Try Softer - A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode--and into a Life of Connection and Joy
How much do I want to read more? 7/10
The author is a therapist, and she wrote this book because she was struggling herself with being overwhelmed.
This book is about reconnecting to our body and emotions. To stop rushing into "productivity" so that what we do makes more sense to ourselves.
Listening to our body. being attentive to our inner feelings. Embracing our whole nature, and not to filter with hidding our suffering and focusing on what we think matter most. Not to deny what our body and emotions say, but to listen to them for they don't lie, and are there to help us.
The basic rule of being a therapist is that you should never work harder than your client, but I was breaking that rule ten times over and headed straight for burnout.
The day that I sat with John in his office totally changed the trajectory of my life because John was right: Pushing isn’t always the answer.
there are truly times when the best, healthiest, most productive thing we can do is not to try harder, but rather to try softer: to compassionately listen to our needs so we can move through pain—and ultimately life—with more gentleness and resilience.
We try to appear successful, productive, or simply okay on the outside, even when we’re not okay on the inside.
Our world overvalues productivity and others’ opinions, so we learn to ignore the messages our bodies are giving us—through our emotions and physical sensations.
It begins when we mindfully listen to what’s on the inside of us and let that influence how we look and act on the outside. It’s an intentional shift toward paying compassionate attention to our own experiences and needs. Learning to try softer is not a onetime event but a way we learn to be with ourselves.
- part 1 will take you through the process of understanding what circumstances hardwired you to white-knuckle your way through life. why your body reacts to stress the way it does and how listening to your body can help.
- Part 2 will introduce you to new practices and rhythms that will enable you to try softer in different areas of your life.
Understanding why you came to live and behave the way you do is critical to implementing long-term change.
I want you to begin to develop a new awareness of your story and your wounds so you can attend to your pain with the same tenderness.
I want you to know what it’s like to be fully alive—not because you’ll be perfect or because it will be easy, but because this is what we were made for: a living, breathing, moving, feeling, connected, embodied life.
CHAPTER 1 - “BUT HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?”
You either walk into your story and own your truth, or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.
-- BRENÉ BROWN, Rising Strong
Her question was one many of my clients have asked: Isn’t there an easy fix to my problems? Is there any way we can just wave a magic wand and be done?
In a word, no.
I believe the true work is slow and deep.
The work of trying softer begins when we release our desire for the quick fix and tend to the wounds underneath the surface.
When people begin to understand that change happens in layers—and is rarely linear. It’s as if someone put a balm on their souls and gave them this message: “It takes as long as it takes. It’s okay to be unfinished. It’s absolutely normal to be imperfect. It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.”
The tension is where the real magic happens. As we accept the idea that process is part of what it means to be human, we are less intimidated by our unmet goals and are kinder to the wounded parts of ourselves.
Personal growth is a journey, not an event. It’s a becoming.
As author Brené Brown writes, “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”
THE POWER OF STORY
Erica finds herself constantly ignoring signs of hunger, stress, sadness, or the terrible pain in her neck and back.
Simply put, stories—or the compilation of events, emotions, sensations, ideas, and relationships we’ve experienced—are held in our minds and bodies, and they affect how we see our world.
It’s only when I acknowledge that my experience is valid that I have the ability to do something with my discomfort.
When we deny the reality of our experiences, we don’t become more, but less.
There’s no way to have cohesive stories unless we truly embrace all of it: the good, the hard, the bittersweet, the sad, the joyful, the lonely, and the painful. It all counts.