Customer Reviews: The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart: An Emotional and Spiritual Handbook
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on May 30, 2010
I can safely say that this book jumped off the shelf in a bookstore precisely because my life is coming apart. Had I read the reviews first, I probably wouldn't have purchased it, but having read the book now, probably two or three times, I highly recommend this gentle, easy read which has a way of making the reader feel that he/she is not alone. You are encouraged to read the chapters as needed and not necessarily in simultaneous order. The ten things outlined are not rocket science, but they are so logical and comforting to read, whether you are experiencing job loss, death, or any other various tragedies that are mentioned, but not singled out or dwelled upon. I started with the chapter on Simplifying, clearly a common theme in today's news, but this one hits home in a precise, memorable way, which encouraged me to not just clean out once, but go back and get rid of more and more. As the author explains, you cannot hope to deal with the clutter around you even when you are feeling 100%, but when everything else is coming apart, it is essential to free up your surroundings.

The chapter on "Letting Go", again not a new concept, but written in a conversational way that makes sense when your life doesn't... says, "You can't begin to fly when you have concrete on your feet." Take it for what it's worth. If you think this is corny, so be it, but for me it is a great spiritual and uplifting go-to manual. My head is swimming, thus I need the gift this author handed me at this specific time in my life.... order, peace and hope. And, one last thing, a chapter on the great healing value of crying. I really enjoyed the quick read, quick lift quality.
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on April 26, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I liked this book. it is not the placating stuff many self-help books are made of, and not an accumulation of many old books put into one.

i found this book very sweet and encouraging. she explains how we have dealt with things in the past and how these times are different

she had a friend going through tremendous crisis and asked for a list of ten things he could do to help himself

some chapters include

Cry your heart out

Face your defaults..habitual behavoirs

Do something different...changing your consciousness acting from courage..feeling gratitude no matter what

Let go..of old identities,frees your energy for new possibilities, holding on keeps us attached to our problems,your heart will lead the way,

Remember who you've always are still you,know your strengths and connect with them,

Persist,don't give up,

Go where love is--it is all around you

Live in the light of the spirit..resuming our spiritual lives,change is not just happening to you
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 14, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
The author lost a spouse but this book is not just for those in her situation. I'm grieving a far different kind of loss and found the suggestion in this book to be extremely useful. Since grief can encompass anger, despair, loneliness and far more, the author shares those feelings with us.

It is easy to feel alienated and out of touch with the world when trying to survive grief with some measure of self intact. One of the most reassuring things about this book is how it validates feelings which may feel crazy or cause the sufferer to be ashamed. However, because the author shares her anger and grief, with full reactions to insensitive comments or her inability to move from bed on some days, I was left feeling less alone and more understood.

Ideally, friends and relatives will step in to provide support. Even so, this book can offer extra solace.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wondered about whether this book would really be helpful to me as I am facing some challenging experiences. Since I have read many non-fiction books in this genre, I figured there wouldn't be anything "new" here. The author acknowledged that most likely this book wouldn't contain new strategies and I was impressed with her candor.

I was pleasantly surprised that the author explained, with examples, the initial shocking phases of how life goes haywire. Sometimes, this happens all at once and other times in ways that accumulate over time. When she described this, it made me feel better about my own situation because I could see myself in her examples. I knew I wasn't alone.

She had some excellent strategies for dealing with life's difficulties including allowing ourselves to cry first - for as long as it takes - before starting to figure out what to do to get through it. That seemed like very sound advice to me.

Then, she gives some pretty specific guidelines for ways to gently get through whatever has happened including finding some quiet time every day to allow our reactions to surface, noticing what our usual ways of coping are and how they work for us, and gives us some ideas for doing something different. These are just a couple of her very valuable suggestions which all work together, and are appropriate in different moments.

I am giving this book 4 stars because at times it dragged on and some of her strategies seemed repetitive, particularly when she talked about the importance of persisting in making changes.

Having said that, when times are difficult, often repetition is one of the strongest ways for me to change my thinking and behavior. I'm sure I'll revisit this book again in the future.
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VINE VOICEon July 11, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I recommend "The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart" as a guide through tough times, with one significant caveat: if the idea that crisis happens for a reason will increase your distress, then avoid this book. I think there is a very fine line between saying that we can find meaning as we go through crisis, versus the crisis happening to teach us the lessons we need to learn--and this book leaned too far in the latter direction. From the introduction: "...everything you need to live through this current anguish is within you. You are blessed. Your life is designed. If this crisis weren't meant to be part of your life, it would not be happening." That idea will be a deal-breaker for some potential readers. I can't imagine saying that to someone who has lost a child, for example.

In my particular case, I could skip over that idea and disagree with it, without taking it personally. I did choose this book during a time of crisis, and its simple messages provided helpful guideposts for me, like lanterns on a foggy road. I appreciate that Rose Kingma's writing can help readers journey through times when their suffering is so great that not many other people would understand. The chapter that helped me most was "Persist," to carry on in the face of discouragement, during a time of "intense, emotionally devastating circumstances or bunches of hugely difficult things that have stacked up all at once."

When things get so bad that even your dearest, most patient friends don't know what to say anymore, this book will "go there" with you and help you find your way through.
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on December 25, 2014
This book was recommended to me from a nurse and I immediately got home from the hospital and purchased it. This is the kind of book you can jump around to the chapters that resonate with you the most. I did read this book cover to cover and did connect with some of the 10 things more than others. It is a wonderful book to carry with you and when you are feeling down you reread a passage that will lift you up and remind you how to stay on track with your healing. I found this book to be the most helpful self-help books that I have read. My book is tattered and marked up but I recommend this book to everyone that is going through troubling times or needs some encouragement to be more mindful in times of increased stress.
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VINE VOICEon May 18, 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very short book filled with a few feel good narratives and the main point stressed over and over is that our time on Earth is very short and limited and we are all here on a journey to find our spiritual selves and to transcend this physical existence. The author feels most people are self absorbed and still seeking to fill their lives with material goods and the rat race, but the recent 2+ year long recession, global economic crisis, high employment, financial meltdowns, financial scams, and other issues have opened people's eyes and we need to shed our material sides, live simpler, spread love around the world, help your neighbor, etc.

One quote from the book is the following: "So why be bogged down with fourteen irrelevant people, two tons of useless junk, and a brain full of worry? When, really, you're just practicing to be part of an intergalactic lightstream of Love?"

I'm all for world peace, getting rid of useless materialistic garbage, simplifying my life, and I like helping people. I've also had those moments where I felt connected to the universe and realized I was a small spec living a life, but I was connected to everything, but at the same time I also realized 90% or more of the world doesn't feel this way. I could and should focus on my own spiritual development and should help others, but at the same time I can't just forget the reality of the world we live in and that most people I meet won't have this altruistic, enlightened, and positive mindset.

Of her 10 things to do the number 1 item is to cry. Just cry and wail and scream and let things out. I know keeping things inside and bottled up isn't healthy, but I also know that society doesn't look at crying as a positive thing, especially in public. People feel uncomfortable and often don't know how to respond, so while crying may be a good release, there is also a time and a place. As a kid and a male crying was a no no and there are only a few specific traumatic moments where I felt crying was good for my own personal situation.

Overall this book does have some good advice and I feel the message overall is positive and tries to be uplifting, but at the same time there is a large dose of naivety that just drags the book down and makes it feel like a farce.

You may as well just say to someone in a crisis, "Don't worry about it. Change what you are doing, get rid of all your material possessions, cry on the couch a few times a day for a few weeks, realize you're not perfect, we're all going to die and it is a good idea to be at peace with that and explore your spiritual side, and everything will work out in the end for good or bad."
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on April 19, 2015
I was prepared not to like this book. I bought it on a day when I had gotten news I thought was coming but didn't want to hear. I bought it because I wanted someone to tell me that everything was going to be alright which of course this book does not do. Kingma does, however, recommend very specific actions which do indeed help. Paging through the book now, when I am in a better place, I look at some of the passages I highlighted and wonder why I highlighted them. But some still stick, such as this one. "It's good to live simply when things are going well, but when life is difficult, it's essential. That's because every object, habit, movement, conversation, undertaking, responsibility, and reaction takes energy."
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I found this book to be both very inspirational and practical as well. The author covers a lot of ground in this relatively short book, highlighting numerous examples of real-life people who have risen above various crises to live better lives in the end, combined with some practical suggestions for how to apply her recommendations. This title is a great tool for these challenging economic times, and for dealing with any other difficulties one may encounter in life. I highly recommend it as a spiritual and personal growth resource. Here's one of my favorite passages from it:

"Persistence is the journey of effectiveness that allows you to hope. It is the energy that wants to get things done, to assist you in moving from crisis to solution. Persistence can take you from debt to solvency, from heartbreak to love, from sickness to health, from foreclosure to having a home. Emotionally, it can take you from fear to joy; spiritually, it can deliver you from despair to peace. So persist, be steadfast in your undertaking, for only the path consistently traveled can deliver you to the outcome you long for. Whatever your battle, it's never easy. The monsters never just slink back into the woods with their tails between their legs. They will fight you for every breath. There is a battle in this universe for every inch of light, and only those who persist will rise to behold the astonishing light of the sunrise."
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on November 24, 2013
At its core, this book is not really a traditional self help book. Rather it provides structure people need to think outside of the box about the problems they face. It provided me almost
Blinding revelations about why I did the things I did. As I read one particular chapter, all I could say was -- oh, oh, OHHH! It helped me understand that my mother had used money to control her children. That when she felt bad she spent money (lots of money) to make herself feel better. I felt such a tremendous relief because I now had the opportunity to understand I was a self made man and that she didn't anymore
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