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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book review: Opening the Kimono

Opening the Kimono
A Woman’s Intimate Journey Through Life’s Biggest Challenges

Reviewed by Beth Lowell

Theresa Rose writes: “A kimono is an exquisitely adorned, multi-layered garment that completely covers one’s nakedness, one’s essence.” She contends that all of us wear a kimono of sorts that takes the form of “propriety, calculation and protection” to protect what’s inside, our vulnerabilities, so that we can present a more acceptable, socially correct face to the world.

In writing this book, Theresa, a Reiki Master, intuitive healer, meditation facilitator, and motivational speaker, removes her kimono to expose every dirty secret of her inner life; a process she says that has liberated her. By speaking the truth and confronting what scares her she found that life became not scarier, but as she describes it, juicier.

Speaking of juicy, some of the secrets she shares with readers are:

her lifelong struggle to accept her body – including her challenges with weight and binge eating, an excruciatingly detailed description of her first experience with colonic irrigation, and a closet smoking habit
an intimate look at her love and sex life
her child-raising experiences in which she freely admits feeding her daughter junk food after plopping her in front of the boob-tube
her self-destructive journey up the corporate ladder, out the corporate window, and her unorthodox entry into a healing career
an exploration of her mother’s death
why at midlife she decided to change her name

Theresa describes her book as a rant, a confessional and a tell-all, and the book lives up to her description. Confronting her demons means being frank and detailed about what she did and why she did it – including tackling taboo subjects. I’m not talking about weird sex here. I’m talking about admitting really ugly behavior, like throwing tantrums, reading her daughter’s diary, or becoming so angry that she’s felt like resorting to violence.

She chronicles her life from childhood and demonstrates how easily the demands of society can influence anyone to develop self-destructive coping methods, even at very early ages. Not all chapters pertain to every reader’s life, but each contains lessons that Theresa learned along the way and that readers can apply to almost any challenge they face in their own lives.

This book is addicting because of its conversational tone, the honesty with which it’s written and its universal themes. It exposes what most of us would rather brush under the rug. Despite much of the dark subject matter, it’s funny, it’s irreverent and it’s inspiring.

The end of the book includes a section of discussion starters, developed to encourage readers to tell their own stories. I applaud Theresa Rose’s bravery in documenting her life struggles and opening her kimono in this soul baring act of self-healing.


Blogger Theresa Rose said...


I appreciate the warm and enthusiastic review of my book! Writing it was a transformational experience, and it continues to be humbling to hear how OPENING THE KIMONO is helping others to heal. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my most grateful heart.

Take care, and make it a good one!


Theresa Rose
Author. Speaker. Bringer of the Mojo.

1:22 PM  

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