Self-help guru Iyanla Vanzant gets real with Washingtonians
So the tales address some of lifes biggest problems, ones we all face. One patient came from a dysfunctional family and had had a terrible childhood but became a good father and friend. When I asked him how he had found his role models, he told me, I read novels. (In this context, Grosz recommends the March book Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon, about parenting.) One of the significant differences between Groszs book and traditional self-help tomes is that it does not offer explicit solutions or strategies. The compelling, simply told reports relate moments of change, breakthroughs. The key is in the subtitle: How We Lose and Find Ourselves, he explains. Although reading a book cannot simulate the experience of delving into your psyche with a skilled analyst, it can have a significant effect, he has found. My experience is that people find a particular story affects them, and they make some connection or gain some understanding. Then they may see a possibility of changing something about themselves. Groszs message for the New Year is not to be frightened of change. I am not suggesting totally reinventing yourself: the shift is often micro but it can make a big difference. PS The list is perfect fodder for a book club.
Not self-help but Shelf Help
Our colleague Macy Freeman reports, Between takes she was candid with the group, asking one guest, Baltimore resident Devonna Bell, if she could hold her 8-month old daughter Hagen. On Help Desk, hosted byGotham Chopra (son of Deepak), famous life coaches set up shop in a public space and offer their services free of charge on a first come first serve basis. More than 200 showed up at Sundays event. Vanzant asked one woman, Are youwilling to put your butt on the line for what you believe? The series is slated to premiere on OWN in March. More Hey, isnt that . . .? and even more sightings. .
A book a month seemed a reasonable target. January haskicked off with Stephen Grosz’s The Examined Life , and Winterson follows in February: subsequent titles include Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon’s extraordinary new exploration of unusual families, and Richard Mabey’s Nature Cure , which describes the author’s depression and the revivifying power of landscape; novels by Deborah Moggach , Sebastian Faulks and John Williams’s Stoner ; exuberantly unclassifiable encounters in Sarah Bakewell’s study of Montaigne, How toLive , Roger Deakin’s Waterlog and TimParks’s Teach Us to Sit Still ; and captivating variations on the family memoir in Julian Barnes’s Nothing to Be Frightened Of and Edmund de Waal’s The Hare With Amber Eyes . The Examined Life, in which Grosz transforms 50,000 hours of his work asa psychoanalyst into aseries of 31startling vignettes, is awonderful example of a book that provides asafe space that can be used as a base to explore the less safe. It can also provoke some expected reactions in the reader; I told Grosz that the book’s fragmentary nature aloose progression ofcase studies that are presented as strikingly simple but frequently incomplete mini-narratives at first made me feel frustrated, almost outraged. How could a story just end, like that, never to be returned to? What were we supposed to make of these uncanny pieces, with protagonists who felt real and not real at the same time? And why did I identify with virtually all of these people? This, of course, is the point; just as itis that Winterson’s memoir ends in terrifyingly open fashion, with her notknowing the end to her own story one doesn’t have to have been adopted by Pentecostalists to feel a kind of kinship with her.
Self-help books and the promise of change
If I send the right vibes out into the universe, everything is going to change for me. In reality, why dont you go back to school and earn yourself a degree, or learn a trade, or do something to change your life? Optimism as counterproductive? Promise Land also explores the less useful sides of positive thinking, as Lamb-Shapiros father was relentlessly positive and avoided go here now talking about Lamb-Shapiros http://www.psiseminarsmls.com mother, who committed suicide when her daughter was 2. It can be extremely oppressive, Lamb-Shapiro says, if youre feeling sad and somebody is hurling relentless optimism at you that isnt acknowledging how youre feeling. Its great if whatever they say can turn you around and make you positive, but if it doesnt work, youre just left with your same feeling, and on top of that youre feeling out of synch. Its reasonable and common sense to understand that human life is full of ups and downs and life and death and marriage and divorce, and that if your feelings are all on the positive side, youre not reacting to the full spectrum of human experience. Im not against optimism, I just think there should be a balance. Lamb-Shapiro says she has noticed that self-help books reflect the values of the era when they were published.