*Please note that this book actually is great for YA too!*
Media Type: Print Book
Title: How To Be You: Stop Trying to Be Someone Else and Start Living Your Life
Author: Jeffrey Marsh
Pages: Paperback; 224
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Genre: Self-Help / Self-Exploration
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who are looking for a non-judgmental and fun way to be introspective.
This book is about how to finally give up on feeling bad about ourselves and discover the best person we can be.
An interactive experience, How to Be You invites you to make the book your own through activities such as coloring in charts, answering questions about how you do the things you do, and discovering patterns in your lives that may be holding you back. Through Jeffrey's own story of "growing up fabulous in a small farming town"--along with the stories of hero/ines who have transcended the stereotypes of race, age, and gender--you will discover that you are not alone, can deepen your relationship with yourself, and find the courage to take a leap that will change your life.
My previous experiences with self-help books have been fairly terrible. Each time someone would come to me and put a book in my hand, while uttering the words "This book is going to change your life!", I've found the contents to be overly preachy. They've always had this miasma of insincerity hanging over them. Which is why, odd as it may sound, I decided to accept a copy of How to Be You for review. I wanted to try again, now that I'm a bit older. I wanted to see if there was a book out there that could change my mind. I owe huge, squishy hugs to Jeffrey Marsh for doing just that.
Marsh's tone is perfectly sincere, the entire length of this book. There's no judgement, and no "THIS IS THE WAY YOU BECOME HAPPY!" being thrown about on the pages. It's more an invitation to take a deep, introspective look at who you are as a person. This book engages the reader with stories from Marsh's own life, little snippets of wonderful hero/ine stories, and prompts to help build self-trust and self-acceptance. The tone is kept light, but it's the honesty here that really made me smile. It's even a bit silly at times, which really helped seal this as something that I wanted to experience. Marsh expresses over and over that being you should be fun! I don't think I'd ever really stopped to think about life that way before I read this book.
The chapter on expressing emotions particularly hit home for me. I love how this isn't for a particular age group, or ethnicity, or lifestyle choice, or anything of that nature. It's a journey for everyone. The chapter on expressing emotion shows this in brilliant color. Everyone feels emotions, sure. Reading through this portion really showed me that we don't stop to think about what those are, really. Or how to deal with them. Or how we don't deal with them. I've been on a personal mission to learn how to better express my own emotions, so it felt good to see printed on the page the fact that it's okay admit when you're feeling anything. Sadness, anger, all the "bad" emotions, are just as important to experience as the good. I needed that validation, and I didn't even know it.
Look, I'm being completely honest with you when I say that my favorite part of this book is just the idea that life is fluid. That's been a lesson that I've learned the hard way, through many a mistake and many an attempt to control the uncontrollable. I wish someone had handed me this book when I was at my darkest moment and just smiled, sat beside me, and let me read through it. Reading it now still helped immensely, and this is something I'll keep close for many more readthroughs, but also something I plan to go and put gently into other reader's hands. Self-care, self-acceptance, self-worth, are all important things that we forget to acknowledge. Marsh has written a beautiful book that reminds us to look inside, and enjoy the crazy, wonderful life we've been given.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.