Category Archives: Books

Katie’s Bookshelf: Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Rising strong“Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brene Brown is the third book in her sequence about overcoming adversity and coming out the other side even better than before.  Brown references “being in the arena” where we reckon(with our uncomfortable emotions), rumble(with the stories we create including shame), and rising from the fall braver and stronger that creates the new revolution that we live.

“The Rising Strong Process; The goal of the process is to rise from our falls, overcome our mistakes, and face hurt in a way that brings more wisdom and wholeheartedness into our lives.”

In Brene Brown fashion, she explores the falls we all experience in life(mistakes, death, loss, etc), and how vulnerability, shame, courage, failure, perfectionism, just to name a few, play into it.  She divides the book into chapters of what it takes to “Rise Strong.”  Each chapter includes a vignette or two(usually from her own experience), the reckoning, the rumble, and the revolution.

You cannot go wrong with anything that Brene Brown creates.  The topics are so relate-able and so is she.  You will find yourself identifying with her vignettes and even laughing through this exploration of difficult topics and experiences.  I especially liked her reference to the Pixar Movies formula for their storylines.

Read this book if:

  • You are human(because we all know we love her work and have all experienced fall)

Buy it Here 

Brown, B. (2017). Rising Strong. Random House US.

 

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

Untethered“The Untethered Soul; The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael A Singer explores the mind and our thoughts and how they create suffering in life.  We tend to attach to our thoughts and believe them to be truth; truth about other, the world, circumstances, and ourselves.  Singer calls our thoughts our “inner roommate.”  He emphasizes the importance of being a non-judgmental observer of our thoughts in order to avoid attachment.

“Through meditation, through awareness and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your {energy} centers open.  You do this by just relaxing and releasing.  You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over.  Remember, if you love life, nothing is worth closing over.  Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.”

This book is a great compliment to Yoga and Meditation.  In both practices, the “monkey mind” is what we are really working with.  During Yoga(especially Restorative and Yin) and Meditation, we still our bodies and become aware of the mind.  The mind is always moving and bouncing, we just are not aware of it during the day because we are over stimulated.  Being a witness to the activity of the mind without creating a story or judgement is challenging.  Singer’s book brings awareness to how much energy and suffering there is when we identify with our thoughts and judgments.

“You are not your thoughts; you are aware of your thoughts.  You are not your emotions; you feel your emotions.  You are not your body; you look at it in the mirror and experience this world through its eyes and ears.  You are the conscious being who is aware of all these inner and outer things.”

Overall, this book resonated with me.  As a Therapist, Yoga Instructor, lover of Yogic Philosophy, and Yogi, the concepts align well with what I talk about and practice.  I feel as if we are all looking for a way to live more peacefully within ourselves without the burden of the mind.

Read this book if:

  • You practice Yoga or Meditation
  • Love Yoga Philosophy
  • Interested in detaching from your thoughts
  • Want to deepen your relationship and understanding of the Self

Buy it Here

Singer, M. A. (2013). The untethered soul: The journey beyond yourself. Oakland, CA: Noetic Books, Institute of Noetic Sciences, New Harbinger Publications.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Go Wild by Richard Manning and John Ratey

Go wild“Go Wild; Eat Fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being” by Manning and Ratey uses the premise of going back to our “wild” nature to achieve more overall health.  They explore running and exercise, nutrition, sleep, nature, the brain, and our tribe as all areas to return to our roots.  They are not discouraging modern medicine or advancements, but do know there is some wisdom in our past as well as the absence of human conditions that have been on the rise in modern society.

Each chapter was divided by subject matter and provided scientific research, vignettes, as well as the author’s opinions.  Most of the chapters were accessible, easy to get through, and provided a new perspective on overall health and well-being.  Many of the suggestions were not earth shattering or new concepts to me.  It was appreciated to have these suggestions reinforced though.

The book ends with both of the author’s journeys on how they became passionate about returning to the wild and their own afflictions.  I don’t think it’s  a bad read and can help provide some useful information on better ways to conduct our lives.

Read this book if:

  • Interested in the overall approach to well-being

Buy it here.

Ratey, J. J., & Manning, R. (2014). Go wild: Eat fat, run free, be social, and follow evolutions other rules for total health and well-being. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Five Things We Cannot Change by David Richo

IMG_3027“The Five Things We Cannot Change…and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them” written by David Richo outlines the givens in life and how to live more with an “unconditional yes.”  His 5 givens are:

  1. Everything Changes and Ends
  2. Things Do Not Always Go According to Plan
  3. Life is Not Always Fair
  4. Pain is a Part of Life
  5. People are not Loving and Loyal All of the Time

Reread that list.  Wow.  Seems like a glass of cold water was thrown in your face huh?  We all know these things and have experienced them but for someone reason they are hard to accept.  We want the good experiences to last forever, we like to plan and know what is going to happen next, we want fairness, pain hurts, and we expect people to treat us well.  When these things happen, we suffer.  We will suffer less when we accept that these conditions are a part of life and happen to everyone.  No adult or any person of significant age is immune.Richo spends a chapter on each unpacking them.  He then moves into the refuges and gifts from the givens.

“Positive resourceful refuges are relationships, friendships, art, nature, music, creativity, career, entertainment, meditation, and the variety of non-hurtful ways we have of fulfilling our own deepest needs and wishes.”

The last section of the book focuses on the “unconditional yes;” how to become yes, yes to feelings, and a yes to who I am.  He does use spiritual references with a heavy emphasis on nature and Buddhism.Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and appreciated the simplicity of the givens of life he outlined as well as how to accept them with the least amount of suffering.

Read this book if:

  • You are an adult.

Buy it here

Richo, D. (2008). The five things we cannot change: And the happiness we find by embracing them. Boston: Shambhala.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

brenebrownletgo“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown is one of her earlier works but such a “go to.”  It’s a book on letting go of our perceptions and “shoulds” of who we are supposed to be and cultivating who we are.  Much of Brown’s work focuses on shame, vulnerability, authenticity, and empathy.  One of her messages about dealing with the shame monster is to “share your shame with someone who has earned the right to hear it.”

The book starts off exploring Courage, Compassion, and Connection.  I think this ties in nicely with her common themes as we need courage to be vulnerable and share our shame, which breeds compassion, and drives connection.  The next section is on Love, Belonging, and Being Enough.  Sit with that for a minute.

“It’s as simple and complicated as this: If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.”

The remainder of the book is filled with 10 Guideposts of cultivating and letting go.  She has chapters on topics such as self-compassion, resiliency, creativity, and calm and stillness.  I just love the topics that she chooses and how she frames them as what we need to cultivate more of and what we need to let go of.  At the end of each chapter, she has a section called, “Dig Deep” where she provides suggestions on practicing what we are cultivating.

Overall, I loved this book!  It’s such a simple read and can be read at various times not necessarily succinctly.  Brene Brown’s work is so hot right now and she does an incredible job of making the material so relatable and easily digestible.  You cannot go wrong with any of her books!

Read this book if:

  • You are a human.

Buy it here

Brown, B. (2010). The Gifts of Imperfection. Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden.