Feel-Good Friday Book Series: The Tao of Pooh

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

BOOKS THAT GAVE ME SEEDS TO THRIVE (Click link for the introduction to the series)

I’m so grateful that this book was written for multiple reasons. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff was my introduction to the Tao. As a lover of Winnie the Pooh, Hoff gave me the perfect vessel to understand the meaning of the Tao. Little did I know how much I would need to understand this when it came time for me to read the Tao Te Ching by LauTzu translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo in college. Let’s just put it this way, I pulled out my Tao of Pooh in class multiple times to address my understanding of specific passages. 

The Tao of Pooh takes the reader on a journey that is easy to process and understand in the simplest of ways. The first time I read this book, I was around twenty years old. At the time, I wouldn’t have been able to pick up the Tao Te Ching and see the deeper meaning, but through the eyes of Pooh, I got it. After I read the book the first time, I met someone who had also read it. We raved about the beautiful and simple messages and connected to the pure energy of joy within us.  She got me the figurine pictured above, and it still sits on my shelf of inspiration as a reminder to keep it simple. 

Almost twenty years later, I picked the book up again to read with my book buddy. I could see how much effect the book had on me over the years without even knowing it. The lessons were buried in my subconscious, but they were there guiding me and reminding me that everything is happening exactly the way it’s supposed to. I don’t need to fight what is, because when I do, I’m missing an opportunity to learn from the moment I’m in.  For someone who likes to be in control, this is a REALLY important reminder that I need on a regular basis. When I remember, I’m at peace. And I’m much more productive because my energy is aligned with solutions instead of problems. 

One of the greatest lessons I take with me from the Tao of Pooh is that we aren’t all here to do things exactly the same things. We each have our own journeys, and it is important to figure out and honor our own paths. 

Favorite Quote from The Tao of Pooh

(click on the book title to check out the book for yourself)

“When you know and respect your own Inner Nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don’t belong. One man’s food is often another man’s poison, and what is glamorous and exciting to some can be a dangerous trap to others.”

-Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh, p.41

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff

Catch up on Your Feel-Good Friday Book Series Here:

I Am What’s Wrong 

Your Creative Brain

Hope for the Flowers

Feel-Good Friday Book Series: Hope for the Flowers

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

BOOKS THAT GAVE ME SEEDS TO THRIVE (Click link for the introduction to the series)

Today I’m going way, way back. I received this book when I was fourteen years old. I was a teen in crisis.  After getting some help, I was given Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. My counselor told me to hold on to it. As you can see, I did. It’s been almost 30 years now and the book still sits on my go-to bookshelf. Hope for the Flower is the reason why I’m so connected to the butterfly transformation. I pulled the book out in preparation of my upcoming seminar, because sometimes the greatest wisdom is in the simplest of details.  

In Hope for the Flowers, Paulus follows the life of two caterpillars on their journeys. She describes separation and connection so simply that even a child can understand. She talks about finding courage when there is no way to know what is coming next. The pictures and images bring on new meaning for me with every read. For a maybe 20 minute read, it allows the reader to really think about their life choices. And hopefully inspires courage to follow that call inside us no matter how scary it is to go in a different direction. 

After re-reading the book, I saw parts that I never noticed before, or at least didn’t remember acknowledging at the time. We see what we are ready to see, when we are ready to see it. We connect and absorb the material that is important to our journeys right now. I love how this works. I hope you will feel inspired to get your copy. If you do, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below. 

Favorite Quote from Hope for the Flowers

(click on the book title to check out the book for yourself)

“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

-Trina Paulus

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff

Feel-Good Friday Book Series: Your Creative Brain

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

BOOKS THAT GAVE ME SEEDS TO THRIVE (Click link for the introduction to the series)

Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life by Shelley Carson, PhD was a game changer for me. I read the book in college for a creative processes course. I’ve written about this book once before in a post called, I’m Not Stupid After All: School Testing and Self-Worth. I have this book in hardcover and audio, and I needed both! There are self-tests and quizzes to help readers assess where their comfort mindset is, which if you truly want to understand how your brain works is a VERY powerful tool.

Shelley Carson is a Harvard professor. You’re Creative Brain is the science behind how our brains process what is in front of us. It helps us get a true view of what and where our strengths are and how to work on areas that aren’t as developed. Carson reminds us that we are all creative in different ways, and that understanding our mind’s comfort zones is key to seeing our true potential.

I used to think something was wrong with me all growing up (You can read more about my personal struggles in the link above). If I knew that I was a divergent thinker, I may not have beat myself up so much. Carson says on page 124, “Divergent thinking is a type of cognition in which you see many possible answers to question and problems. In fact, you will risk becoming overwhelmed with possibilities for creative innovation!”

The current school system can treat divergent thinkers as failures, but if they looked a little closer, they could see they are our innovators. I didn’t learn I was an divergent thinker until I was almost 40 years old. I can’t tell you how much it’s helped me knowing it. I’ve been faced with so many challenges and opportunities where I finally understood how to use my mind’s strengths.

There are so many amazing jewels this book has to offer. You definitely need a physical copy of the book to get the most from it, simply because some of the tests you need the book to do. This book won’t just help you understand your brain, but it will help you be able to see how different people feel comfortable functioning from other mindsets. It helps us in our schooling, careers, personal relationships, communities, and our inner world. When we know how our brain works, we gain understanding of how best to help ourselves succeed. We gain access to solutions and research that can help our world become better and stronger by focusing on the strengths each of us inherently have.

If you are anything like me, you will gain understanding about why it is so important that we allow people to develop their strengths, because each way of thinking is valuable. If we understand that the person in front of us is coming from a different mindset, we are more likely to ask questions than make judgments. We improve the quality of humanity when we gain understanding about ourselves and others.

Favorite Quote from Your Creative Brain:

(click on the book title to check out the book for yourself)

We are all creative. Creativity is the hallmark human capacity that has allowed us to survive thus far.”

-Shelley Carson p. 9

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

If you are looking for doses of daily feel-good you can follow me on social media.

Feel-Good Friday Book Series: I am What’s Wrong

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

BOOKS THAT GAVE ME SEEDS TO THRIVE (Click link for the introduction to the series)

I am What’s Wrong by Sheila M. Burke is where I will begin this Friday Feel-Good Book Series.  I’m starting here for one main reason, I am What’s Wrong gives the reader tools they can use right NOW in this very moment to take steps toward a better life and a better humanity. This book definitely contributes to keeping my passion for life pumping. 

I read the book at the beginning of the summer, and I was excited to share the tools from the book with my two kids. The book is a quick, yet powerful read. As a person who wants to do good in the world, I know that sometimes I can get caught up in thoughts that I’m not doing enough. Sometimes those kinds of thoughts can eventually take people to thinking thoughts that get them to stop making any efforts to better the world. Those kinds of thoughts are dangerous and destructive, not just to the world, but to ourselves. How we treat the world is a reflection of how we treat and think about ourselves. 

When we feel separation within ourselves, we project separation out into the world. Burke writes, “Unity is understanding that even though I do something differently than you do, we can both want world peace, a healthy planet, or respect for all mankind.” She shows us how differences don’t have to mean separation. No one is going to think or do things exactly like we do, so why not see others as a learning opportunity instead of having to start the negative cycles that the feelings of AGAINST stir up inside of us. 

The part that makes this book so good for families is all of the convenient lists. I’ve had some wonderful conversations with my kids about the lists within these covers. I leave the conversations feeling excited and inspired. We all leave the conversation with concrete ways to live better. 

I am What’s Wrong is a great book of reminders for me. The first thought that came into my head when I got into the lists was, I need to pull this book out when I’m feeling defeated by the negativity and violence in the world. It’s definitely a book that helps humanity thrive. 

Favorite Quote from I am What’s Wrong

(click on the book title to check out the book for yourself)

“Within each of us is the power to heal the world—simply by sharing ourselves with others.” 

– Sheila M. Burke

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff