What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life

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The celebrated author of Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life delivers a unique look at happiness, sharing a Jungian approach to finding a fearless, authentic path.

Why are we here? What is the meaning of existence? What truly matters the most in life? To even begin to answer these questions, we must start by exploring our own internal ideals, values, and beliefs. Presenting the unique perspective of respected analyst and author James Hollis, Ph.D., What Matters Most helps readers learn to appreciate (even be amazed by) events unfolding within, even as the external world creates constant struggles.

Taking a fresh look at the concept of happiness, Hollis uses a warm, accessible tone to encourage readers to learn to tolerate ambiguity, embrace growth rather than security, respect the power of Eros, engage spiritual crises, and acknowledge the shadow of mortality. Providing inspiring wisdom and personal reflections to address our deepest worries, What Matters Most yields far more than mere self-help clichés. Instead, Hollis guides readers in uncovering the heart of the matter, discovering what it means to truly live life to its fullest, most meaningful state—as fully engaged citizens of the world.
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About the author

James Hollis, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in private practice and executive director of the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Houston. Educated at Manchester College, Drew University, and the Jung Institute in Zurich, he was a humanities professor for more than twenty years and is the author of ten previous books, including the best selling The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning at Midlife and The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other. Based in Houston, he lectures frequently throughout the country and worldwide.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Dec 26, 2008
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781440655227
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Mind & Body
Psychology / Emotions
Self-Help / Personal Growth / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Working with the Shadow is not working with evil, per se. It is working toward the possibility of greater wholeness. We will never experience healing until we can come to love our unlovable places, for they, too, ask love of us. 

How is it that good people do bad things? Why is our personal story and our societal history so bloody, so repetitive, so injurious to self and others? 

How do we make sense of the discrepancies between who we think we are—or who we show to the outside world—versus our everyday behaviors? Why are otherwise ordinary people driven to addictions and compulsions, whether alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, infidelity, or the Internet? Why are interpersonal relationships so often filled with strife?

Exploring Jung’s concept of the Shadow—the unconscious parts of our self that contradict the image of the self we hope to project--Why Good People Do Bad Things guides you through all the ways in which many of our seemingly unexplainable behaviors are manifestations of the Shadow. In addition to its presence in our personal lives, Hollis looks at the larger picture of the Shadow at work in our culture—from organized religion to the suffering and injustice that abounds in our modern world. Accepting and examining the Shadow as part of one’s self, Hollis suggests, is the first step toward wholeness. Revealing a new way of understanding our darker selves, Hollis offers wisdom to help you to acquire a more conscious conduct of your life and bring a new level of awareness to your daily actions and choices.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.

Don’t miss the hourlong Netflix special Brené Brown: The Call to Courage!

Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.

It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.

Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.

ONE OF GREATER GOOD’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

“[Brené Brown’s] research and work have given us a new vocabulary, a way to talk with each other about the ideas and feelings and fears we’ve all had but haven’t quite known how to articulate. . . . Brené empowers us each to be a little more courageous.”—The Huffington Post
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