“Dear reader, there are truly times when the best, healthiest, most productive thing we can do is not to try harder, but rather to try softer: to compassionately listen to our needs so we can move through pain—and ultimately life—with more gentleness and resilience.”

– From Try Softer by Aundi Kolber

In Try Softer Aundi Kolber challenges us to change the rhythms of our lives from hustle and rush to a gentler pace, one of mindfulness and compassion. 

It is broken into two parts, the first is called “The Process of Becoming” in which Aundi breaks down how we form our relationships. She explains the brain science behind attachment theory and how our early relationships affect our ability to connect with God and with each other. She then goes on to explain how to self-monitor and discover when we are beyond our “window of tolerance” which she defines as “the space between hyper-and hypoarousal, what might be thought of as the “just right” amount of intensity…the range in which we can experience emotions, sensations, and experiences without feeling physiologically overwhelmed.” She describes practices on how to expand our window of tolerance and process past hurts. I particularly enjoyed her chapter on the importance of boundaries.

“…an important truth about boundaries: If we don’t feel safe, we will struggle to set good limits.”

– From Try Softer by Aundi Kolber

In part 2 “Practices to Try Softer”, Aundi gives practical, easy to follow, exercises to put the theory in action. She tackles our attention, our bodies, our emotions and our internal critic. She close the book with building resilience. Her instructions are easy to follow and these practices have a huge impact when done regularly!

“Research shows that taking longer to exhale than to inhale signals to our nervous systems that we are safe, stimulating the vagus nerve.”

– From Try Softer by Aundi Kolber

In every element of the book, Aundi has included biblical wisdom and truth and the practices are rooted in Christianity. If you are looking for a book to guide you on deepening your relationship with God and developing a gentler rhythm, this is for you! I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommended!

From the back cover:

In the wise and soulful tradition of teachers like Shauna Niequist and Brene Brown, therapist Aundi Kolber debuts with Try Softer, helping us align our mind, body, and soul to live the life God created for us.

In a world that preaches a “try harder” gospel—just keep going, keep hustling, keep pretending we’re all fine—we’re left exhausted, overwhelmed, and so numb to our lives. If we’re honest, we’ve been overfunctioning for so long, we can’t even imagine another way. How else will things get done? How else will we survive?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Aundi Kolber believes that we don’t have to white-knuckle our way through life. In her debut book, Try Softer, she’ll show us how God specifically designed our bodies and minds to work together to process our stories and work through obstacles. Through the latest psychology, practical clinical exercises, and her own personal story, Aundi equips and empowers us to connect us to our truest self and truly live. This is the “try softer” life.

In Try Softer, you’ll learn how to:

  • Know and set emotional and relational boundaries
  • Make sense of the difficult experiences you’ve hadIdentify your attachment style—and how that affects your relationships today
  • Move through emotions rather than get stuck by them
  • Grow in self-compassion and talk back to your inner critic

Trying softer is sacred work. And while it won’t be perfect or easy, it will be worth it. Because this is what we were made for: a living, breathing, moving, feeling, connected, beautifully incarnational life.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Tyndale House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.