I have been pushing these books for the last month! Anybody that gave me the time of day, I was chatting up about these two books. They have made a permanent mark on my way of thinking and looking not only at the world but at myself. So, naturally, I think everybody should read them too! I have been alluding to the fact that I would be doing a book report about them later on down the line- well, today is the day.
The first book is There is More to Life Than This by Theresa Caputo of Long Island Medium fame. Yes. I believe her. Yes. I buy it all- hook, line and sinker. This book gave me much comfort and an overwhelming sense of peace. Yes, I think anyone that has ever grieved the loss of someone needs to read this book.
I have seen every episode of her show too but this book goes deeper. She is a devout Catholic and explains Heaven (to paraphrase: rainbows and butterflies) and how our souls work their way closer and closer to God. According to her explanations our souls have lessons to learn and whether they learn it on earth or in Heaven is their choice. However, it is much harder to learn the hard lessons in Heaven because it’s so awesome there so our souls will choose to come to earth to learn the hard lessons faster than in Heaven. And yes, according to her, we do have past lives, there are old souls and our souls do have to atone for our actions on earth.
Theresa went into a fair amount of detail about our Guardian Angels not to be confused with our Spirit Guides. And she explained that when your intuition or your gut is speaking to you, listen to it because it’s actually your Guardian Angels trying to protect and guide you in the right direction.
Theresa also went into detail about death and dying and why some of us seem to die too soon while others of us live a long life. All of that is tied into the lesson our soul is supposed to learn. This is what was most over-all comforting to me- when it’s my time to go, my loved ones that have gone before me will come to get me and help me pass over to the other side. I can rest in that knowledge.
I finished the book with a warm and fuzzy feeling. In many ways, I felt validated. She also explained that soul mates come in the platonic variety and that soul mates are eternal. This is a book I will reread periodically to recharge for the rest of my life. I loved it.
And the second book that I have really sunk my teeth into has been Daring Greatly: How the courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the way we Live, Love, Lead and Parent by Brene Brown. Yes. You need to read this. It has been very, very eye-opening. I have been reading it real slow and trying to really sink my teeth into it. But, I know that I am going to have to reread it to for it to really absorb.
Brene Brown’s writing style is so easy to read. She is discussing and explaining some deep material in a way that it is hard not to just chug through this book!
I found her randomly watching Oprah’s Life Class and I was just drawn to what she was saying. Brene Brown declares that to live whole-heartedly, you have got to step out in the arena and dare to be vulnerable.
She explains that there are some weeds you have got to wade through and cut down before you can really be vulnerable. A big one is shame, not to be confused with guilt. To deal with shame, you must speak about it and bring it to the light so that you can process it and move on from it.
Brene Brown also explains the disengagement divide and our culture of “never enough.” She insists that I have to accept that I am enough before I will ever be able to get in the arena and get vulnerable. Some of the topics she addresses, it was like she looked into my life, past and present and pulled out pertinent examples of situations in my life and ways in which I navigate the world that need to work. One of these is that as a leader, I have to be willing to offer feedback and point out areas where growth is necessary to move forward- even though the entire process will be uncomfortable.
Well, let me tell you- I am headed for that arena! I am willing to deal with all the gremlins and to continue to do the work on myself to become the best me- for myself, my husband and my child.
In the last chapter she explains that daring greatly as a parent is to be the kind of adult you want your child to be. She says, we as parents, must be the example for our children. This resonates with me. I love that. And speaking of love- she says that being cruel to someone you love is not an option- even when arguing.
Every word in this book is highlighted. I will absolutely have to read this book repeatedly to truly soak it all up. However, I have begun my quest to live whole-heartedly. It’s the umbrella mission of all of my 2014 goals!
What have you been reading? Do you have any suggestions for me?