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Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy: A Woman's Guide to a Better Life
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Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy: A Woman's Guide to a Better Life

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  271 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Are you tired of worrying about things you can't control? Do you feel distracted or overwhelmed by the daily demands of living? Do you wonder if it's even possible to make space in your busy life to become the person you really want to be? In her down-to-earth style, popular author and speaker Merrilee Boyack presents eight pairs of contrasting characterisitics, inviting w ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published July 28th 2008 by Deseret Book
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Sep 02, 2016 Tanya rated it liked it
I am a fan of the author and I enjoyed the book. It is full of good reminders- nothing terribly new- but things we as women needs lots of reminding about. Like not worrying and feeling responsible for everything... I especially liked her chapters on women of faith, not fear and women of obedience, not defiance. I did feel her opinions were a little strong on some matters but overall I liked it.
Feb 11, 2010 Marcie rated it it was amazing
This book gave me some great ammunition for dealing with the inner 'worry-wart' in me - "no biggie", "not my problem!", "oh well"! Those words have become part of my regular self-talk and have dramatically reduced my stress level. Even my husband has remarked on how much happier I seem. I also love her depth of testimony and focus on the atonement and how it relates to us on a practical, day to day level of dealing with our weaknesses and shortcomings. And when things go wrong, reminding myself ...more
Inspired Kathy
Feb 05, 2009 Inspired Kathy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to be a better person
Recommended to Inspired Kathy by: Deseret Book
I really enjoyed this book. It had lots of things it in that were just what I needed to hear.
Here are a few of the things the resonated with me. But don't just read these...If any of these quotes resonate with you I highly recommend reading the book. There is a lot more in there! It was a fun book to read.

In all living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Knowing this, Lucifer works hard at undermining our divine gift. All too often we fall i
Jul 26, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: LDS Women
Shelves: lds-nonfiction
I think even more than what Merilee Boyack wrote in this book, I enjoyed her style of writing. It's a bit similar to how I like to write....1st person speaking to others about my own experiences. She even puts little asides in parentheses like I do sometimes. There WAS a lot of great advice for women, especially the tried but true "Don't be so hard on yourself." This book takes that phrase one step further and gives wonderful positive examples of how to do just that! I like it when things are cl ...more
Nov 30, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it
I liked this book. I was suprised. When I first opened the book I noticed one of the other books that this author had written and I groaned. It was a book highly recommended to me by an extreme over-achiever and the book (52 Weeks of Fun Family Service) definitely lived up to her high aspirations. Anyways, so I was trying to figure out this book by this over-achieving woman was not going to MAKE me feel guilty.

I am not an overly guilty person. I look at people who do everything and have everyth
I like this book. The writing was not exceptional. The ideas were not startling or new. But the author herself is inspiring. I am amazed at her level of service and involvement in her community. I am impressed by her life-long quest for self-improvement and mastery over her weaknesses, such as her debilitating fears. I am tickled by her quirky sense of humor. I want to be more like Merrilee Boyack.

This book inspired me to think about what I could be perfectly obedient in for one year and thus m
Sep 15, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Wow. Already liked Merrilee Boyack, so I am not surprised I loved this book, but it was extremely meaningful to me, especially the chapters on being women of Being, not Comparison; Faith, not Fear; and Peace, not Worry. If there was a Worry Olympics or I'd be on the team. I have been working on these issues for a long time but I so appreciated Merrilee's fresh, encouraging voice. I had NO IDEA Merrilee herself had a fearful childhood; she seems so strong and confident now.
I think this book is f
Jan 26, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it
When I saw this book it caught my eye, but I decided to get it from the public library instead of purchase it since I was concerned that it might be filled with a lot of what I call "fluff" (motivating lines and "pats on the back" for being a woman). I was wrong. I went and bought it right away. There was a lot of "meat" in this book--discussion on the negative effects of comparisons, a battle plan to fight our fears, the "act as if" principle ("fake it til you make it"), and focusing on our div ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Jennefer rated it really liked it
This was a very quick read (I read it in a couple of hours on two Sundays). I really liked it. It's not that the information was groundbreaking, but that it was such a good reminder of how to find joy, written in a very clear realistic way. I especially liked her idea of approaching the things we'd like to improve in ourselves from a "top-down" perspective instead of a "bottom-up" like we usually do. In other words, if we start with the premise that we have a divine nature and that Heavenly Fath ...more
Hilary Roberts
Aug 20, 2013 Hilary Roberts rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-improvement
I was given this book for Christmas probably three years ago. I started it right away and was really enjoying it, but then life happened and I forgot about it. Just recently I found it and set out to finish it. This book is full of great, practical, useful advice for getting rid of the guilt all us women have. I like her writing style, so it's actually fun reading too. I forgot all of what the first half of the book was about, but I remember I really enjoyed it and felt empowered to make positiv ...more
May 29, 2011 Natalie rated it it was ok
If I had read the first few chapters I would definitely have given the book a better review and rating. The author is witty and fun and had a lot of good anecdotes and stories. However, it seemed that once she was done telling us to let go of guilt and have some joy, she spent the rest of the book piling the guilt on. Her stories seem to be so judgmental of other people and I would seriously hate to be one of her friends who were so ungraciously mentioned in the book. By the end I started wonder ...more
Sep 28, 2011 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I've tried to read this book several times over the past couple of years and have always ended up putting it aside and never getting back to it. Determined to plow through this time I set aside 10 minutes a day to read this book over the past few weeks and have decided that Merrilee Boyack's sarcastic humor just isn't my thing. I enjoyed the Preface and Chapter 1 (which I've read several times), but it just went downhill after that. I skimmed ahead thinking there might be something in there I'd ...more
Nov 05, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
I am a few pages away from finishing this read up...the last few chapters are tough to get though. I fell as though it could have been a shorter book in length. They just don't hold my interest. Over all I like this book and advice it gives. One thing I am definitely taking to heart and taking action on is making the scripture reading goal she talks about. I need to create a habit so I am going to try her exercise out. She has a sense of humor and points out women qualities that are so true and ...more
Jan 11, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
I'm waffling between 4 & 5 stars. I LOVED this book! I like Merrilee Boyack's conversational writing style. Which is funny, because I HATED it in the first book I read by her. Guess it has grown on me?

My two MINOR complaints:
1. She mentions her Africa trip a billion times. (It WAS a life changing experience, I get it.)
2. I felt myself skimming through the last chapter or two. Though I did love the conclusion. I would've shortened the last chapter or two in favor of the conclusion.)

Jul 20, 2008 Lacey rated it liked it
Where I work, they like us to keep up on the new products that are coming in the store. We have an employee library where I was able to borrow this book. Whilw I thought the author brought up some very valuable points, I didn't feel as though they were applicable to me yet. Most of it seemed to be geared towards woman with children. Also, the book talked about tossing the guilt, but I almost felt more guilty after reading it because of all the things I'm doing wrong. But, then again that may ref ...more
Jul 07, 2011 Trish rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I found some of her stories to be a wee bit self-righteous, even though I'm sure that wasn't the author's intent. (Just wait 'til you get to the part about a 4,000 sq foot house!) Those instances aside, I picked up a lot of wisdom and some coping mechanisms that I'm sure I will use in life. I especially liked the chapter about changing from women of defiance to women of obedience. Great thoughts!
I love reading books by Merrilee Boyack. I really have a hard time reading self help type books normally because I always feel guilty and depressed by my inability to improve. Besides the fact that they are usually boring. I am always inspired and uplifted and feel motivated and capable of improving myself while (and after) reading her books. I would totally recommend all her books to all my friends and family.
May 01, 2009 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
Ok, so i didn't actually read this book, but I took a class at Education Week from Merrilee that was essentially this book. It was fabulous! She is such a funny person! She is truly inspiring. She really helped me to start the journey that I have been on for almost a year now to be happy and not full of guilt. To make goals and to know that I am a wonderful person. If you cannot see her in person, this book is the second best thing!
Feb 23, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This book was much better than I thought it would be. I appreciated the author's ability to encourage us to improve while not adding to our guilt for the way we may be now. I have encouraged my daughter to read it, especially the chapters "Become women of faith, not fear" and "Become women of peace, not worry." In these trying times, we can all use those attitudes.
Oct 10, 2008 Liza rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: every woman
This is one of the books that has been my lifeline through the summer. Such sage wisdom but practical and from a womans point of view. Merrilee is very real and down to earth, someone you feel that you can share some of your Pandora's box items with and she will still love you and not judge you because she has been there herself. A breath of fresh air!
Jan 18, 2009 Chrystal rated it really liked it
There were good reminders in this book - not comparing or competing, remembering what is most important, and staying close to the Spirit. I think she may have spent too much time empathizing with why women struggle with guilt and not enough time describing how to "Catch the Joy" but the principles are there all the same.
May 20, 2012 Kira rated it really liked it
Shelves: deseret
My earlier 2 star rating of this book had to be a mistake; I loved this book and it's on my books-that-I-reread-all-the-time shelf. (What, you don't have one of those? :) Was talking about this book in Another Book Club with Bonnie and thought I was due for another read through, as soon as I get through my currently-reading mountain :)
Sep 17, 2008 April rated it really liked it
I picked this up at the BYU bookstore, and it really had a lot of great information in it. Merrilee is trying to help women to feel happy and forget about all the comparing, etc. She had some good tips and some helpful perspectives to share. I thought maybe I'd only skim a couple of chapters, but I read the whole thing. A good book to read before bed.
Jul 06, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: how-to-self-help
This book is good for helping you see some of the thinking errors we women engage in that make us feel guilty about stuff (from undone housework to taking time for ourselves). I really enjoyed several of the chapters, but it was a bit wordy and preachy at times. It's a quick read if you don't stop to do any of the introspective activities she suggests, which I feel guilty for not doing, haha!
Nov 18, 2008 Lachell rated it it was amazing
I feel like this title is a bit misleading. It seems like the content would be more lighthearted than it is. I think it's catchy, but the subtitle is really what the book is all about: A Woman's Guide to a Better Life. It's clearly about choosing the positive over the negative... a must read, in my opinion.
Oct 24, 2010 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book...especially after just seeing Merrilee at Time Out for Women. The suggestions and advice she gives came just at the right time for me and helped me to see things in a different light. I can honestly say that this is one book that has altered my may not be this way for everyone, but for me it was the right read at just the right time. Thanks Merrilee!
Nov 11, 2008 Gkeller123 rated it really liked it
I loved the first part of this book. The rest was good, but the first few chapters really hit home with me. The last half or so was very much like another book I am reading ("Extremes"). I am working on 'tossing the guilt' and just focusing on what I am working on.
Myra Marangi
Mar 24, 2011 Myra Marangi rated it really liked it
Now that I'm at home more, seems like I have so much more guilt...weird! I was led to this book at the LDS bookstore and felt like it was written for me at this stage of my life :-) I saw Merrilee at a Time Out for Women and she was SO funny!
Sarah Wade
Aug 20, 2009 Sarah Wade rated it really liked it
I think this is good for any woman, especially ones that feel guilty about everything. I'm not that kind of person, I don't feel guilty about most things, but I think the message was clear. Plus, it's always nice having someone reiterate to all women to "take time for yourself."
Nov 10, 2008 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help-books
It was a little harder to get through this book than it was to get through the other Merilee Boyack books I have read. I still enjoyed it and got some good ideas for improving my life, but it just wasn't a 'can't put it down' kind of a book. Maybe I'll revisit this at a later time in my life.
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“We truly have no idea what goes on in people's lives. Any comparison we make to them is based on our perception of who they are and often our perception is way off base.” 14 likes
“It seems like people--especially women--don't like it when you rock the boat. If you're going around with a giddy smile on your face, they're going to be jealous. If you're talking about some wonderful thing you're doing, they may not want to hear it. That's okay. Own your joy anyway!” 6 likes
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