The Woman's Book of Strength
Meditation for Wisdom, Balance & Power
All my books begin in the fertile soil of my own growth. Strength arose from a steaming pit of outrage. Infuriated by huge injustices in the world and smaller ones I dealt with personally, I stewed and seethed and resisted and blamed. Prompted by deep unhappiness and gently persistent spiritual nudges, the therapist in me eventually kicked in, and I realized I’d succumbed to old patterns of downplaying my wisdom and giving away my personal power. Using many of the tools shared in Strength, I figured out why I’d lapsed into self-sabotaging behavior, forgave myself for doing so, and began the ongoing process of owning up to, and acting from, my innate strength and power.
Individually, having the courage to express your strength and wisdom fosters happiness and satisfaction. Plus, it’s fun. Globally, most societies are in desperate need of the tempering and respectful power and values of feminine energy. Because of these realities, my prayer for Strength is that it helps you accept, honor, and activate sacred personal strength and wisdom and also bravely encourage (or demand, if need be) the world become a better place.
We are the world’s hope.
"I am so thrilled Sue Patton Thoele has done a new meditation book! Her warm wisdom on strength, wisdom and power is sure to resonate with every woman looking for support in these challenging times. I know I will keep her words by my side."
—MJ Ryan, author of Attitude of Gratitude
The Courage to Be Yourself
An Updated Guide to Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem
The Courage To Be Yourself was my first book. It was born from insights I had about myself, the women in my private therapy practice, and groups I led. No matter who we were—stay at home moms, professionals, financially comfortable, trying to make ends meet, married, single, introverts, extroverts, gay, straight, old or young—I realized we all had similar qualms about expressing who we really were. In varying degrees, we all feared offending others and not being accepted if we dared show and express our authentic selves.
Since fear and emotional co-dependence often lead to meeting the wants of others at the expense of our own, The Courage to Be Yourself provides practical tools that can help you transform fear into the courage to express your own authentic selves. The book is filled with stories of my own and other women’s often rocky journeys toward authenticity. Setting reasonable boundaries, changing self-defeating behavior patterns, and communicating effectively are explored and, very importantly, Courage guides you to becoming a loving, accepting, and supportive friend to yourself.
The Mindful Woman:
Gentle Practices for Restoring Calm, Finding Balance & Opening Your Heart
Writing this book was an absolute joy. It flowed and I “growed.” The Mindful Woman is designed in a one-short-essay-at-a-time format and can be used as a daily guide or opened at random in answer to a question or just for fun. It has sixty-plus simple and effective practices to help you embrace mindfulness one moment at a time. Writing this book put my life on a gentler path and taught me that A few mindful moments can make a world of difference.
The Courage To Be a Stepmom:
Finding Your Place Without Losing Yourself
I went into step-mothering with completely unrealistic hopes, fantasies, and expectations. Those fairytales almost did me in. Surprisingly, in the early years, I didn’t know any other stepmothers with whom to muse and vent. Neither could I find any books addressing the emotional and spiritual angst I was dealing with trying to be a good—who am I kidding, perfect—wife, mother, and stepmother. To say I was off-kilter, heartbroken, and frustrated much of the time is an understatement. But I learned priceless lessons, questioned until I got answers, changed myself and my expectations, and eventually begin to practice compassionate non-attachment. Thankfully, we all survived and are now thriving.
I wrote The Courage to Be a Stepmom because I wanted other stepmothers to have more help and feel more supported than I did. I wanted stepmoms to know they weren’t crazy or bad people because they harbored the tough feelings inherent in the emotional Cuisinart euphemistically referred to as a blended family. And I also wanted to assure them that stepmothering can be manageable and enjoyable. Especially, and maybe if only, you take excellent and loving care of yourself while navigating the family stuff. Since so many stepmothers have told me, “Your book saved my life,” I feel great about this one.
The Woman's Book of Courage
Meditations for Listening, Living, and Loving
The subtitle of this book, Meditations for Empowerment and Peace of Mind is exactly what these meditations concentrate on; having the compassion and courage to heal the pain of our pasts while appreciating the good things gleaned from them. In Courage, meditations, affirmations, and true stories come together to help guide you in transforming fear, stopping the habit of pleasing other people at your own expense, and taking charge of your life in loving and supportive ways.
Heart Centered Marriage:
Fulfilling Our Natural Desire for Sacred Partnership
The working title for this book was A Deep and Holy Hunger because there is within us, I believe, a profound spiritual yearning for sacred union. In and out of marriage. With others, with Spirit, and with ourselves. The title was changed by the publishing powers-that-be who were concerned that holy hunger would be confused with a diet book and/or scare people off with its intensity. No matter what the name, writing about the mystery of love changed me. I came away realizing that the only thing I know for sure about love is that without it, we wither.
The Woman's Book of Spirit
Meditations to Awaken our Inner Wisdom
After finishing Heart Centered Marriage, I was in a limbo-land that comes when I’m between projects or passions and wonder what’s next. During meditation, I asked what my next step was. Although I receive direct messages only rarely, in this quiet time, I heard Pour water upon my women. That ethereal post turned out to be the seed from which Spirit grew. I hope the musings and meditations in it quench a portion of your spiritual thirst and help you more deeply love and honor the beautiful being you are.
The Woman's Book of Confidence
Meditations for Strength and Inspiration
As a therapist, I was privy to many women’s struggles with lack of self-confidence and also, sadly, made aware of how many women lack confidence because of abuse and denigration. Hearing these stories instilled a profound sense of respect for women in all walks of life and circumstances. I dedicated Confidence to “…all women who have the confidence to stand up for themselves and for those who have the courage to survive when neither speaking out nor standing up is possible.” I hope this little book can inspire an increase in personal confidence. For, as we become more confident, we help generate an ever widening circle of strength, caring, and respect in which all people can live safely and creatively.
Freedoms After 50
Freedoms was conceived in the Atlanta airport. During a lay over, I picked up a little book that’s premise was good things were to be found in aging. I was disappointed how fluffy it’s suggestions were. The only one I remember was “wear big earrings.” I said to myself, “Wow, my experience after turning fifty was uncovering a lot of really important freedoms…” By the time I got home, the outline for Freedoms was well on its way. Each of the seventy-five one-page musings begins with the declaration After fifty, I am free to… Three pages I just picked at random are entitled: Dump the Toad of Overload, Say No, and Make Peace with Paradox. This little book was so much fun to write and makes a great gift for friends approaching, or past, the fecund, feisty, and fruitful age of fifty.
Sowing Seeds of Positive Change in Your Life and in the World
The impetus for Growing Hope was the tragedy of 9/11. As most of us were, I was saddened and discouraged by the events themselves as well as the beliefs and attitudes behind them. Hope’s dedication is:
To those who carry a commitment to wholeness
In the midst of chaos, acrimony, and ignorance,
To those who fan the embers of compassion
With unwavering acceptance, inclusion, and service,
You are the Light Bearers,
You are our Hope…
My hope in writing this was to create a little more light and encourage those who carry it.
Autumn of the Spring Chicken:
Wit and Wisdom for Women in Midlife
The idea for Chicken came to me while noticing how much noise my knees made as I walked upstairs. Although I’ve dabbled in poetry since I was a kid, I see the verses in this book as “soul snacks,” often wrenched from the heights and depths of my being. They are heart songs and gut groans composed to help sort through my thoughts, emotions, insights, and questions. The poems were written in midlife and overflowed from the sense of fullness and depth I found in the newly discovered land of “Wow!-I-feel-pretty-damn-good-about-myself” and its sister city “I-know-I-can-survive-whatever-comes-my-way.”