Even though I am a marketing and small business coach, I am also a book nerd and love to read. One thing that I am starting is a monthly book review of whatever I have been reading this month that I think you all would want to dig into. This month I am giving you an insight into Shauna Niequists book, Bittersweet.
Bittersweet was a book that was gifted to me by the lovely Holly Joy Holt last year and I must confess, it sat on my nightstand for months! Not that I wasn’t interested in it, but every time I picked it up, something else seemed to pop up to do. Finally in November when I was forced to rest and had a lot of time to do things I enjoy, I picked it up and boy, was I truly disappointed that I had not done it sooner!
Right from the start, her conversational tone and wit had already pulled me in and her raw honesty about her struggles and life made me think we were basically besties already. I think it was because her book was dictating what I was currently going through, but her stories and experiences resonated with me more than I thought they would
She showed me through her own experiences that even in the darkest of times, we can always find the silver lining or in her words the bittersweet that comes from everything thrown our way.
"...sometimes the happiest ending isn't the one you keep longing for, but something you absolutely cannot see from where you are.”
In life we tend to try to make the outcome we think we want happen no matter what the cost. What Shauna shows us though is that no matter how much we try to make our happy endings fit, we often can not see why it won't. It stems from the fact that we blind ourselves from what we truly need at this season in our lives. Even if life is not going the way you expect, try to enjoy your journey and not worry to much about the happy endings, worry about the happy moments that will eventually get you to the end goal.
One of my favorite quotes throughout the whole book was:
“It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard, she said, is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”
I kid you not; I literally started crying when I read that because I needed to hear it at the time. Granted I do not know if it was the emotional challenge I was going through, but I am one of those people that up until recently really thought we needed to do and have it all. This opened up my mind to seeing that just because others have something or do things, does not mean I have to be like them. I also started to write down my very own list of “Will Do’s and Won’t Do’s” and have stuck to that as I have moved forward in starting my business and I can say without regret that it is definitely helpful.
We all have the power of choice, which I know I talk about a lot, but what Shauna shows you is that you also have to realize what to give up in order to make yourself happy. She talks about her need to do it all and how it eventually got to her and made her see what her wants vs. needs were and what she needed to cut out.
If you feel sometimes like all of the crap that life has thrown your way, this book will make you see that even though your life may look like a mess, there is actually good that will come from it as so eloquently put in this except:
“I believe that suffering is part of the narrative, and that nothing really good gets built when everything's easy. I believe that loss and emptiness and confusion often give way to new fullness and wisdom.”
If life were always easy, we wouldn't have the drive to push ourselves past the limits that have been holding us. It is those times when we just want to shut the door and wallow that we are able to grow and see that there is more than just this moment of suffering. It will pass and life will go on, so how can we choose to live a better life and learn from it?
I feel in love with this book as I read it over the course of a few months and I hope that if you choose to read it that you do too! Just remember that...
"When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow"
If you are feeling like your life is a little frazzled right now and do not have time to read a whole book to get you to focus, why not join my free 5 day email challenge "From Frazzled to Focused" to jump start you working smarter this summer and not harder on your goals and dreams! You will get emails delivered directly to your inbox early in the morning starting June 6th, challenging you to take different actions that help relieve stress and get you to gain clarity! If your interested, join today!