When Things Fall Apart – Pema Chodron

Usually when we buy a fictional book we take a look at the synopsis. There is a plot, names of characters, you understand the genre and it’s a decision to make, whether to pick it up or to toss it. But Self help books are tricky to understand. Even though there is a brief synopsis it does not always satisfy the reader, especially if you are buying a self help book for the first time. Imagine if you had a really bad wound, it hurt like hell and the doctor, instead of healing it would cut into it deepening the pain furthermore adding with it a bad infection, it is kind of like that. No healing but a lot of complications. The experience terrifies you to visit any doctor again.

Therefore for this segment’s first book, I wanted to introduce, Pema Chodron’s “When things fall apart – heart advice for difficult times” a book that is warm and easy to go through.


The synopsis of the book is as follows,

When things are shaky, we are on the verge of something.’

The usual advice for pain and suffering is to sweeten it up, smooth it over, take a pill. But distraction only makes you miss opportunities for happiness – when the courage to live in the present can bring clarity, and even spiritual change

I came across this book the first time when I was going through the internet for certain notes on spirituality. What really attracted me was the title. It was direct and not too fancy. The next important factor was her reputation. Pema Chodron is one of the most renowned spiritual teachers in the west today. She has written many books and articles on self improvement and spirituality. I immediately ordered the book online.

Being a therapist, it is important to connect with my clients on an unconventional basis. Regardless of their issue as each client is different, each case is different and each therapy method is different. I usually read inspiring books, including self help books to connect and help my clients better not to mention it helps me a lot more personally. It is not enough to just know the guidelines of counselling, there are times when something out of the ordinary is required.

When buying a self help or inspirational book, it is important that the book comes across as your therapist or a motivational coach. “When things fall apart” is a book written with a very simple language and the tone is quite warm. Whether you are going through an issue and need help, whether you are a therapist or just an avid reader, this book is meant for all to read.

Each individual takes back something different after reading the book. Some may like certain concepts, some may like the idea behind or some may just like the whole book in general.

The next important question arises as to how to read the book. When I first got it, I read it chronologically. It can be read randomly chapter wise too. The book has a table of contents you can choose from depending on which chapter looks interesting. However, I recommend you read the introduction before you begin reading or choosing the chapters. It will help you understand the author and the motivation behind writing this book.

My review of the book was rated very high. It helped me during sessions with my clients and gave my mind a fresh perspective regarding situations. I would open this book when truly times were difficult or unbearable. I landed up recommending the book to some of my clients I felt would benefit from after reading this book. The best part is, even after you have read it once you can pick it up randomly from your shelf and open any chapter and read it. Each time it gives a different perspective and guidance.

To those who are looking for answers to unresolved issues or who are looking for a meaningful book to read over the weekend, even for your next book club, this book will not disappoint you.

Let me know of your thoughts after you read the book.

Happy Reading! 


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