Have you been trained for goodness, holding back on tending to your needs or using your voice? You know, doing what your culture or others expect of you. Perhaps even undermining yourself?
In On Our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and The Price Women Pay to Be Good, Elise Loehnen tackles the history and implications of being good, through the lens of the seven deadly sins. She provides a fresh take on women’s issues, emphasizing the importance of trusting our natural instincts to be ‘who we are’ rather than what our culture or others want us to be. Just one of many examples, is not tending to, or feeling ok about, the need or wish to rest.
On Our Best Behavior was one of my favourite nonfiction reads this year, and I read a lot of nonfiction! So, I was happy to see that Elise’s book has been nominated for Good Reads best non-fiction of the year.
In the words of Dr Gabor Mate: …’she provides a guide to liberation and a return to the authentic feminine self.’
There’s more. Elise is also the host of the podcast Pulling the Thread, focusing on conversations with today’s leading thinkers, writers, healers, and scientists about life’s biggest questions. Her ongoing inquiry focuses on appreciating ourselves more and coming together to build a better world.
A couple of episodes that stood out for me over the last while , where her conversations with Roshi Joan Halifax and Ellen Langer. Two women whose work in the world I admire.
Roshi Joan Halifax is Abbot, and Head Teacher, of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist Monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has dedicated her life’s work to engaged and applied Buddhism, with a particular emphasis on end-of-life care.
Ellen Langer, who I have long followed, was the first woman tenured in psychology at Harvard. She is considered the mother of mindfulness and has authored five books, the most recent is The Mindful Body: Thinking our way to chronic health.
Recently, Elise experimented with an add-on 4-part series on Mystical Systems. I found it delightful, and it has been some years since I have explored some of these areas.
I found myself reflecting on what I appreciate about Elise’s work, and landed on her leadership qualities, a focus of my work for decades. I appreciate how she shows up being honest, being brave and taking risks, inspiring vision, and with a keen interest in lifelong learning. Her curiosity is palpable.
Here are some links for your ease…
- More about Elise and her work
- Pulling the Thread podcast
- About Roshi Joan Halifax
- About Ellen Langer
- Want to unleash your voice, check out our friend, Callie Elwayns’s program, Bold & Visible