Anything You Put Your Mind To by Liz Strauss – A Book Review
I anxiously awaited my opportunity to read this book as Liz is a friend, a movement, a force in my life. What would she write about? What great truths would be revealed? Could I handle it?
Turns out, she tells a story – about her encounters with Larry and the dog. It’s a whimsical, entertaining, jolly good version of a story set in the city of Chicago. At first you’re not sure what is real, and what is not. Of course, defining the word ‘real’ is paramount and you’ll find that the line blurs between what is touchable (reality) and what is not (in your head). At some point, you’ll realize it doesn’t matter because the story is so fabulous and has many touchstones we can refer back to.
You’ll start thinking about things like the soundtrack for your life. Liz has pulled out songs that have great meaning to the story, and will make you want to download each one to your music list. I don’t think of music often, and turns out – I miss it. We get wrapped up in our day to day lives and forget to take the time to just sit back and listen to a good song. Music is wrapped around memory and a good song brings brightness into your day.
“Now that my life is so pre-arranged, it’s time for a cool change.” Little River Band
You’ll start thinking about what balance means to your life. “Balance speaks of nuance and blending, not organization and structure” Liz says. What if all the prescribed modes for adding balance are just prescribed modes for more stress? There’s something about being in the flow, and the flow changes, which makes balance something to strive for.
Are you letting one aspect of your life override all others? Consistently? Liz says “The ways that I have edited out my life are becoming apparent to me. I haven’t been purposeful or dramatic, but in subtle ways I have distanced myself from my ‘self’”. Where in my life have I done that? Is work overcoming everything else, and I intentionally shut myself off from other areas in my life?
Read this story. Find out about ‘the golden child’ and think about how that might have happened to you. “The problem with being the Golden Child is that people put you on a pedestal. That can feel so good, but it’s not real and it doesn’t last. When you let people put you on a pedestal you them define who you are. To feel safe, they look to make you predictable by discussing your best characteristics. Now the definition is expanded to include their expectations of you.”
I’ll close with this bit and I’ll encourage you to read this fine little story. I believe this will be a book we keep on our shelves, dog-eared and referred to often. I’ll suggest you get your copy now.
“I’ve learned two things. Whenever I act without knowing, I hurt someone. Whenever I feel righteous, I am wrong.”
You can order the Kindle version or the paperback by clicking here. (no affiliate, just a good referral)
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about the book. It is wonderful to experience the story through your eyes. You reminded of things I had nearly forgotten I’d Charee and you make me feel so wise.
What I am is blessed to have people like you in my life.
You inspire me to be better.
Thank you very much. A lovely loving review – and thought-provoking too. I’m reading you in a cafe in Cork Ireland
Liz — such kind words! Love you much.
Paul — thanks for finding my blog, and I hope you liked the book as much as I did. How are things in Cork?