9780062516831

Stretching Lessons: The Daring that Starts from Within

Bender, Sue

ISBN 10: 0062516833 / 0-06-251683-3
ISBN 13: 9780062516831
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Softcover
About this title:
Synopsis:

Written with all the clarity, honesty, and insight that made Plain and Simple a phenomenal New York Times bestseller, this final volume of the Plain and Simple trilogy is about taking risks to grow spiritually and how to "stretch" to grow beyond our self-imposed limitations.With her graceful storytelling and charming illustrations, Sue Bender looks inward to discover the spirit within each of us that whispers to be heard.


Review:
Like the delicate finger exercises that help pianists achieve great sonatas, Stretching Lessons reads like a series of contemplative exercises that help readers achieve great wisdom. Writing with utter humility and humanity, Sue Bender shares the private (and sometimes painful) life lessons that have helped her stretch into a bigger person. We read of Bender as a sixth-grade girl who didn't get chosen for the accelerated progress class, and how her body helped her find a face-saving solution. Sometimes her confessions are downright comforting, particularly since this author of Plain and Simple and Everyday Sacred lets us know that she still struggles with creating too much struggle:
I am wiser.

And I am still struggling...

I'm sixty-six years old and I want to learn about ease.

Consider this an in-and-out book, one that can be opened to any page, where readers will find brief one-to-three-page essays about stretching into one's biggest self, biggest dream, biggest life. Although it's billed as a memoir, don't expect a tightly woven literary narrative. Even so, the airy format with plenty of white space manages to convey a strong sense of Bender's life and the common ground we all find in her experiences. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Sue Bender is the author of Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish (HarperSanFrancisco). The book was a New York Times bestseller. A fascination with Amish quilts led Sue to live with the Amish in their seemingly timeless world, a landscape of immense inner quiet. This privilege, rarely bestowed upon outsiders, taught her about simplicity and commitment and the contentment that comes from accepting who you are. In this inspiring book, Bender shares the lessons she learned while in the presence of the Amish people.

In Everyday Sacred: A Woman's Journey Home (HarperSanFrancisco: now in its sixth printing), Bender speaks to our longing to make each day truly count. She chronicles her struggle to bring the joyful wisdom and simplicity she experienced in her sojourn with the Amish back to her hectic, too-much-to-do days at home. Bender discovers for herself, and in the process shows us, that small miracles can be found everywhere'in our homes, in our daily activities and, hardest to see, in ourselves.

Profiles and interviews with Ms. Bender, as well as book excerpts have been published in countless national publications including Reader's Digest, The Washington Post, Ladies' Home Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Utne Reader, and W Magazine. She has also appeared as a guest on dozens of radio and television shows.

Born in New York City, Sue Bender received her BA from Simmons College and her MA from the Harvard University School of Education. She taught high school in New York and English at the Berlitz School in Switzerland. She later earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of California at Berkeley. During her active years as a family therapist, Bender was founder and Director of CHOICE: The Institute of the Middle Years. In addition to being an author and former therapist, Sue Bender is a ceramic artist and much sought after lecturer nationwide. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband Richard, and is the mother of two grown sons.


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