Looking within

From creativity and happiness, to assertiveness and moving beyond suffering, take a look at these latest books for ideas and tools you can use in your life.

Syndetics book coverHappier at home : kiss more, jump more, abandon a project, read Samuel Johnson, and my other experiments in the practice of everyday life / Gretchen Rubin.
“In the spirit of the #1New York Timesbestseller ‘The Happiness Project’, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place. In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time and parenthood. Also, while Rubin wants to be happier at home, she wants to appreciate how much happiness is there already. So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicates a school year – September through May – to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort and love. Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions – and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well. With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy and experimentation, Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverAssertiveness : what the most assertive people know, do and say / Dannie Lu Carr.
“Being assertive means that you are self-assured know what you want from life, are happy to stand up for yourself and have the respect of those around you. Do you want to be like this? This book will show you how! Practical and easy to read, it looks at what it means to be assertive in today’s world. As well as containing plenty of exercises and case studies, it also includes a personal plan which can be adapted by you to suit the issues you are facing.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverA thousand days of wonder : a scientist’s chronicle of his daughter’s developing mind / Charles Fernyhough.
“Unlike any other time in our lives, we remember almost nothing from our first three years. As infants, not only are we like the proverbial blank slate but our memories are like teflon: nothing sticks. In this beautifully written account of his daughter’s first three years, Charles Fernyhough combines his vivid observations with a synthesis of developmental theory, re-creating what that time, lost to the memory of adults, is like from a child’s perspective. In A Thousand Days of Wonder, Fernyhough, a psychologist and novelist, attempts to get inside his daughter’s head as she acquires all the faculties that make us human, including social skills, language, morality, and a sense of self. Written with a father’s tenderness and a novelist’s empathy and style, this unique book taps into a parent’s wonder at the processes of psychological development.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverThe creativity cure : a do-it-yourself prescription for happiness / Carrie Barron and Alton Barron.
“Find a happy person, and you will find a project” wrote author and research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky. In this insightful book, husband-and-wife physicians Carrie and Alton Barron draw upon the latest psychological research, a combined forty years of medical practice, and personal experience to demonstrate the truth of that statement, revealing that creative action is integral to long-term happiness and wellbeing. The five steps of The Creativity Cure – Insight, Movement, Mind Rest, Using Your Own Two Hands, and Mind Shift lead the way to a more meaningful, fulfilling life by simultaneously developing self-understanding and self-expression. With the Barrons’ detailed tools and strategies for cultivating creative outlets, overcoming unconscious fears and barriers to happiness, and linking internal thought to external action, readers will build the mindset and habits for happiness and positive change. They will experience and learn how to sustain the deep satisfaction that accompanies creating something by hand. The perfect self-help book for our handmade, homemade, crafting culture, ‘The Creativity Cure’ has a simple yet profoundly inspirational message: that you can find the authentic, contented life you crave by taking happiness into your own two hands.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverNo storm lasts forever : transforming suffering into insight / Terry A. Gordon.
“As a cardiologist, Dr Terry Gordon dealt with life-and-death circumstances on a daily basis. He learned that life is precious and tenuous; it can change in an instant. Such a dramatic shift occurred when his son, Tyler, was involved in a car accident, sustaining a severe spinal-cord injury that left him paralyzed. Leading his family through the experience, Terry’s journey resulted in a spiritual awakening to a clearer understanding of life and the truths it has to offer. Terry has learned that our experiences become calamities only if we make the conscious decision to make tragedies out of them. Rather than lamenting adversities, we can choose to be grateful for them, embracing them as gifts from the Divine. These gifts provide fertile soil for growth and enlightenment, offering us the opportunity to transform turmoil, disappointment and suffering into understanding, insight and resolve. These gifts, and how to bring them into your own life, are offered to you in No Storm Lasts Forever.” (Global Books in Print)

New self-help books

Whether it’s helping yourself or helping others close to you, take ideas and inspiration from these new items this month.

Syndetics book coverTransforming negative self-talk : practical, effective exercises / Steve Andreas.
“Hearing critical or disapproving internal chatter is a common frustration. It can follow us around daily, calling into question our self-confidence, making us anxious or obsessive, and generally wreaking havoc on our sense of balance and well-being. In this user-friendly guide, an experienced clinician presents an array of original, take-charge exercises, which don’t suggest simply ignoring your ruminations. On the contrary, by learning how to change the way the words are spoken, the location of the voice, its tempo, tone, and volume, and stamp out generalizations, evaluations, and presuppositions, we can gain control of the downbeat voices and use them to our advantage.” – (adapted from Book cover summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond words : grieving when your child has died / by Andrew Thompson and Tricia Irving Hendry.
“The death of a child is a heartfelt experience like no other.It is a deep grief experience that goes beyond words.The loss affects bereaved parents emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. It makes more demands on them than most others ever realise. Many bereaved parents say that the only people who can ever genuinely begin to understand what it’s like for them are other bereaved parents. Hearing from others who have ‘been there’ can make all the difference. For this reason, Beyond Words is a handbook that features the honest words, perspectives and suggestions of many bereaved parents. It also offers useful information about managing grief, support options and ideas that may be helpful on the grief journey. It is comforting, encouraging, informative and practical. It will also provide understanding and insights to professionals and others seeking to effectively support bereaved parents.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverThe guide to compassionate assertiveness : how to express your needs & deal with conflict while keeping a kind heart / Sherrie M. Vavrichek.
“Many people who struggle with assertiveness are paralyzed by worries that they’ll seem mean, petty, or that they will hurt the other person’s feelings. Even though they want to speak up, they may keep their true needs and opinions to themselves because of these fears – eventually building stress, resentment, and alienation. The Guide to Compassionate Assertiveness does not require that readers ignore the needs of others and focus solely on their own desires. Rather, this unique blend of cognitive behavioral therapy-based assertiveness training and Buddhist psychology helps readers practice assertiveness skills while caring deeply about the welfare of others. This book helps readers develop a form of assertiveness that emphasizes collaboration, negotiation, and compromise. It focuses on speaking up for the benefit of others and speaking up for the relationship, not just one’s own needs. In this way, readers learn to assert their needs in ways that match their compassionate value systems. This book is the ideal assertiveness guide for those who are afraid of rejection, have a deep concern for how others perceive them, often feel judged by others, or have difficulty expressing their feelings and needs. Readers learn to apply assertiveness skills in all domains of their lives, including in romantic relationships, as parents, at work, and in social settings.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverThe parent’s guide to self-harm : what parents need to know / Jane Smith.
“Written by parents for parents, this handy guide book shows both how to deal with and help when a child is engaging in self-harm. An ever-increasing number of young people are turning to self-harm in order to cope with the pressures of modern living, and this poses a huge problem for parents and others who care for them. This book provides the answers needed to the pressing questions these parents struggle with daily, and shows that there is hope in these distressing situations. Questions addressed include: How do I know for sure whether my child is self-harming? How should I approach my child? What help and treatment is available to us? What can I do to help my child? and How have other parents coped? Full of the real-life experiences of parents who have been there, this is a practical book that will both inform and equip parents to help their children and themselves get through this difficult time.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverThe diviner : the inspiring true story of a man with uncanny insight and the ability to heal / Joe Cassidy.
“Though many of us suspect that there is more to the physical world than meets the eye, reading diviner Joe Cassidy’s story, simply called The Diviner, is still both amazing and inspiring In The Diviner, Joe explains the ancient art he practices. He describes how he discovered his gift and why he resisted it for many years, suffering the consequences in stress and ill-health. Over a decade ago he realised he had to accept his destiny and despite having a young family, he began working as a diviner. Since then he has worked on over five thousand cases. Joe does not advertise but somehow people find him. Everyone from housewives and lorry drivers, to lawyers and record company executives, turns up at his door. What they each sense is that Joe’s timeless insights can help with a problem that appears insoluble.The Diviner is a story of listening, divining and healing that throws a light on a side of life that is both ancient and still very much part of modern life. And it is a fascinating and uplifting story of a life less ordinary.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)