Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words – Book Summary

 

I must be honest here, this book both challenged me and encouraged me. The aha moments I identified with were tempered by flagrant emotional tension of those stories that left me shocked. The book begins at the title with a badge of courage, “Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words”. To understand the title is to understand the environments these three authors grew from; all of them children of alcoholics.

Read the full book review here: BizCatalyst360 – Transforming Memories
There are no pages bleeding out poor me, feel sorry for me, sympathy-seeking, parent-slamming, passive aggressive, co-dependency. Instead the book is predicated on what it was like to grow up in a family dysfunctional due to alcoholism. The first part of the book by Liz Crocker, Polly Bennell, and Holly Book describes their discovery of writing as a healing mechanism for their souls. Through their practice of writing and seeing its advantages, they agreed that they needed to share this form of therapeutic benefits with others. This book, Transforming Memories: Sharing Spontaneous Writing Using Loaded Words, is the result.

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Careful – Old Letters: A Jewish Family’s Story – book review

When I was in seventh grade, I read The Diary of Anne Frank, and before my senior year of high school concluded, I had read it twice more. I remember the oppression of the Jews, the intense, demoralizing living conditions, and how unbelievably frightening it had to be living in the times of the horrendous Holocaust. While I read The Diary of Anne Frank as an assignment for school, I don’t remember learning as much history or nearly as much about the culture as I did from this book, Careful Old Letters, by Alexandra Weinbaum.

careful-old-lettersFrom the first pages of introduction to the story, I was gripped by the historical account of families desperately torn apart by unthinkable acts of war against Jews. Knowing every word of this book to be true and realizing these horrific things happened to real people made this a book that was difficult to pick up and impossible to put down.

There is so much more I want to say about this book. I hope you will click through and read more here.

Reflections – David J. Greer shares thoughts on growing your business

I have have been a fan of David Greer for over a year since I started following his blog during one of his sailing adventures. I couldn’t wait for his next post. Now he has applied his passion for sailing to principles of leadership in his new book Wind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Success. I can’t wait to read it!  In the meantime, I am honored to share this guest post from David that so closely aligns with values and attitudes that I have adopted as my own. I know you will find inspiration and encouragement as you read.

In recent posts, Jane has reflected on faith, attitude, self-belief, successes, and truth. These are all great topics that impact all of us, especially entrepreneurs. In my new book Wind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Success these topics come up over and over again for entrepreneurs who manage and grow their businesses.

Faith

While there are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs in the US, they are only a small percentage of the whole population of the US. It takes a special person to sense a market need, come up with a solution, and then to ask for and get money to solve the problem they see. All entrepreneurs take an enormous leap of faith when they start their business, launch a new product, or move in a new direction. One whole chapter of Wind In Your Sales is about the entrepreneur him or herself and what they need to do to keep faith in themselves and their business.

 

Attitude

Entrepreneurs set the tone. Every day. How they show up at work is magnified 100-fold. Their every action, tone of voice, and the words they use are scrutinized for meaning. Living in a fish bowl is an entrepreneur’s lot in life. If you show up feeling down or negative, people will assume that the company is having a bad day, not just you.

 

We choose the attitude we come to work with. As an entrepreneur, I know that I have to choose to show up with positive energy, a smile on my face, and an attitude that no challenge is too big. Neuroscience has proven that we can rewire our brain to focus more on the positive aspects. Learn more in Jesse Lyn Stoner’s post 7 Ways to ReWire Your Brain and Become a Better Leader.

 

Belief

To have faith, show up with the right attitude, and have belief in yourself requires that we actively keep things in balance. I journal every morning when I first get up and every evening just before going to bed. I use my journal to note my insights during the day and to note when I am having a lot of negative thoughts. At night, I make sure that I write at least five things in my journal that I am grateful for that day.

Creating self-belief can start in one area of your life and then extend into another. As I wrote in Keeping My Edge, I challenge myself by skiing. While I sometimes fall, picking myself up and trying again on the ski hill is a great way to create the belief I’ll need to do the same in my business.

 

Truth

Kevin Lawrence writes in Expel the Elephants about our need to face the truth in our businesses. It is amazing how people will tip toe around the elephant in the room. It is often the entrepreneur who is unwilling to face up to the reality of the situation.

 

The kicker is that until the elephant gets on the table and you start talking about him it will do nothing but hold you and your business back. We fear the brutal truth, yet it is only by admitting to the reality of the situation do we have the opportunity to do something about it. Your fears are never as bad as the truth. Get you and your employees past those fears so that you can talk about the real problems that are holding everyone back.

 

While Jane writes about faith, attitude, self-belief, successes, and truth in the context of her life, she is a fabulous example of where we all need to focus our attention, as people and as entrepreneurs. My goal with Wind In Your Sails is to help all of us do just that.

 

 

Reading, Writing, and that’s about it …

About forty years ago a friend and I were engrossed in conversation and the topic of books came up. Being a voracious reader, I started rattling off all the books I’d been reading and all the ones stacked up that I planned to read and she floored me with one statement. “I only read the Bible.” What?!?! How can you only read the Bible? How will you learn anything?  At the time, I was a stay at home mom, with ambitions to read as many books as I could and learn as much as possible so I could make a difference. I rarely read a novel because they wouldn’t make me smarter.  Of course, I was wrong about that.  I’ve since concluded that well-researched novels, can certainly add knowledge to what I know.

At the time, I remember I was reading books like ‘Lord, Change Me’ – it didn’t change me.  I was reading ‘How to Talk With Practically Anyone About Practically Anything’.  Hmmm…..I still don’t work a crowd like a marketing pro – it didn’t change me.  I read ‘The Power of a Praying Wife’ – I didn’t practice it. I read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence Others’ – I have a lot of friends, but I didn’t win them because I followed the formula in that book.  Through the years I have read hundreds of books – some authentically valuable. Many of them gave me survival tips that helped me through some complicated situations.

To be effective, I can’t just read and forget, I have to put wise words into practice.  Look at a few of the Psalms with me.  Psalm 85:8 I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants and what about Psalm 86:2 that says Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God.

I need to know that God is guarding my life and strengthening my foundation.  Anxiety can so easily sneak in and start causing me to doubt myself and be fearful. Psalm 86:11 is the cure for anxiety.  Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

I am still a voracious reader – and 90% of what I read is intended to make me smarter. If I could define my perfect career, I would spend all day reading books, researching articles, and contributing to the success of the authors by giving them feedback and encouraging them by promoting all the good points of what they’ve written.  I know – I hear you.  That’s not a paying job.  OK – but I enjoy the whole process of reading, thinking, and I love writing and journaling.  Most of all I love to be the encourager.

This is what I’ve come to realize though. My friend was right way back in the early 70s. In all the reading I do, my foundation has to be the Word of God. Without it, I would be living in an anxiety factory. Life is uncertain and uncertainty breeds anxiety. Reading the Bible first and running to the words of the Father instead of the words of man, no matter how truthful they are, is the path to being free of anxiety. But reading the Word is only the first step.  Matthew 7:24-28 (NIV) “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

Let’s encourage each other to build our foundation on the truth – so we can discern the other books we should be reading to help us be effective in whatever tasks are before us.  And while we’re at it – let’s practice, peaceful living.  Philippians 4:9  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZvZWUZFevI