Fiona Robyn's new book is a great read for those who appreciate a sympathetic companion on the road to intentional awareness.
I have enjoyed Fiona's sharp eye for the overlooked and missed treasures of each day regularly recorded on her "a small stone" blog. Fiona has the enviable ability to capture salient feelings, insights, and humour in a few choice words. Her gentle encouragement to face the complexities of being who you are is a happy antidote to the many voices trying to convince you to be someone you're not. Her friendly voice and cheerful enthusiasm are infectious.
I also like Fiona's honesty, and she starts her book the way I wish all books started, with a clear outline of what to expect from, and how best to use, the book. She wonders aloud about her reader, and through this wondering I felt included. What a thing to be included right from the start of a book. She gives her credentials, and answers the "why should you listen to me" question. Have you ever wondered, "Is this author's advice coming from an academic understanding, personal experience, or both?" Fiona tells you right from the start. Like a good writer should, she has ingested whole years of words, ideas, observations, and poetic turns of phrase, from countless books, and synthesised it all into accessible prose, studded with observations from her daily life. The beauty of literature married to the experiential.
Each selection starts with an anecdote or experience from Fiona's life, followed by some questions and a suggestion for the week, and a couple of choice quotes. The questions are not the sorts that have yes or no answers, they are the kind that make you look into space while your inner eye probes the neural web of your heart, coaxing out answers that you want to find. There are themes that run through the book such as simplicity, the importance of reflective thinking, and making friends with the difficult bits of you.
As part of the age-old and newly discovered wisdom of adequacy, Fiona appears to believe that her reader has the answers to the questions she put forth. Think how nice it would be to spend a year with a fellow traveler like that!