Don’t Worry – Be Grumpy | Ajahn Brahm


When life shovels shit on you, shrug it off, tread it in, and you will always stand higher in life. – Ajahn Brahm

All you booklovers out there probably know the struggle of getting asked what your favourite book is. I’ve kinda always feared that question, because not only do I find it super hard to pick only one book out of thousands (they are all my babies after all) I also used to forget the titles of every book I’ve ever read. Long story short, that question usually lead to very awkward stammering and a loss for words. However, when I first read Ajahn Brahm’s “Don’t Worry Be Grumpy” my life changed for the better, because I’ve finally found the book I would take on a deserted island with me.

Let me show you why.

The Australian Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm wrote his first book “Don’t Worry Be Grumpy: Inspiring stories of making the most of each moment” in 2014 and has since then sold millions of copies all over the world. We can therefore say that his book was a huge success and he has continued to write a couple more books, the most famous one being “Who ordered this truckload of dung?”.

“Don’t worry be grumpy” consists of 108 individual short stories, each of which tells about an unfortunate event that happened to someone and shows how to see the bright side of that incident, using a hell lot humour. That makes it the perfect book to read in the morning because it’s such a boost for your mood and motivation. Also, the messages Brahm delivers through his writing make you rethink the way you see your daily life, which causes you to become more laid-back and therefore less stressed-out. Furthermore, I always find that reading “Don’t Worry Be Grumpy” makes me feel reconnected with nature, that’s why my favourite place to read it is somewhere in the woods, preferably close to a river.

One of my favourite stories.

Make sure to give this book a go. You can grab your copy here and if you want to find out more about the author I’ve linked his profile on the Buddhist Society of Western Australia here.

See you soon

Kristina x

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any kind.

Oliver Loving – Stefan Merrill Block

Now, let’s talk about Oliver Loving. This book has been a step out of my comfort zone in some way. I don’t usually read books like that, but since my boyfriend is called Oliver I thought I might give it a try. Also, the cover is quite beautiful.

Anyway, the story is about Oliver who has been gravely injured by an amok-attack in his high-school. Ever since then he’s lying in a hospital bed unable to move any part of his body.

At the beginning of the book, Oliver has been in that unchanging condition for ten years and is about to get yet another test, which should reveal whatever he is still somewhere in his destroyed body. As the story slowly progresses to that fateful day, the reader is also lead in the past. Oliver’s divorced parents, his younger brother Charlie, his high-school love Rebecca and of course, Oliver himself tell the whole tale from their different points of view. All of them struggle with the question as to why the accident happened and why Oliver was attacked. But not only do we discover the truth behind the amok-attack, we additionally find out a lot about the former life of the family. And in the end get to see a great example of how strong a mother’s love is.

Well, in my opinion, that book did certainly have quite some action to it, nevertheless, I couldn’t really warm up to it. To me, it was quite predictable and it is definitely an easy-breezy summer-read because it kind of has the habit of dampening your mood a bit. So although I’m glad I read Oliver Loving once, I probably won’t read it again.

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

I’ve had this book for at least three years in my bookshelf, but for some reason I kept putting reading it off. Well, actually, I started reading it right when I bought it, but Eat, Pray, Love didn’t really feel good to me back then. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, it just felt as if I or something inside me wasn’t yet ready for this book. Does that make sense?

Anyway, now that I eventually managed to read it, I can tell you, I liked it, although I see why a lot of people don’t have that good an opinion on Gilbert’s most known piece. But, I guess that’s just part of the risk you take when you write and publish a book that features mostly personal experience, since there probably are tons of people who would have reacted differently than the author in certain situations, but that shouldn’t matter, really. Gilbert tells her story and how she felt during that period of her life and she deserves some respect for putting it so bravley out into the world.

But, let’s focus on the content of the book. Eat, Pray, Love is a non-fictional, motivational book that tells the story of the author and how she lost her husband, her house and herself, but found the path to her innerself or awakening (as Rebecca Campbell calls it) through traveling from Italy, to India to Indonesia. It’s a story about healing, learning and finding back on track. Very motivational and be warned, after reading this you are going to want to jump onto the next plane and travel the world, just like Gilbert.

I found Elizabeth Gilbert’s sense of humor rather refreshing, although her style of writing and her world-view take some time to get used to, but apart from that Eat, Pray, Love is a highly inspiring, motivational and also very interesting book to read, since it features three, well actually four entirely different cultures with Italy, India, Indonesia and the USA.

So, in case you are looking for a book you want to read outside in the warm sunlight of early-summer, you may very well have just found it. I highly advise you to give Eat, Pray, Love a go.

Light Is The New Black – Rebecca Campbell

I’ve stumbled upon this book coincidentally.  It was amongst my recommendations on GoodReads and for some reason, it just spoke to me. I got through Light Is The New Black in one sitting, because especially Campbell’s personal story at the beginning is very gripping.

Basically, the author describes her own awakening, as she calls it, and all the changes she had to apply to her life in order to live up to those new circumstances. I won’t go into too much detail about her story, because I genuinely believe, it’d be best if you read the original. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that Rebecca Campbell is very courageous, since she simply turned her life upside-down, and pursued everything her inner-self told her to do. I loved the way she talks about that period of her life. It’s so honest, relatable and most of all encouraging.

Obviously, it’s not necessary for everyone who has an awakening experience to make such drastic changes in their lives. It’s not crucial to divorce your partner or to go on a three-month hike (like Cheryl Strayed). You can have your awakening whilst you do the dishes or the laundry, you name it, really. It can, of course, involve a lot of change, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

Anyways, from Campbell’s point of view “Awakening” is more or less to let the feminine-part of you take the lead. Now, being a woman myself I find it hard to criticize feminism and I am indeed very glad on how much the social position of women has changed over the past years, nevertheless, I believe it to be a bit sad that some things have to be so categorized. I mean, why can’t awakening just be neutral? Why does it have to be feminine? Any person, regardless of gender, age, religion, income can find their inner-self and I just think it shouldn’t be mostly for women. Please, don’t get me wrong, I know that the author means, that awakening involves letting attributes, that are mostly known as female properties, on the front and to try to shift the focus from trying so hard to be successful to being happy and at ease, (to sum it up in a nutshell).

That being said, let’s move on to how this book is an utter enlightenment for this world. Campbell’s style of writing has some so truthful vibes to it, it’s hard to not get sucked into her story, therefore it’s easy to picture your own awakening and how it could feel like. Hence, I believe that Light Is The New Black could help a lot of people discover their own inner-self. Of course, it’s, just as Campbell says, very hard to enlight somebody else, nevertheless, I guess this book here has at least the potential to trigger a reader enough to go on a journey that will eventually lead them to their core. Does that make sense? In my opinion, things like spirituality are pretty hard to describe because it’s so very personal that each experience is quite different and therefore hard to apply to other people. Like, the story of how you came to find your awakening may very well be completely different to Campbell’s experience, but just as same, it’s very important that people who have already experienced that, talk openly about it, so that other people are informed that there is such a thing as an inner-self for example.

Now, to conclude this review, I very much enjoyed reading Light Is The New Black and am definitely recommending reading it to you as well. You may find some very interesting and perhaps even life-changing parts in there.

 

Take care

Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Seriously, I’m so amazed at how this book has stunned me every single time I read it.

I love Wild and would highly recommend reading it to everyone, but especially to those who struggle to push through with something (especially mental health-related) or who struggle to find their inner self.

Now, I don’t think you necessarily have to go backpacking for three months to achieve what Cheryl Strayed did, but her way of getting back on track and her telling her story with such a truthful attitude, without sugar-coating the tiniest thing is just so inspiring. That woman managed to show the bumpy journey that comes with finding yourself and coming at ease with who you are and who you were.

Forgiveness is a hard thing to reach and I personally found it even harder to forgive myself than forgiving other people. That’s why the paragraph in which Strayed realizes that all the actions she’s done and that put her in so much pain ever since are okay to have happened, which marks the exact moment her mind is finally free. Those are one of the most life-changing sentences I’ve ever read, simply because it showed me that with accepting your past (which you cannot make undone anyway) is totally fine since everything that happened led you to where you are now and now is the exact place you have to be. Therefore everything is alright and there’s no use of dwelling in the past and regretting this and that because it cannot be changed and it was ok to happen.

Wild is astonishing to read and again I would recommend it to anyone and for those who cannot be bothered to read it, at least go and watch the movie. It’s so worth your time, you will be doing something good for yourself.