The book opens with a direct inquiry in terms so indicative of our time: “Are you one of millions who are overspent, overindulged or lonely?
“Has your life fallen from dreams of happiness and hope into a second-rate ‘wannabe existence,’ a practice run, a curiosity, a modern-day fabrication of life, ‘as seen on television’?
“Is your life story unwritten or tangled into confusing sound bites or clips like something on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter?”
Turns out, this author believes there is a way to get back to who you really are. In her new book, Get Real: From Storytelling to Authenticity, Baton Rouge artist, art therapist and counselor Robin Toler shows you how.
This isn’t an armchair process. Be prepared to put on your painting shirt and bring out the crayons and pencils. Every chapter is peppered with “tell-the-truth” prompts and opportunities to get in touch with your inner 4-year-old, that part of you that rings with authenticity, no matter the obstacles, schedule or clutter of your current life.
The art exercises are fun, but they’re also designed to help readers remember parts of themselves they might have abandoned long ago.
Backed by an abundance of case studies and sound, peer-reviewed psychiatric research compiled by Toler and contributing writer Dr. Burl E. Forgey, Get Real takes readers on a journey of self-discovery that peels back the thick, acculturated layers of who we think we are.
Memories, TV shows, pressures from your parents, LSU football, food—none of them are as strong and powerful as your story, told exactly as you wish. Toler encourages readers to rediscover that raw material as a means of figuring out how to become authentic.
In her practice, she’s found that individuals who are able to articulate and own their unique, individual stories become stronger and more fulfilled.
“Becoming authentic creates a flow of natural energy that comes into your life,” she says. “We’re trying to help people craft meaning in their lives.”
The book is available for purchase through LuLu Publishing, lulu.com.