"I do not merely rise above old wrongs; I deny them their reality. I sever my connections to darker times and circumstances. I take people with a fresh eye and an open heart, as they come to me today. Their old dossiers have expired. Our new story has yet to be written."
With the characteristic candor and down-to-earth charm that have won our admiration and our hearts, Sarah Ferguson The Duchess of York shares the hard-won lessons that have helped her work through challenges and lead a simpler, more fulfilling life.
Admired as much for her honest assessment of her foibles as for her grace in the glare of the media's spotlight, The Duchess here reveals her most private self. She shares the truths she has discovered from embracing her flaws, striving to make every life decision with integrity, and witnessing the selfless acts of others around her. She takes on challenges both small and daunting -- from putting strangers at ease in a social setting to coping with the death of her beloved best friend; from appreciating the small wonders of the natural world to protecting private time with her girls while honoring her many work commitments. Each lesson springs from a life rich with disappointments and victories, and each lesson is seasoned with a healthy dose of humility and warm wit.
Although her personal struggles have been played out on the public stage, The Duchess's thoughtful, simple approach applies to the struggles we all face. Like sharing a cup of tea with your closest confidante, What I Know Now offers advice for the everyday as it illuminates the delightful spirit, undeniable resilience, and trademark grace under fire of a woman who considers every challenge an opportunity to learn and grow.
In her latest volume, a collection of"small tales" and personal reflections, Ferguson reveals her hard-won, earthy and proverbial philosophy of life. The 46 lessons herein ("Finding Empathy,""Choosing Battles,"Slowing Down") are commonsensical enough be called self-evident: in her short reminiscences, Fergie explains that we sometimes eat for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger, that beauty comes from within and that it's important to take time to stop and smell the flowers (or stare at the pheasants), have good manners, laugh readily and breathe deeply. When she explains that she rented a four-bedroom country house to learn how to"live small," or that she engaged Geri Halliwell's yoga teacher ("I rang up Katyana and asked if she could take a month off...to teach me, too") to learn the benefits of"breathing deep," readers may wonder just how hard it all was. Still, there's a lot to admire about the gutsy Ferguson, and for serious Royal-watchers, there are enough fun tidbits (e.g., the"hen night" when she and Princess Diana donned wigs and police uniforms and got arrested outside Buckingham Palace) to keep the preaching fun.