November Reads

Nov 27, 2023

Dr Emma Espiner’s book There’s a Cure for This was a terrific find on my recent trip to NZ.

Emma’s describes learning to be a doctor and her practice of medicine as a Māori woman with such clarity, I often felt like I had been there with her. It was an honour to read and learn from her.

A book I have shared eagerly with doctors and non-doctors. Thank you to my friend Jo for recommending it. 😊

Emotional Ignorance written by neuroscientist Dr Dean Burnett was not the most riveting read. However, on reflection I have pulled lots of insights from it. Including a couple of gorgeous metaphors I will use repeatedly.

Burnett reminds us that emotion, cognition and motivation are neurologically active in lots of common centres in the brain and suggests that taking emotions out of our experience would be like taking all the mortar out from between the bricks of the house. The whole structure would crumble to the ground. Love that! Emotions are part of us, we can learn to accept them and be with them, to integrate them into our sense of self.

Shame is such a tricky emotion. Joseph Burgo’s book has helped me think differently around shame. As a psychotherapist Burgo gives lots of very practical examples of how humans behave when shame is activated. He writes about how we can build our self esteem and a sense of pride and achievement, mustering our courage to face shame rather than always defending against it. This book has taken me into a much deeper, nuanced understanding of shame and it’s opposites.

I love Prof. Dacher Keltner ‘s work in understanding compassion as a survival imperative and how to think about our power. His latest book Awe is a call to action, to be inspired by the wonders of the world, which are everywhere. As I move into the holiday season I plan to practice intentionally noticing all the amazing things life shows me with curiosity and wonder.

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