'The How' is a hopeful meditation on self-worth and healing
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"You are everything that you remember, and you are always so much more."
The How is a book full of these reminders, a collection of affirmations and mindfulness exercises on self-love, growth and healing. Its name describes our culture of self-optimization that tells us how to look effortless and successful but that ultimately takes us away from ourselves. As Daley-Ward explains, "We have absorbed so much of the outside. It is a mass to unlearn, a voyage back to center."
"The How" is a metaphor for how we can undo this social conditioning and trace our way back to who we truly are. It's a book for the present moment, in our global state of healing, when many of us have become more honest about our fear and uncertainty, are learning to prioritize our well-being, and feel open to moving beyond performances.
It may seem like a self-help book, but it resonated with me because it felt like a conversation with a friend or older sibling. It wasn't prescriptive or formulaic — it's without any psychological frameworks or three-step plans — and instead felt vulnerable, accessible and personal. Passages Daley-Ward writes in second person make you feel like the author understands you and that you are both in this together: "I see you and I recognize your fear. You see me and you understand mine...We have been living among each other for too long to not see that we have them in common."
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