Self-Coaching 101 – Brooke Castillo.

What the Cover Says: Self coaching is about feeling better. It really is that simple. Everything we do in our lives is because we want to feel better. When we give-it feels good. When we help others-it feels good. When we accomplish something-it feels good. Whenever we feel bad-we are usually seeking a way to feel good. The reason we want to feel good, is because it is our true nature. Alignment with our spirit-our true essence-the God within us feels good. It feels peaceful, joyous, honest, abundant and free. Through coaching ourselves we can feel good much more of the time. By coaching ourselves we find what is not working in our lives. We find that trying to change the external circumstances to change how we feel is impossible. We learn that fighting our emotions or trying to deny them only makes them bigger. We find that our thinking is the most important thing we can pay attention to in order to feel better now. By taking a peek into our own minds we can find the cause of all our suffering. We can see how we block our joy with outdated and untruthful thoughts and beliefs. By just being in this place of awareness we have aligned with our true nature and can observe the patterns of our lives. Hiring a coach can be an amazing experience. Having someone who is already “outside” of your mind give you a different perspective to consider is often the first step in change. But ultimately, it is the process of shifting your own perception with your own awareness that will create non-dependent freedom. This is why I feel so strongly about learning how to apply these simple self coaching tools in your own life and on your own mind. If you are willing to do the work now-it becomes a way of being. You will step into a life that is lived with awareness and consciousness because each time you feel any negative emotion you see it as a signal to coach yourself and realign with the true essence of you. Self coaching 101 teaches you the basics of how to do this. And the basics are enough.

Why I Read It: I first heard Brooke on The Lively Show back in March and loved her.  I then heard a re-broadcast of her first interview with Jess and it really resonated with me.  So I really wanted to read her book and give her model a try.

What I Thought: This is one of those books that’s really quick and easy  to read but that you will go back to time and time again.  Brooke has put together an incredibly practical, step-by-step  guide with worksheets to copy or print from her website so you can rely put the model into practice.  This book has done more to change my outlook and mindset than anything else I’ve read this year; it has really changed my life (the last thing that had this kind of impact on me was Caroline Webb’s How to Have a Good Day.  May was a very difficult month for me and reading this at the start of June just gave me tools to think about what was happening in a different way.  I knew that I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed about the challenges at work or upset about the break-up so I spent quite a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to feel and working out how I needed to think about events in my life to feel that way.  I cannot recommend this enough – an excellent little book for anyone trying to manifest change in their life!

Gut – Giulia Enders

What the Cover Says: Our gut is as important as our brain or heart, yet we know very little about how it works and many of us are too embarrassed to ask questions. In Gut, Giulia Enders breaks this taboo, revealing the latest science on how much our digestive system has to offer. From our miraculous gut bacteria – which can play a part in obesity, allergies, depression and even Alzheimer’s – to the best position to poo, this entertaining and informative health handbook shows that we can all benefit from getting to know the wondrous world of our inner workings.

Why I Read It: This was this month’s Rebel read, in a month themed with food.

What I Thought: Gut is a fascinating trip through the body’s digestive system – or second brain, as it turns out.  I loved finding out more about how my body works, from where the saliva glands in your mouth are to the vast range of bacteria living in the intestines.  I learned so much from this book.  I am now much more mindful about what I eat and the effect it has on me, particularly around my appetite which has been quite fitful, especially at work recently.  Enders does a great job of keeping it readable and understandable; she makes a conscious effort to avoid being too scientific (although there were times I found this a little juvenile and annoying).  The little cartoons and drawings are cute and cheerful too!  It seemed to be a really popular read with the group too; a lot of the books we read can really provoke different opinions but everyone seemed to get a lot out of this.

The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

What the Cover Says:  We give up too easily. With a simple change of attitude, what seem like insurmountable obstacles become once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Ryan Holiday, who dropped out of college at nineteen to serve as an apprentice to bestselling ‘modern Machiavelli’ Robert Greene and is now a media consultant for billion-dollar brands, draws on the philosophy of the Stoics to guide you in every situation, showing that what blocks our path actually opens one that is new and better.  If the competition threatens you, it’s time to be fearless, to display your courage. An impossible deadline becomes a chance to show how dedicated you are. And as Ryan discovered as Director of Marketing for American Apparel, if your brand is generating controversy – it’s also potentially generating publicity.  The Stoic philosophy – that what is in the way, is the way – can be applied to any problem: it’s a formula invented more than 2,000 years ago, whose effectiveness has been proven in battles and board rooms ever since. From Barack Obama’s ability to overcome obstacles in his election races, to the design of the iPhone, the stoic philosophy has helped its users become world-beaters.

Why I Read It: This book was recommended by a couple of fellow Rebels.

What I Thought: The recommendations I had for this book really bigged it up – people said it changed their lives.  I have to say, I liked it but I didn’t find it that impactful for me.  I think it sums a philosophy that it is kind of innate for me anyway: to see the opportunity in challenge.  It’s not the easiest thing to and one of the things this book is good for is giving you a lot of examples of other people doing this.  It takes a number of different Stoic principles and tries to make them into practical strategies to embrace and break through obstacles.  I’m not sure quite how useful or practical it really is – there wasn’t anything that I really took away from it to do differently – but it is good read and a reminder that life is always full of challenges and difficulties, you can either give up or embrace them and use them to make your life better.

I’ve also been reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington this month.  I’ve actually been reading this on and off for months, after it was brought for me nearly two years ago (oops).      She even put this beautiful quote inside the cover so I am feeling pretty guilty that I still haven’t finished it.  Hopefully, I will actually get it finished in July but I already have three new books to read too!

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