Stretch...1, 2, 3...and release...1, 2, 3. Actress ("Queen Sugar", playwright and motivational speaker Tina Lifford takes the readers on an inner workout to help get rid of patterns that can weigh you down.

Her book, "The Little Book of Big Lies: A Journey Into Inner Fitness," comes out of the actress' Inner Fitness Project. This initiative promotes inner health and well-being and tries to help people get through the negative things in their lives.

The author's career as an actress has led to film credits such as "Grand Canyon," "Blood Work," "Colors," "Pay It Forward," "Catch and Release," "Panic," and "Hostage." She has guest-starred on more than 25 television series, most notably "Parenthood". She also co-starred in the miniseries "The Temptations."

The chapter titles gradually go from negative experiences into positive circumstances ("Are You Thinking That Some Pain Lasts Forever?" to "Do You Think That How You Feel Doesn't Matter?" then to "What if 'One Day' Starts TODAY?" So it's an uplifting read as you get all the way to the end.

The book is also very focused on follow-up and isn't just preachy. Lifford offers gentle tips with "try this" practices, such as sitting in a chair and practicing self-awareness of your body as you breathe. There are also mantras "freedom is possible," I matter. I am worthy. I have value" for the reader to say whenever they sense negative thoughts coming into their minds.

The self-help book also points Lifford's readers/students to online resources and encourages them to further educate themselves. This is commendable when she could just steer them to her website and its offerings. So the author goes beyond the norm in the self-help genre.

Lifford also uses her social media to shore up the lessons from her book, so readers can check out @tinalifford on Instagram for some quick-hit videos.

"The Little Book of Big Lies: A Journey Into Inner Fitness," 224 pages, Amistad, November 2019, $23.99.

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