I have a slight obsession with listening to audio books. It all began 2 years ago when I was going through a season of insomnia (huzzah!).
Amy Poehler had just released her book Yes Please, and I needed something to distract my wandering mind to help it shut off at the end of the day. It was just what the doctor ordered! I’d fall asleep with a smile on my face and a giggle in my heart.
Since then, I’ve been unstoppable I tell you! (#Can’tStop #Won’tStop) Not only have I found great books to unwind with at night instead of screen time, I’ve also found a great self-care outlet in it. One of my favourite things now is to go for a nice long walk to a coffee shop in town, put in my ear buds and get lost in a story.
The most recent book I’ve completed is Rising Strong by Brené Brown. *Spoiler alert- I loved it!*
Ohhhh, what can I say? This truly is a wonderful book chock-full of slap-you-in-the-face life lessons. The premise of the book is how we can pick ourselves back up after failing at something, and how you can safeguard all types of relationships in your life whether they be career, family or social ones.
At one point she is telling a story of how she was confronted with something someone had done and she went and spoke to her therapist to unpack it. It had really bothered her what had happened, and after retelling the moment, her therapist said something along the lines of, “Do you think she could have been doing her best?”, and Brené just couldn’t accept that. She goes on to tell us of how she asked everyone in her life the question, “Do you think people are doing the best they can?” She even asked the Teller at her bank!
The thought or moment that cut me to my core (truthfully there were many) was when she asked her husband Steve the same question and he said,
“All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.”
Holy-moly. Is that not the most confronting and empowering thing you’ve heard today? It was for me when I first heard it. As a recovering perfectionist, I am guilty of occasionally getting annoyed at people in the tube who aren’t prepared with their oyster card to tap through; or people at the grocery store who have had the entire time the cashier was ringing in their items to get their debit card out to pay (surprise, you have to pay for your groceries today!!!) The thing is, the rebel perfectionist that is still lurking within me ignoring her eviction notice expects people to think about these small details…regardless of what their day, or emotional burden could be at that exact moment. Not very gracious of me, eh?
The empowering part of that statement is how embracing the idea that people truly are doing their best, keeps us out of judgment and gives people the benefit of the doubt.
But, I digress. There are several gems in this book. I loved it so much that I ordered Daring Greatly in paperback form, which was the catalyst for this books creation. I would highly suggest this book! I’ve told at least 20 people about my ‘aha!’ moments that were ignited by my long walks with Brené chatting to me.
Q: I’d love to hear below what your impressions were of Rising Strong if you’ve read it, and if not, what are some book recommendations? I’m a lover of all genres!