From time to time, I am contacted with opportunities to read a book and then let you guys know what I think about it. Most of the time, I delete the messages because the books just aren't anything I'm interested in.
But then this book hit my inbox and the title captured me right away.
I thought it would be a nice little read... I thought I might get a few ideas from it.
This book has the potential to be life changing.
This is a book that I want to give every new mom. Because even if she doesn't need it right away, she will need it in the years ahead.
In all honesty, the first two chapters spoke directly to me. I might have just stopped after those first two chapters and that alone would be enough to start making changes.
Part 1: Heal Yourself, Heal Your Family
Chapter 1: The Transformative Power of Self-Care
Chapter 2: Peace Begins With Me: A Journey to Wholeness
The first thing that grabbed my attention was that each chapter has a "Pause for Peace" blurb. It's a little exercise to do to help you get focused.
I start reading this chapter on self care and am thinking that it's just going to make me feel guilty for not exercising, not having a spa day, whatever. Then I turned to the second page of the chapter and saw this subtitle:
"Self Care: Beyond Massages and Pedicures"
You've got my attention.
"The same love, gentle care, and compassion we offer so generously to our little ones should be extended to ourselves as well. Regardless of what we tell our children, we teach them about self-worth and how to honor oneself through our actions, not our words."
"I define self-care as the art of attuning and responding to your deepest needs and desires. More than anything, it's about cultivating a new mindset in which we slow down, tune inward, and repsond to what we need most in the moment."
The book goes on to give ideas and examples of self care in terms of physical, amotional, spiritual, and mental care.
The book is loaded with spiritual depth - I recommend reading it through once and then using it like a textbook. This is a book that you can continue to go back to, to reference, to use continually.
Beyond self care, the book also focuses on reconnecting (unplug the electronics... plug in to nature... find spiritual renewal), spending time together, defining your family culture, doing less and experiencing more, and building your support network.
I really enjoyed the chapter on defining your family culture. It gave me a lot to think about and work on.
Here's the bottom line - when I think about what I want my life to be like... when I think about what I want my kids to say about their childhood... I have to be making choices now that get me to what I want in the future. If I want my kids to remember fun and compassion and generosity as the lessons and values of this family, I have to make sure we are living those values. If I want my kids to have memories of fun times with mom and dad around the city, going to the park, hiking at the nature center, whatever... I have to make those things happen.
Nurturing The Soul Of Your Family is written by Renee Peterson Trudeau. Renee is a coach and consultant and is passionate about helping people find balance in their lives. I am very eager to check out other titles that she's authored - next on my list is The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate, and Re-balance Your Life.
There are moms I know and I observe the bits of their life that I am blessed to see... and I sometimes wonder... How can I be more like her? How can I bring to my family what she brings to hers? I don't compare myself to her... but I think about what she seems to have that I want for my family. This book helps me figure out how to be my best, balanced, amotionally connected self. Once I am taking care of me, I can define my family culture - I can take the things I see in those other moms and figure out if those things can be part of our family culture. And once I know what I want as a mother, I can use my support network to carry me on my journey.
I highly recommend this book. Go buy it. Read it. Study it. Do the activities and journaling. Set it down and contemplate it, let it sink in. Go back for more. But it as a gift - for a new mom, a mom you know who is struggling, a mom that you admire.
I was provided with a copy of this book in order to read and share my thoughts with you. The thoughts I've shared are completely my own. The links are given are just for your convenience - no affiliate links or anything (I don't make any money if you go buy the book from my link). I don't generally take the marketers and publishers and such up on these offers - but I am so glad that I said yes to this book.