Tuesday 27 September 2016

Health: Stronger Than Yesterday - living your life beyond adversity by Cathy McCarthy

Ashfield Press, €13.50

Anne Cunningham

Published 23/05/2016 | 02:30

Health: Stronger Than Yesterday - living your life beyond adversity by Cathy McCarthy
Health: Stronger Than Yesterday - living your life beyond adversity by Cathy McCarthy

When Cathy McCarthy was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, she decided on the spot that she was going to fight. And fight she did, through some horrendously long spells of chemo and radiotherapy, along with surgery. Her eventual victory led her to write her first book, Not The Year You Had Planned, published in 2011. While her first book is directed at cancer survivors, this second book has a much wider appeal, aimed at virtually anyone who has endured a rough patch. Which is, I suppose, virtually everyone.

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Most self-help books, regardless of their good intentions, tend to preach. And when the whole "inner child" business became the predominant theme of the industry, people ran for cover, screaming "but what about my inner adult?" McCarthy, it must be said, neither preaches nor thinks her opinions are the only valid ones. She has drawn deep on an immense ocean of resources, from the Dhammapada right through to Steve Jobs, and includes several chapters written by people whom she is inspired by, folks who have endured serious illness or great loss and tragedy. These people are still standing - bloodied maybe, but not bowed, and living life to the fullest.

She has practical suggestions for physical and mental health, and while they may not be news, it's nice to find them all in one book. And she is passionate about finding your passion. Like Anthony de Mello, she insists that most of us are sleepwalking. Her argument is rock solid. Her chapter on the Top Five Regrets Of The Dying, just by itself, is essential food for thought. All proceeds go to charity and virtually anyone can benefit from something in these pages. It's an impressive call to all of us to stop, think, and proceed with unbridled enthusiasm.

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