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BOOK RECOMMENDATION: The Courage To Be Yourself by Sue Patton Thoele


Written by Sue Patton Thoele

To Purchase: CLICK HERE

I highly recommend this book titled “The Courage to Be Yourself-A Woman’s Guide to Emotional Strength and Self Esteem.”  This book actually caught me off guard because it covered topics outside of the conventional “self help” topics I’ve read about. It descriptively breaks down the women’s issues that invade us everyday – Topics range from friendship, to facing fears, expectations, limits and boundaries, appeasing, emotional wisdom, courage, abuse, inner strength, praying, love, the power of thought  and the list goes on.  Certainly this book helped me to reflect on some of my actions and how they effect relationships (friendships, family, business etc.) both positively and negatively. It allowed for me to think more objectively about my life, my decisions and how/what/where my views and position stand as a woman.  I’ve recently endured a rather painful situation in my life and read the below excerpt that spoke to me and helped me think differently about the way I handled it internally

Resistance Magnifies Pain
“Natural childbirth classes teach mothers-to-be that the pain of childbirth is greater when you resist it and grow tense with fear.  They tell you to “breathe into the pain,” not because deep breathing decreases the pain, but because relaxation increases your ability to accept pain….I encourage them to turn toward it, relax into the experience of pain, give themselves permission to feel it and act on it.  This frequently amazes them because most have been taught the sitff-upper lip appraoch to both physical and emotional pain. Resistance magnifies pain.  The more we resist difficult people, concepts, or circumstances, the more we draw to us exactly what we’re trying to resist… Resistance causes tension.  Tension creates tightness, stiffness, and inflexibility…..”   Often times, friends/peers/loved one have the best intentions and give the advice to ” don’t cry”  “don’t be angry” …but dammit sometimes it’s part of the process of working through one’s pain. LOL. I’ve crossed paths with individuals who hold everything in, and they’ve shared how it’s inhibited their current/future relationships, caused serious health issues or worse.  Just remember to BREATHE!



I loved this book.  It takes the accounts of women in various fields and backgrounds and features letters these amazing women would write to their younger selves.  The letters are honest, vulnerable and allow the reader (us) to really relate to some of the stories and even may change the way you view/I/anyone may view their current situations.  Please take the time to check it out.
Check out the website: http://www.letterstomyyoungerself.com
To purchase on amazon: CLICK HERE

About this book: *Taken from http://www.letterstomyyoungerself.com”

“We don’t always have the wisdom we require at the time we need it. We struggle. We worry. Often, only later do our choices make sense to us,” says Ellyn Spragins in WHAT I KNOW NOW: Letters To My Younger Self (Broadway Books; April 2006) The book contains letters from forty-one famous women reflecting on significant moments in their lives and sharing the advice they wish they had known at that time.

After losing her mother suddenly several years ago, Ellyn Spragins found herself asking questions about her mother’s life as she navigated her own. She was curious about how her mother felt during some of the key moments and how she would feel about them having the benefit of hindsight. This personal reflection is what ultimately propelled Spragins to approach women she admired and respected about what words of wisdom they wish they had known during pivotal times in their own lives.

Cokie Roberts, Queen Noor of Jordan, Macy Gray, and Ann Curry are just some of the many well-known contributors who participated in this deeply personal exercise. Others who also opened their hearts in WHAT I KNOW NOW include:

  • Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State – addressing herself when she was still reeling from the breakup of her marriage of 23 years.
  • Trisha Yearwood, Singer and Songwriter – encouraging herself in her early twenties not to look for validation from others.
  • Heather Mills McCartney, Activist – learning to say “no” sometimes to people that just take and take and do not try to help themselves.
  • Olympia Dukakis, Actress – encouraging herself to find some happiness in trying situations rather than just being bogged down with all of the difficult things she was faced with.
  • Maya Angelou, Poet, Author, Playwright – telling herself at age 17 that she will succeed when she first left home with a newborn baby.
  • Eileen Fisher, Clothing Designer and Entrepreneur – encouraging her younger self (early 20s) to embrace her independence and not to be afraid to be alone.

WHAT I KNOW NOW not only offers insight into the private lives of several inspiring women, but creates a springboard for readers to reflect on some of the important choices they made in their own lives. As Spragins says, “Choosing to grow during trying life passages can be lonely work. I hope this book will make that choice less solitary because you’ll be in the company of great women.”