Don’t let anyone or anything dim your shine. That’s the overarching message Michelle Obama has for us in her new book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, to be released Nov. 15. While written for a worldwide audience (it will be published in 14 languages simultaneously), The Light We Carry is poised to become an inspirational and motivational self-help staple for sisters. It uplifts and inspires in the tradition of Susan Taylor’s In the Spirit and Iyanla Vanzant’s The Value in the Valley: A Black Woman’s Guide Through Life’s Dilemmas.
In her follow-up to her best-selling memoir, Becoming, Obama offers sage words of wisdom and sensible strategies on how to stay grounded, balanced and optimistic in the face of obstacles and tumultuous times. That’s a tall order, but Obama is a moral compass we have come to trust, and she wants to help us flourish and thrive.
“I think of it as a toolbox. A collection of some of the perspectives and practices I’ve used over my lifetime. Practices that help keep me centered even when it feels like everything is falling apart,” Obama said in an announcement for her new book on Good Morning America.
I’ve learned it’s okay to recognize that self-worth comes wrapped in vulnerability, and that what we share as humans on this earth is the impulse to strive for better, always and no matter what. We become bolder in brightness.
The native of Chicago’s working-class South Side draws from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend and, of course, as FLOTUS to share the strategies that have helped her to “become” the epitome of grace under pressure and a sophisticated lady we admire.
“I’ve learned it’s okay to recognize that self-worth comes wrapped in vulnerability, and that what we share as humans on this earth is the impulse to strive for better, always and no matter what. We become bolder in brightness. If you know your light, you know yourself. You know your own story in an honest way,” Obama explains in the book’s introduction.
“In my experience, this type of self-knowledge builds confidence, which in turn breeds calmness and an ability to maintain perspective, which leads, finally, to being able to connect meaningfully with others — and this to me is the bedrock of all things. One light feeds another. One strong family lends strength to more. One engaged community can ignite those around it. This is the power of the light we carry.”
The Light We Carry is bound to be a conversation starter. In it, Obama makes space for honest dialogue and invites readers to ponder questions such as, “How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? and What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness?”
But how can we continue to “go high” in a volatile world and social media climate where so many folks are willing to go so low? Well, Obama offers hope that yes we can! According to a press release for the new book, “Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress.”
To promote the book, Obama will embark on a six-city tour called “The Light We Carry Tour: In Conversation With Michelle Obama,” featuring a star-studded lineup of guest moderators. Ellen DeGeneres will kick off the first two dates (Nov. 15 and 16) in Washington, D.C., and poet Elizabeth Alexander will host the third D.C. date (Nov. 17). Other celebrity and notable moderators include Gayle King (Nov. 18) and Hoda Kotb (Nov. 19) in Philadelphia; Tyler Perry (Dec. 2 and 3) in Atlanta; David Letterman (Dec. 5) and author Heather McGhee (Dec. 6) in Chicago; Conan O’Brien (Dec. 9), Tracee Ellis Ross (Dec. 10) and Michele Norris (Dec. 11) in San Francisco; and Oprah Winfrey (Dec. 13) in Los Angeles. While supplies last, signed copies will be available for purchase at all events.
Yes, we’re totally fangirling out! Read more about the book in aarp.org’s forthcoming interview with our favorite former First Lady.