Tag Archives: trauma

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

Taoofpooh“The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff is a cute little book exploring the principles of the philosophy of Taoism.  Hoff uses the characters, predominately Pooh to show how their traits and actions reflect Taoism.  Such as Pooh being the epitome of the “Uncarved Block,” when he has used his “inner nature,” and following the “Way” by not forcing or interfering and experiencing life as it happens.

“It means that Tao doesn’t force or interfere with things, but lets them work in their own way, to produce results naturally.  Then whatever needs to be done is done.”

Each chapter explores a different aspect of Taoism including a conversation with Pooh and a story or two to drive it home.  I have tried reading the “Tao Te Ching” that this book was based on and found it more difficult to understand, but it started to click more for me by reading this.  I was also interested in this book as oftentimes the characters of Winnie the Pooh are symbols of mental health diagnoses.  Overall, I think this is a cute and simple explanation of Taoism.

Read this book if:

  • You are interested in Taoism
  • Have read the “Tao Te Ching”
  • Love Winnie the Pooh

Buy it Here

Hoff, B. (1982). The Tao of Pooh. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Wash face“Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis is a book about the lies we believe and how to stop believing them in order to live your most full life.  Rachel owns an event planning company in LA as well as runs a lifestyle blog.  She uses her own experience growing up to explore the lies we are told by our parents, friends, society, media.  Her influence primarily comes from interaction with her blog and social media followers to expose what real life is like without the curated stuff.

“It also might be helpful to remember that someone else is praying to have the kind of  chaos you’re currently crying about.  What I mean is, the things you think  are so difficult could be someone else’s dream come true.”

Each chapter is titled with a lie, explored through Rachel’s life and lens, and ends with what has helped her overcome and shed that lie.  She comes from a Christian perspective so if that is your jam, this will resonate with you.

Overall, it’s a cute, easy to read book.  I did not love the book as I feel I’ve heard a lot of the same things before in other books with more research behind it.  I think the book is probably fairly popular with her social media followers.  Hollis tries to make herself relatable, but in some ways, she is hard to connect with for the regular person, as she leads a life very different than most of us.  I did appreciate some of her messages, her approach and her vulnerability.

Read this book if:

  • You are a woman looking for empowerment

Buy it Here

Hollis, R. (2018). Girl, wash your face. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio.

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.