Former first lady Michelle Obama starts tour for her newly published book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.
Michelle Obama says it helps to focus on what you can control when you feel out of control, and she labels such thinking the “power of small,” and she writes in her new book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, that by focusing on a small task like knitting she was able to get through the worry, anxiety and stress of the past few unsettling years.
“The interesting thing about knitting and using your hands and making something is that it is meditative,” the former first lady said Tuesday night at the Warner Theater in Washington, where she kicked off a monthlong, six-city publicity tour to promote the book.
“In so many ways, it is like a faith,” she said, seated on stage with a friend, former daytime talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, who engaged Mrs. Obama in nearly 90 minutes of often humorous conversation. “It’s a thing that shuts your worrying mind and lets your hands take over and therein lies the power”, she said.
In the book, published Tuesday, she shares the contents of her “personal toolbox” — the habits and practices, attitudes and beliefs, and even physical objects that she uses to overcome her feelings of fear, helplessness and self-doubt.
“This book is meant to show you what I keep there and why, what I use professionally and personally to help me stay balanced and confident, what keeps me moving forward even during times of high anxiety and stress,” she wrote in the introduction.
The 58-year-old wife of former President Barack Obama and mother of adult daughters Malia and Sasha wrote that the book, her third, is not a how-to manual, but rather is a “series of honest reflections on what my life has taught me so far.”
“Keep in mind, too, that everything I know, all the various tools I lean on, have come to me only through trial and error, over years of constant practice and reevaluation,” she wrote. “I spent decades learning on my feet, making mistakes, adjustments, and course corrections as I went. I’ve progressed only slowly to where I am today.”
The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times is Mrs. Obama’s first new work since the 2018 release of her bestselling memoir, Becoming, which has sold more than 17 million copies worldwide, and is by far the most popular book by a previous first lady or modern president, including her husband.
Mrs. Obama opened the tour in Washington and has events planned at Philadelphia’s The Met, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and San Francisco’s Masonic before the tour closes at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles.
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