Feel-Good Friday Book Series: The Yamas & Niyamas

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

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

Sometimes we are taken on unexpected journeys. A few years ago, I went on a yoga and hiking retreat in Sedona, AZ. During the retreat, we were given the book, The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele. Before this journey, I knew the benefits of the breathing and stretching of yoga, but I had no idea how deep the practice actually went.

If I hadn’t gone on this retreat, I wouldn’t have sought this book out, because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. As I read the book, I wrote in the margins, underlined, and highlighted. With one read the book is well marked with inspiration, hope, connection, and faith.

Within the pages were concepts I knew just spoken from a different perspective of truth. Knowing that helped me to open up so much wider. I started to connect so much of what I’ve been practicing into my physical movements, which was a skill I hadn’t yet learned to do. Now, when I do the physical act of yoga, it carries so much more meaning.

As I said, a good chunk of the book is marked up, so for this quote I just went with a powerful message that stood out as I flipped back through the pages.

Favorite Quote from The Yamas & Niyamas

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

“As long as we think satisfaction comes from an external source, we can never be content. Looking outward for fulfillment will always disappoint us and keep contentment one step out of reach.”

-Deborah Adele, The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, p. 121.

Thank you to all the people who have been reading the Feel-Good Friday Book Series. This is the 9th book, and it feels like it’s time to stop. You will still continue to see quotes from the books I love along the way, but I’m being led to do something else now. I urge you to come along on the journey. Make sure you are following via email to get the latest posts and news. Enjoy your journey, and trust the books that come to you along the way. They may just have what you need to give you seeds to thrive.

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

The Tao of Pooh

A New Earth

The Four Agreements

Healing the Shame that Binds You

Power

Feel-Good Friday Book Series: Power

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

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

Power: Surviving & Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi was one of THE most important books I ever read to complete my healing from narcissistic abuse. For me, it was the final piece of the puzzle that I couldn’t understand. I had no idea how calculated narcissistic abuse was. She would say thing that were said to me verbatim. All the research studies I read didn’t cover that. I remember listening to the audiobook and just sitting there with my mouth opened as I listened to what seemed like old memories. Arabi helps the reader detach from the part of ourselves that wants to play rescuer, at least that is what she did for me.

After reading this book it was much easier for me to stick to my healthy boundaries and create a healthy distance. When I was coming out of the haze of narcissistic abuse I had a lot of resources I was using to build my self-worth, heal, and find my inner peace. So many of the tools I used were mentioned in this book, which is why I recommend it to ANY person coming out of or still in a relationship with someone who could possibly be a narcissist or sociopath.

Power: Surviving & Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse is available on audiobook and paperback and I have both. If you are the beginning of your recovery, you will definitely want to read this book multiple times. My wish is that people read the book all the way through because there are so many jewels of wisdom throughout and it will help you thrive if you do the work.

There were many passages in this book that gave me seeds to thrive, so picking one quote is very challenging. I keep going back and worth on which one to do. So here’s what I landed on, because this was the piece of the puzzle that was missing from my recovery before reading this book.

Favorite Quote from Power

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

“It’s not that they can’t help it, or that they’re utterly helpless to their disorder—it’s that they selectively choose which victims to devalue and discard, and those victims ten to be loved ones.”

-Shahida Arabi, Power: Surviving & Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse, p. 99

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

The Tao of Pooh

A New Earth

The Four Agreements

Healing the Shame that Binds You

Feel-Good Friday Book Series: Healing the Shame that Binds You

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

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

Today I picked a book that got me to the core of my deepest darkest obstacles that were holding me down, Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw. I remember feeling so desperate to find out why I kept repeating patterns that kept me in unhealthy situations. I had been reading, studying, going to therapy for years, and I didn’t realize how powerful the shame was that I felt. I didn’t realize it was the shame that kept me sabotaging the good in my life. Reading this book and putting all the pieces together helped me to see how important it was for me to forgive myself and re-evaluate the beliefs that were keeping me hostage to my shame.

I read through the book, then listened to the audiobook probably three times in a row. I wanted to REALLY release the shame that was creating so many obstacles in my life. When we look at the shame, we heal it. The only way shame survives is if it remains a secret. Bradshaw shows the reader how to release the shame and strip it of it’s power. It really is that powerful of a book if you are open to do the work.

Even though I didn’t agree with everything he wrote, it didn’t matter because what did resonate was huge! We each have to decide what feels right and what doesn’t. A person can have perspectives we agree with and ones that we don’t, it’s our job to plant the seeds we want, and leave the rest for someone else if that is what feels right for them.

Bradshaw really did teach me to heal the shame that was binding me, but I could only do that because I did the work using the tools he gave me. If you have toxic shame, do the work. It is worth it! It has benefited my life in so many ways and helped me to establish healthy relationships with myself and others.

Favorite Quote from Healing the Shame that Binds You

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

“Without total self-love and acceptance, we are doomed to enervative task of creating false selves.”

John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame that Binds You, 1988

With Love & 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

The Tao of Pooh

A New Earth

The Four Agreements

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: 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