I’ve come to see that any journey we take around living consciously, growing personally, or serving others is inevitably influenced by our dance of forgetting and remembering — and then forgetting and remembering again. Maybe it’s not that we ever fully forget, but our awareness of our intentions ebbs and flows as the demands of life tug us in different directions.
These rhythms of showing up fully and getting knocked off-balance are not that different from the movements of ocean waves as they rush onto shore and withdraw into the sea. They’re an inherent part of life, and any conversation about finding balance or nourishing ourselves needs to take this ebb and flow into account.
~ Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D., Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit
I used to have fiery intensity,
and a flowing sweetness.
The waters were illusion.
The flames, made of snow.
Was I dreaming then?
Am I awake now?
Nature isn’t persistently bright; it wears and ages.
~ Tamar Adler, An Everlasting Meal
A few months ago, a friend sent me the book An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace. It’s been sitting on the to-be-read shelf, and I’ve looked at it occasionally, thinking that I shouldn’t be neglecting it as I have been. It is, after all, a gift, one I should explore and appreciate. But I’ve learned that some gifts need to be approached at just the right time, and this book is one of them.
The story we tell ourselves about ourselves and our lives either empowers or disempowers us; it either opens us to new possibilities or shuts us down. Many of us create fairy tales about our lives that become the stories that limit our access to a better life. At its highest, our story exists to teach us, to help us grow, to allow our souls to evolve. But we make the mistake of allowing our story to define us and dictate the course of our lives. The stories we choose to tell ourselves about ourselves and our lives dictate who we are and what we’re capable of.
~ Debbie Ford, Courage
During the last part of April, I received an email from Trish at TLC Book Tours asking if I’d be interested in reading the book Courage by Debbie Ford to review as part of one of their book tours. My first thought was, “Oh no, I can’t do that. I am TERRIBLE at book reviews, at reviews of any kind!” When I mentioned it to my husband, he wondered why I would think I was terrible at book reviews given all the reading I do. He asked one simple question that changed my mind: Have you ever tried it?
To be honest, no. I hadn’t really tried it. Halfheartedly, once or twice. But no, not really. So I decided that with a name like Courage, this book might be a good place for me to step outside of the “I can’t” and at least give it a try. I am so glad I did as this book has made a profound difference in my life as it came at a time when I needed to tap into my inner warrior, and find the self-confidence and courage to step outside of the box I had created for myself, not just in terms of writing a book review but in several other aspects of my life.
The book starts with A Letter to the Reader outlining a pivotal event in Debbie Ford’s life, and her own healing and awakening. Ms. Ford courageously and openly shares a lot about her own life throughout the book. Her writing is straightforward and honest, almost like hearing from a friend.
In the Introduction to the book, we are asked:
How many times have you felt yourself shrink?
How many times have you made yourself small enough to fit into some role that you wanted no part of?
How many times have you kept your mouth shut when you wanted to scream loudly, or handed over your power to someone who didn’t have your best interests at heart?
How many times have you succumbed to an impulsive or addictive behavior rather than making a clear-minded choice?
How many times have you told yourself, “I can’t. I’m not strong enough. I’m not courageous or confident enough to be all that I desire to be?”
Some of these are questions I had already been asking myself before reading Courage. I wasn’t sure I would find any answers inside of this book, and you know what? I was right. The answers are not inside of the book. They were inside of me. However, Ms. Ford’s book gave me the tools to find those answers. An added bonus, parts of Courage fit in well with my theme for the year of Letting Go.
In the first part of the book, Ms. Ford lays out an overview of fear, confidence, and courage, showing how they hold you back, affecting your everyday life. In Part Two, she asks you to move from that knowledge (your head) to your heart, outlining a series of codes with exercises to help guide you through healing old hurts, forgiveness, and changing old thought patterns.
Due to time constraints, I have not had the time to truly work my way through all the exercises. There are some I know I will go back and explore. There are others that are not new to me, just presented in a new way, and by doing them in a new way, I may end up with different results.
My favorite part of the book was the last code, and I almost wish she had started with that one in the second part of the book as I believe if I can master that one, the rest might easily fall into line. I also like The Courageous Warrior’s Mandate at the end of the book where Ms. Ford sums up the chapters on fear, self-confidence, courage, and love. It’s a great quick reference to all that I learned throughout the book.
All in all, I would recommend Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence, especially if you’re a woman floundering a bit in life, fearful or hesitant, and lacking in the self-confidence or even love of self necessary to move forward and experience life in a strong, bold, and confident manner.
You can find out more about the book and author at Debbie Ford’s website: www.debbieford.com. Or you can read a variety of reviews by following the links to TLC’s tour of Courage found here.
Robin is a photographer and avid (voracious!) book reader who was thrilled to have the opportunity to step outside of her comfort zone and do a book review. She is currently on vacation, exploring the Eastern Canadian Provinces (probably somewhere in Nova Scotia when this scheduled post goes out). Regular photo blogging will resume soon if there is time, an internet connection, and the inclination.
I arrived late to the Harry Potter party. I read the first book or two when they first came out. M the Younger (aka Youngest Son) “outgrew” the books at that point, and since he gave up on them, so did I. I’m not quite sure why as I’ve never been one to refrain from reading a book simply because it was meant for children. Some of my favorite books are meant for children. The Secret Garden. The Phantom Tollbooth. The Graveyard Book (the one book review I’ve done here at Ye Olde Blogge, but stay tuned — another one is coming up soon).
*If you’re unfamiliar with Harry Potter, find out more about Parseltongue here. The snake, by the way, is a black rat snake we saw on one of the trails at the Holden Arboretum during our hike yesterday. Isn’t he beautiful?
If you paid a visit to my other blog today, you may think this is a cross-posting. It’s not, really. I’m leading with the same post title and image because I have brick walls on the brain today.
I’ve always wanted to live in a bookstore, especially the big, rambling kind like the Book Loft which has 32 rooms of books, and you’re led from one room to the next as if following a bird or a butterfly. Or the Book Barn in Chester County, Pennsylvania where I swear you can get lost and it might be years before they find you again. I exaggerate a little, but it is a wonderful place to ramble and browse.
Since I don’t live in a bookstore and it’s unlikely I’ll live in a bookstore, I have to settle for liking videos such as the one I brought you today. I have seen it on a couple of blogs and over at Facebook (because I know and/or follow other people who would love to live in a bookstore).