Today, teens are facing a world that is progressing faster than ever before, and struggling with the challenges that come with it. More and more, teens need a resource to help them find who they are outside of technology, celebrities, and their peers. Soul Searching: A Girl’s Guide to Finding Herself presents just such a resource. The book seeks to act as a guide for any girl who longs for inspiration over her own insecurities or wants to unearth her passions, love her body, and find direction. Originally written when the author, Sarah Stillman, was only 16, Soul Searching is a powerful and unique guidebook “for girls searching for their center, their inner voice, for who they want to be.” Sarah begins the preface of this fully updated edition by sharing a few examples of how the book has impacted girls around the world for the past eleven years:

“Recently, I woke up to an email from a fifteen-year-old girl in Russia who is recovering from a serious eating disorder and struggling to accept her body. A week before that, I got a note from a teenage girl in Beijing, China, who wanted to share a list of her favorite philosophy books, and a month earlier—tucked away like a gem between spam messages for celebrity diet pills and hair removal potions—I received a Facebook message from a girl in Missouri who hoped to brainstorm ways of dealing with hurtful comments from classmates online.”
This guide, written like it came from your sagely older sister, addresses numerous issues facing contemporary teens: from bullying and body image, to exploring philosophy and world religions. Sarah includes quotes from fellow teens for inspiration and various methods to implement self-awareness including mediation, yoga, journaling, and dream interpretation. Plus, many chapters include quizzes or activities for readers to write down their own thoughts, as well as resources for further exploration. Soul Searching is:
“…the quest to become familiar with our inner voice, to understand it, and to follow it. A lack of internal communication is at the heart of many problems plaguing teenage girls: eating disorders, drug abuse, loneliness, low self-esteem. If we trust ourselves to begin with, it’s much easier to resist negative media image and peer pressure.”
But the exploration of self-discovery doesn’t end with the book. The community that has sprung up around the book and the idea of Soul Searching can now interact and share their personal journeys on Tumblr and Facebook. After all, as Sarah says:
“There’s no such thing as being totally ‘found’…the fun, I think, is in the searching.”

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