Our social media feeds often make us feel that being happy and contented is all about embracing yoga, positive thinking and meditation. I know I share a lot of positive affirmations and do yoga (very badly) and I think they are both really healthy habits. However, over the last few months, I have been reflecting deeply.
The reality is that life is complicated. Most of us have lots of layers of baggage/hurt/insecurities in our hearts and minds that we need to work through. Positive thinking helps, but not when it becomes a front to what is going on deep inside. Over time, we can become masters at covering up what we really feel.
Just like it takes some tough workouts to get a toned body, it takes some deep dives into your inner vulnerabilities and issues to change.
I have avoided these in the past and thought I could sweat my way to happiness. Now I understand myself more, I am acting to change and be tough on my heart like I am my body. That’s probably why my holiday reading took a self-development twist and I really found these two books shared some powerful concepts that are easy to digest.
Spiritual Graffiti by Jeff Brown
A former criminal lawyer and psychotherapist, Jeff is realistic and directs in you through a collection of profound quotes on how to transform your approach to life. The words come from walls – in his home, in back-alleys, on Facebook. I found myself re-reading pages of this book. His words give a more grounded approach to being happy and spiritual. We are all imperfect and we have to balance all parts of us, our ego, emotions, stories, identity and body. He encourages you not to mislead yourself and recognise our emotions and stop hiding from them.
You Got This: A Fabulously Fearless Guide To Being YOU by Bryony Gordon
“The most powerful thing you can be when you grow up is yourself”
I just love this fabulously fearless guide to being you. Bryony Gordon shares 10 life lessons she wished she had known earlier. It really gave me flashbacks to my teenage years. All those hormones and issues with self-respect, esteem, love and confidence. All the family should read it, especially our teenage daughters (after us of course). Its a fun, sensitive and real take on life lessons. The importance of talking, enjoying cake, the fun you can have in the swimming pool (you have to read that chapter), getting help for signs of mental illness early and of course, being you. At last, someone who captures the fun in self-love. Like Fearne Cotton said:
‘A book that every teenage girl needs to read … and every grown woman will wish she had read’
By Louise Proddow