Last blogpost I celebrated this blog turning 10 years old. I shared some of my own earliest + most popular writing.
This post I’m happy to celebrate and share some of my favorite writing from others who have published some amazing books recently.
All of these books share one fresh and powerful thing >>> They’re written by “new paradigm” leaders who are also teachers and healers in a variety of ways.
By new paradigm, I mean these leaders hold space (physical and otherwise) for others in a way that truly centers others rather than themselves and prioritizes community over the leaders’ own self interest.
The world we live in makes the importance of new leadership very apparent. New leaders are inspired to support the well-being of people and communities in ways that have nurturing, intrinsic, meaningful and lasting, value.
So, without further adieu, here are these amazing books that I’m so excited and honored to share. In no particular order.
Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown
adrienne maree brown is a social justice facilitator, pleasure activist, healer and doula who lives in Detroit.
“Emergent Strategy” is a a genre-fluid, explorative, non-linear meditation on what emergent strategy is: how we “shape change” in ways that help us “embody the just and liberated worlds we long for.”
Read it NOW if you’re interested in radical social change, especially if you’d like to approach the topic differently than you might be used to. Also, if you’re attracted to the opportunity to imagine what the future could look like beyond your current assumptions of what “can be”.
She begins the book by telling us how to not just read, but use it. She advises us to peruse, return to, and bounce around in this book.
There ‘s a playlist! Also the work of others, even the words of others, that make up the actual fabric of the book: poems, exercises, conversations between herself and others, as well as others with others.
Octavia Butler’s science fiction books are at the crux of Emergent Strategy’s ideas. You’ll also find plenty of Grace Lee Boggs and Angela Davis.
The footnotes aren’t just sidelines, they’re really part of the body of the primary text and are like portals to worlds that have helped shape change in her own life. This book is not so easy to describe– in the best way– just read it now!
Super Ager, Elise Collins
My friend Elise is a yoga teacher and Ayurveda therapist interested in lifestyles of wellbeing who lives in San Francisco.
Elise researched all the common attributes of the world’s “Blue Zones” (places where the most people live to be over 100) and laid them all out for us.
What makes this book special is that it deals with a topic most of us care about– how to live longer, which sounds like a very serious, maybe even daunting read. But this book guides us along in a way that’s clear, easy and also fun to digest.
All the book’s claims rest on a solid bedrock of science, yet it’s delivery is warm, light and inviting– which is another kind of medicine altogether.
Elise is onto something. Not just how to live well and long (and that’s HUGE). She’s a real teacher and knows how to inspire rather than explain. I sailed easily through the book and have continually referred back to it as a reference.
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, Rebecca Traister
Rebecca Traister is currently writer at large for New York Magazine and Contributing Editor at Elle. She’s an award-winning writer with a long list of major publication credits as well as several books, all on women. She lives in New York.
I’m told I talk and write about anger a lot for a yogini. I think the main reason I raise the issue of anger more often is because so few in my field do so. Actually, I find spiritual communities to be afraid of anger.
Especially when it’s coming from a woman.
But surely anger, like all emotions, has a healthy side. And even can help liberate us.
“This is about women, some of whom have been angry for a long time, but didn’t have an outlet for it, didn’t realize how many of their neighbors, their coworkers, their friends and mothers and sisters, felt the same, until someone yelled, loud and fierce and ugly, and everyone heard her.”
She shows us not just how women have shaped our history, but how anger was often the inspirational force behind women changemakers, helping them become insistent, noncompliant and in all ways courageous.
This book has helped me process my own anger, as well as understand how to work with it. How it’s righteous side provides energy to make the difficult changes in my life and world. It’s also a reminder to not suppress or deny anger on the one hand, but not let it consume me on the other.
The Monkey is the Messenger: Meditation and What Your Busy Mind is Trying to Tell You, Ralph De La Rosa
Ralph is a therapist, Buddhist and meditation teacher who lives in Brooklyn.
I haven’t read this book yet because it’s just being published, yet I know I’m going to love it because Ralph is my friend and former colleague and his work is so modern and heartbased.
And because it’s a Shambhala publication (the publishing arm of Shambhala Center founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche).
And because we’ve needed a book on this topic for a long time. One written for people who think they can’t meditate because they can’t calm their mind. Because they think they think too much.
From the publisher’s review:
“Rather than quitting meditation or trying to wall off the monkey mind, Ralph De La Rosa suggests asking yourself a question: If you were to stop demonizing your monkey mind, would it have anything to teach you? In a roundabout way, could repetitive thoughts be pointing us in the direction of personal—and even societal—transformation?
Poignant and entertaining, The Monkey Is the Messenger offers a range of evidence-based, somatic, and trauma-informed insights and practices drawn from De La Rosa’s study of neuroscience and psychology and his long practice of meditation and yoga. Here at last—a remedy for all those who want to meditate but suppose they can’t because they think too much.
Trust me on this one, dear Reader.