Today’s Featured Author and Book
Make Some Room
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In June of 2013, author Angie Mattson Stegall and her then-boyfriend/now-husband Nelson spent sixteen days rafting 225 miles of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Having never done a trip like this before, she wasn’t really sure what to expect.
Thankfully, the friends who invited them prepared them well:
1. Take everything you think you will need.
2. Leave everything else behind.
Turns out, everything she needed fit into a bag about the size of a small Golden Retriever.
During their trip, their six rafts held the rest of the gear they would need: kitchen and food, bathroom setup (aka “Groovers”), and assorted emergency gear. The motto of Grand Canyon is “Pack it in; pack it out.” And that means EVERYTHING.
So, it went that they spent sixteen days sleeping under the stars and Milky Way and keeping track of trash and crumbs (called “microtrash”). It was also sixteen days of trying to keep sand out of her contact lenses.
Here’s what she learned during that trip:
• It doesn’t take much to keep sixteen people happy. A filling meal three times a day plus some snacks goes a long way.
• Wearing pretty much the same clothes for days on end isn’t a big deal.
• Taking a bath (in the 49 degrees-cold river) every three or four days makes being clean all the sweeter.
• Nature is all around and she is beautiful. Slowing down and paying attention is like creating the most delicious meditation + prayer milkshake.
• The rapids were big and fast and the water was cold. She was scared shitless more than a few times. There was no option but to keep going. So, she did.
• Laughter, conversation, and connecting with those sixteen people were a crucial part of each day.
• She didn’t think about money on the Canyon. Except for one stop at Phantom Ranch (deep at the bottom of the Canyon) for postcards and lemonade, there was literally no place to even use money. If they “needed” anything, they traded for it. Beer for toilet paper. Beer for ice. Will swim for beer! It turned out beer was quite the bartering tool.
• “Drink more water.” That was the answer for everything from general crankiness to major headaches.
Simplifying your life down to a bag and a boat showed her what was important. The author fell in love with the simplicity and rhythm of each day. The Make Some Room Manifesto In a world where our modern lives tend to be chaotic, noisy, and over-scheduled, making some room can be a real challenge. She found that her time on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon created the space for her to think about her life very differently.
This trip set the stage for her to write the Make Some Room Manifesto, which she’s sharing with you in detail in this book. She champions not only understanding but also moving into ACTION. So, to help you learn how to make some room in your own life, Angie decided to turn this into a “how to” book which focuses on the twenty ideas outlined in her Make Some Room Manifesto.
In simple terms: Angie wants to guide you to make some room. Her wish is that everyone has the opportunity to have a Grand Canyon-like experience at least once in their lives. This book is her way of sharing her personal experience. Her hope is it hits you like a ton of bricks…or a two-by-four upside your head…or that it quietly but relentlessly tickles your subconscious like a gentle feather…something, anything that can wake you up to life and inspire you to begin living your life on purpose. She believes you will benefit from what she has learned and discovered. Your only task is to focus on what resonates with you. Leave the rest behind.
One final note: Each chapter of the book contains stories about her time on the river and then goes “Beyond the Canyon” with ideas, action steps, and even checklists to help you focus on what’s essential for you. Dive in!
Angie Mattson Stegall’s Make Some Room is a guide for how to simplify, so you can live a more fulfilling life. After taking a life changing rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, Angie realized how unsatisfied and overwhelmed she had been in her day- to-day life. This trip gave her the chance to evaluate what was truly important and the things that needed to change once her and her husband returned home. She created the “Make Some Room Manifesto”, consisting of 20 lessons she learned on her trip. In her book, these lessons are explained in depth using examples from her trip, descriptions of the way that these apply to real life, and action steps to implement these lessons in your own life.
Overall, this book is remarkably helpful. The set up is simple, the lessons straightforward, and action steps accomplishable. The author does a great job of using statistics and referencing other sources to support her ideas. The overarching theme of mindfully living a simpler life is one that many people are feeling the need for in this day and age. Her useful lessons such as disconnecting from technology to reconnect in relationships or decluttering your home and schedule are not revolutionary, but the straightforward manner she describes these topics makes these goals seem achievable. The only complaint is the use of hashtags in the writing, especially when the author is talking about disconnecting from social media. That said, the action step guide at the end of the book is a great touch, since you can go through all the steps without having to search through the book. Make Some Room is a great, quick read for those who are looking to find a little more meaning and purpose in life.
Originally critiqued by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.
Angie Mattson Stegall
Angie Mattson Stegall is an award-winning author, executive coach/consultant, and freedom finder.
“I support leaders who are ready to ask BIG questions, to explore new perspectives, and to think outside the boring box.”
Her profound sense of adventure, creativity, and her deep knowledge of “soft skills” (think: communication, emotional intelligence, diplomacy, and working with teams) allows her to guide her clients and their teams through activities (often outdoors) in a way that invites them to engage with their own creativity. The result is individuals and teams who get excited about out-of-the-box thinking that leads to new ideas and new perspectives on their personal or professional projects, in their work, and in deeper ways that positively impacts many areas of their personal lives, too.
Learn more at www.angiestegall.com.
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