Foreword Reviews

Mountain Mantras

Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes

2015 INDIES Finalist
Finalist, Sports (Adult Nonfiction)

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Anyone standing on the precipice of a big change and needing guidance and reassurance that much of how we experience our lives is within our control will find it here.

When Kathryn Kemp Guylay and her young family relocated to Sun Valley, Idaho, she was determined to learn to ski as a way to enjoy quality time together in the beautiful outdoors. She quickly learned, however, that being an amateur in a family of skiers meant being left behind, alone on the bunny hill. Undeterred, Guylay joined a community of other newbie women skiers and learned to navigate and to love the slopes, but perhaps more importantly she discovered that the six most important skiing lessons she learned were transferable to the rest of her life. In Mountain Mantras, she shares these lessons and discusses, through anecdotes about her own hurdles successfully surmounted, the application of these teachings in an accessible and friendly voice.

As cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has gained popularity by leaps and bounds, so too have inspirational self-help tomes that promise emotional freedom for readers who can learn to change the way they think about the obstacles they face. Guylay contributes to the body of nonfiction that translates CBT into real-world scenarios by providing useful and easy-to-follow advice. She discusses making a fresh start for the promise of a more fulfilled life, building a strong foundation on which to make those changes, and how to move on gracefully after falling flat on one’s face. She writes earnestly about her admiration for the law of attraction—the philosophy that assures us that our thoughts become things—though, like many proponents of this phenomenon, stops short of acknowledging that her privileged social position may influence how well things work out for her.

The power of our thoughts to improve the way we experience the world around us is much lauded. Aside from the skiing metaphor, Mountain Mantras does not offer much in the way of true originality in this highly popular genre. It is not a groundbreaking idea to “change your lens on life” or “throw yourself down the mountain,” no matter the real-life scenario that inspired the lesson. Avid readers of motivational nonfiction may not find enough that is new here to satisfy. That said, however, one can never predict how the wisdom of a self-help work can have an impact. Sometimes we pick up just the right book at just the right time, and it feels like getting advice from a wiser, more experienced friend. This kind of warmth characterizes Mountain Mantras, and so it is an easy and enjoyable read.

Anyone standing on the precipice of a big change and needing guidance and reassurance that much of how we experience our lives is within our control will find it here.

Reviewed by Sarah Stewart

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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