When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it, according to Michelle Obama in her new book The Light We Carry. It’s a rescue mission for anyone struggling to find their balance after the pandemic and subsequent years.
“Who knew that a global pandemic would force us to abruptly give up things like casual hugs, unmasked smiles, and easy interactions with strangers, and, far worse, trigger an extended period of pain, loss and uncertainty,”says the former First Lady.
After the success of her best-selling memoir Becoming she was asked about solutions for these currently difficult times. “I’d love to produce a clear, bullet-pointed set of steps to help conquer every uncertainty,” she says, adding that she couldn’t possibly promise that. “Keep in mind that I, too, lie in bed at night sometimes, wondering whether I’m good enough.”
But what she does offer in her new book, already a best-seller in less than three weeks since its release, is a glimpse inside what she calls ‘her personal toolbox’. The strategies she uses professionally and personally to stay balanced and confident, even during times of high anxiety and stress.
The Light We Carry is an inspiring, self-help read in which Michelle Obama shares stories about her own life and the tricks she has used to help her overcome the concerns and worries she wrestles with like the rest of us.
Although her thoughts are never prescriptive, each chapter contains a tool that might help someone else but has definitely helped her. For example, in the chapter entitled “The Power of Small”, she describes how she took up knitting to make herself feel better during a challenging time.
“Shaken by the enormity of everything that was happening, I needed my hands to introduce me to what was good and simple and accomplishable,”Michelle Obama writes.
There are chapters on kindness, decoding fear, parenting, being seen, friendship and the importance of assembling a kitchen table of trusted girlfriends.
It’s a blend of accessible wisdom and profound insights that show Michelle Obama’s always human side. Issues connected to race, gender and visibility are all tackled, but with an eye to helping her readers and listeners find community and their own strength. “As I’ve said, I don’t have all the answers, but I would like to have the conversation.”
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