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Book Review – My Mother’s Rules: A Practical Guide To Becoming An Emotional Genius by Lynn Toler

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Judge Lynn Toler presides over Divorce Court, one of American daytime's most popular court shows. Her book My Mother's Rules is more than a memoir; rather it is a handbook on how to obtain emotional control over your life. The judge shares deeply personal examples on how she learned to apply these rules to her own life.

Judge Lynn's father was bipolar at a time when there wasn't much known about the mental condition. His extreme emotions were a constant source of stress for her family. Judge Toler is quick to make sure readers know her father was a good man and provided well for his family, and that  he was a lawyer at a time when black lawyers weren't hired in white firms. He had to build his practice up from the ground — which he did very successfully.

Judge Toler
With the daily drama in their home, some might question why Judge Lynn's mother didn't just leave her husband. She did for a short time, but decided her children needed their father and went back to him. It was her mother's way of dealing with her situation that provided important lessons for the judge, which she then shares with the reader.

The judge presents 43 rules. At their heart is the demand that the reader looks within and take responsibility for their emotions and how they act on them. I found them instantly helpful in my own situation. It isn't an easy process but it does work if you try.

I have a tendency to be reactive. While reading this book I encountered a really frustrating situation that in the past usually ended up with me saying the wrong things to a person and sometimes breaking something.

But this time I chose to apply Judge Lynn's "First Wave Rule": as soon as you feel anger coming on, just sit and stay quiet. Allow yourself to feel the changes your body is feeling from the emotion. Then once the feeling passes, you can deal with the situation with a clearer head. It actually worked for me.

Everyone will benefit from reading this book, but it will be most crucial to those with emotional issues relating to their family members.

The rules are written in simple language, and divided into easy-to-apply steps. Each step is supported with examples from Judge Lynn's own life at home and on the bench. I highly recommend everyone get a copy for themselves and their friends. It will improve relationships and may even help keep people out of trouble.

It's obvious Judge Lynn is dedicated to helping others. On her website, Judge Lynn, the first thing you read is, "If I have learned anything during my own rocky history, my time on the bench and running programs for at-risk girls, it is that getting it right has as much to do with how you feel as what you know. This site is dedicated to the proposition that we should all start thinking our way through how we feel, so we can, as my mother so often told me 'Get out there and act like we've got some sense'."

I just don't feel I can do real justice to the treasure you will find in My Mother's Rules. So I hope you will take the time to discover for yourself the jewels in this book.

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About Ruthie

I'm devoted to animal rescue. I also work in internet public relations for TV personalities. In my spare time I like to sit on the sofa on my front lawn and watch the grass grow.
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