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.