feelings in this satirical masterpiece. I have found the book a welcome break after three years of debates, uncertainty and broken promises, it breathes a breath of fresh air into the chagrined political division. I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who are saddened by our departure from the European Union.

Adieu Europe!