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I usually blog my own content on Tuesdays, but on some occasions I make an exception, and today is one of them. When I heard about this book, I thought I had to read it, and once I read it, I decided to take part in the blog tour and also review it. I’m hoping to have Marquita, the author, come for an interview and bring me some of her other books soon. Ah, and pay attention, as there is a giveaway to go with the tour!
 photo 48a7b69c-0163-4f2d-8bf3-ef5add866951.jpg

First, a bit abut Marquita:

Marquita Herald
Author Profile

Marquita Herald is an author, blogger, trainer in personal resilience and founder of Emotionally Resilient Living and Owner of Resilient Living Publications.
Her professional background includes a successful 20 year career in international sales and marketing, followed by a decade as an award winning life and small business coach.
Marquita is an avid reader, loves to take spur of the moment road trips, and enjoys the occasional game of golf. She is a lover of all dogs (especially her adopted pal Lucy), and a passionate advocate of grassroots volunteer movements and community service. She is also a world-traveler and her trip of a lifetime is Machu Picchu via Orient Express.

Connect with Marquita Herald
Website
Emotionally Resilient Living
http://www.emotionallyresilientliving.com
Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/emotionallyresilientliving
Twitter
http:/twitter.com/MarquitaHerald

Email
m.herald@emotionallyresilientliving.com

Here I leave you a link to the media page for the book:

 

Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience Media Page

Cover of Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience by Marquita Herald

Cover of Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience by Marquita Herald

Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience
A Guide to Embracing Your Inner Strength
by Marquita Herald

You don’t need to be facing a crisis to decide you want to become stronger and more resilient.
Trials will always be a part of life … a lost set of keys, financial stressors, overloaded schedules, relationship or health crisis. Even the most longed for changes such as marriage and the birth of a child require adaptability and emotional resilience.
Consider this … how it is that two people can be faced with the same obstacle and while one becomes mired in a web of negativity and feelings of helplessness, the other is able to overcome the challenge and bounce back stronger than ever?
Emotional Resilience is the Key
When we make the choice to look at all experiences as stepping stones for growth and greater long-term resilience, we are able to approach life on a whole new level, and in the process realign ourselves with what is truly important in our lives.
Stepping Stones answers the questions …
* What emotional resilience is and why it matters.
* Is resilience a gene reserved for the lucky few or can it ever be developed?
* Is the value of emotional resilience limited to crisis management or can it improve the quality of everyday living in any meaningful way?
* Is it ever too late to begin cultivating the habits of emotional resilience?
* How does one go about changing behaviors and strengthening the capacity for resilience?

“Unlike so many other books that wander in the vagaries of self-empowerment and self-motivation, I found “Resilience” to be not only practical, but applicable to literally every day of life. Stepping Stones is an uplifting and easy read, with some especially poignant quotes. Well done!”~M. Hanks

And here, my own review:

Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience. A Guide to Embracing Your Inner Strength (2nd Edition) by Marquita Herald

Common-sense advice on how to empower yourself to live the good life (or as good a life as possible)

As a psychiatrist I read plenty of professional publications on mental disorders. One of the many issues with much of the professional writing about the subject of health and mental well being is that it is written with a very specific public in mind: other professionals. Readability is not always the priority and some can be dry and not particularly engaging (although there are many good writers in the field). When recommending books or articles to patients and service-users it is important to keep in mind who the books are addressed to and how much common ground they cover.

On the other hand there are books that are very personal accounts and can be inspirational but not always easy to generalize to other cases. And some of the books containing advice make no reference to any theoretical approaches and lack firm evidence to back-up their suggestions.

I was pleased when I read Marquita Herald’s book ‘Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience’ (2nd Ed) to note that it does not fall into either of those categories. It is neither a dry professional book, nor a personal account lacking research and good evidence behind it. The author gives credit where credit is due, clearly stating where her ideas come from, and also acknowledging the lack of research in some areas (like the effects of Spirituality on resilience).

The concept of resilience fits in well with the “stress-vulnerability” model that many patients seem to find helpful in understanding their mental health difficulties. In brief it’s the idea that we are all born with a certain vulnerability to stress (sometimes we use the metaphor of a bucket of a certain size, with some people having a bigger bucket, and therefore being more resistant to stress, whilst others are born with a smaller one and a lesser degree of stress might topple them over the edge) and if stresses accumulate over our level of tolerance we’re bound to become mentally unwell. There are a number of techniques that can help (not make the inborn bucket larger, but make escape valves or holes on it that would allow relief and make it possible to handle more stress), including medication, enhancing coping strategies and a variety of therapies. Ms. Herald’s book points at ways of building up resilience, that she notes is like a muscle and can be trained. She also emphasizes the importance of knowing oneself, as that is the first step towards being able to build on our strengths and find mechanisms to overcome our weaknesses.

Despite the references and research behind the concepts, the book is written in a common-sense easy-to-follow manner, highlighting the main concepts in bold, adding summaries that go over the ideas of each chapter, and it is written with the theories of how we best learn in mind. That makes it a good book for a large variety of audiences, those with a good basis on mental health issues and also people looking for good tips and advice to improve their life.

‘Stepping Stones’ is enhanced by examples, not only the personal account of the writer, but also many inspiring stories, from heroic feats to smaller but important achievements, that pepper the chapters and keep the momentum going. There are also a number of brief accounts and reminders of famous figures who had in common their perseverance, learning from experiences and indeed resilience. They illustrate further that good things are worth working for and also that it is not all down to talent and inspiration. Keeping at it also plays a very important part.

I recommend ‘Stepping Stones’ as a user-friendly self-help book based on sound concepts, containing easy to follow ideas, that does not promise life will be happy and fluffy if you read it, but if you work hard and never give up you’ll be better prepared to cope with whatever might come your way. Are you ready to give it a go?

I hope you are, and here there is further information and links to the book:

Published

1st Edition April, 2012

2nd Edition March 2014

Genre: Personal Transformation

Size: 159 pages

Format: Kindle eReader

Available Amazon Worldwide

http://mybook.to/EmotionalResilience

U.S. Price: $4.99

And now, the always important giveaway. Marquita is kindly offering an e-copy of this fabulous book:

 

Cover of Inspirational Words of Wisdom by Marquita Herald

Cover of Inspirational Words of Wisdom by Marquita Herald

1st Edition April, 2012

2nd Edition July, 2013

Format: Kindle eBook

Amazon Worldwide

http://mybook.to/WordsofWisdom

 

 

Here’s the Giveaway Link (Prize = an eBook of “Inspirational Words of Wisdom for Challenging Times” – a companion piece to Stepping Stones):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to you all for reading, to Marquita and Making Connections for inviting me to take part in the tour and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, take part in the giveaway and of course, don’t forget to CLICK! You’ll be inspired! Oh, and the author just reminded me that for this week of the tour, you can get her book for $0.99, so take the chance!

Xmas

Xmas (Photo credit: iurikothe)

As I promised, for Xmas I’m revisiting some of my posts through the year, and I thought during this time of the year it would be good to think about those who might find the season stressful, or have to support others in difficult situations. So I bring you the Oxygen Mask again. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks!

The Oxygen Mask

English: A-9 oxygen mask with B-6 winter helme...

English: A-9 oxygen mask with B-6 winter helmet, WW2 vintage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You might (or might not, I don’t believe my posts are amongst the most memorable things in everybody’s lives) remember I posted a few ideas, or rather, some advice, under the title ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ weeks (probably months) ago.

Of course, as it tends to happen with these things, shortly after publishing it I thought of something else I should have mentioned. Humour. I do think that trying to take things on your stride and being able to laugh at yourself and see the humorous side of things helps immensely when dealing with life. It is related to one of the ideas I suggested, trying to see things from a distance, and gain perspective. Humour is one of the strategies we have in our hands to achieve that. The small tragedies of life, seen through a humorous prism, can indeed be very funny. I remember I fell downstairs at home (I can’t blame it on anything in particular) and landed at the bottom of the stairs. There was nobody else in the house, but for unknown reasons the first thought that came to my head was that it would have been quite funny if anybody had been there to see it. And there I was, at the bottom of the stairs, by myself, laughing my head off. I twisted my ankle in the process and later discovered my radiator had sprung a leak (I suspect because I must have hit it during the fall) but it was a good laugh.

I was chatting (or rather exchanging e-mails) with a fellow author and good friend today. And we were talking about how sometimes, in the process of caring for others and supporting them, we can completely exhaust ourselves, both physically and mentally, and end up ill and unable to function. But if we don’t go all out in our care and support we feel guilty. I told her that I always tell my patients we can’t look after others if we don’t have a minimum of health ourselves and don’t look after our own needs. And I advised her to think about the training they forever repeat (and we hardly ever listen to) in planes, about what to do in emergencies. When they talk about an incident where the cabin gets depressurised and the Oxygen masks drop from the compartment above our heads they always, always, remind us that we must put our own mask on before we try and help others, because if we don’t, we won’t be in a fit state to help anybody else. Running ourselves to the ground will not help those we care for or ourselves in the long run. Don’t feel guilty for not being superwoman or superman. Never forget to look after yourself. That’s the only way you can carry on looking after others.

Thank you for reading and if you’ve liked it or found it useful, please share!

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English: Instruction manual of the Nirvana Sut...

English: Instruction manual of the Nirvana Sutra (大般涅槃経集解, daihatsunehankyōshūge) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi dear readers. I’ve been talking to one of my friends (and fellow author) about this and that and the other, and we got to talking about SELF-HELP books. As many of you know, understanding Amazon algorithms is beyond mere-mortals powers. Their categories are also puzzlement to me. I guess it might work out OK if you start writing with them in mind, but trying to fit in something already in existence to these categories, other than the more general ones, is interesting to say the least. You could always try with one of your favourite books and see how far you get.

I digress, as usual. My friend and I got looking at categories in self-help world and it’s as full of the weird and the wonderful as anywhere else there.

It made me think about one of my “issues”. Yes, I have many of them. You buy a camera; it comes with an instruction manual. Your phone, the same. Even pretty basic things. Life, that’s quite complicated by most people’s standards…nothing. No manual, no video, CD, DVD, no book of instructions. Not even a leaflet. Swim or sink approach.

In one of my short stories, ‘The Novel’ one of the characters, Denver, decides that life would be much easier if we lived it as a genre novel, because we’d know where we stood, understand conventions, characters, etc, and she has a good go at it. As you might suspect things don’t go according to plan. But it was worth a try, I think.

If suddenly you were given the task of creating an instruction manual for life (it would have to be pretty general, just the basics), what would you include? What would be in your table of contents?

And if you were sent one, what would you check first? Keeping healthy? Family relationships? Love? Income and finances? Gaining perspective? Surviving?

I’m curious. Let me know what you think, please.

Thanks for reading and if you enjoy or it makes you think, please, please, please, comment and share!

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