New, Cute French Edition of “Honor Yourself”

by Patricia Spadaro

Parlez-vous français?

Even if you don’t, you’ve got to admire the cute, new, pocket-sized French edition of my book Honor Yourself. It was just published by Pocket, a division of the major French publisher Univers Poche.

The title and subtitle they used, “Se Respecter: prendre soin de soi pour être disponible aux autres,” means roughly “Respect Oneself: Take care of yourself to be available to others.”

French is the foreign language I studied in school, so I can read and speak (at least a little of) it, which makes this precious book all the more exciting for me.

I’m so grateful!

C’est fantastique, n’est-ce pas?

If you want to read more about the French edition (in French), here’s the link to the publisher’s website.

The Razor’s Edge of Self-Esteem

by Patricia Spadaro

Self-esteem’s a funny thing—a fine balancing act. You’ve got to believe you are wonderful just as you (because you are) AND you’ve got to keep on trying to improve yourself (because you can reach higher and be more).

That’s perhaps the ultimate razor’s edge of life—balancing confidence with humility. Knowing when to stand up for yourself and when to back down because you have something yet to learn. Taking care not to beat yourself up whenever you make a mistake and, at the same time, not becoming so arrogantly close minded that you shut out the message and the messenger who has been sent to teach you a thing or two about yourself.

As tricky as it can be to balance both sides of the equation of self-esteem, it’s refreshing too. Knowing that self-esteem and humility are necessary partners in your life gives you permission to honor the wonderful in you AND honor what is still waiting to be awakened.

Truth is often a paradox, and that both of these states can coexist within us at the same time—the wonderful and the as-yet-unawakened—is one of life’s greatest truths.

The Zen of Self-Esteem

The Zen masters knew a thing or two about the tricky paradox of self-esteem. The teacher Shunryu Suzuki simply expressed it this way to his students:  “All of you are perfect just as you are . . . and you could use a little improvement.”   (I don’t know about you, but that makes me smile and I see a playful twinkle in Suzuki’s eyes as he said that.)

I found the same sentiment put another way in a novel I read recently by Michael Koryta, where one of his characters, a high school football coach, talked about the balancing act this way:  “The attitude you needed to win football games was a difficult balance. Confidence was crucial; overconfidence killed. Success lived on the blade’s edge between.” 

In the game of life, it’s no different, is it?


Some tips for the balancing act:

If your pride (your ego) is hurt, acknowledge that and try this:

  • Ask yourself: Would I do better and feel better if I admitted that I have something to learn in this relationship, professional setting, or way of interacting with others?
  • If so, what specific advice is this situation trying to teach me so I can become better at navigating situations like this?
  • Stand up, close your eyes, spread your arms as wide as you can, and consciously open to the message or lesson waiting for you. What do you hear or see?


If, on the other hand, you feel yourself melting into a puddle from the heat of your own self-criticism, try this:

  • Remind yourself that the problem that’s happening right now does not define who you are. The labels people have given you—and the negative names you may call yourself—are not the real you.
  • Imagine a line on the floor, the fine line of self-esteem separating self-condemnation on one side and arrogance on the other. Physically take a step to stand right on that line as a way of reinforcing to yourself that you choose to wake up to the inner reality that is you and get back into balance.

Share your ideas here. How do you remind yourself of the paradoxical truth that you are wonderful AND you still have some things to learn?

 

Your Heart Is Wise

by Patricia Spadaro

Do you turn to your heart when making decisions? The world’s traditions are filled with poignant lessons that point to the wisdom of the heart. We learn from the sages that the voice of the heart will always tell us the right way to go in any situation. In the ancient Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, when the […]

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The Power of Stillness

by Patricia Spadaro

Stillness creates strength. Does that seem like a paradox to you? It did to me the first time I encountered that concept, but that’s because I was convinced of this myth: Myth: Staying busy and constantly running to do more means I am strong—and successful. The Truth: Stillness creates strength (and busyness does not always […]

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Who or What Are You Waiting For?

by Patricia Spadaro

Are you waiting for someone (a knight in shining armor or a very capable damsel) or something (like the lottery) to rescue you? Okay, you might think rescue is a strong word. Let’s put it this way: Are you waiting for permission from anyone or anything to do what you need to or want to […]

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What’s the Next Part of You Waiting to Be Born?

by Patricia Spadaro

What’s the next part of you waiting to be born? Are you listening to its voice? And what choices are you making to help it break through and blossom? That’s what I wrote about in my new article in the wonderful Creations Magazine (New York), April/May issue.  Read the full article below or at their […]

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Honor Yourself—International Style

by Patricia Spadaro

In October, I attended the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest international book fair, where I met with wonderful kindred spirits from all over the world.  Thanks to my wonderful foreign rights agent, Nigel Yorwerth, we already have ten foreign editions of my new book, Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving, in […]

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Do You Know How to Receive?

by Patricia Spadaro

“We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.” —Thomas Merton Giving is great, but is it always better than receiving? Is giving better than receiving if our giving ends up knocking us flat on our backs, compromising our ability to give with resilience to others? When […]

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Honor Your Inner Impulses

by Patricia Spadaro

“Most of us,” said prominent psychologist Abraham Maslow, “have learned to avoid authenticity.” That’s a serious charge and a worthy challenge. What he meant was that many of us are trained to ignore our inner signals. We suppress our feelings rather than express them. We haven’t dug deep and gotten in touch with our own […]

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Honor Your Own Style

by Patricia Spadaro

Life is never a one-size-fits-all formula. If you are to develop and give your gifts (that’s why we’re here, isn’t it?), you must honor who you are and celebrate your own voice. That means embracing the paradox that while it’s important to value the mentors and role models who guide us, we must also rely […]

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