SW BookLast week, I talked about a book I’d recently read that had impacted greatly on me (Mia Freedman’s ‘Work Strife Balance’, again make sure you read if you haven’t already!). My blog mainly focused on the ‘Balance’ part. This week, I want to talk about the second book which had a similar effect  and that is ‘first, we make the beast beautiful’ by Sarah Wilson.

Sarah Wilson made a huge difference to my whole family several years ago. Her first ‘I Quit Sugar’ book was released around the same time that my eldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a young teenager. After almost a week in ICU, following the scariest night of my life, we embraced Sarah’s program as a family, certain that eliminating fructose from our diets would have a massive impact on my son’s newfound journey, and this was correct. Lachie’s ‘honeymoon period’ (period of time after diagnosis when the pancreas may still produce some insulin to reduce insulin needs) lasted almost twelve months, which was truly amazing and we attributed this primarily to regular exercise and a fructose free diet.

Anyway, as a fan of Sarah’s, even though I do not consider myself to be an anxious person at all, I decided to read her new book as I am always keen to learn and am interested in people’s stories and what they share to help others.

In Sarah’s words:

SW words

I delved into this book, having no idea what I was in for. As a highly driven, focused, business orientated achiever, I feel as if I’ve never had an anxious day in my life (haha), but I was keen to learn about anxiety and how it affects others.

In my eyes Sarah was similar to me, a driven individual feeling as if there is no mountain we can’t climb and nothing we can’t achieve if we set our minds to it, and she is! But Sarah is all that and more, dealing with anxiety, an auto-immune disease and mild OCD whilst forging her way as an incredibly successful business woman and an amazing, inspirational lady.

A few chapters in, I was more than in awe, and also found myself looking within, thinking about people and how we are all different in character and personality. I was also quite overwhelmed by what Sarah was experiencing and going through on a daily basis. It highlighted how often we have no idea of what is really happening in people’s lives or behind the scenes, and it’s important to be mindful of this. I can honestly say that Sarah’s book has made me look at a number of things differently, and has reinforced the need to understand that everyone looks at things in their own unique way and from a different perspective.

When dealing with relationships – business, personal or social – it’s vital to remember that everyone’s opinion or perspective is different to our own. This does not make them wrong or you right, it merely proves that the way we view things is different for each individual. We can use this to our advantage and try to understand the different angles and therefore unique opportunities we may have not even considered. It also demonstrates the need to show empathy, understanding and most importantly listen to those who are around us. Embrace new ideas or thoughts and open up your minds.  ‘first we make the beast beautiful’ has also made me realise that perhaps I can be a little OCD in certain areas and I now understand that organised and driven individuals are often this way, something I definitely had never thought to consider.

Dealing with anxiety and other health disorders can be crippling to those who others may see as being geniuses, without a care in the world. These people sometimes have days they can barely function and other days they outshine everyone they know.

Sarah’s enlightening book has definitely made me look at personalities, perceptions and personality traits from a different angle, and if you are someone that deals with people, the general public or has relationships of any kind (and let’s face it, we all do!), then take time to read this book – even if you think it is not relevant to you – as I think you will be pleasantly surprised and enlightened. It will give you greater understanding into some of the issues that face today’s society and enable you to apply that into your interactions with people on a daily basis.


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Lazy Sunday Reading