OK, I’ll admit that right after reading Wild, I wanted to pack up, and head out to the Pacific Crest Trail for deep personal transformation, just like Cheryl Strayed. Her story was such an inspiration, even though our histories shared little in common.
So when I saw her latest book, Brave Enough, was a collection of quotes I thought,
Really? That’s all she’s got?
It seemed like the Wild Woman would have so much more to offer than a best of compilation.
But then I got into the teeny green book, and plowed through the 135 pages in one (okay, it was actually three) sittings with goosebumps on my arms about 95% of the time.
These quotes – which Cheryl refers to as mini instructions for the soul – start out as just words (put together beautifully, of course), but when really absorbed, their potency hits hard.
It’s universal stuff — love (there’s lots on love), self worth, intentions, grief and more, but none of it is too sappy or cheesy. She sets the tone immediately with her first instruction:
Read it like a motherfucker.
Here’s a sample of some of my favorites from the book:
If someone is being unkind or petty or jealous or distant or weird, you don’t have to take it in. Don’t own other people’s crap. The world would be a much better place if we all did that.
Trust that all you’ve learned was worth learning, no matter what answer you have or do not have about what practical use it has in your life. Let whatever mysterious starlight that guided you this far guide you onward into the crazy beauty that awaits.
Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true.
Stop asking yourself what you want, what you desire, what interests you. Ask yourself instead: what has been given to me? Ask: What do I have to give back? Then give it.