Words. They're an integral part of using stationery. We use words to express our emotions, thoughts, ideas, and experiences in greeting cards, letters, diaries and notebooks. Sometimes our thoughts and feelings are difficult to express.

All this is considered and explored in the book we're currently reading: Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown, her latest and recently-released book.

This bestseller serves as an atlas of our emotional world. Words representing our emotions and related concepts are clustered together by our shared human experiences. For example, 'Places we go when we compare' and 'Places we go when things aren't what they seem' are a couple of the chapters inside.

It's certainly true that we all benefit when any one of us makes the time and effort to examine our own life and explore our internal world. As Socrates is claimed to have said, "the unexamined life is not worth living". If we're not aware and reflective, we're really just sleepwalking and going through the motions, day to day.

As with some of her other books, Brené Brown's style is conversational. She includes personal stories and shares the emotions and experiences she finds particularly challenging. Since we're each unique, some of our perspectives and narratives may differ, yet there's a universal truth to this book that's easy to connect with and understand.

For example, there's a part that discerns between envy and jealousy. Brené Brown shares her own narrative related to the word envy. There are certainly people who share this experience, but I don't have the same internal dialogue about the word envy. I also don't use the word 'jelly' (to mean jealous). However, I understand this perspective and her explanation and the context provided in defining these two emotions is very helpful.

Words have power. Expanding our emotional vocabulary to express and describe many of life's messy and complex situations serves as a useful tool to share our experiences and connect with others.

If you choose to read Atlas of the Heart this summer, let us know! Or share any other great reads you've discovered. We love hearing about what's inspiring you.

Happy reading!

June 28, 2022 — Antoinette D'Angelo

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