From the Publisher
"All the benefits of serious therapy in one book! Reading this book is like getting therapy from a top-notch therapist who has the guts to tell it like it is and the compassion to help you face your issues squarely and do something about them.” -Amy Wood, PsyD, author, Life Your Way
"Paula has written the quintessential manual for anyone who no longer wants to be a member of 'the ain't it awful club.'!” -Gail McMeekin, LICSW, bestselling author, The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women
"Whether you're working with a good therapist, on your own or in a study group, Living the Life You Love is a wonderful guide to self-transformation. Like a friend who's cheering you on, supportive but firm, as she guides you on the path of self-discover
In her practical, hard-hitting yet realistic program for self-improvement, Renaye demonstrates that there's still plenty to say in the self-help industry. A professional life coach and transformational speaker, Renaye has created a concise, encyclopedic guide-cum-workbook that does the job of multiple existing titles, all while adding profound, useful insights and strategies to the conversation. She breaks self-exploration and retooling into manageable, sharply focused steps that help push the reader into honest reflection, emotional and physical health and, ultimately, empowerment and maturity. Though hints of other popular spiritual works shine through, such as the creation of vision boards to visualize what you want in life, the perspective is refreshingly grounded, and Renaye's confessional, empathetic narrative invites readers to identify with her while buying into her approaches. Each chapter focuses on a discrete issue or aspect of life--feeling stuck, body wisdom, living for others--and ends with a transformational insight worksheet (copying is advisable, since space is limited) with questions for self-analysis. Even without the worksheets, tripwires for aha moments run throughout the book. Recognizing that some difficult people are unavoidable, she prescribes stockpiling diversionary tactics in advance. She also lays out simple, sanity-saving strategies for navigating conversations, as well as tips for climbing out of inevitable dips in mood. She expands the vision board concept into a vision script that can help reprogram your thinking, with guidelines, precautions and sample language for recording. She calls her methods tough love, but they're also deeply human, compassionate and supportive. A self-help guide with real-world value and applicability, which proves it's never too late to grow up.
Read an Excerpt
Whether it's a personal relationship, a situation at work or simply something we know we need to deal with but don't, the longer we let it go, the harder it is to do what we need to do. We each put on our own particular brand of rose-colored glasses to make it easier to live with what we don't want to face. And before you even realize it, denial, delusion and procrastination become habits--even a way of life.
I used to be the undisputed Queen of Denial. I was good, excellent even. When my husband and I divorced, most people were absolutely shocked. Not one person ever said, "Oh, we knew something was wrong." Nope. No one had any idea that all was not well in Happy Valley. We had "looked” like thAs it turned out, while my conscious self was busy making plans for a life that explored my highest potential, my subconscious programming was lurking in the background with a nasty little monkey wrench. In my case, it was a prime directive that trumped everything else. "Be all you can be” did not dictate my priorities and choices-"be married or die” did.
I could say anything I wanted to, but if it didn't fit with my deeply held belief that without a man to validate me I was nothing, it wasn't going to happen. It couldn't. My self-worth-my worthiness to even be alive-depended on having a man, so I did whatever I had to in order to accomplish that. I gave up my education, my career, my dreams and my identity.
Besides having to get married as soon as possible, which I did at eighteen, my programming also required that I stay married, no matter what. And I did-for decades. Only when the mental, emotional and physical pain became more than I could bear did I become willing to begin to admit that I was seriously unhappy with my marriage and my life. And only when the reality of staying married became more painful than the fear of dying if I wasn't did I finally become willing to consider a change.
However, recognizing that I wanted things to be different didn't instantly fix things. My husband made it very clear that I was the one with the problem. He hadn't changed, I had; therefore, all the issues in the marriage were entirely on my shoulders and it was up to me to deal with them. He was right. Maybe not in the way he meant it, but right nonetheless. He was still the same person, doing the same things he always had. I was the one who had changed. I was the one who now didn't like the role I was playing and wanted more. And yes, it was up to me to deal with it...