Flying by the Seat of My Soul was written by Tess Marshall. I knew Tess as a blogger, and my admiration for who she is and the life she has lived grew by leaps and bounds with every chapter I read in her book.
For starters, so many people dream of writing a book. Tess actually took action and not only wrote a book, she also published it herself. How’s that for taking life by the horns and living boldly?
Hitch your dream to a star
Here’s an example of how Tess challenges us to live fully:
The risk involves learning how to love on a deeper level. The risk is allowing others to see who you really are and to be open to receiving love and support. If you have been able to accept this in the past, it can be difficult.
Intimacy is often defined as IN-TO-ME-SEE. When we don’t think well of ourselves, we usually want to hide. The risk is to become emotionally naked. If we don’t take the risk, we keep ourselves from reaching deep into our hearts and discovering who we are and what gifts we are meant to share.
While urging us to soar, Tess offers nuggets of wisdom throughout the book that help us keep sight of land. Here’s a gem I love:
Strive for healed relationships instead of perfect relationships.
She explains that we carry a ‘bag’ over our shoulder into which we put the aspects of ourselves that we don’t like, so that we don’t have to look at it and own it. We deny, resist, and forget that it is even there, until we see it in another person.
Anytime you are upset, irritated, or at wit’s end with someone else, it is really about you. It is about what you carry in your bag.
Tess learnt about parenting the hard way,. She had her first child at the young age of 17. She shares her lessons freely and openly, admitting her mistakes and showing us how we can heal ourselves and our children.
If you have regrets, apologize to your children, even if they are adults. An apology validates their feelings. Allow your children their point of view. Your children, no matter what their age, want to be validated. If your children are grown, it is never too late to apologise and tell them if you knew better you would have done better.
She also makes no bones about the job of a parent, recognising how hard it can be to love a child.
Love your children enough to allow them to hate you. It feels as if they hate you when you tell them ‘no’. They might be mad for a few minutes, hours, and if they’re teenagers even days. But they will get over it. They need parents not friends.
The music of your soul
I’ll leave you with my favourite story in Tess’ book:
Paganini was an emerging violinist and composer in the 1800s. He dreamed of an audience in a packed opera house that would jump to their feet with an ovation. The evening came. It was his turn for a solo. He felt terror and sickness in his stomach as he began to draw his bow – he had grabbed the wrong violin.
He heard a deep voice within that said, “Play with what you’ve got.” So he did. As Paganini gave all he had within himself, the audience rose to ovation.
He said: “Before tonight, I always thought the music came from my violin. Tonight I realised the music comes from within me.”
Are you flying by the seat of your soul?
This is the question Tess asks us. If you’d like more inspiring stories and ‘soul stretching’ exercises to help you fly, grab a copy of Tess’ book!
20 replies on “Flying By the Seat of My Soul: Book Review”
Thanks so much for reviewing my book. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness and I’m so happy you liked my book!
I am the one who is thankful for the opportunity to peek into your life and learn from your first hand experiences. If I could achieve half of what you did in a lifetime, I’d consider myself a darn lucky girl!
So sorry I didn’t find your comment until now. For some reason it went to spam, and I just dug it out.
Yes it’s a great book and I learnt so much from it. You sound like a great parent and will probably agree with much of what Tess says about parenting.
It is a fantastic book indeed, with useful information and more importantly a whole attitude and zest for life that I can’t capture in this review. You’ll have to read it to feel it.
I love your way of phrasing things. I’ve never thought of “pausing my soul” before, and love the imagery!
It was so incredible to pause my soul for this!:~)
Thank you, Daphne and Tess! :~)
The book was great, which makes it easy to review!
You can get Tess’ book on her site, or even download an e-copy I believe.
There’s a song called “Look for a Star” which your comment reminded me of. Hope you find yours soon.
The cover is a combination of serious intention and fun pizazz; I loved it too! Tess does not directly mention courage that much, it just comes through in her writing. She truly lives the message she gives.
Sounds like a fantastic book!
I enjoyed the practical wisdom portion. Sounds like the book is packed with great concepts and information!
Hi Daphne – I really like the cover! And I also like the way she describes how “going within” sorts of things can require courage – some people can do “out there” and sporty things very easily, but intimacy, and acknowledging feelings, can be challenging for them. The Hitch Your Dream To A Star idea is great!
The metaphors are great.
I’m scouting out a good star to hitch my dream on.
Thanks for pointing me towards Tess’ book.
Aw, you’re a blessing to me too. I know you’ll enjoy Tess’ book, because it is a great book and even more so because you know her and will be struck by how open and courageous she is in the book.
I loved the Paganini story too, and there is another story about the Brooklyn bridge in the book, a story that Tess also posted on her site recently. You’ll like that one as well, I’m sure.
You’re right, it’s hard for parents to apologise to their children and Tess is amazing for her willingness to do that, and publicly too in her book.
Are the titles lovely? Both the book title itself and the first chapter. And the tome of those titles carries right through the entire book!
Tess is truly an amazing lady, as you already know. She rocks, and so does her book!
Great book review. And good for you, Tess! You go, girl! 🙂
Thanks for the review. I haven’t read it. It sure sounds like a great book with solid advice. I agree about the parenting tip. We need to be parents not friends when it comes to enforcing some guidelines.
Tess is a amazing lady, she ROCKS! I love her story it is very empowering. I have been reading her blog and I enjoy getting to know her. She has a great spirit.
Imperfect Action is better than No Aciton
Hi Daphne. This is a great review. I love the title of the first chapter — Hitch Your Dream to a Star. It sounds like there is a lot of wisdom here. Thanks for sharing about this book Daphne.
Hi Daphne, thanks for the review.
I love when Tess described about parenting. I think there are many parents in the world who don’t have enough modesty to admit their fault.
Great lesson, Tess. Thank you. 🙂
I love the Carl Jung point and the Paganini story. Good stuff hats off to you an to Tess for going for it and making it happen.
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[…] put these 2 interests together. What was once thought impossible by a couple astute computer Book Review: Flying By the Seat of My Soul – joyfuldays.com 04/04/2009 Flying by the Seat of My Soul was written by Tess Marshall who blogs at […]
I love this book review!! I have Tess’ book also – although I haven’t read it yet. Reading your review, I’m not putting it off any longer – I want to read this!
Tess is an amazing person – as I know her through her blog also. And her writing always challenges me to look at where I’m at and where I’m going.
Daphne, thank you for sharing your review! And, thank you for being so uplifting and full of goodness. You are a gift in my life…