Bookshelf Additions – Fall 2019

Waking the Tiger:  Healing Trauma, Peter Levine

My copy is full of underlines, and I’m actively looking for ways to go deeper into this work.  Great book for anyone impacted by trauma.

Synopsis:  “Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.

Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.”

 

The Awakened Family, Shefali Tsabary

Inspiring and enjoyable to read, aimed to help parents engage with their children in a conscious and present way.  The four main parts are:  A New Awakening, Our Parenting Myths, Understanding our Reactivity, and Transforming Parenting Skills.  I appreciate any structure that helps parents with self-examination and intentionally shedding things that are not serving them or their children well.

Some parts shined on a light on my blind spots:  “Our insatiable need to direct, encourage, improve, and manage ruins wonderful moments of potential closeness.”  Ouch.  And:  “I will transform each challenge into a question that asks, ‘what does this say about me?’ ”

And a couple of the poems made my heart swell:

Our Children, Our Awakeners

In my illusion I thought I was going to raise you

To be whole, complete, and worthy,

To be educated, kind, and wise,

To be a leader, empowered, and free.

I was deluded to think I knew it all,

Fooled by my age and might.

I thought I had it all together,

Ready to teach, inspire, and change you.

Only now, after so many moments

With you

Do I realize how foolish these ideas were,

How baseless and grandiose.

I now understand….

That it is you who is here to teach me,

To guide, lead, shift, and elevate,

To transform, awaken, and inspire Me.

I now realize how I had it all wrong,

Upside down and outside in,

It is you who are this perfectly designed clarion

To wake me up to my true self.

 

The Gift

May you be blessed with a child…

Who defies you

So you learn to release control,

With one who doesn’t listen

So you learn to tune in,

With one who loves to procrastinate

So you learn the beauty of stillness,

With one who forgets things

So you learn to let go of attachments,

With one who is extra-sensitive

So you learn to be grounded,

With one who is inattentive

So you learn to be focused,

With one who dares to rebel

So you learn to think outside of the box,

With one who feels afraid

So you learn to trust the universe.

May you be blessed with a child…

Who teaches you

That it is never about them 

And all about you.

 

“Do you see me?” This is the big question your child is asking every day. “Can you recognize me for who I am, different from your dreams and expectations for me, separate from your agenda for me?”

“They need us to affirm their intrinsic goodness, regardless of the ugly things they may say or do at times. This is how their natural inborn belief in themselves becomes solidly grounded instead of masked by ego. A sense of our children’s worth flourishes when the way we look at them, the way we listen to them, and the way we speak to them reflect just how lovable they are. This is how we empower them—how we draw out in them their innately powerful sense of self, which is what will carry them successfully through life. Only when we can separate our fantasies concerning who our children should be from who they actually are can we do justice to their original essence and craft our parenting to allow for this essence to flourish.”

 

Letter to My Daughter, Maya Angelou

This book was gifted to me by a dear friend and I devoured all the lessons as told by Maya Angelou.  With chapter titles such as Giving Birth, To Tell the Truth, Mother’s Long View, and In the Valley of Humility, I will be sharing this wisdom with my kids and other loved ones.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

“Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

“The charitable say in effect, ‘I seem to have more than I need and you seem to have less than you need. I would like to share my excess with you.’ Fine, if my excess is tangible, money or goods, and fine if not, for I learned that to be charitable with gestures and words can bring enormous joy and repair injured feelings.”

“All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us all that we are more alike than we are unalike.”