Book Talk: 26 Days to Practice Peace by Conlee Ricketts
Conlee Ricketts’s 26 Days to Practice Peace is an optimistic self-improvement book composed of twenty-six loosely connected essays, one for each letter of the alphabet.
The no-pretense book is about the redeeming light not at the end of the tunnel but in the dark of the tunnel itself. It is about how to untangle the here and now and find peace in the process. It’s not coincidental that, in Ricketts’s alphabet, A stands for “acceptance.”
The first thing to accept here is that acceptance does not imply approval of, agreement with, admiration of, or any type of absolution. It only means “It is.” … Being able to accept things in my world—as they are—is not a skill developed overnight. This is not for wimps. This is perhaps one of the hardest things I can do on an ongoing basis.
The author emphasizes three required actions to practice peace in twenty-six days. These include reading the essay of the day, reflecting on it, and resolving to “be better, do better,” which, she cautions, “is a pain in the ass. You are forced to look into a mirror that reflects the things that you need to work on about yourself but that you probably don’t realize exist at all.”
Topics range from acceptance, compassion, faith, service, willingness, and others that the author hopes will inspire readers to take charge of their lives and be intentional about practicing peace. As the author says, “You see the world in only one way—your way. No one else matches that. … I choose to view each of us as a tiny spark of the divine” so “today say, ‘I have faith in me today, and if it rains, so be it; this I can handle.’”
Practice, then, not just rose-colored glasses, is the secret to lasting peace. Being intentional within twenty-six days and using Ricketts’s book as a guide may be life-changing. Admittedly, it is the perfect contemplation companion.
Sobering and well-written, Conlee Ricketts’s 26 Days to Practice Peace is sure to be loved by readers everywhere.
Reviews and What Readers Say
" Stress is the inability to strangle the daylights out of someone who desperately needs it.”
It has been proven that stress can, and will, cause all kinds of other bodily maladies, sickness, and disease. As we try to avoid stress and look to the bright side of a situation, some jackass will come along and ruin everything.
Curiously, Conlee Rickett’s book came out at the same time my medical insurance plan offered stress management therapy. Two phone interviews every week by two therapists, they were helping and teaching me to develop ways to keep me from exacting my revenge upon those people and events that insist on ruining my day.
I won’t bore you with the details of my own personal demons, but believe me, I need some serious stress therapy. And it seems to be working.
I read Conlee’s book cover to cover at first reading, and then started over again, using the one chapter each day method of twenty-six days. I’m using her advice along with the practices suggested by my therapists, and it seems to be working.
Conlee has it together so well that I’ve recommended her book to the two therapy ladies who call me each week. And I recommend it to you. By following her A-to-Z one-day-at-a-time advice, it can only help you to forge ahead without having to plot ways to destroy any roadblocks in your path.
Well thought out and extremely well written, this is a valuable book. Her writing style is fun to read, and her humor is spot on. Conlee Ricketts has put a lot of thought into it and it can only help you in the long run.
Thank you, Conlee. Well done."
— Goldie, Amazon Reader's Review
" As a person with at least 5 different books about self help sitting unused on a shelf, I can tell you that I've tried to find something simple and helpful to guide me through the mess of my thoughts and anxiety many, many times. I tend to be easily overwhelmed by my tendency to overthink, so I've not had much success with these books in the past. Conlee Ricketts' work is the first that I've really connected to. Her voice is strikingly honest, disarming any defensiveness that creeps up when I am forced to evaluate my imperfections. Her writing is funny, raw, and purposeful, providing simple ideas to think through and try little bits at a time. That simplicity allows me to feel empowered by the 5 minutes I spend reading a section each day rather than suffocated by one more item on my to-do list.
Giving people advice on how to improve themselves is tricky material to navigate. What stands out to me about this book is its realism. It is not preachy, nor does it try to oversimplify the process we go through as we learn. Conlee's writing feels like the genuine friend we all wish we had that offers kind, compassionate advice and insight. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a nudge in the right direction!"
— Amazon Reader's Review
" Here's how this book works: You read one chapter a day, for 26 days, and the subject of each chapter is a word that begins with one of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Love this concept! (I've had happy flashbacks to my Sesame Street childhood memories, "brought to you by the letter __.") I've had the book only for a couple of days. The first day I read about Accepting, and it turned out that was exactly the message I needed to hear that day. The length of each chapters is about 3 pages, which is a nice, quick read I can fit in at the start of my day. I still have 24 days/chapters to go; so far, I've loved it."
— Cheryl J. Walker, Amazon Reader's Review
" The raw emotion and feeling that Conlee shares in her writing resonates on a personal level. Her honesty and step-by-step thoughts about her own imperfections – imperfections that we all have as humans - is thought provoking, as she makes readers see they are not alone in a complex world. Her advice on practicing personal peace is outlined in a simple, easy-to-read manner that refreshing and practical. I look forward to implementing her words in my own life. "
— D. Fast, Amazon Reader's Review
" I really liked the idea to tackle one day at a time and to keep reviewing the "alphabet" of steps in order to keep growing. Conley's personal stories, as mentioned in other reviews, give her advice a very personal touch."
— Karen T, Amazon Reader's Review
Review by Carla Tierney
Disclosure: This article is a personal endorsement of the professional reviewer. The BookWalker is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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Conlee Ricketts has been an educator for over 30 years with her BSEd in Secondary Mathematics Education from The Ohio State University, and her MEd in Administration/Teacher Leader from Wright State University. Conlee’s honesty and humor help you examine fears and vulnerabilities in a safe lighthearted way. Her life has been about surviving awkward social situations and problem-solving. She is an expert at finding options, organizing a plan, and quieting over-active mind chatter long enough to calm the chaos of an incredibly human and messy life. She lives in Bexley, Ohio, with her daughter, father, and a myriad of pets and their associated dirt.