Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dealing with Transition in Your Life?

My expat friend Ariana has had a hefty share of disappointments and setbacks in her adult life. She and her husband dared to try a different way of life for their family of three--a new job and a move from Portland, Oregon, to Germany--only to lose that job (and new lifestyle) in a matter of months. They spent time back in the States, sleeping on people's floors and couches and drawing unemployment, before finding a new job and making another big move, this time to England. The family settled into life there nicely, while also dealing with some unexpected disappointments--and even now, there is the potential for another move.

I'm so glad Ariana decided to write a book of encouragement and ideas for those of us going through our own times of transition. Pruned: Blossoming Through Life's Difficult Seasons is about what Ariana and her family have experienced and what they have learned. It's about how they have managed to turn feelings of fear and uncertainty into an outlook of adventure and a sense of hope and positivity. One of my favorite quotations comes from the book's Introduction:
"I hope to encourage others to embrace an 'abundance mentality,' to see possibility in the midst of loss, and to live more intentionally as a result...When we are forced to stop living on autopilot, we get to make real decisions, give up things we have outgrown, and introduce positive new elements into our lives."
This book is a quick and easy read, but it packs a real punch. In ten chapters, Ariana outlines the different issues we deal with during different times and then gives the reader ways to frame these issues in positive ways. Topics include Finding Perspective, Facing Fears, Transforming Worry, and Avoiding Common Thought Traps. Each brief chapter contains a number of thoughts broken down in an easily-readable way and ends with a list of Questions for Reflection.

I like that Ariana reminds us that there is enough good in the world for all of us--we needn't feel bad when things are going well for us, and we shouldn't always expect that things will go poorly or stay bad in our lives during the more trying times. I also like that she makes concrete, workable suggestions, and her tone is soothing and comforting but also somehow invigorating enough to inspire change.

My family has gone through some rather uncomfortable changes, especially during the first couple of years after we moved from Japan to Germany. Ariana helped me realize that it was okay for us to feel what we felt, though perhaps we could have dealt with our emotions and the reality of our circumstances in some more productive ways.

This ebook is a meaningful resource for anyone dealing with transition, whether large or small. I recommend it without reservation, regardless of your religious and/or philosophical beliefs. I believe you'll turn to it repeatedly for reassurance and motivation as you navigate life's changes.
You can buy Pruned here. And if you haven't read my guest post for Ariana on And Here We Are, I hope you will!


Ariana Mullins said...

Thank you for such a thoughtful review of my book, Diane! So glad to hear you found it worthwhile and encouraging!

BavarianSojourn said...

I really like the sound of that book. To me the strongest people are those that carry on regardless no matter what life throws at them, and your friend sounds like just one of those people....

Debbie Tom said...

I love the idea of this book. My family and I have endured many changes and a great deal of hardships and tragedy. I am going to look into this book. Have a happy weekend :) #SITSBlogging love

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