Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature & Inner Growth

Pearlsong Press
Free sample

A touching, tender and at times funny account of a woman’s struggle for stature in a 4 foot 8½ inch tall body, Beyond Measure speaks to the heart of soul-breaking attempts to fit an arbitrary and elusive cultural ideal of physical perfection. Being short isn’t the problem, Ellen Frankel insists. Instead, the real difficulties lie in the social bias against short people.

Frankel shares the difficulties of living short in a world in which stereotypes are based on gender and size. She moves beyond her own experience into the political realm in revealing how pharmaceutical companies—with government backing—are expanding the market for human growth hormone treatment by reclassifying healthy short children as patients in “need” of such injections in hopes of making them taller.

She shares the dilemma of being subjected to simultaneous messages that her physical body should be bigger—that is, taller, but not wider—while her expansive spiritual body should be smaller. Self-destructive behaviors emerge from too much attention on the external rather than the internal workings of the soul. Frankel flirts with eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with powerful males in an attempt to compensate for her feelings of not “measuring up.” In the process, her real self slips farther away.

The path out of her dilemma lies in the shadow of the tallest mountain on Earth. It is through a spiritual pilgrimage to Nepal that Frankel discovers her own strength and spirit, and that we are all dwarfed by Everest and beyond measure.

"If you have ever measured your height or weight and felt good or bad about yourself as a result, you need this book," says Marilyn Wann, author of FAT!SO? Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size. "In its pages, Ellen Frankel makes an important contribution to human liberation by telling the most fabulous story that can be told, the story of a person coming fully into her own. This book is thought-provoking, heart-rending, and a genuine solace for people of all sizes."

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About the author

Ellen Frankel is a licensed clinical social worker. She is also the author of the novel Syd Arthur and co-author (with her sister Judith Matz, LCSW) of Beyond a Shadow of a Diet and The Diet Survivor's Handbook.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pearlsong Press
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Published on
Sep 1, 2006
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9781597190367
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Medical
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Body, Mind & Spirit / General
Body, Mind & Spirit / Inspiration & Personal Growth
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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FROM PSYCHE TO SOMA AND BACK

Tales of Biopsychosocial Medicine

by

George Freeman Solomon, M.D.

with Ping Ho, M.A.

From Psyche to Soma and Back subtitled Tales of Biopsychosocial Medicine is a scientific and personal adventure story, that of George Solomon, a pioneer of psychoneuroimmunology (the fast-growing field that studies interactions among brain, behavior, and immunity), who has always tended to tackle problems that others had not or would not. Dr. Solomon tries to solve mysteries, be they scientific or criminal, in bold, unconventional, and often controversial ways. His odyssey is an expos of conceptual narrowness and ethical shortcomings in clinical medicine, scientific research, criminology, and the military. Stories of real people remain in the forefront throughout. The through-line is the vicissitudes of human aggression. If one cannot stick up for oneself, one is prone to physical illness. If one takes out anger on others, one makes society sick. If one goes against ones own conscience to commit harm against others under social pressure, one may wind up with a mental disorder.

All of medicine as well as psychiatry and psychology is complexly biopsychosocial in nature, as Dr. George Engel pointed out in 1960. As might be added, so is criminology. To make more sense to the reader of a varied professional life that moves among these domains, sometimes contemporaneously, the book itself is divided into Biopsycho and Psychosocial sections. However, for the purpose of this outline of content, it makes sense to be descriptive chronologically even though it does not follow the order of the book. A list of chapters is appended. This description will be a first person narrative.

The groundwork for my thinking began with graduate and specialty medical education (Stanford, Washington University, UCSF). I repeatedly observed the inseparability of physical from psychological causes of physical and mental illnesses. There were the exceptionally nice unassertive people who, when deeply distressed, were getting sick with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases (when the immune system attacks the bodys own tissues). Could personality factors influence the immune system? Could Stress? (Later, I did quite well in betting my rheumatologist colleagues that, after a 20-minute non-medical chat, I could determine which patients with short term joint symptoms had rheumatoid arthritis over all possible causes.) There was the catatonic schizophrenic, whose three-month cure was triggered by her response to my own emotional grief and ended with my departure. What was going on at the dopamine receptors of her brain neurons during the improvement? It seemed to me that thoughts and feelings can change dopamine just as much as dopamine can change thoughts and feelings. Each clinical case I encountered seemed to solidify my belief in the mind-body connection.

I learned quickly that the only way that I would survive a two-year stint in the Army was to disguise my rebellious nature, a skill that has since served me well in academia. Stationed at Ft. McClellan near Anniston, Alabama (which I privately called Anus-town because of its then vicious racism). I was privy to Chemical Corps developments in lethal chemical and biological warfare. (This work was largely carried out by veterinarians because they do not take the Hippocratic Oath.) A main interest at that time was experimentation in the use of psychotomimetic compounds such as LSD as incapacitating agents, leading to my making some startling observations. I also served as psychiatrist to the Womens Army Corps Training Command at Ft. McClellan, where I made special efforts to try to thwart witch-hunts against ab

The Montgomerys of Framingham, Massachusetts, are among the last of a dying breed -- New England WASPs who effortlessly combine repression, flamboyant eccentricity, and alcoholism. Fragmented by drink and dysfunction, the family had avoided assembling under one roof for more than a decade. But when Big Dad, the patriarch, was diagnosed with stomach cancer, the siblings all returned to their childhood home, Four Corner Farm, to help their parents navigate the specialists, treatment options, pain management, and, most difficult of all, their own anguish. The Things Between Us is Lee Montgomery's alternately wrenching and riotous story of her family reuniting as one of their own is dying.

Even in healthy times, Big Dad moved carefully through life, taking responsibility for the farm, the cars, the house, and his wife. Meanwhile the irrepressible Mumzy drank her first gin each day at 8:45 a.m. and spent her time singing jazz standards and reliving the glory days when she rescued horses from the now defunct hunt club. Prickly and proud, the two tried always to keep their chins up. But Big Dad's cancer rattled their formidable denial, and their habitual coping mechanisms took on heightened meaning when he became sick and the family reconvened. In Big Dad's last months, Montgomery accompanied him on his daily walks as he bade farewell to the places where their lives had unfolded; she and her mother sang old songs, and eventually composed their own jazzy musical called "If You're Dying of Cancer, Do You Want Us to Tell You?"

Montgomery's stunning memoir vividly evokes the often unspoken bonds between family members -- bonds made of memory, love, and disappointment. Heartbreaking, lyrical, and often hilarious, The Things Between Us hums with a sense of wonder as the author discovers anew the most familiar people in her life, herself among them.
Prince Siddhartha, raised behind palace walls and showered with every extravagance, abandoned his protected life to embark on a spiritual journey. He ultimately reached enlightenment and became known as the Buddha, which means "one who is awake." He then spent his life teaching that all have the potential to awaken...

Meet Syd Arthur! Living in the cloistered world of suburbia, Syd is a middle-aged Jewish woman who is potentially awake, but likes to start her day with a strong cup of coffee, just in case. Her daughter has just left for college and her diet is once again off track. While for most of her life she's been convinced that happiness can be attained by a magic number on the bathroom scale — or a really great shopping day at Bloomingdale's—she finds herself in the grocery store with an empty cart wondering if there just might be something more.

When East unexpectedly meets West, Syd embarks on a journey as a spiritual seeker. Soon she's in over her chakras as her search takes her from yoga studio to meditation hall to ashram gift store to the pages of Zensational catalogue. Her Mah Jongg group insists it's merely a midlife crisis. But nothing's going to stop Syd's journey toward Nirvana—not even the hottest sale at Nordstrom's. 

Follow Syd as she finds her bliss and discovers a richness that rivals a Godiva truffle, making for one delicious enlightenment.

"What do you wear to the meditation center?" I had asked Montana. "I mean, when I go to temple, I usually wear a suit. Sometimes a pantsuit, but mostly a skirt and a blazer."

"Okay, you definitely don't need to wear a suit, Syd. Just wear something comfortable to sit in. And I promise you Om Guru is not about the clothes. No one cares what you wear. People there are concerned about the inner you, about your journey to realize and meet the Self."

I thought for a minute and then said, "So let me ask you it this way. When I meet my Self, should I meet her in country club casual or something more dressy?"

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
 
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
 
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Three hundred Jewish tales in this extraordinary volume span three continents and four millennia. Culled from traditional sources—the Bible, Talmud, Midrash, hasidic texts, and oral folklore—and retold in modern English by Ellen Frankel, these stories represent the brightest jewels in the vast treasure chest of Jewish lore.

Beautifully clothed in contemporary language, these classic tales sparkle with the gentle and insightful humor of the Jewish folk imagination. And like so much of Jewish literature, these stories abound in allusions to classic Jewish texts. Biblical cadences, phrases from the prayer book, and ideas from Jewish proverbs and heroic legends resonate in the air when these tales are read or told aloud. In The Classic Tales, history sheds its dust to become as intimate as family memory.

While the breadth and depth of this book make it completely unique, three special features also help distinguish it: God appears without gender (though certainly not without personality); women characters, so often nameless in the original biblical text, wear their midrashic names (e.g., Noah's wife Naamah, Abraham's mother Amitlai, Lot's wife Edith); and many tales of Sephardic origin have been included to correct the common American bias toward Eastern European sources.

What's more, this volume has been uniquely designed to be of use to educators, rabbis, parents, and students. It features a chronological table of contents as well as six separate indexes?arranged by Jewish holidays, Torah and Haftorah readings, character types, symbols, topics, and proper names and places—to make the tales easily referenced in a wide variety of ways. Anyone who needs a story to inspire a child, to illustrate a point, to develop a sermon, or just to uplift his or her own thirsting soul will find just the right one in The Classic Tales.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsday • New York Post • theSkimm • Refinery29 • Bloomberg • Self • Real Simple • Town & Country • Bustle • Paste • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • LibraryReads • BookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review
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