Rhonda McClam is a master level educator, Edtech curriculum consultant and Documentarian who struggled to overcome adversity in her childhood. Rhonda is a member of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society. When she is not teaching, she is always looking for something new to learn or a new place to travel.


Trigger Warning

“Flare Up” is shaped around its main character, a guy named Terry, who is a salesman for a prestigious international gallery in New York City. Terry is smart, ambitious, witty, clever and a has gifted eye for art. We follow the main character Terry and other people he meets who change his life for the better. When he first meets some new buyers, Terry discovers that his upscale clients have bid and paid extravagantly for paintings that were not worth the money they were spending. Terry’s rich and fabulous clients began to appreciate art that appeals to their personal aesthetic and sensibilities by learning about different styles such as Impressionist, Pop, and Modern style paintings as well as my favorites, the masters of Renaissance, Spanish & Italian art. With Terry’s guidance, these lesser characters develop a taste for high quality art and build an art collection that can result in a handsome profit, if they were to ever sell their new acquisitions. Through these experiences, Terry’s life and mindset are completely transformed.

Terry learns that he has the power to control his mind which can shape his reality to be the way that he envisioned it to be – one filled with possibilities! Beck’s book, Flare Up, affected me in a very personal way because I can think of plenty of times in my life where I have spent a lot of energy, ensnarled in flare ups over what was really nothing in the scheme of things. I realized that through this book, Beck may be sending a message to his readers – that while one must trust their thoughts and instincts, there is no need to feed into them whenever they pop into your head. “A surge of rage went through him at her crudeness, but he remained calm outwardly.” Terry used a mantra that he repeatedly said in his mind to control his flare ups. Having a mantra helped keep him “calm” whenever he had doubts or felt angry or insecure.

It also worked well when he was offended, disrespected, undervalued, etc. “A flash of rage at her intrusion went through him,” but he figures out how to quash his negative feelings and exercise restraint by not reacting to every impulsive thought particularly the flare ups, “he felt a flash of rage toward her for putting him in this situation.” It is not about what others do, say or how they make you feel – it is more about the response to it.

While I was reading “Flare Up,” I picked up points about how to exercise restraint and not react to every impulsive thought particularly the ones that suddenly flare up. They were seeds planted into readers – giving us the keys to a successful life. I think Beck’s message may be to have a dream, follow it at all costs and suppress the natural urges to react to uncomfortable feelings by focusing on the business at hand. Lately, I have been fortunate enough to read the types of novels that leave me thinking critically long after I finish reading them. “Flare Up” is one of those books. I was reminded of one of life’s biggest lessons, owning what we feel, controlling it and surpassing the feeling so one can focus on being in the moment. So, with that said (written), I wholeheartedly recommend that you pick up or download a copy – it’s definitely a good read!

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