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Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a true, no nonsense exploration of what happiness truly consists of.
Ariel Gore, though extensive research, countless quotes from women around her, with deep intelligence and compassion, takes us through all the accepted notions of what happiness should be like, and what women were taught to expect from an early age. Halfway through the book, suddenly and with no warning, everything becomes clear. There is no fake optimism, forced emotion, or New Age one-ness in the pages of "Bluebird".
But reaching the end, between the lines of this incredibly sharp study, well researched and truly personal without indulgence, the reader feels a true uplift, a real feel for what it means to be happy. Behind the words, there is a precious jewel glistening in the shadows. Ariel Gore's revelation is straightforward: the jewel is ours, ours to keep, ours to enjoy. It was ours all along, its beauty somewhat hidden behind our various dissatisfactions and frustrations. "Bluebird" gives it back to us, as logically and simply as in giving us the solution to a mathematical problem. Definitely a must read for women of all ages.
Overall: a good book.
Yet: what if you are a woman who feels society did not abuse you? What if you chose your own life from an early age and are quite happy with the results? Ariel Gore doesn't talk about this. I would've like to see more "experts" whose lives mirrored my own weigh in. I honestly couldn't relate to a lot of them even though I'm a woman.
Without the drawbacks I would've given it four stars.
Ariel Gore weaves together the findings of recognized authorities (most of them men), commonly cited studies (most done on male subjects), the experiences of a hundred real women (imagine that!), and her own life experiences, to paint a picture of what women are up against in a search for happiness. Be they women of traditional values or feminists, married or single, raising families or running corporations, happiness can be equally elusive.
In eighteen years of pastoral ministry and counseling, few books have given me as insightful and honest a look into the heart of this matter as Bluebird. If you're a preacher, pastor, or counselor, and you want to understand the hand that the women you minister to are dealt by society, this book is a worthy read. I'll also recommend this book to the women in my congregation, that they might reject the psychology that has failed them and be encouraged: cultivating true happiness is hard work, but good work.
Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness
A (wo)manifesto for happiness, _Bluebird_ tailors the newly emerging field of positive psychology to fit the rest of us--i.e., females. As Ariel herself explains: "This is a book about shaping our own realities--about better understanding our emotional lives so we might become more active players in their creation--so I think it's important to consider in what ways we create our realities. Because as it turns out, women's notions about personal happiness are all tangled up with our ideas about privilege, selfishness, and social responsibility."
And, Ariel's book helps us untangle ourselves from those ingrained societal ideas and scripts about happiness.
Sure--as the prolific research flying off the presses of positive psychology is showing--ingredients such as kindness, gratitude, meditation, relationships, inspiration, accomplishments, and metaphysical worthiness are essential for our happiness. But, as Ariel uncovers, even more crucial is being able to rejoice in the midst of suffering. In her own brilliantly illuminating words, Ariel concludes that:
"There is no 'happily ever after.' There is only meditation, action, change, friendship, idea, inspiration, creation.
We spin this light out of darkness."
Other crucial factors of happiness she discovers include having the courage to question the "scripts for happiness" and being able to cultivate a "a childlike curiosity coupled with a very grown-up understanding of self-respect and self-protection."
In contrast to other books on happiness, this one does not offer a one-size-fits-all script. Instead, it teaches us how to lose the societal scripts and create our own beautifully improvised life performances by tuning in to our innate preferences for joy.
Happiness is in the heart of the beholder.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful book on happiness. Exercises to do. Philosophy to consider. Nice sections that allow you to live a busy life and find some happiness you didn't realize was there all... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jenny Forrester
Ariel Gore is a 3rd-wave feminist and a brilliant one. When I discovered this book, it was so refreshing and opened my eyes to the ways in which women are socialize to believe we... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jennifer Robinson
Interesting history and research related to women and depression and happiness--it paved the way for The Happiness Project, and I do think it helped to read this first. Good book.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book "Bluebird" by Ariel Gore is a fine place to start in researching positive psychology and the topic, women and depression. Read morePublished on September 21, 2011 by Charlotte
Wow! I expected to enjoy this book and get some useful insight on women and the psychology of happiness but what I found was a true treasure. Read morePublished on May 15, 2011 by Ashley
I've been anxious to review this book since I first cracked it open in September. I found the book on Amazon, after a summer of working with a therapist myself trying to sort out... Read morePublished on November 2, 2010 by Tea and Literature
This is a delightful short read which captured my attention on an academic and personal level. I quickly was caught up in the research and personal insight she gave on the topic of... Read morePublished on September 24, 2010 by Kittsy
I enjoyed reading this book, and it gave me many things to think about. I picked it up hoping that it had more research to present (both from Gore's own study and from positive... Read morePublished on September 12, 2010 by Gwen