Tuesday, 5 May 2020

What I Learnt from Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. (Mindscape Reviews)

Hi Readers! Glennon Doyle’s ‘Untamed’ has been in my TBR ever since it was published in the March of this year. At first, I thought, it was a novel, but it turned out to be non-fiction with a lot of wisdom in it. I had previously heard that it is one of the most uplifting books. I also heard that it is a must-read for everyone. Naturally, I was intrigued & so I started reading it. I absolutely loved it. Not only is it very knowledgeable, but the things mentioned in the book are something that we can actually implement in order to live the most true & beautiful life for ourselves.

Untamed is a short book, but the messages it sends are something that will last a lifetime. It starts with a captivating Prologue which sets the theme of the book perfectly. The book is divided into three parts. Part One named ‘CAGED’ talks a lot about the personal life of the author & she connects these things to bigger things. In this, she creates a solid foundation for the rest of the book. Part Two named ‘KEYS’ is probably the most important section in this book. This is the part which I will go back to read time & again. In this, Glennon Doyle talks about the keys which will set you free from the cage. (More on this below.) It can be a bit of a snooze fest because there is just talk in this. There are no personal stories or metaphors. I think that’s what makes it a kind of a preview for Part Three. Part Three named ‘Free’ is the longest part of the book & this I quite enjoyed reading. There are a lot of stories + brilliant metaphors + guidance.

“Something’s off about my life. I feel restless and frustrated. I have this hunch that everything was supposed to be more beautiful than this."

All these three parts come together really well, leaving the reader with insights to last forever. Instead of reviewing this book in my usual way, I thought of an alternative. Below are all the key take-aways from Untamed that I thought were the most important. I’m sure these will differ for you when you read it. But, if the below points make you think about your life, then you definitely need to read the entire book!

There are so many instances where Glennon Doyle has stressed on how we need to take ourselves first & foremost. In the past couple of years, I was doing this self-care, but after reading this book I understood how deep the levels of self-care can be. It states how we are moulded by the world around us, when in reality we need a fit custom-made for ourselves that has nothing to do to fit with the world. I also liked how she mentions that if we have to decide between disappointing anyone else & disappointing ourselves, every time we should choose disappointing others. That really resonated with me. There are so many times where we put others above us without even realising. I think that needs to stop. I come first & the rest comes after me.

"I will not stay, not ever again—in a room or conversation or relationship or institution that requires me to abandon myself."

In the novel, the author has stated a LOT OF TIMES how we need to make a true & beautiful life. When we distinguish things as right & wrong, black & white, sometimes we forget what our heart really wants. So, instead of those age-old terms, we need to ask ourselves if that person or that thing or that job or that environment is the truest & the most beautiful. That’s what we need to ask ourselves to live a much better life for our sake & for others’.

“Instead of asking ourselves what’s right or wrong, we must ask ourselves: What is true and beautiful?”

As I mentioned above, Part Two consists of Keys, titled FEEL, IMAGINE, KNOW & LET IT BURN. Now, I can do my best to tell you what’s it about, but I can think it is crucial for everyone to read this chapter.

FEEL: We need to FEEL IT ALL. Usually when we are sad, we just make ourselves do things to not be sad. Same goes for feelings of pain, anger, loneliness. We try to get rid of those feelings, when in fact, we need to do the opposite. We need to feel all the feelings. Because, only then will we really know ourselves.

IMAGINE: The word ‘imagine’ changed my definition of it completely when I read this book. Whenever we blame someone because of their flaws, we need to understand & imagine why do those people have those flaws in the first place. We need imagination to bridge the gap between my experience and the experience of another.
KNOW: Throughout the book, the author talks about her ‘Knowing’ which is what her deepest self tells her. She sits with herself, goes deeper into her thoughts until she is sinking & that’s where she finds her ‘Knowing’. It can be a gut feeling for some or a hunch for others. What it really is, is the deepest & truest thoughts that we can think of.
LET IT BURN: We need to feel it all, imagine & get in touch with our knowing & then finally let it all burn & rise anew. We are fireproof!

"I resurrect myself every day, in every moment that I allow myself to feel and become. It’s my daily reminder to let myself burn to ashes and rise, new."

‘Selah’ is one of author’s favourite words & also it is now mine. Selah is found at the ending of the verses in the Psalms and has been interpreted as an instruction calling for a break in the singing of the Psalm or it may mean "forever."  In the book, the author uses it as a silence just before the big thing. When we hear something unexpected, we need to take a Selah, that is, some silent time or a moment to process the information & react in a true & beautiful way. I thought it was genius. And in the world we live in, where there is racism, body shaming, sexism so many more issues, we really need the power of Selah.

This is another beautiful concept which I absolutely adored. When you think of it, ‘held’ & ‘free’ are opposites, but the way the author has put them in one context is simply amazing. She says we need to be held by our community as we are, but we should also be free to be whoever we want to be. Sometimes the simplest things mean quite a lot.

"A whole family is one in which each member can bring her full self to the table knowing that she will always be both held and free."

These concepts are the ones that resonated with me the most & that I will never forget. Other than this, the author has also talked a lot about parenting. She also puts in light the problems with racism. She talks openly about her own addiction problem & how she overcame it. She also talks about the LGBTQ+ community. Also about gender & labels. The whole book, really, is enlightening & so informative.

While keeping a balance with the knowledge & the stories, she also bridges the gaps with her wonderful metaphors. I really enjoyed those. There is nothing that can be explained better than with a metaphor. I think that this book is absolutely brilliant & a must-read for every person on this Earth! I have rated it at 4/5 on Goodreads. By reading this, I have completed the ‘A Book Published in 2020’ category from my Reading Challenge!

"The magic of heartbreak is that each person’s doorbell rings in response to something specific. What rings your bell? Is it racial injustice? Bullying? Animal cruelty? Hunger? War? The environment? Kids with cancer? What is it that affects you so deeply that whenever you encounter it, you feel the need to look away? Look there. Where is the pain in the world that you just cannot stand? Stand there. The thing that breaks your heart is the very thing you were born to help heal. Every world changer’s work begins with a broken heart."

Currently, I am reading Dan Brown’s Origin. I’m about 100 pages in & totally enjoying it. I have also started with Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. The books next on my list are ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker & ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ by Agatha Christie.

Until next time,

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