Karen’s Killer Book Bench: SEE THE BEAUTY, A 30 Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life by Jools Sinclair #non-fiction

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A 30-Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life


Your life is beautiful.

Not your life yesterday. Not your life tomorrow. Your life right now.

But if you’re like most people, you probably don’t feel that way. Under a nonstop onslaught of depressing news stories, social media brain drain, gossip, fake news, and everyday frustrations, your awesomeness gets worn away and lost. And with it, so does your chance at happiness, joy, and the life that you deserve.

See the Beauty: A 30-Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life will help guide you back to seeing your life with clear eyes. Through this daily mindfulness and interactive gratitude program, you will learn to unplug from all the ugly noise and focus instead on the countless wonders that surround you each and every day.


A 30-Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life


The See the Beauty program is a path back to seeing life, your life, as it truly is: amazing, big, and beautiful. It’s a practice of “interactive gratitude” that will help you notice and then record the beauty in your life every day, letting you unplug from a negative world and reawaken into a positive one full of grace and appreciation.

Your life is full of beauty right now, even with the credit card debt, the extra 20 pounds, the divorce, the troubling news in the world, the terrible boss, and the car that makes a funny noise when you accelerate. Even in the midst of all the chaos, you are surrounded in beauty. But if you’re like most people, you barely know it’s there because you’ve fallen into a habit of focusing on the bad instead of the good.

I know this because that’s exactly what I was doing for most of my life. I was living inside a fog and I didn’t even know it. It finally dawned on me one day when I returned from a long walk.

It was during a period when I was writing my bestselling mystery series Forty-Four. Life was good. I was making six figures a year for the first time ever, I had fans waiting for my new releases, and I was doing what I had dreamt about since I was a kid—writing for a living. But for some reason I wasn’t particularly happy. Despite the money and success, most of the time I was still swept up and focused on the nitty-gritty problems of day-to-day living.

One afternoon after hours of being locked up with my main character, I was eager to escape and get some fresh air. Walks have always been an important part of writing for me, a chance to release endorphins while thinking about plots and scenes. So I slipped on my shoes and headed outside.

After a block or so, I stopped thinking about the story and turned my attention to my sore heels, which had been hurting and didn’t seem to be getting any better. This thought led me to thinking about how I probably should go see a doctor, and this thought led to how I had gained weight and didn’t want to get on that scale. As I rounded a corner, my brain hopscotched back to the book I was writing, but suddenly veered over to my frustration about how Forty-Four had been close to being made into a television series, but had lost out to a zombie show. (No, not that zombie show.)

My mind was on a wild ride, Mr. Toad at the wheel with no brakes and plenty of gas. When I turned around and headed back home, it kept going. I thought about obnoxious politicians, annoying celebrities, and about how the housing market had recovered everywhere in the country except the place where I actually owned a house.

When I returned home I drank some water and went over to an open window.

And that’s when it hit me.

The blue skies. Warm air. The smell of hot pine needles in the soft wind. It was the end of summer and the bright leaves had just a hint of orange at the edges. Purple wildflowers grew in the yard, red berries cascaded off vines, butterflies fluttered near the grass.

It was a fantastic time in Bend, Oregon, and I had battled snow and ice and cold temperatures for five months to get to this brief oasis of sunshine and warmth. And yet on the walk I had missed all of it, hadn’t even given it a second glance.

It was a startling and painful realization. But then I thought of something else.

What if this was happening all the time?

What if I spent most days focused on the negative aspects in life while ignoring the blessings around me?

Not long after, I started a simple daily practice of noticing the beauty in my life and recording it in a journal. And not just natural beauty like sunsets and colorful leaves, but all kinds. Everything that I saw, touched, tasted, heard, smelled, and felt. The beauty of the people I interacted with, the beauty of good writing, the beauty in the books I read and the music I listened to. The beauty in drinking a glass of wine at four o’clock on the deck, the soft fur of my cat at my fingertips.

I wanted to give these moments their proper respect, give them the attention they deserved. I certainly focused a lot on all those bad, grating things, why not spend at least 20 minutes a day thinking about all the good ones?

I made the commitment to sit down in the late afternoon every day with my journal for one month. And because I wanted this new practice to be fun and not just another writing obligation, I bought some nice colored pencils to sketch little illustrations alongside my short entries.

I put all of it in my journal, big moments of beauty and little moments. Everything. The email from a reader who loved my books, red-gold sunsets, cooking lasagne alla bolognese, the conversation I overheard between two five-year-olds talking about Batman, watching a Dodger game, a full moon rising up over the mountains, impromptu and silly dancing with my husband.

And, as the weeks went by, something magical happened. I started seeing more and more beauty, and it soon felt like I had entered into another world. A world that existed right there beside the negative one. A place that left me feeling happy and appreciative.

And that was how See the Beauty was born.

The program is not about slapping a happy face on devastating events or pretending that life is wonderful when you’re experiencing difficulties and are in a dark night of the soul. And it’s not about picking up a pencil and drawing a flower when everything feels like it’s falling apart.

Life is hard. But, if we’re honest, most of us would agree that our lives aren’t falling apart most of the time. Still, we’re in the habit of giving our attention and power over to negativity, a darkness that drains our energy and spirit. This negativity is everywhere, wanting and needing and feeding off the light inside us.

It’s on our phones, tablets, and laptops. It’s on the television at the gym when we’re trying to do a workout and at the hotel breakfast bar. It’s in the lunchroom chatter as we refill our coffee mugs. We have a tendency to not only listen to bad news and gossip, but we also spend valuable time reacting to it.

I’m not suggesting that you should remain ignorant or uncaring of the world’s woes. What I am saying is that you should be the one in charge of your focus. Not Fox News or CNN. Not the White House. Not Wall Street or Madison Avenue. You.

See the Beauty is a simple practice that allows you to step back, unplug, and start giving yourself a little time each day to appreciate your amazing life. And when you do this, you’ll begin seeing the following:

  • Instead of lack, you’ll see the abundance that surrounds you;
  • Instead of desire for the things you don’t have, you’ll feel gratitude for all the wonders that you already possess; and
  • Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a mean, crazy, and out-of-control world, you’ll begin to see that your own life is really not so mean, so crazy, or so out-of-control but bursting with beauty.

While I can’t say that all my problems and habits of negative thinking have vanished since starting this practice years ago, I can tell you that making a conscious effort to notice beauty has helped cultivate a deep reverence and appreciation for my life.

Most days you’ll find me sitting at the table in the late afternoon with my journal open and a pencil in hand. It’s a routine that I am grateful to have found and am so excited to share with you.

Because the core of the See the Beauty program is about love, it is the perfect companion to all religions, philosophies, and beliefs.

So, welcome! I’m so glad that you’re here!

Thank you SO much Karen for having me on your amazing blog!

Meet Author Jools Sinclair…

Sinclair is a bestselling author, teacher, speaker, and the creator of SEE THE BEAUTY, a program that helps people celebrate the beauty in their lives. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.


Links to Jool’s website, blog, books, etc.


**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: Jools is giving away a See the Beauty: A 30-Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life Giveaway: One 30-Day class (either through Udemy or her website) to one lucky reader and one SEE THE BEAUTY Ebook to another lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. That’s two lucky readers!

Thanks, Jools, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

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23 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: SEE THE BEAUTY, A 30 Day Celebration of Your Magnificent Life by Jools Sinclair #non-fiction

  1. Jools, you are wise for being what appears to be young, and it’s true, the beauty is all around us and inside us, too, for we can’t appreciate the beauty of nature and nature’s children without the beauty inside of us making that connection. The book sounds as though it is also a Journal. A friend and editor gave me a writer’s journal at one time and I’ve never used it. Now is the time to record the beauty all around us, as spring approaches!

    • Jools says:

      Hi, Kenna! You are right…this book/program/class does involve keeping a journal which will help you create a practice of gratitude by recording the beauty that you see every day…AND YES! Spring is the perfect time to start, especially being that you already have a beautiful journal there waiting for you 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Love, Jools

  2. Samantha McFarland says:

    About 9 years ago, I took an adult spirituality class. My professor told us that he now spends part of the year living with a group of Indians in the mountains above Sante Fe, NM. He said that he went for a short time to study with them and after returning to campus realized that he saw not only the gardens on campus but the deep reds of the roses against the greens of the leaves and stems. He said that he learned to meditate each day which helped him see all around him. He encouraged us to find some type of meditation to do the same…

    Sounds like your book is filled with some great advice as well. I do think many people forget what’s important in life. What a great book to share.

    • Jools says:

      Hi, Samantha! I love this comment….There’s a short essay in the book that talks about how we all have these moments (like you’ve mentioned above) even without meditation. For example, it’s very easy to see the beauty of a tree or flower or horses in the field right after you’ve gotten off a plane after a horrific, turbulent flight. Or after you’ve battle Norovirus and you’re back on your feet….the world is SO beautiful then! Seeing the beauty after coming through something hard is almost a natural reaction, and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to capture that feeling more often, but without the bad plane trips and stomach flu? I wanted to really see the roses against the green, like you’ve mentioned. It just takes a little shift in thinking and a little time each day. Thanks SO much for your comment here! Love, Jools

  3. Karen Docter says:

    Good morning, Jools, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. It’s amazing at how often we lose sight of the beauty and life around us while we deal with all of the little and big stuff in our lives. It’s good to be reminded. Whenever my mother-in-law saw me she’d ask, “Are we having fun yet?” She was the most upbeat person I ever knew and she taught me a lot about enjoying life as we live it. Of course, I also nearly died delivering my youngest and I’ve looked for the beauty and laughter in every day since. Life’s too short not to! Thanks for sharing with us, Jools!

    • Jools says:

      Hi, Karen! YAY and thank you so much for having me here on your fabulous blog, and what a great story about your mother-in-law helping you to see the beauty!!
      I absolutely love talking about this book and program, LOVE helping people to remember that their lives are so full of beauty right now, this very moment. It’s quite a departure from the books I usually write (ghosts and crime fiction), but it called to me and I felt compelled to share this message…and I’ve loved every moment of this new journey. Thanks again, Karen, and happy Wednesday!

  4. Meg says:

    This books is amazing, Jools! I can honestly say that your program has had such a huge impact on my life. Thank you so much for writing it and reminding people of what’s truly important.

    • Jools says:

      Yay, Meg, and Woot Woot!! Thank you SO much for your comment here….I am touched beyond words. And btw, I LOVE your particular journaling style…the one beautiful art page per day is stunning!! Thank you for suggesting it and for being part of the See the Beauty Project!!

  5. Debbie Butler says:

    See the Beauty changed the way I look at the world around me. It made me notice what I had previously only glanced at. And I discovered an artistic side I never knew I had. I’m a fan of all Jools Sinclair’s work, but especially this book. I took my first class with Jools around the time my husband died. It truly helped me through one of the darkest times in my life. I had so much support from my fellow class members and from Jools. This lady practices what she preaches. Her passion is helping others see the beauty in our all too often ugly world. The beauty is there! Thank you, Jools, for what you give to the world. You are truly an inspiration.

    • Jools says:

      Aw, Debbie, WOW and thank YOU so much for this comment!! I am amazed by YOU, taking the See the Beauty class during such a hard, turbulent year. As you know, I have a lot of posts about how sometimes we just aren’t able to see the beauty (and how that’s okay) and somehow in your darkest period you continue to search for light. YOU amaze me, Debbie…thank you for stopping by here 🙂

  6. Jan Williams says:

    I have had ordeals beyond the usual and “Seeing the Beauty” has been the best therapy. We forget how much beauty surrounds us. I am so grateful and happy that Jools wrote this book. Jools is truly an amazing beautiful person! Thank you my dear friend!

    • Jools says:

      Jan, WOW and thank YOU so much!!! And I couldn’t agree more with your fabulous comment here that most of us do forget how much beauty is in our lives. It’s so easy to do, isn’t it? But it’s also so easy to begin a daily habit of seeing the beauty… Thank you Friend Jan for stopping by today!! 🙂

  7. Linda B says:

    Thank you for the wonderful inspiration that gets away from all of us, time after time.
    I have 3 daughters and want to share this book with them on Mother’s Day. They are in their late 40’s and life seems to be a little rough for them right now. I know that they have not slowed down long enough to “stop and smell the roses”
    This is what they need right now. So again thank you.
    I, also, love the cover.
    Karen, thank you for bringing this book to our attention.

    • Jools says:

      OH, Linda, I LOVE your comment here and thank you for writing.
      I agree..I think this message (which is really just a reminder to incorporate gratitude into your life every day) is so important! This program will help create a practice of seeing the beauty every day. I have students keep an “interactive gratitude” journal in which they record beauty. It only takes 20 minutes, is fun, and so simple. And yet…this practice is powerful. I’m so glad you saw this today, and am excited that you want to share my book with your daughters! Honestly, I can think of nothing better than reminding our children that their lives are full of beauty if they just take a little time to look. Bravo! Love, Jools

  8. Eileen AW says:

    I love this attitude. After having a heart attack 19 years ago, yes I was a youngster, I started realizing that I needed to slow down and enjoy life. Then I lost my younger sister 4 years ago and my hubby lost his older brother a couple of months beforehand, so we decided life was too short to not do the things that made us happy and gave us pleasure. We started to travel more which made us happy. We took a couple of cruises, planned a trip to Amsterdam & Paris, and make sure we go away to warmer weather in the winter. It has truely made me happier and less unaware of the life around me.

    • Jools says:

      Hi, Eileen~ I LOVE this!! Isn’t it so strange that often the best lessons come out of our hardest days? I like to remind myself of that when I’m in a hard day (or week), that something good is brewing up on the other side. I am so in awe that you and your husband created this new, exciting life, with the idea blossoming out of hardship…and I so love this. But do you know what’s also interesting? Right now, today, in your home and without having to go anywhere amazing and exotic, you are surrounded so much beauty! it’s right there waiting for you to see it. It’s just a question of creating a practice so that you begin noticing every day. Thank you so much for commenting here….such great stories and insight. Love, Jools

  9. Sheila Kurilla says:

    I have this amazing life. I do. But within this amazing life is my all to real struggles with depression. I used 30 days to beauty. I used the hell out of this idea. I clung to the idea that small moments will make the difference. I just needed to find those small moments. There were times I couldn’t journal what I discovered, but I was always grateful for the discoveries.
    This is my new norm. I face everyday with the realization that I WILL find something beautiful; and I do. Even in the depth of my depression, there are cornels to be discovered. You see, I have this beautiful life. It may not be perfect, I may be flawed, but I am able to see that my beautiful mess is mine. And I am blessed to have it.

    • Jools says:

      Oh, YES, Sheila, thank you for sharing your story here…I’m beyond words reading this…I know many people will be able to relate, and I’m also so glad that the See the Beauty program was helpful. That’s exactly it…what you said here….we all have these amazing and BEAUTIFUL lives, (and we sure find this out don’t we, when we face that turbulent flight, the scary diagnosis, the Norovirus?)….and yet so many of us fail to notice even a fraction of this beauty on a daily basis. We give hours of our attention to bad news and stupid news, fights and gossip, problems and bills, and yet…when it comes to the amazing beauty surrounding us, such as breathing easily, that glorious sunset, the daffodils blooming in the garden, birds making nests in a nearby tree, a deep blue sky with mild temps, a plate of delicious enchiladas on the table, a car that works, our smiling and happy children….we often just ignore it. So this book, this program, this class is about learning how to spend a little time each day embracing the beauty that surrounds us. I think it’s so important. Your message here is so awesome… that even with dealing with depression, you are STILL able to see the beauty in your life. What an amazing thing… Thank you SO much for sharing. Love, Jools

  10. Helen Drake says:

    What a wonderfully upbeat book! It doesn’t matter your age or circumstances. Everyone can benefit from looking at their life from a different perspective!

    • Jools says:

      Hi Helen! Thank you for the kind words here and for leaving a great comment!!! I totally agree too that absolutely everyone can benefit by seeing the beauty….there’s SO much when you start paying attention and noticing! Love, Jools

  11. bn100 says:

    sounds nice

  12. Jools says:

    Hi Helen! Thank you for the kind words here and for leaving a great comment!!! Love, Jools

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