I’m one of those reading-multiple-books-at-a-time readers. I pick up a book and delve into it for an hour or so, but then I drift over to another book (or blog) when my mind and spirit lead me to linger somewhere else.
Some people might think that this is a problem – that I couldn’t hold my concentration or that I tend to lose interest. Instead, I have discovered that this ‘wandering’ is my most pleasurable way to read.
What I’m reading right now (in part – haha) is To Love and Let Go by Rachel Brathen. It was published last year (2019) and is, “A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Gratitude” (according to its subtitle).
I purchased the book because I already knew about this author on social media as an ‘influencer’ way before people were calling themselves that. I ‘knew her’ in a pseudo-genuine way even though I’ve never met her in person.
She even came to Nashville (where I currently live) a few years back during her “Yoga Girl” book signing tour. Even though I travel a lot and was in town at this time, for some reason, I wasn’t drawn to attending her book signing.
I knew that Rachel was a yoga teacher from Sweden who lives in Aruba who loves animals so much that she started a nonprofit organization to rescue them. I also knew that she started an Internet ‘tv channel’ of sorts offering online classes on yoga, meditation, cooking and traveling – some of my favorite things!
I also watched her ‘TED Talk’ about sharing (or not sharing) the details of her life on social media. She gained a whole lot of international followers on Instagram before everyone else starting clamoring to do the same. She, in my mind, was the real deal.
Rachel’s ‘social throw’ is vast and she earned it by sharing all the parts of her live and ‘all the things.’ Her collapsing in an airport and needing to be rushed to a hospital for an emergency surgery not knowing that her best friend had just died suddenly in a car accident on the other side of the world at that exact same moment. The miscarriage she and her husband experienced and later having a beautiful daughter. The death of her grandmother. All of these major life events happened within quick succession of each other.
Rachel shared the good, the bad, the ugly, the pretty, the rage, the tears, the splendor, the highs, the lows…without holding back on all the details with all of the messy and beautiful parts intertwined.
She shared about how she lost a lot of social media followers due to their perception that she sometimes ‘overshares’ – and how she gained even more because people online were hungry to discover someone sharing their experiences in a real-time authentic way.
When I started to read her memoir – this likely-to-be-the-first of her many memoirs to come considering her young age – I already ‘knew’ some of the content. It was refreshing to read it as a book vs. the piecemeal chunks I digested online over the years.
This beautifully crafted memoir filled in the missing parts for me, as though it was fleshing out the experiences that were at best, a skeleton of sorts online.
Social media does this for me. It opens a window to someone I’d like to know better because I’m drawn to their content. Reading a book from them helps me get to know them better and their experiences even more.
For some readers and consumers-of-content-online, this may be the opposite. Maybe they read a book by an author and then ‘go find them’ on social media to follow their posts or read their blog or listen to their podcast.
For me, I enjoy it the other way around because it feels less commercialized. It feels more genuine that a book is birthed from a series of experiences shared online like an anthology of circumstance.
I believe that life is a series of relationships, one leading into the next revealing to us why we are here and why we exist. This is why autobiographies are so powerful for me. I get to learn about the lives of others and their everyday lives.
Memoirs are my most favorite genre to read, and To Love and Let Go is one of my most favorite of memoirs because I feel like I’m getting to know Rachel even more as I read along.
I hope she knows that we, the readers, are enjoying her at an even deeper level. Which reminds me, I need to reach out to her on social media to let her know how this book about love, loss and gratitude have led me to heal my own grief with grace and ease. Where better than the place I originally discovered her!
To Love and Let Go: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Gratitude
Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Shuster
Copyright 2019 by Yoga Girl, LLC
Book Review By:
The Intuitive Entrepreneur™
DezStephens.com/Founder & CEO of Radiant Coaches Academy RadiantCoaches.com