Review: To Hold The Sun by Chas Watkins

Copyright: Charles Watkins, Published: 1st March 2013, 2nd Edition

Cover and internal photographs, copyright, Shawn Jackson,

Description (from iRead Book Tours):

This delightful and engaging story outlines the experiences of a young, poor, and disillusioned reporter who is enticed to do a series of articles about Paul, an unconventional philosopher and motivational speaker. In lieu of payment, he gets to travel to and dive on Roatan, arguably one of the most beautiful, pristine islands in the Caribbean. Through a series of meetings, the reporter gets to know Paul’s innermost philosophies. He learns an alternate way of living from a man who strives to perfect handstands on a dock and practices the art of happiness.

The author developed the book as a guide to help his children live their lives in a way that would allow them to enjoy the journey. Drawing on wildly diverse disciplines including stoicism, neuroscience, skepticism, behavioral economics, and spirituality; the reader is taken on a journey that exposes the author’s philosophy of life. He demonstrates that happiness is indeed a choice.

My Review (3 Stars: Liked it!)

The reporter of this fictional story has an assignment to conduct a series of interviews, with Paul, on the picturesque Caribbean Island, Roatan.  Paul and the reporter, talk about approaches to life and how to be happy and healthy.

Below are only some of the topics presented.

Paul starts with explaining steps in visualization exercises to replace negative emotions and later discusses meditation in greater detail.

Also, Paul explains that the best way to bring about change is to make accomplishments one at a time. Each success will have a “ripple effect.”  He explains ways to lessen the need for willpower by creating habits. He uses health and lifestyle in his examples.

Paul presents the reporter with questions guiding him to be introspective about his beliefs and discusses the concept of free will.

Paul then discusses “foundation principles”:

“These are basic principles, that if we understand and accept, are meant to help us build the positive changes we all want in our lives.” p. 59

“Conscious Growth.” p.59

“You can’t control what happens to you, so condition yourself on how to react.” p. 62 

“Frame the situation correctly and ask empowering questions.” p.77-78 

“Time will change us, so choose the change.” p. 91

How to deal with biases that affect us, such as when shopping or watching the news are discussed.

Additional extra points are discussed:

“Simplify your life – Wants are not needs”  p. 129

“Embrace difference – Live with contradiction” p.130 

“Live without regret – Mistakes are just growing pains” p. 131 

“Health matters – Exercise each day, eat well and sleep” p.132 

“Be selfish – By serving others!” p. 133 

If you are struggling with negative emotions or the inability to make lifestyle changes, this book is encouraging and provides helpful methods and strategies.  It is written in a conversational tone.  Many examples and analogies are presented.
We also get a feel for the beautiful island, Roatan as many aspects of it are described.  My paperback copy of the book included black and white photos of the island before each chapter as well.  Roatan looks/sounds like a wonderful place to visit or live and go diving.
The author Chas Watkins wrote this book as a guide for his children and has generously shared his advice with others.  I would like to thank Chas Watkins and iRead Book Tours for providing me with this book free of charge for review.

About The Author (from iRead Book Tours)

Chas Watkins was born and raised in England and is a naturalized Australian. His children are all American, which Chas-Watkinshe finds very confusing. He moved to Roatan nine years ago. He has an unused degree in electronics from Hull University in England and has somehow managed to work for many fine and good companies without being fired.

After the raging madness of the dotcom world in California, he moved to Roatan to settle with his family. Chas currently pretends to work as a Realtor and Radio DJ. He reads an awful lot, watches the sunrise and sunset every day and consumes way too much coffee. He runs on the beach in the mornings, practices handstands, and lives happily on Roatan with his cat Gary and the children who have not yet deserted him.
Even on his best day he is nothing like his character Paul, but strives to be so.
Occasionally he “likes to dance as if no one is watching” which is ironic as his dancing makes people stare. If you are really unlucky, you may meet him, and whatever you do, don’t offer him a drink as he is a very rude and uninteresting person.

Connect with Chas here:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book, To Hold The Sun by Chas Watkins, free from Author Marketing Experts and iReadBookTours.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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