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In the wise and soulful tradition of teachers like Shauna Niequist and Brene Brown, therapist Aundi Kolber debuts with Try Softer, helping us align our mind, body, and soul to live the life God created for us.

In a world that preaches a “try harder” gospel—just keep going, keep hustling, keep pretending we’re all fine—we’re left exhausted, overwhelmed, and so numb to our lives. If we’re honest, we’ve been overfunctioning for so long, we can’t even imagine another way. How else will things get done? How else will we survive?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Aundi Kolber believes that we don’t have to white-knuckle our way through life. In her debut book, Try Softer, she’ll show us how God specifically designed our bodies and minds to work together to process our stories and work through obstacles. Through the latest psychology, practical clinical exercises, and her own personal story, Aundi equips and empowers us to connect us to our truest self and truly live. This is the “try softer” life.

In Try Softer, you’ll learn how to:
  • Know and set emotional and relational boundaries
  • Make sense of the difficult experiences you’ve had
  • Identify your attachment style—and how that affects your relationships today
  • Move through emotions rather than get stuck by them
  • Grow in self-compassion and talk back to your inner critic
Trying softer is sacred work. And while it won’t be perfect or easy, it will be worth it. Because this is what we were made for: a living, breathing, moving, feeling, connected, beautifully incarnational life.

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Therapist Kolber (Relevant) targets the “overextended, overburdened, and overwrought” in this persuasive take on adopting a happy (and easy) lifestyle. . . . Kolber offers practices that enable a life of “trying softer,” among them scripts for better communication, exercises for getting in tune with emotions, and tips for reasoning with one’s “internal critic”—such as concentrating on “mindfulness, self-kindfulness, and common humanity”—to allay self-judgment. Kolber provides steady, helpful guidance for “the parts of your soul screaming to be loved in extravagant ways.” Mental health professionals and general readers dealing with anxiety will find many serviceable exercises in Kolber’s useful guide.

I knew that the moment I opened this book, I wouldn’t be able to put it down. Aundi Kolber’s words will meet you where you are, here in the present moment, shining light in the direction of connection and joy, in places where they are often a challenge to find. Her writing draws you into the depths as she gives you practical, grace-filled words of wisdom for every step. While reading this book, you will feel mirrored through Aundi’s beautiful way of giving language to our experiences. You will be met in the wild of where you are while also receiving the tools you need so you can carry on for the rest of the journey.

Try Softer is the book I’ve been searching for on the bookstore shelves. As someone who has been high-strung and “try-harder” since childhood, I’ve always wondered, Why? Why does my body feel on high alert even when my mind is quiet? Thankfully, Kolber’s smart, informative approach and kind voice are here to help us all understand the complicated happenings between our heads, our hearts, and our bodies.

In a culture teeming with anxiety and feelings of being “not enough,” Aundi is the friend and guide we need for this present moment. Packed with a perfect blend of relatable storytelling and practical methods, this book will be one I return to and pass on to others. This is one of those rare lifelong reads you will pull out as a refresher course again and again.

Far too often the Christian recipe for abundant living involves mustering up more faith, doing more for God, and trying harder to make life work. In Try Softer, Aundi Kolber helps readers understand why such an approach never works and invites us to a radical new way of living—compassionately connected to ourselves, God, and others. With an extraordinary blend of personal vulnerability, scriptural acumen, and compelling neuroscience, Aundi ultimately shows readers that the abundant life we long for is less about striving and all about surrender.

In Try Softer, licensed therapist Aundi Kolber walks us toward the gentle understanding that our scars hold clues to our wholeness. Life is hard. Pain finds us. But as we learn to pay attention to our full selves, patiently excavating compassion from the rubble of critique, we will know healing. This kind, courageous book is right on time.

For those souls feeling alone in their suffering, Try Softer serves as a companion guide toward feeling connected and whole. Aundi Kolber’s spiritual journey demonstrates that the way to transform pain is to surrender to the healing power of embodying compassion. Try Softer gives us faith and hope that light can be created out of darkness.

Not since The Body Keeps the Score has a book made such a profound impact on my healing as a trauma survivor. Try Softer is a masterpiece, a seamless blend of competent clinical understanding and nurturing pastoral care. Aundi’s unique dual perspective as both trauma therapist and trauma survivor gives her work an unparalleled depth of empathy, wisdom, and tenderness. She’s created a powerful therapeutic tool that is an essential read not only for those who have been personally affected by trauma but also for therapists, pastors, educators, and caregivers.

Reading Try Softer feels a lot like exhaling. In a world that simultaneously pushes us to hustle and to hide our pain, Aundi Kolber wisely, tenderly, and skillfully offers us a new way forward. While it’s certainly countercultural, the message of Try Softer is both biblical and timely—a presentation of the gospel that powerfully invites us to live fully in the grace and healing Jesus freely offers.

For those exhausted from dragging their bodies through life and white-knuckling their way through pain, Aundi Kolber offers wise advice: Try softer. By learning to listen to your body instead of fighting it, you can become more resilient and more self-compassionate. Try Softer is exactly what a stressed-out world needs to hear.

In a world that tells us we’d better be crushing it or killing it if we want to make it, Aundi Kolber has a revolutionary approach—trying softer. With grace, wisdom, and candor, Try Softer gives us hope for a different way—lives of connection and attention instead of competition and distraction. If you’re weary of trying so hard (who isn’t?), then try softer. You’ll be glad you did.