Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 1999
Taoism teaches us to listen to our inner voice that seeks unity within ourselves, which results in harmonious relationships with the world. It asks us to empty our minds of knowledge and information that focus on outcomes, which obstruct the natural way of things.
Harper thus supports leaving the dieting fantasy and submitting to the needs and desires of the soul. Harper has an alternative to those people who are looking for a new relationship with food. She offers her “Five-Step Guide to the Tao of eating”: Goal replacing, Undieting, Informing, Deciding and Experiencing. This is the main structure of the book. She goes into depth with each step, some places offering a quick quiz such as: Are you a diet junkie?, or a worksheet questioning, for example: What influences your eating styles?
Harper brings to the reader insights and realistic ways of how to have a new relationship with food. She gives options to regaining control of eating habits, stabilizing natural weight and creating a new relationship with food that satisfies the body, mind and soul. In doing so the reader will most likely see how this helps support a new relationship with other parts of their lives.
Authenticity, Acceptance and Appreciation are the three challenges to having a soulful life. Authenticity, she points out, asks us to accept both the desirable and undesirable parts of ourselves and integrate them into wholeness. Being with both the good and the bad things that comprise our lives, will help overcome the acceptance obstacle. Appreciation of the complexities of being human, the experiences that we have, and allowing life to unfold, supports a way toward a soulful life.
Harper uses “The Tao of the Hummingbird” as an example to observe instinctual wisdom and how that wisdom helps to integrate into the greater natural whole. Taking in all of the sweet tasting nectar that it desires, this bird helps support the wisdom that if we are listening and in touch with our natural instincts, that we too may enjoy the same pleasures.
Harper offers the tools needed to free us from the “way of dieting” and to discover the soulful relationship with food. The book’s layout and guidelines are easy to follow. There are daily reminders throughout the book that are very supportive as one moves toward a more soulful way of eating and living.