by John Rook
Cheshire’s Sandra Centorino considers herself a positive person.
Despite the avalanche of negative news that permeates our everyday lives, Centorino prefers to see the bright side of things — the silver linings visible through the dark clouds.
That’s what led her five years ago to start a mini-podcast where she would share daily messages of positivity on the internet, open to the world. And it’s what led her in the last two years to take that concept and turn it into something more.
Now, work that began as the world was being plunged into a pandemic has now culminated in her first book, “A Dose of Positive Energy: P.S. You’re A Positive Spirit!”
“I have always been into positivity, and have always prayed that God would use me to help other people,” said Centorino. “This was really something I wanted to do to combat all of the negative things we see and hear everyday, especially over the last two years.”
The book is a collection of positive messages and personal stories, compiled from her experiences and the comments of 10 women from whom Centorino solicited anecdotes and advice. Asking the women to honestly recount their thoughts regarding how to stay positive, Centorino recorded their ideas and included them in the book, along with other tips she herself had accumulated over more than five years of producing her mini-podcast.
“It started five years ago,” explained Centorino. “Some things are meant to be taken in small doses, so I thought, what could I do? I do my daily devotions and meditations, so if something struck me, I could open (the recording app) and say what I was thinking.”
The mini-podcasts were offered through Amazon’s “Flash Briefings,” meaning that, once recorded, they could be accessed by anyone from around the world, a realization Centorino came to over time.
“I realized, anyone with Alexa (Amazon virtual assistant technology) could be tuning in and listening,” she said. “I did it for 1,000 days straight. I called it a daily dose of positivity.”
“Technically, I never stopped,” she continued. “It just led to the book.”
Morphing her mini-podcast into a full-fledged book came about as Centorino received feedback from random listeners of her “daily dose” musings. The listeners spoke of how important such positivity had been in their own lives and how helpful it had been to hear something uplifting on a daily basis. Centorino wanted to offer that in a book form.
“Those notes and letters (from random people) put a fire in my heart,” she said. “What could happen, I wondered, if the (dose of positivity) was in physical and audible form?”
Centorino started her journey with research. She connected with people who had themselves written books, asking questions about the process. She then reached out to 10 women, including her two daughters and mother, asking if they’d like to collaborate on the project.
Looking back, Centorino admits that she did things “backwards.” Planning all along to have the book offered in audible form, Centorino asked for voice submissions from her collaborators and recorded the book herself before actually writing anything. When she realized that the book would have to be written for any audio file to be offered, it forced her to essentially start from scratch.
“There were a lot of times when I looked and said, ‘I don’t want to do this,’” she admitted, with a laugh. What kept her going? In large part, her mother.
“The book is dedicated to my mother,” she said. “She was really the one who would be pushing me. We’d be having a conversation and she’d be asking, ‘So, what’s going on (with the book)?’”
Centorino began her work in February of 2020. As it turns out, it was a fortuitous time to begin a book about positivity.
“Over the last two years, everything negative has just been taken to another level,” she said. “As I was going through (the work), I just really kept believing that something like this is needed now more than ever.”
Those who purchase the book will find more of a companion piece than a cover-to-cover read. It includes a mixture of “stories, mantras, and positive affirmations,” Centorino explains. One can choose to skim the chapters and find advice pertaining specifically to an issue at hand, or read bits and pieces on a daily basis to get a needed dose of positivity.
Also, Centorino, in the book, offers ways in which people can become a “positive spirit” in their own lives, providing others around them encouragement each day.
With the successful completion of her first book, Centorino is already on to other projects.
She’s working on a follow-up to “A Dose of Positivity” — a 90-day guide to putting into practice some of the lessons in the first book.
“I think it will kind of be like a journal, helping people reflect after reading (the first book),” she said.
She’s also considering offering a children’s version.
“I am just so very proud, humbled, and blessed to have completed (this book),” she said. “I can’t wait for the next thing.”
To purchase a copy of “A Dose of Positive Energy,”