I pre-ordered Enough As She Is for two reasons. First, I wanted to support my friend, Rachel Simmons. Second, because she's an expert on girls' development I figured the book would have advice on how I can effectively parent my 9-year-old daughter. After turning the final page, I have to say that while I did receive insight on my journey with Ekua, my biggest takeaway was how I need to more effectively parent my own self.
So many of the pages reminded me about the importance of self-acceptance. Rachel writes that "isolation is the primary cause of human suffering" and argues that our culture's prioritization of achievement over connection is robbing our girls of happiness. They strive for an unattainable perfection and spend less time cultivating the relationships that will nurture their emotional health. Throughout the book, she offers practical recommendations for combating the pervasive messages that puts pressure on girls. For example, "You must find your life's passion by high school." But you could easily replace high school with college, your first job, motherhood, or retirement.
Whether she's guiding the reader through an exercise on how to help girls find their purpose, take healthy risks, or learn self-compassion, I was constantly reminded that I needed to practice all of these things as well. One of the most helpful chapters was on changing the way girls use social media. Suggestions included encouraging her to pause to ask herself before she posts content, "Why am I doing this? What is my intention?" The next time I went to Twitter I asked myself these same questions. Enough As She Is is an extraordinary book for anyone with a girl in their life, but if I could change the title I'd make it Enough As You Are: How to Help Yourself Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live A Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Life. This book is a must read for all of us.