ISBN-10:
0547774362
ISBN-13:
9780547774367
Pub. Date:
Publisher:
Smile at Strangers: And Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly

Smile at Strangers: And Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly

by Susan Schorn

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Overview

“Eat, pray . . . kick ass. Delivered with self-deprecating candor, Schorn's life lessons learned at the dojo will resonate with anyone who's ever tried to remodel a house, raise kids, cope with a health crisis, navigate office politics or hyperventilated—essentially anyone who's ever been slammed on the mat while testing for the black belt of life. Like the fighter herself, you can't put this one down.”—Mary Moore, author of The Unexpected When You're Expecting

Susan Schorn led an anxious life. For no clear reason, she had become progressively paralyzed by fear. Fed up with feeling powerless, she took up karate.

She learned how to say no and how to fight when you have to (even in the dark). Karate taught her how to persuade her husband to wear a helmet, best one bossy Girl Scout troop leader, and set boundaries with an over-sharing boss. Here this double black belt recounts a fighting, biting, laughing woman's journey on the road to living fearlessly—where enlightenment is as much about embracing absurdity and landing a punch as about finding that perfect method of meditation.

Full of hilarious hijinks and tactical wisdom, Schorn's quest for a more satisfying life features practical—and often counterintuitive—lessons about safety and self defense. Smile at strangers, she says. Question your habits, your fears, your self-criticism: Self-criticism is easy. Self-improvement is hard. And don’t forget this essential gem: Everybody wants to have adventures. Whether they know it or not. Join the adventure in these pages, and come through it poised to have more of your own.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547774367
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

SUSAN SCHORN holds black belts in Kyokushin and Seido karate and is currently working toward self-defense instructor certification. She has written for radio and online publications, including McSweeney's and The Rumpus.

SUSAN SCHORN has taught writing and literature at the University of Texas, St. Edward's University, and the University of Hawaii-Hilo. She holds black belts in Kyokushin and Seido karate and is a member of the National Women's Martial Arts Federation and  former chair of the board of directors for Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense, NFP, in Austin, Texas. She earned her nidan (second degree) black belt in Seido karate in 2011. She has written for radio and online publications, including McSweeney's and The Rumpus.

Table of Contents

Fall down seven times, get up eight 1

If you want to feel safe, be prepared to feel uncomfortable 8

Smile at strangers 19

Paradise doesn't count if it's compulsory 30

You're doing it all wrong. And that's perfect 44

To fight fear, you must also fight ignorance. And occasionally, argumentative jerks 59

Don't be afraid of the dark - grab darkness by the throat, kick its ass, push it down the stairs, and laugh at its haircut 82

Push yourself past your limits; then let your friends push you further 94

We are connected by the distance between us 107

What you're good at is less important than what you're good for 123

Remain centered, no matter how many building permits you have to obtain 138

Everybody wants to have adventures. Whether they know it or not 157

Sometimes the only way forward is to go back and start over 170

Once a place becomes part of you, you can leave it without regret 187

Parenthood is the most terrifying ordeal you will ever undergo. Enjoy it 203

See yourself clearly, and you won't dread the scrutiny of others 213

A warrior cultivates the virtues of loyalty, courage, and discretion. Along with some light typing and filing 225

Self-criticism is easy. Self-improvement is hard. You're here for the hard stuff 240

Survival is the bravest fight, and the most beautiful victory 254

Believe it or not, you are more than equal to the challenges you face 265

Behind each triumph are new peaks to be conquered 281

Japanese terms 286

Martial arts styles mentioned 289

Acknowledgments 291

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