Welcome to the Book Club dear reader! Thank you and I am so happy that you are here. This is going to be fun! I have become a huge lover of books, reading and self development. Being a mama of young children, I find myself hunkered down at the house more… and while baby naps looking for something a little bit more life-giving than doing the dishes. There is no greater joy than sharing what you have learned with someone else and discussing a book you’ve read together. I also believe that when you are able to reflect on, share and discuss “take aways” from books with others it sinks in and you are able to really apply it to your life.
“The truest, most beautiful life never promises to be an easy one. We need to let go of the lie that it’s supposed to be.”― Glennon Doyle
Without further adieu, I give you our Spring 2021 Book Club read, Untamed by Glennon Doyle! After serving mothers and families for the last year in Mama Mastermind, I realized that mothers need to hear these messages from Glennon. What an empowering read for all women to focus on this Spring and to come together and cheer each other on. It was actually listening to this podcast that inspired me the most to bring back book club and read this book together.
Glennon Doyle is the author of Untamed, as well as the #1 New York Times bestseller LOVE WARRIOR (an Oprah’s Book Club selection), and the New York Times bestseller CARRY ON, WARRIOR. An activist and thought leader, Glennon is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy –raising over $25 Million for women, families and children in crisis. She lives in Florida with her wife and three children.
“When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.”― Glennon Doyle
My intention on this Book Club is to create a community in this space that goes beyond “social media” to real social engagement and connection. Please use this Book Club as an open space to discuss the book with respect for others opinions. I want to also remind you that this Book Club should never feel like a chore. This is created to be a life-giving activity and you should look forward to doing it and being a part of our discussion. If you need to read at a slower pace or participate by listening to the audio book – please do that. I have done a little bit of both.
Reflection Questions Part I
- Glennon says, “This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.” Why do we always seek others approval or direction before we start? She also shares a story about when she asked a bunch of teenagers if they were hungry and wanted snacks… All of the boys without hesitation said, YES! All of the girls, looked at each other before they quietly said, “We are fine”. How have you seen this play out in your own life? How can you start to look inside for approval and direction more?
- What do you think of the Zoo metaphor and Tabitha the Cheetah? Glennon says, “She’d sigh and say, ‘I should be grateful. I have a good enough life here. It’s crazy to long for what doesn’t even exist.’ I’d say: Tabitha. You are not crazy. You are a goddamn cheetah.” When I read this , I cried, laughed and just about threw my book across the room and jolted up. What was your reaction to this metaphor?
- Something that really stood out to me were her thoughts on Imagination and Dreaming. Glennon says, “Perhaps imagination is not where we go to escape reality but where we go to remember it.” The example she uses is of Tabitha going back and forth on the perimeter of her cage, looking out into the distance dreaming an imagining a better life, the beautiful stars in the open savanna. I love this, but it also goes against my beliefs of being present is where true joy is. We can’t always just be day dreaming and imagining a better life for ourselves, to some extent that can cause suffering. It is an idea that I’m torn between. Is there a middle ground?
- Selfless in Womanhood. What do you think women want? Do you agree with Glennon? Glennon says, “Women want a moment to take a deep breath, enough power and money to feel safe, good food, good sex, safety, more love and less pain.” How do you look at selflessness in womanhood? What do you do to advocate for yourself and your needs as an individual?
- How do you OWN YOUR STORY? How will this impact your life and your children’s life? Where are your road blocks?
- Martyr Motherhood. What are your thoughts on… “Mothers have martyred themselves in their children’s names since the beginning of time. We have lived as if she who disappears the most, loves the most. We have been conditioned to prove our love by slowly ceasing to exist. What a terrible burden for children to bear—to know that they are the reason their mother stopped living. What a terrible burden for our daughters to bear—to know that if they choose to become mothers, this will be their fate, too. Because if we show them that being a martyr is the highest form of love, that is what they will become. They will feel obligated to love as well as their mothers loved, after all. They will believe they have permission to live only as fully as their mothers allowed themselves to live. If we keep passing down the legacy of martyrdom to our daughters, with whom does it end? Which woman ever gets to live? And when does the death sentence begin? At the wedding altar? In the delivery room? Whose delivery room—our children’s or our own? When we call martyrdom love we teach our children that when love begins, life ends. This is why Jung suggested: There is no greater burden on a child than the unlived life of a parent.”
Reflection Questions Part II
- One of my favorite analogies Glennon talks about it the “Island” analogy. It is almost painful to listen to or read because I struggle with this personally. I have unfortunately allowed people onto my island who disrespect me and our boundaries “just because” they are family. What do you think of the island analogy and where do you run into roadblocks? How would you like to utilize this in your life?
- The Racists chapter! I am so happy to read a chapter like this and this topic included in a book like this. Timely information with the civil unrest in Minneapolis and the movement we see across our country with Black Lives Matter. What did you think of Glennon’s take on this?
- One of my favorite moments in the book was a quiet one that happening during the story where she talks about her daughter trying out for the elite traveling soccer team. I’ve struggled with how to put these feelings into words with parenting. We want to motivate, cheer on and encourage our children to move through challenges! Believe in them when they do not believe in themselves and teach them not to always give up or quit when the going gets tough. It is a balance though. What did you think of this moment in the book? Do you resinate with this parenting philosophy?
- “Golden” girls. Why is it that when we see a joyful girl or woman we dislike her? A woman who is truly happy in her sick, struts like she owns the room, is captivating and feels like she has enough, is enough. Why is it our first thought to not like them? Had you thought about this before?
- What did you think of the ending of the book?
- What was your favorite part of the book and why?
- If you had to describe the book in a couple sentences to someone who has never heard of Glennon Doyle or the book Untamed… What would you say?