WESTFIELD, NJ — Meaghan B Murphy is a terrible cook.

“Seriously awful,” is how the Westfield mother of three children — ages 7, 8 and 10 — describes her culinary skill set. And she’s OK with that gastronomic ineptitude.

“I asked myself: Did it really matter whether I made dinner or Trader Joe’s or Ferraro’s in Westfield did?” Murphy writes in her new book. “So I gave myself permission to accept this was not my thing, and I quit.”

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Letting go of expectations is among the strategies the Woman’s Day editor-in-chief discusses in her book, “Your Fully Charged Life: A Radically Simple Approach to Having Endless Energy and Filling Every Day with YAY.” Through the lens of her own experiences — centered in her hometown of Westfield — Murphy, 45, conveys science-backed strategies for helping people to live more fulfilling lives.

“This is the latest in neuroscience and positive psychology broken down through the lens of real person experience,” she said. Speaking with TAPinto Westfield, Murphy said she went through a gradual transformation, and she wants to help others to do the same.

“I went from basically a walking rain cloud to someone who practically farts rainbows now, and that’s what I want to give everyone else,” she said. “I used myself as a guinea pig essentially.”

Former Westfield “Chief Spirit Officer” under Mayor Andy Skibitsky, Murphy is the creator of the social media phenomenon Bestfield NJ, which is self-described as “a POSITIVE place to celebrate and share everything awesome about Westfield, NJ.”

So, it’s little surprise that Murphy in her book discusses community as key to living a fuller life.

“Embracing your neighborhood, warts and all, gives you the energy to fight them because it gives you something worth fighting for,” she writes. “You may not be able to solve all the problems — maybe you can’t solve any or don’t want to try, which is okay! — you can still do simple things to make it a place that charges you with love and a sense of belonging.”

Murphy recognizes that her cheerful message comes at a time when many are grieving the loss of loved ones to COVID-19 or have suffered other losses as a result of the pandemic. But the timing of her book, she said, is apt.

“Wanting to feel good, wanting to feel happy is OK,” Murphy said. “I think in this moment, it’s OK to feel OK.”

People who are suffering loss, she directs to the book’s final chapter.

“If everyone starts to feel crappy right now, well, it’s because we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the pandemic,” Murphy said. “The tools in ‘The Recharge’ chapter help you to absolutely move through that.”

While her book is available in stores nationwide starting Tuesday, Murphy said, she hopes to make the most significant impact in Westfield.

In Westfield, displays of the book are set up at SOLE ShoesBaron's Drug StoreThe Farmhouse Store and The Town Book Store.

“I want The Town Book Store to be like the in spot,” Murphy said. “And I want my national bestseller friends to be like, ‘How do I do something with The Town Book Store?’”

In Brief

What: “Your Fully Charged Life” is on sale starting Tuesday, Feb 23.
About: Through the lens of her own experiences — centered in her hometown of Westfield — Meaghan B Murphy conveys science-backed strategies for helping people to live more satisfying lives.
Cost: Hardcover $26; E-book $14.99; Audiobook $24.50
Website: meaghanbmurphy.com

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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