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No one tells a story as well as Brian Luke Seaward, internationally recognized stress management expert. In Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, Seaward chronicles 70 compelling stories about human triumph over turmoil and adversity. All inspirational, Seaward weaves his wit and wisdom through a palette of life experiences shared by people who have come into his life.
The underlying message is clear: stress is a shared human experience and a valuable opportunity to grow in new and wonderful ways. In her foreword to the book, Good Morning America anchor Joan Lunden says, "It's not what happens to us, but our reaction to what happens to us that causes us stress. And that means we have the power to control our level of stress."
Seaward acts as a guide through the landscape of human tribulations. Each short vignette conveys a message of hope and courage, as the title promises, and concludes with classic Seaward in a lesson, a poem, a thought. He takes his cue from his grandmother who was probably his inspiration and mentor as a storyteller. "She sailed through life quite gracefully," he tells readers. "Stressed is desserts spelled backward," she would remind him in times of distress, serving up her own wisdom and, at the same time, filling his plate with a baked sweet and a glass of milk.
So following in her footsteps as a teacher, Seaward aptly learns from the scores of people he meets on his travels around the country to conduct stress management seminars and retells their stories as lessons to his students and seminar followers. Many stories often come from complete strangers whom he calls everyday heroes. "People who, by the grace of God, emerge from what can only be described as a trip to hell with dignity and aplomb. Their experiences ... are testimonials to the use of inner resources and the remarkable human potential to deal with life's challenges in a way that promotes spiritual growth," he says.
He reminds readers they can have their cake and eat it too. Thus, Desserts is a tasty morsel of inspirational triumph of the human spirit. And Seaward gets it all spelled correctly in this, his newest book. Pour a cup of coffee and relax. You may wish to savor this book in small doses, but you'll have trouble reading just one or two stories. They'll captivate you and make you think.
From the same author, another title of interest for readers who seek more inspirational and motivational reading is Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water: Reflections on Stress and Human Spirituality (Health Communications, Inc., 1997.)