Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Recommended reading: Replenish

While I don't write sponsored posts, I admit this is a review I was asked (though not paid) to write. I want to talk to you about Replenish, a self-care manual written with mamas in mind but a gift for any woman.

  Perth from Rotto

Last spring, I participated in an online class titled "Teach Your Life to Be Extraordinary" with Lisa Grace Byrne. You might notice her blog link in my sidebar. I discovered Lisa through SimpleMom, and I've been a long-time reader. Her words have always seemed practical, caring and open-minded. Most of her courses are longer and bigger commitments, so I thought I would try a short course. The course I took presented a life approach I found quite appealing, but honestly I have been lax in implementing. I would like to revisit the materials and the class videos. I knew if she ever wrote a book, I would want a copy on my bedside table. Now, she has.

The book is titled "Replenish: Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life". I signed up to be an advance reader, so her team sent me an e-copy of the book to review. If you want the whole truth, I ordered the paper copy as soon as it was available, despite already having the e-version. I want to be able to pick it up when I need words of wisdom. I know I'll go back over this book again and again.

Her team also asked if I'd be willing to host a book club with this book, but that too was a no-brainer. As I read, I thought of at least seven mom-friends who would appreciate the book. We haven't started reading it as a group yet, but six of us have signed on for the one-off club. Want to join us?

If you are interested in a bit more information, here's the book review I wrote on Amazon:

If you are a mother in need of better self-care, Replenish is both a gift and a guide that you can turn to again and again. 

Replenish is written for mothers, but it is not a parenting book. Lisa's focus is a reminder that underneath the mother is a valuable woman who deserves care and attention too. Throughout the book, she gives realistic, practical strategies for self-care, exploring areas from relaxing moments, rest, quiet and breathing techniques to nourishing foods and joyful movement. 

Lisa writes from a place of compassion and honesty, which feels so refreshing. She is open about all the challenges and paradoxes of motherhood. There is no judgement implied or felt, just a plain understanding that yes, motherhood is wonderful but it is also very tough. The daily work of motherhood wears on one's body, heart and mind, which is why we need to replenish our inner wells. Reading this book, I felt I had been chatting with a girlfriend who had been in the trenches, had found her way out and was offering a helping hand to lift me up too. 

I truly appreciated how I never got the sense that these strategies and suggestions were only possible in someone else's perfect circumstances, nor does Lisa herself pretend to be perfect. Mothers can feel judged and criticized enough (often quite thoroughly all by ourselves), and that simply wasn't present in this book. 

I cannot think of any mother who would not benefit from Lisa's grace and insight.

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