If ever a writer were entitled to a woe-is-me attitude, it’s Alexia Franklin. A former nurse and cleaning business owner, she has been through very tough times, including the death of a spouse, a serious illness, and the mess left behind by an Internet thief who bilked her out of her money and caused her to lose her home.
To her credit, in From Fear to Peace the author focuses on the simple strategies she discovered while trying to cope, rather than on her miseries. Franklin’s short book (the size of a children’s picture book) begins with a compelling introduction and then offers brief chapters—most no more than a page long—that spotlight a single topic, such as “Two Things that Helped Me” and “Five Easy Ways to Start the Day.”
In each, she shares straightforward steps she took to feel better and shed her own pessimism. “Compliment a stranger,” she writes in a chapter on how to begin shifting negative thoughts into positive ones. In another, she suggests asking God or the universe: “How can I serve you?”— to orient your mind toward helping someone else’s day go well. In times of hardship, she reminds us that any relief from worry and fear is precious: “I relaxed, even if only for five minutes.”
It’s apparent that Franklin is not a professional writer. Her prose lacks depth and nuance. Frequently her advice is unclear and requires greater context, such as when she discusses “Holosync Therapy” and “Return to Love Frequencies” without first explaining exactly what they are and how to implement them.
Still, her raw vulnerability (she also notes that she has dyslexia, which surely made writing the book even more challenging) is inspiring and the book can easily be read in one sitting. It’s a quick and welcome reminder that, yes, things will get better, especially if you are kind to yourself.
Also available as an ebook and audio book.