books & reading health reviews
The Survivor's Guide to Holiday Madness: How to Stay Focused and Present During the Holiday SeasonFriday, December 02, 2016
I'm not one for self-help books. Is anybody, really? But let's face it, the holidays are hectic and sometimes, we may forget to...
I'm not one for self-help books. Is anybody, really? But let's face it, the holidays are hectic and sometimes, we may forget to breathe. Add stress from work, and all the additional expenses during the holidays (money causes a ton of stress, am I right?), and we may all just go out of our minds. In comes a collection of books that may just get me (and you) through the rest of this year, and then some.
Drop In: Lead with Deeper Presence and Courage by Sara Harvey Yao: As I started reading this book, I was pretty into it. It's very relatable, as it talks a lot about being present. It's very focused on just paying attention to yourself, how you feel mentally and physically, and the types of thoughts you're having regularly. What was nice about this book is it doesn't seek to change you, or even change your ways of thinking. Instead it seeks to help you pay attention to your life and what's happening around you and how to be present in daily tasks. Several pieces of this book really spoke to me, however, other parts seemed very repetitive or contradictory, and there was also a Harry Potter-piece that was so incorrect it hurt. I wasn't a huge fan of the writing in this book or the way it was setup, but it was effective enough that it made me want to pay more attention to my life to feel more present and more focused. I would say I've definitely taken something away from this book that will help me be more present and more effective in my own life. There is a nice piece of the book that talks about types of meditations and breathing techniques that I think will really help me in the future to cope with my anxiety.
This Trip Will Change Your Life: A Shaman's Story of Spirit Evolution by Jennifer B Monahan: I didn't hate this book. I think I enjoyed it because it was a memoir, and not necessarily in the "self-help" genre. This book is basically a journal of the author's journey in becoming a shaman. It was interesting and kept me intrigued, because not only did she journal her day-to-day tasks in her journey, but she talked about her journeys and meditations, which were very fantasy-like (think fairies, lower/middle/upper worlds, power animals). Before reading this book, I wasn't very familiar with shaman and their healing methods, but this book gave me more insight and was interesting. Additionally, her communications to herself (via journaling, journeys, meditations, etc.), between herself and the universe, her power animals, and mentors provided great tips for my personal life. I enjoyed reading more about staying patient and giving/accepting love into your heart and soul. It was definitely an interesting read, and I felt more knowledgeable once I finished the story.
Change Maker: How My Brother's Death Woke Up My Life by Rebecca Austill-Clausen: This book, also an inspirational memoir, reminded me very much of This Trip Will Change Your Life (above), however, this author is on the other side of the journey. Instead of becoming a shaman, she works with a shaman to better understand the soul and spirit to better connect with herself and her loved ones who have already passed. Some of the pieces of this story made sense and really had me thinking and looking deeper. I'm very interested in learning more about the chakras and how to better take care of and heal the self. There were other parts, however, that seemed really far-fetched to me. I will say "don't knock it 'til you try it," because I have not experienced any type of situations discussed in this book. I believe the author went through her personal experiences (I would never call someone a liar for their experiences and beliefs), but it just didn't 100% resonate with me. It was a nice and interesting read, though. I'll give it that. Just not my cup of tea.
Also make sure to check out Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth by Laurie Buchanan. This is a seven-step book (that includes several steps within steps) that uses realistic action items to help you evaluate yourself and choose the best path to take to be the best you!