Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Woman's Book of Confidence

This past weekend while in Northern Kentucky for my sister's bridal shower, I came across a book on the discount pile at Barnes and Noble. "The Woman's Book of Confidence - Meditations for strength and inspiration" written by Sue Patton Thoele sat there looking at me for a while as I peered back at it. Evaluating the books around this one, such as "Jokes" and "How to Have a Better Golf Swing", I had an inner debate whether it was even worth my time to pick it up and skim through it.

I looked back at it again. Why not? I was waiting for my mom to come back from the bathroom and I had time to spare. There were no books just calling for my attention, so I grabbed the book and sat in one of the chairs near the cafe.

Opening to a random page, it read,
(Page 172)

"Reframing Reality"

"There are those of us who see reality only by the harsh glare of television news coverage or to the unknowable shadows of "what if..." Because the news seems to accentuate the negative and the unknown is often so frightening, is it any wonder that one of our society's primary diseases is depression?

But the good news is that we can reframe reality. We can choose what we look at, listen to, and respond to. Yes, negative things happen. Yes there is much pain and suffering - in the world and to our own lives - and we need to have compassion for it. But we don't have to become irretrievably entagled in it to the detriment of our own happiness. The French novelist Colette summed up this choice when she said, 'What a wonderful life I've had. I only wish I'd realized it sooner.'

We can realize how wonderful our lives are by changing what we focus on -- how we frame our reality. An elderly friend of mine said that calling herself a housewife didn't seem to command the respect she felt it deserved so she changed her title. When asked what she did, she responded that she was a social arbitrator. Not only did others seem more impressed by her career choice, but she believed it to be a much fairer description of her role and therefore felt more valued.

Quietly think of a situation in your life that you consider difficult or depression. Allow your creative mind to take a snapshot of it. Now bring into your awareness the frame that you have this situation in. Is it dark and heavy? Huge and cumbersome? Covered with ugly decorations? Ask yourself how you would like to frame this situation. Allow a new frame to appear, one more manageable and maybe even beautiful. What change in attitude will you need in order to reframe your picture? When this situation next arises, take a moment to see it in the context of your new frame.

As we learn to reframe our reality, our lives can become filled with the fantastic, heaped with heroes, and loaded with love.

I choose to see how wonderful my life is.
I have the power to reframe my reality
I appreciate my life and all of its variations."

This is just one excerpt of a truly inspiring book. Even if you think that you are a woman with the confidence of steel, you too can benefit from this book. The small "meditations" are broken up into larger categories:

"Weaving a safety net"
"Befriending fear"
"Becoming the parent we deserve"
"Embracing no fault living"
"Finding freedom through honest feeling"
"Accepting what is"
"Changing what can be changed"
"Inviting abundance"
"Growing through loss"
"Trusting the feminine within"

Sue does a wondrous job of incorporating christianity with her tidbits of wisdom, but that's not all it is. The "meditations" as she calls them, pushes the reader to evaluate themselves and how they have been living. I haven't even finished reading the book, but I know it will be one of my all time favorites.

Please take the time to pick up and read this book, you will be glad you did.

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