Wednesday, 23 November 2011

GC, Day 23 - Self-help books

I have a confession to make. I love self-help books. They've taken a beating over the years, and there are some seriously shite ones out there (though they're often worth a laugh) - but there are some godsends (my favourite being Clarissa Pinkola Estes' Women who run with the wolves). Pema Chodron rocks my world, as does Jack Kornfield - which tells you a great deal about my style. I meld well with books that have a spiritual foundation with exercises that I can try. Most recently, Stephen Cope's A seeker's guide to extraordinary living paired with Pema's The places that scare you has facilitated a profound shift that I'll be feeling the effects of for years.

Some people need classes and a lot of sensory input. I need the big picture, time to think and be alone with it and figure out how it works for me. I need to play before I can bring it to a group and move to the next step.

Self-help books are perfect for my way of learning. The deal is that you take what works for you, leave the rest - it may either settle and work for you later, or just not work at all, and that's fine - and keep a sense of humour and perspective. If you start making it a religion, game - and self-help - over.

Thus, I would like to thank Giovanni della Casa for kicking off the Western self-help book with this bit of wisdom:

It is also an unpleasant habit to lift another person's wine or his food to your nose and smell it.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would just like to play with Giovanni della Casa's quote for a moment and interpret it in ways that you did not imply...

A mother will always test food for her child so that he or she will not suffer unduly from it; and as an emerging psychotherapist, although I do not know exactly you have been trained, you may find the odd occasion when you have to smell your client's food or at least induce your client to do so. With you, it will not be unpleasant (well, not by design or by end product), but I pray for you that you will have strength to risk this form of unpleasantness for the greater healing of any future client...