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First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

A New Journey Through Anxiety
Written by: Sarah Wilson
Narrated by: Sarah Wilson
Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of I Quit Sugar transforms cultural perceptions of the mental health issue of our age - anxiety - viewing this widespread condition not as a burdensome affliction but as a powerful spiritual teacher that can deepen our lives.

While reading psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison's groundbreaking account of bipolar disorder, An Unquiet Mind, Sarah Wilson discovered an ancient Chinese proverb that would change her life:

To conquer a beast, you must first make it beautiful.

Wilson, a best-selling author, journalist, and entrepreneur, had spent years struggling with her own beast: chronic anxiety. And the words of this proverb would become the key to understanding her condition.

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful charts Wilson's epic journey to make peace with her lifetime companion and to learn to see it as a guide rather than as an enemy. With intensive focus and investigatory skills, Wilson examines the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism of her own experiences. Pulling at the thread of accepted definitions of anxiety, she unravels the notion that it is a difficult, dangerous disease that must be medicated into submission and reframes it as a divine journey - a state of yearning that will lead us closer to what really matters.

Practical and poetic, wise and funny, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a small book with a big heart. It will encourage the myriad souls who dance with this condition to embrace it as a part of who they are and to explore the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.

©2017 Sarah Wilson (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing

touched my soul and has helped me through a great deal of my own anxiety. Bless You Sarah for sharing

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Hits all the nails on their heads.

Anxiety is indeed a beast, but Sarah Wilson shows us, with love, compassion, and awareness, we can see its beauty and allow it to lead us home to ourselves.

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A must listen for anxiety & depression

If you or someone you know loves with anxiety and/or depression please, please listen. This book helped explain myself to myself and to my loved ones. Thank you Sarah, I greatly appreciate your bravery in putting yourself out there for us all to learn and grow from. I love you.

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  • Molly J Pendlebury
  • 2018-06-02

Brilliant

What a profound book this was for me. An awesome look at anxiety and mood disorders in general. I bought 3 hardcopies. 1 for myself so I can go through to highlights and make notes in the margins, and 2 for gifts.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lindsey
  • 2018-05-29

highly recommend!

This was the best book I have read in a long time. Sarah is not only brilliant, but also so very brave. Her book is painfully honest at times... yet she continues to show up for the readers in an authentic way. She is right: more transparent conversations like these need to be happening!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kala Haley
  • 2018-08-12

Clear understanding of anxiety!

Sarah fully explains anxiety in a way anyone can relate to and understand. This books doesn't just clarify what it is, but also how to live with anxiety. If you or someone you love has anxiety, I strongly recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • first airsoft gun
  • 2018-07-13

Highly recommend!

I read this hoping to find insights and tools to use, as I am dealing with more and more anxiety. I want to get a handle on it before it becomes too big a "beast." I also wanted to learn more, as I have a family member whose anxiety has affected her life greatly, and has become paralyzing at times. This book gets five stars on both counts. Sarah Wilson has done the research and lived it, providing valuable insights into the what, why, and how to work with managing anxiety. I'll take this information with me and use what I've learned to "roll up my sleeves and do the work" to better my life, and to see others with anxiety with more compassion and instead of being totally bewildered by their actions, know how to help them tame their beasts. I consider this a must read for anyone battling anxiety or who knows someone who is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-19

brilliant

eye-opening and moving. Sarah is a brilliant storyteller, the book gripped me. It presents anxiety in a new way, full of valuable insights.

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  • Juan
  • 2019-10-10

Simply AWESOME!!!

This was AWESOME!! Thank you Sarah for being so vulnerable and sharing your story. I have battled with anxiety most of my life. Not once did I see it as the answer, always believing it to be a slow death of sorts, but your story has inspired me to rethink, rework and to pay attention to my anxiety and use it to push me forward. Juan

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  • Anna Russau
  • 2019-09-06

Insightful & helpful.

Her personal story struck some cords with me. Changed my perspective from management to embracing anxiety and that makes it better, even ok! Thank you !

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  • Arimusch
  • 2019-07-16

Will go back to it regularly

This is a very helpful book for anyone suffering from anxiety as well as their loved ones so that they can have a better understanding of what it is and mostly how it feels.

The production is not very good, the volume is lower than normal and the chapter numbers don't coincide with what audible shows you. However, those are minor things that didn't impede me from enjoying the book.

There's a lot of information (at the beginning I felt it was kind of allover the place) and I wish I was able to have a notepad to write it all down, so that is why I think I will be going back to this regularly.

I cannot tell you if there's an order or a storyline, but somehow it still works because of all the useful quotes and information she gives.

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  • Matthew Biskup
  • 2019-06-19

I learned more about myself from this book.

This book let me understand and appreciate myself for the first time in my life. I have more to unpack about whether to continue to avoid anxiety producing situations or get better at basking in them and learning to cope. This book allowed me to understand my actions, subconscious and conscious. And I also figured out that I’m nowhere near a basket case as the author and that also made me feel good! Highly recommend this if you experience anxiety.

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  • sq
  • 2019-04-08

A wonderful book

This book documents Sarah’s road to dealing with her anxiety. I found it to be uplifting and a wonderful read. So different from all those self help books out there. I don’t have anxiety but enjoyed the book anyways.