Reminiscent of You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero and Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed, Fierce Kindness by Melanie Salvatore-August is a movement of the power of choice.
Fierce Kindness holds that while we cannot always chose our circumstances, we each have the power within us to chose how we react to them and what we do as a result. The power of choice is one of the foundational principles of GenTwenty as well. In our blog posts and on our social media platforms, we strive to illustrate that we all have the power to take our lives into our own hands through our choices.
As Melanie notes, this can be difficult. Fear, scarcity, and the accompanying negative emotions are something we all experience. Fierce Kindness asserts that we should choose love over fear. Love is rooted in abundance; fear is in rooted in negativity. By changing our thoughts and actions, we can become positive forces for change. We only need the tools to do so.
From negative phrases to watch out for (page 36) to daily actions and affirmations for one month (page 94), the book is packed with tools to embrace Fierce Kindness. Each chapter features a step by step guide to think and take charge (chapter 1), discern and be heard (chapter 2), find the courage to focus (chapter 3), change your life (chapter 4), and begin the ripple effect (chapter 5).
If you choose to devour the book in one sitting, the five chapters and 99 pages will fly by. But the book can (and should) be used in other ways as well. Melanie recommends picking it up when you need it or opening to a random page and reflecting. How you use it is completely up to you. Get your copy here.
We had the opportunity to ask Melanie Salvatore-August a few questions about her book Fierce Kindness:
GenTwenty: Can you share a little bit about your background and how Fierce Kindness came to be?
Melanie Salvatore-August: My own personal journey of healing and shifting out of many years of self-bullying, anxiety and depression is the deepest root of Fierce Kindness.
Although I grew up privileged in many ways, I felt as I was in great scarcity. I could only see where I was lacking or not good enough–not thin enough, smart enough, lovable enough… I suffered and through self inflicted cruelty, I tortured my body and came close to taking my own life in my late twenties. It was not the fault of my family or any certain person around me but a pervasive cultural message that there were expectations of unattainable perfection and that I was not that. I looked outside of myself for validation and happiness. I couldn’t separate my truth from the constant berating of my inner bully, I felt alone and I suffered.
I hit a series of rock bottoms before I slowly began to separate and hear my soul truth in tandem to that inner bully (yoga was key in this process). Years past before I could quiet the inner bully and more before I could redirect her to the support team of goodness and be a consistent place of returning to love and kindness. The tools that I have used to shift are the ones that I share and have changed my life and as well as many others.
Over the last 10 or so years of teaching yoga and meditation, I have had the honor to witness a few thousand students move themselves from fear to love through the practice. This coupled with my own personal practice and healing, I distilled the insight of how a one could shift out of doubt and fear, into the power of faith and kindness.
The name of Fierce Kindness was birthed at a Lululemon sponsored ambassador retreat in 2013 while I was in meditation. I heard an inner voice that was not mine (not kidding) say, “Fierce Kindness, you are to share Fierce Kindness in the world.” I returned from the retreat clear that I had a responsibility to share and help as many people as possible to create greater self-love and self-less service into the world.
G20: In short, what is Fierce Kindness and how can anyone benefit from it?
MLS: Fierce Kindness is a way of seeing the world and your responsibility in it; it is for any one who believes in love. It is based in that belief of love and that everything is connected.
What we think and what we focus on expands into our biggest reality. You are not your thoughts but the being listening to them. If you can listen and agree, well you can also disagree and change your mind.
You are accountable for your own happiness and life. Choosing thoughts/actions based in love will create fulfillment and possibility; choosing thoughts/actions based in fear will create suffering and problems. You can tell if you are on the right or wrong track/channel by many things, especially how it feels in the body.
Fierce Kindness teaches you how to tell what channel you are on and shift to love and abundance. It is a method based on ancient wisdoms, time-tested practices and practical tools to help yourself and as well as help the world feel better and then do better. It is a way of living a love-filled, powerful life with impact.
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G20: How does the global movement of non-violence tie in with Fierce Kindness?
MLS: Change yourself and you change the world. It is a ripple effect of healing and uplifting from our own life and then realizing that every choice and person that we meet is an opportunity for us to be of service.
The act of helping another and seeing the good in others will turbo boost the effects of your own healing and happiness. Do good, feel good–feel good, do good. Heal ourself while we together heal the world. The book and the organization gives tools, support and community to do that.
G20: Where can readers connect with you?
MLS: My websites: www.melaniesalvatoreaugust.com
Thank you to Yellow Pear Press for providing us with a copy of this book for review purposes. Links to purchase are affiliate links.