read-along

another excerpt from our December read-along of "A Woman's Worth"

Another Excerpt from Our December
Read-Along of A Woman's Worth

This month, I'm hosting a read-along of A Woman's Worth by Marianne Williamson. This is an excerpt from today's email for my fellow readers!


A creative spilling of her guts

"In writing this book, I have no purpose other than a creative spill of my own guts." (from the Preface)

I'm having to remind myself that Williamson did not set out to write your typical 'self-help' or women's studies book — she's not giving us how-to steps, nor is she trying to 'prove' anything with data or research. The evidence she shares is anecdotal, and to her credit, she was clear about that from the start.

Her purpose in writing this book was to simply share her own experiences and her own perspective of womanhood, and hopefully here and there we might find some bits and pieces we could relate to and/or sympathize with.

This book is not prescriptive, it is descriptive. It is an act of solidarity. When I try to keep that in mind, that it's almost like a published personal journal, then I'm more open to what she has to say and how she goes about saying it.

So, if I can offer a couple key, and very generalized, exercises at this point, they're simply these:

- Pay attention to what you don't agree with as much as what you do.
- Pay attention to the issues you wish there were solutions or guidance for.

Any time you find yourself shaking your head or nodding it, notice that. Ask yourself why. What does this clarify in your own beliefs about womanhood? Get out your journal and argue with Williamson! Make your point. Tell it how you see it. Being able to state what your own philosophy of womanhood isn't or what it doesn't stand for can be just as helpful as being able to define what it is. Some of Williamson's beliefs or assertions may put your own ideas into relief.

And any time you find yourself asking, "Yeah, but what can I do about this?" Write. It. Down. These are things that are clearly important to you, things that resonate with you, and by writing them down, you'll make it easier for yourself to come back and spend some time with them. If you record the issues now, you can experiment later with your own creative solutions.


It's not too late to join us for the read-along! When you sign up, you'll automagically receive all the emails you've missed! The book is only 141 pages -- definitely doable, even in two holiday-packed weeks!

 
 

NOTE: Signing up for December's read-along emails will also subscribe you to other regular letters from me as well.
 

Tagged: Read-Along

See Also: book: "A Woman's Worth"

an excerpt from December's read-along of "A Woman's Worth"

An Excerpt from December's
Read-Along of A Woman's Worth

 
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What follows is an excerpt from today's email for the read-along of A Woman's Worth that I'm hosting this month...


On dulling our pain and self-crucifixion

"Why do people who have the most ardor, the most enchantment, the most power so often feel the need for drugs and alcohol? They do not drink just to dull their pain; they drink to dull their ecstasy. Betty Lynn lived in a world that doesn't know from ecstatic women, or want to know, or even allow them to exist. [...] Betty Lynn crucified herself before anyone else had a chance to. Many of us are a little like her, choosing to implode rather than take on society's punishment." (pg. 14)

"In the case of many people who carry around one thing, whatever it is, that blocks them from total joy, that belief is this: If I am too happy, too successful, too perfect, I will not be loved. There has to be something that lets other people know that I'm really 'one of them,' that I'm miserable too. I'm really not taking away their piece of the pie. I'm really not perfect, so they don't have to hate me." (pg.27)

This hits a little too close to home for me, if you know what I mean. Sabotaging ourselves to appease (what we preemptively think are) other people's expectations. Judging other women, too, for being too (or not enough) x, y, or z.

- What do you judge yourself for doing/being as a woman?
- What standards do you think you're meeting when you squash whatever those natural instincts are to be 'acceptable'?
- In what ways do you think those standards are ... positive/beneficial? ... negative/harmful?

There's a real difference between striving to live up to standards that we set for ourselves and obligating ourselves to live up to standards expected by others. It's the difference between living inside-out versus outside-in. The former is self-expression, the latter is approval-seeking compulsion. So some standards that require our restraint or practice in order to meet them will be 'positive' for us, while others will be 'negative'. It all depends on how living our lives to those standards makes us feel, and it will look unique to each of us.

- What do you judge other women for doing/being?
- If your judgments had nothing to do with those women, what do you think your judgments might say about what you think, feel, and believe about what is 'acceptable' for women to do/be?
- And to what extent are those standards of acceptability ... your own? ... someone else's?

"It is impossible to overestimate the psychic damage done by the delusions, pseudoreligious and other, that God is somehow happier or we are somehow purer is we are suffering just a bit. The truth is not that God is happier or that we are better, but that the institutions that told us so are happier, because suffering keeps us in our place, where we are easier to control." (pg. 28)

Mic drop.


It's not too late to join us for the read-along! When you sign up, you'll automagically receive all the emails you've missed, so you'll be all caught up and ready to pick up where we left off along with us next week.

Worried about not being able to find the time to read a whole book during the holiday season? A Woman's Worth clocks in at a total of 141 pages ... and the margins are huuuge. Let there be no misunderstanding that is precisely why I chose to read this one this month. I got holiday plans, too! ;)

 
 

NOTE: Signing up for December's read-along emails will also subscribe you to other regular letters from me as well.

 

Tagged: Read-Along

See Also: book: "A Woman's Worth"

would you like to read "a woman's worth" with me?

Would you like to read A Woman's Worth with me?

 
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You might know I treat reading as an important part of my awakening practice. I just finished up a book at Thanksgiving and have been thinking about what my next read will be. With the holiday season upon us, I knew I wanted to choose something that would be a fairly easy read, something quick and uplifting. So ...

I’ll be reading A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson, and thought I’d invite you to read along with me!

I'll be sending an email each week with some thoughts, questions, and other prompts for reflection as we read together through the month of December. This will be super low-key: no reading schedule, no homework, and definitely no such thing as being 'behind' with this — just an intention to engage with our beliefs about womanhood on a deeper level.

If you’d like to read A Woman’s Worth along with me this month, sign up below. And then ... find yourself a copy! You can find the book at Amazon SmileBarnes & NobleGoogle Books — or maybe even your local library.

 
 

NOTE: Signing up for December's read-along emails will also subscribe you to other regular letters from me as well.

 

Tagged: Read-Along

See Also: book: "A Woman's Worth"