Tag Archives: Charlotte North Carolina

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.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

IMG_2974“The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout is an eye-opening book not about the people we typically think of with this personality trait.  Upon hearing “sociopath,” we tend to think about serial killers, con-artists, and criminals.  Yes, those types of people are sociopathic, but so are these others that Stout describes in the book.  She claims that 4/100 Americans are actually sociopaths and could be a coworker, neighbor, or significant other.  They are people absent of a conscience, unable to attach emotionally, and only interested in winning or dominating over others.

Stout provides several vignettes of sociopaths of different forms such as a harmful neighbor, high powered executive, and a high school principal.  All fiction of course since she is a Psychotherapist, but descriptive enough to understand the various ways sociopathy can show up.  She explores various ideas of how it is developed, moral development, and cultural issues.  I found it interesting that Eastern cultures that practice Mindfulness tend to have fewer sociopaths as even if some do not have a conscience, they can develop one from a thinking brain.

“Sociopaths are infamous for their refusal to acknowledge responsibility for the decisions they make, or for the outcomes of their decisions.”

Overall, I was interested in her perspective of the more “covert” sociopath as I typically have thought of the more “overt” ones described earlier.  She provided types on identifying as well as the “Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life.”  The statistics she provided, show us that there are more people out there than we have expected and most likely have interacted with many throughout our lives.

Read this book if:

  • You are a Psychotherapist
  • Feel you may have encountered or currently encountering a sociopath
  • Interested in personality traits

Buy it here

Stout, M. (2006). The sociopath next door: The ruthless versus the rest of us. New York: Broadway Books.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Alchemist“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is a short and sweet parable of a boy who sets out to find his “Personal Legend.”  He starts off as a sheep herder who is called to find treasure at the pyramids in Egypt.  He sets out on his journey and meets several different types of people along the way who all provide support and guidance for him discovering his Personal Legend.  The boy also runs into various conflicts along the way from thieves to war in the desert.  The boy learns throughout his adventures to listen to his heart, look for signs, trust the Universe, pursue his goals, and discover the treasure within.

“The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness.  And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy.  To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation.  All things are one.  And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

I’ve listened to this book as well as read it.  It’s a great quote-able and inspiring novel.  I liked how simple and profound it was.  It’s also a quick read.  It was originally written in 1988 by a Brazilian author but did not gain much traction.  It took until the late 90s and some celebrities seen with it before it really exploded.  Paulo Coehlo was interviewed on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday Podcast here and here.

Read this book if:

  • You are interested in an inspiring novel on achieving your dreams and finding purpose
  • You are a young adult setting off into the world

Buy it here.

Coelho, P. (2014). The Alchemist. London: HarperCollins.

Do Nothing: Restorative Yoga Self-Care

View More: http://cariannalynne.pass.us/katie-restorative-workshopWhat I am about to proclaim is radical; you have permission to do nothing.  Do nothing every month, every week, or every day. Go wild and do nothing every hour!  We all have so much to do at home, work, school, and all the places. There will always be something to do.  I promise that you will never get it all done during this lifetime. When we finish one to-do list, another waits right after.  Hitting the pause button in the midst of all the tasks and chaos is what really takes courage. What if we created stillness and silence?  How would that effect the tasks yet to be completed? Would we enter the next activity with more peace and mental clarity? Could it possibly give us energy to get through the rest of the day?

The topic of self-care has become popularized in the last few years.  What is it really? For me, self-care is carving out time and space for yourself without demands and expectations.  For self-care to really benefit us, it is vital to engage in it regularly. Sure, self-care can look like a caramel spice latte at Starbucks, a spa day, or a nice hot bath.  We can spend lots of money on self-care or none. I would like to propose a simple way to practice self-care that can be done virtually anywhere and has no cost(except time).

Judith Hanson Lasater defines Restorative Yoga as “the use of props to create positions of ease and comfort that facilitate relaxation and health.”  That to me sounds like a complete self-care practice. What could be more rejuvenating and compassionate than relaxing and spending time with yourself?  Restorative Yoga can be tremendously beneficial the first time you do it, however, the more consistent practice, the more return. You will notice relaxing quicker, going deeply inward, and more control over your mind.  It also teaches us to do less, move slower, and appreciate the silence. It is meditative in nature meaning that you will go completely inward; a time of introversion. Restorative Yoga looks easy physically but in fact is the hardest style of yoga.  Relaxing the body can be challenging for most of us. Once the body is still, we become aware of our thoughts and feelings that are with us all the time but we just aren’t aware of them. That is the difficult part.  However, if we don’t face our thoughts and feelings, they will find a way to come up; perhaps when you are trying to fall asleep.  Sitting with and witnessing all that arises with compassion is the ultimate self-care.

I suggest to start off small; practice one pose for just a few minutes every day.  Build on that once you feel you are ready. The longer the poses are held the more benefit you will get.  If you have a private space, dim the lights, create warmth, find silence and use what you have to put the body in a position that is conducive to rest.  If you are in a more public space, simply soften your gaze or close your eyes and be with your breath and the stillness. Invest in the props(blankets, blocks, bolsters, eye pillows, sandbags, etc) only if you want to.  You can certainly use pillows, blankets, books, and hand towels as substitutes. If you have the ability, keep your space set up for rest all of the time; you will be more likely to do it if it’s there. Always set a timer so that you are not worrying about time or falling asleep.

A home practice is fabulous and can be so accessible.  Finding an experienced Restorative Yoga teacher, safe studio space, and a container to practice is invaluable.  Attending a yoga class creates community, connection, accountability, among other assets. Restorative Yoga tends to draw many when they need it.  Practicing consistently helps us avoid feeling like we need it as we will already have it in place and may be in a better space to handle the rollercoaster that is life.


Join Katie Overcash Rodgers, LCSW and RYT-200, at Noda Yoga every Thursday at 9:30am and Sunday at 5pm for a 75-minute Restorative Yoga class.  Restorative Yoga for Families is held at Innergy Works every Thursday at 4:30pm.  Katie has been a Mental Health Therapist for over 13 years and a Yoga Instructor for 2 years. Katie is an “Advance Trainer” under Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax and Renew© Program.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater

Living yoga“Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life” by Judith Hanson Lasater is the book for bringing Yoga off the mat with you.  Lasater has such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom on all things yoga.  She breaks each chapter down to principles of Yoga such as courage, fear, suffering, empathy, love, truth, and many more.  While she connects each principle to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, there are other spiritual associations as well.

Each chapter makes understanding the principle accessible, connects it to real life situations, and includes suggestions on how to practice it as well as mantras to accompany the practice.

“Perhaps it means that we are, in every moment, to remember the whole, to remember the gift of life, to remember the preciousness of every second.  When we do this remembering, something shifts inside us.  When we do this remembering, we talk differently, we act differently, and we treat self and others differently.”

What I like about this book, is that you can read it cover to cover, or pick a chapter that resonates with where you are.  Each chapter is something that should be taken in slowly.  I find myself reading the chapters multiple times.  Lasater says that the last chapter on “Worship”(only in 2nd edition) is the best passage she has ever written.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this book, I promise you won’t regret it.

Read this book if:

  • You are a Yogi and interested in how to carry the principles off the mat
  • You are interested in a more spiritual and compassionate life

Buy it Here

Lasater, J. H. (2015). Living your yoga: finding the spiritual in everyday life. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell Press.