The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer (a review)

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So, I REALLY wanted to review this book The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and the goodreads app is being bratty and I can’t figure out how to do it on their website….I was, however, able to rate it 5 stars.

But, I would have rated it 20 if I could.

I have never been an Amanda Palmer fan. There’s so much music out in the world and I just haven’t ever listened to hers.

All I knew about Amanda was from a few articles online that I’d glanced over about how she was an awful person for making a bunch of money and not paying her musicians…..or something like that. Okay, noted, I won’t listen to her. Moving on with my life.

Also, it bothered me that Neil Gaiman left his wife for her. (As though I’m personally invested in his life and have a right to any opinions on the matter….it turns out that Amanda and Neil have a completely gorgeous relationship which I totally adore now.)

Then I heard AFP on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. She seemed really cool. Funny. Smart. And knowing the caliber of people Tim Ferriss is drawn to, I appreciated her instantly.

I wrote the title of her book down to read later.

At the library I stumbled upon it in the new book section and thought HOORAY! Fate has led me to this very moment.

But, I had no idea.

This whole year my lesson has been VULNERABILITY. Becoming broken so I can blossom. Learning to trust that other people will be a safe haven when I’ve fallen and can’t get up.

It took about a page for me to fall in love with Amanda Palmer. Her openness is so beautiful. So often we live so closed off….afraid to expose ourselves to each other.

Amanda Palmer lives the life I’ve always wanted. Not because her life is easy (one point of the book is that her life isn’t) but because she lives in such a way that she brings others in around her to support her when she’s falling. And she lives to support those who support her. She loves to really SEE people in a world where no one ever feels seen anymore.

I realized I hadn’t watched Amanda Palmer’s TED talk, yet, so I immediately pulled it up. It made me cry. It was such a gorgeous presentation.

Then I listened to her music. The first song I ever heard was I Want You But I Don’t Need You. I was HOOKED. My goodness this is my kind of music. Song after song the presentation and the “Sylvia Plath-esque” lyrics made me so completely happy.

The whole book I felt like I was sitting in Amanda’s living room, being told a story while we sat on the floor together in kimonos and we munched on hummus and pita bread.

I was amazed, yet again, at how important it is to really listen to where another person is coming from. We just can NOT judge people based on other people’s opinions of them. We must go to the source with open hearts.

Her book reinforced the idea that it’s only when you let your guard down that other people trust you enough to let theirs down, too.

It opened up wonderful nighttime conversations with my best friend.

“I think it’s just because she’s SO open.&that’s what the book is all about.How we CRAVE that feeling of REALLY connecting….it’s an addictive feeling when someone trusts you enough to tell you everything.”

“People can only try to understand what you give them. If you don’t give anything, they don’t even get to try….”

“Sometimes you have to get uncomfortable to reach out &touch somebody on a deeper level….to let someone really know you.”

Now the theme is continuing. I went to an acupuncturist in town, Emily Hedberg, and I felt like she really saw me. It made me feel so loved. She could see how I am so protective of my heart&what a hard time I have trusting people. I remembered so wanting to just be held and listened to when I was little….it’s amazing what our bodies remember.

When she talked to me about vulnerability, I told her about the book.

The cycle continues.

The gift must always move.

When you love people enough, they will give you everything.

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2 thoughts on “The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer (a review)

  1. This book has been on my stack to be read for quite some time. Saw Amanda’s TED talk and it kind of took away my curiosity – like I already knew the punchline. But both you and my niece who gave me the book are also providing the nudge to open it up. :)

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