I have rather belatedly discovered Sarah Ban Breathnach who wrote the marvellous Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, in the 1990s. It was a runaway bestseller in her homeland and has become something of a cult classic over here.
Part self-help book, part spiritual guide, this book is a little on the syrupy side and can sound a bit too mawkish at times, but it is uplifting and inspiring in equal measure. There are three hundred and sixty-five essays, one for each day of the year. Each one starts with a quote to get the brain juices flowing and each one has something to say about being a woman and getting in touch with ones’ authentic, true self, through the path of simple abundance. The path of simple abundance is reached through cultivating gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty and joy in our lives. Yes, it does sound woolly and vague and touchy feely and it is in some measure. But there does seem to be a truly authentic voice behind it all, which shines through in the writing and makes for a truly inspiring read.
I look forward each day to my next essay (some are quite brief, others fairly lengthy), and have even started to take some of the advice given in the book, for instance I have established a gratitude journal to list on a weekly basis all the things for which I am truly thankful. This is a truly brilliant (not to mention easy) way of cultivating gratitude and for noticing all of the important small things in life which make it worth living. This is a book which makes you think, which is what every book ought to encourage…and achieve. Simple Abundance does just that.