Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinions expressed are unbiased and reflect my honest judgment of the product.
As someone who is fascinated by anyone who has reinvented themselves, I was eager to learn the details of Leeza Gibbons’ transformation. Remembering her as a beautiful and successful television entertainment news host, I wanted to know what prompted her metamorphosis and how she was able to embrace change.
Leeza explains in the book’s introduction that her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease forced her to re-examine her feelings, fears, and truths. Together with other life experiences, (including divorce, raising children, and building a business) such challenges led her to write a “Transformation Proclamation,” a powerful statement taking charge of her life and refusing to merely let it happen to her. Subsequent chapters detail the lessons she has learned along the way and her advice to women who want or need their own do-over.
Self-love is the initial focus of the book. Leeza describes how to become your own best friend and the value of doing so. She then suggests ways of modifying our orientation toward change, since we typically fear it even though change is inevitable.
“Surviving and even thriving through change depends on your ability to search out the good and work with what you have…change is an introduction to your higher self…” This rang true as I thought about losing my young adult son nearly two years ago, and my ever-evolving acceptance of his death. Although it was excruciatingly heartbreaking change, I ultimately refused to feel victimized and reclaimed my right to a good life even with the pain of devastating loss.
Leeza discusses fear and courage. She states, “Having courage doesn’t mean you’re not afraid; it just means you’re determined to continue in spite of your fear…change is an inevitable sure thing but growth is the part of change where many people opt out.” Growth through change has been a hallmark of my experience and this resonated deeply.
Chapter 7’s focus on spirituality was especially meaningful to me. Without endorsing any religion at all, Leeza encourages us to search for meaning in our lives and to cultivate courage, patience, and commitment. She suggests developing a connectedness to others and doing good work that lasts. She discusses serenity, focus, core values, and intention. And there is a lovely section on mindfulness, hope, gratitude, and the role of memories and traditions.
Chapter 9’s charge to “Know where you’re going, look good when you get there,” surprisingly lost my interest. Leeza defines beauty as “a fierce combination of strength and grace wrapped up in the best possible physical package,” and she includes advice on skin care, nails, make-up, hair, fashion, weight, and exercise. Although I certainly acknowledge the importance of self-care, these lessons seemed frivolous to me compared to her previous guidance. It was heartening, then, to read her concluding view that beauty is being “lit from within by the knowledge and fulfillment of knowing who you are and being firmly on your own path…”
There are two types of reasons to seek a life “reset.” One is when you’d like to move through life differently and the other is when you have to do so. I recommend this book to women who already feel motivated to improve their lives and are looking for inspiration and structure to go forward. Women who find themselves in devastating circumstances that require unwelcome change may need a more therapeutic approach that addresses coping and healing as steps toward readiness for change.
To purchase this book, click here.
Essays on Grief Resilience