Berne Brown's well talked about book may be a huge aha filled experience or a, well duh read.
As a reader who has read over 80+ books in the past three years, many of which were psychology or spiritual, this book is excellent for beginners but will leave advanced practitioners feeling meh.
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Although this book's info may be new or shocking to some readers, 90% I had already learned on my own and had been adapting my life around. One of the first spiritual books I read was The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, which is not a beginner book. I appreciate that Berne Brown is writing from their research, and research like hers is significant in psychology. This book is excellent for folks struggling with authenticity and negative self-talk.
We can all learn new things, here are some of my key take aways.
Research Brown explains that she found that Hope and Joy are verbs, not nouns for wholehearted living people. A person can cultivate joy by choosing daily practices such as gratitude. Hope is choosing a growth mindset; it's choosing to see possibility instead of being closed down in despair; as someone who has been in and out of differing levels of depression most of my life, cultivating hope and joy is as essential to life as air.
The chapter I related to the most in this book was Song, dance, and Laughter. As a creative and performance artist, it is something I can handle, but I recognize that most folks who are not in the arts really do work with public self-expression. This chapter reminded me how healing and empowering dance, laughing, and singing truly is. I recently wanted to sing, dance and laugh more as I became happier over the past months. The natural edge of wanting to do those three things is a guide out of low moods and into joyful living.
Who this book is for
If you struggle with showing up authentically or with shame, this is a great starting point book. If you do not like books with spiritual terms, and need a place to start, read it. If you want a simple guide to realizing what is blocking joy in your life, read this book.
Skip this book if
If you have been on a spiritual journey for a while and already practice living authentically, skip it.
If you listen to the audio, maybe her voice is not your jam…
There are better ones if you prefer books on joyful living to have more scientific data.
The Final Score
I score this book as a 4. Yep, a 4. There are a ton of significant fans of this author out there. I am now not a fan after listening to this book. But I am not against it. It was not helpful for where I am in my life and things I already knew. But as I stated earlier, I did get some takeaways.
What did you think of this book? Would you recommend it to your friends? If so why?