Local author publishes guide for ‘the best day of your life’Written by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
Even though she is a journalist and blogger, Jennifer S. White got her first smartphone less than a year ago. She is still not used to it and warns people she might mute the conversation with the side of her face.
“I’m 34 but I feel like 99,” she said.
Many things, including smartphones, provide convenience. But with that comes the challenge of taking a healthier possibly less convenient route, something White faces daily.
“If I have a car and I can drive there, why the hell would I walk?” she said. “We have everything at the touch of our fingers and it’s hard to force ourselves to slow down and remember that the biggest changes in our lives come from small, tiny tortoise-like steps toward growth. I think it can be overwhelming for people.”
White, a former Toledo Free Press columnist, wrote about this and more in her self-published book “The Best Day of Your Life: A Guide to Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary,” available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The book discusses everyday practices to help readers reset a bad mood, beat stress, overcome loneliness, deal with anger and more. White said the intention is for readers to first read the book in full but then go back and work on specifics “one step, one day, one moment at a time.”
She said trying to put the practices in place can be challenging.
“I wanted the book to be a personal tool,” White said. “If you’re having a day where you’re feeling angry or frustrated, there’s a chapter you might want to read.
“Or if you’re having a day where you’re feeling lonely or kind of depressed, there’s [another] chapter you might want to read.”
White has been a yoga practitioner for more than 20 years. She said she hated the first class she took.
“I was so bored,” she said. “But I think, over time, if you stick with the actual physical practice of it, the mindfulness kind of comes into it.”
In her first chapter, “Make Every Day Your Best Day,” White says there are many ways of practicing yoga — while riding a bike, taking a scenic walk or eating breakfast — by just focusing on breathing.
“The idea of practicing yoga on a mat is maybe even sexy and kind of fun with cute clothes, but it’s really about being present in ourselves,” she said. “Even though this is not a yoga book at all, it’s very yoga-flavored and that is also unintentional. [Yoga] becomes a part of who you are.”
White said she caught herself focusing on her breathing when she recently got into a car accident with her 4-year-old daughter, Gemma.
“[I was] just trying to stay present with the situation at hand and that’s something that when you practice a lot physically, it comes to you naturally, I believe,” she said.
White said everything she writes is for Gemma, including this book.
“My writing changed and took on a new avenue after I had her,” she said. “As a parent … what I want for my child is for her to be confident and happy in herself and her life.”
White said her writing became more honest after she had Gemma.
“For me, being a parent is about connecting with the parts of myself that I’m supposed to be embarrassed of … like my temper or my ADHD,” she said. “I’ve written about having an eating disorder in the past. Those are the types of things that we’re supposed to feel ashamed of [and I’m] showing her that I don’t have shame.”