One of the books I read during my self-care month was The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. The book was published in 2010 and has been on my reading list but I just got around to reading it last month.
I hate I waited so long! But I guess we get the messages we need at the time we need them. This book was filled with so many gems and a-ha moments! The basic premise of this book can be summed up in the tag line, Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.
Thank you and good night.
Brown (a shame researcher) explores how we spend so much time pretending our lives are perfect and seeking approval that we miss out on fully living in the moment. One of the in depth messages that I took away from the book was that we don’t automatically think we’re worthy of love and acceptance, so we work hard to receive this from outside sources and all the while we’re rejecting ourselves.
A very good book that even weeks later still resonates with me. One of my favorite quotes from the book: “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”
I mean when you stop and think about that, I mean really think about it- it’s pretty profound. Because we live in a world of goals and to-do lists and achievements and grinding and hustling and it’s all about reaching that next level to get more, more, more. . .and when we fall short -we feel like failures.
But when you acknowledge just how amazing life is even in the midst of failure. . .you can see, hear, walk, talk. . .you’re in a position to even be able to TRY and pursue your passions. But too often instead of embracing what we have, we’re focused on what we want. And most of the time we want it for the wrong reasons. We want it because of how others will perceive us and we’ve convinced ourselves that somehow that is tied to our self-worth.
The number of followers, likes, friends, connections. . . .etc. It’s really bullshit at the end of the day. As Brown says in the book, “. . .it’s about the need to manage perception. We want to be able to control what other people think about us so that we can feel good enough.” Ouch. But thank you for that truth bomb!
As I've gotten older, I've learned what matters is real life connections and the impact you have on someone and the world around you. And how you still have that effect even long after you’re gone. I’m all about embracing my imperfections these days. They are a part of me, the real me. And I’m pretty damn awesome!
Book Review: Year of Yes
I'm a big fan of Shonda Rhimes TV show, How To Get Away With Murder (HTGAWM). Because well, Viola Davis. I haven't ever watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy and maybe only a handful of Scandal episode but HTGAWM is my show! Again, because Viola Davis. And because the writing is crazy, amazing, original and keeps me guessing whodunnit?
I had seen a ton of posts about Shonda Rhimes' book, Year of Yes and so, like I often do when I see a book recommendation, I googled it. I was immediately intrigued. . . .then I started to put two and two together. She created my favorite show. She writes on my favorite show. This means her book has to have some redeeming qualities, right?
So I purchased it and once I started reading. . .it exceeded my expectations! I totally related to her stories of escaping through fictional characters and writing at an early age. I could even relate to the social anxiety she experienced. People probably would never guess it but I get extremely nervous before attending even a kids birthday party. Maybe I'll expound in a future post....but back to the book.
It was great! Full of funny anecdotes and inspiration. Shonda's candor/transparency was refreshing and did I mention she was funny?
The basic premise of the book is that instead of saying no to every invitation or request (which was often her reply) she started saying, "Yes." No matter how much it terrified her. It led her to some eye opening revelations about herself and as a result she became wiser, happier and healthier.
My biggest take away from the book was not so much the aspect of being fearless but instead the importance of saying, "YES!" to ourselves. Yes to being our best, yes to living life to the fullest, yes to new experiences, yes to growth and yes to love- self love!
My focus for 2016 (and beyond) is to say yes to taking better care of my mind, body and soul. What are you saying yes to in 2016?
Book Review: The Girl On The Train
If you are a writer, especially a writer who wants to become a published author, I don't think it will be possible unless you are first a reader.
You have to be a lover of the written word and books in general in order to tell a good story. I am a reader, a voracious reader and had the opportunity to finish, The Girl On The Train last week.
In a word it was captivating. It has been a while since a book has held my attention in such a way. I felt drawn into the story with the imagery and every time the train was mentioned I felt the rumble of the car traveling down the tracks.
I've always been a fan of multiple POV's (point of view) in stories because I like knowing what all the characters are thinking and the motivation behind their actions. I've said a time or two that I'm not a big fan of mysteries but this "suspense" genre is quickly becoming my favorite. This is the second or third book I've read where I was certain I knew who the culprit was and I ended up WRONG! Lol! But that's a good thing, I like the twists and turns and having to continue reading on until I get some answers.
The only thing I didn't like about this story was how the main character Rachel, let her ex-husband manipulate her. But that is so indicative of real life, there are some women who allow men to totally wreck havoc on their self esteem/well being and then when the relationship ends they are irreparably damaged.
A quick synopsis: Rachel Watson is a commuter on a London train. Everyday she passes a neighborhood where a row of houses face the track. When the train stops at this spot, she spies on the inhabitants of one house in particular, as they sit on their patio. She starts to feel like she knows the couple and imagines what their life must be like but she has NO IDEA what's really going on and that the fantasy she created in her head is not even close to reality. She is eventually drawn into their lives after a tragedy occurs and finds herself at the center of a murder investigation!
Don't delay, go and pick this book up today!! The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. If you've read the book, what did you think?
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”