I feel spoiled.
This is the second time I’ve been contacted by a particular publicist (from Book Publicity Services) to review one of their books.
The first time was for The Enlightenment Project, which was wonderful.
But back to feeling spoiled… it’s because as I was reading through this book, they contacted me about another, which also sounds fascinating!
THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS SPACE! I might never have found these books otherwise… which means you may not have either… and that would be a loss for both of us!
Let’s begin at the beginning…
A little about Simons, taken from her website:
Nina Simons is the co-founder and Chief Relationship Strategist at Bioneers, and leads its Everywoman’s Leadership program. Bioneers is a nonprofit that uses media, convening, and connecting to lift up visionary and practical solutions for many of our most pressing social and ecological challenges, using a whole-system approach.
Nina is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about reinventing leadership, restoring the feminine, and co-creating a healthy, peaceful, and equitable world for all.
Doesn’t she (and her nonprofit) sound neat?
I took some time to look through the book before getting down to the business of reading it. I feared it would be a little heavy, given the heft of (at least some of) the subject matter.
In the Introduction, we are told that it is being used as a textbook. I’m not surprised. It would be a great Sociology or Women’s Studies text.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, as I so often do.
Let’s start with the tangible. I love the feel of this book in my hands, the fonts used inside, and the beautiful cover. In tandem, they invite us in… make us comfortable…
But don’t get *too* comfortable because some of the subjects can be very UNcomfortable, indeed!
A little about being uncomfortable. I have always considered myself open-minded with equally open arms to marginalized people, in particular. I lived that life by the choices I made, most especially when I worked with people with disabilities in the community college system in California for a decade before moving to Canada.
But I’ve noticed something…
The last few years (since the 2016 election, in particular) have brought out the best and worst in folks. If I’m being honest, I have found surprises within MYSELF, too.
This is the book to help you navigate those detours away from who you thought you were … and become who you are meant to be!
The “Prompts for Deepening Learning” found throughout the book are as helpful as you allow them to be. They ask you to be VERY honest with yourself. Are you willing?
At this point, you might rightfully ask, “Okay, Sheryl, so far so good. But what *exactly* is this book about?”
That’s a little more difficult to describe.
It is a book filled with Simons’s stories… which in many ways feel like our collected stories. You know, subjects like the choices we make, the deaths of loved ones, and realizations about ourselves and others.
It is also about nature, art, culture, relationship, community, gender, and wisdom…
… what it takes to light the path as a leader …
… and how to live and grow in our communities and in the world.
And oh, reclaiming a relationship with the earth. Our precious earth.
Simons is generous, too, including other voices in the conversation, some famous.
And yet, I *still* haven’t touched on everything.
That’s because… I can’t.
LOTS TO UNPACK HERE!!!!! Plan to take your time. It took me two weeks to get through it properly – and I still don’t feel “done”.
This will be a FANTASTIC RESOURCE to keep on your bookshelf and pull out from time to time for review.
In closing, I’d like to share a quote and a couple of resources.
In nurturing this book over the past several years, I’ve learned that when I write about my own ahas, vulnerably and honestly, it often seems useful or resonant for others. – Nina Simons
This is a woman after my own heart. ^^^THIS^^^ is why this blog exists and why I share as openly as I do. Thank YOU for the validation, Ms. Simons!
Here’s a neat little introduction to the book from the author…