“Nina Nordstrom writes a handy guide for anyone who is unsure about boundaries or bedeviled by toxic relationships. I’m tempted to say, “You know who you are,” but that may not be true! Children of alcoholics or those who grew up in abusive households may have trouble recognizing “normal.” No problem — author Nordstrom’s low-key approach is valuable to not only spotting emotional aberrations (and learning to identify an unhealthy interaction with someone) but also to setting a healthier course.
She doesn’t pretend that it’s easy: “Don’t think there’s a quick fix!” she cautions. “Emotional wellness is a lifetime process.” At the same time, she offers bite-sized exercises and tasks that are geared toward building confidence and boosting self-esteem. “Taking the necessary steps to get to a healthy level of emotional wellness should not be a chore or bring on frustration,” she counsels.
She is clear about why she’s a good guide, given that found herself in the grip of toxic emotions and feelings that put her “captive in a dark place for many years.” She learned that love can replace hate, joy supplant pain, and resilience root out depression.
The book is well organized. Readers can go directly to the sections they most need, whether it be dealing with toxic people in the workplace or potential violence in the teenage dating world. This is not just a book; it’s also a useful workbook.” — Andrea Brunais, author of Hillbilly Drug Baby: The Story
5 stars. “Self-love is a difficult thing to obtain by yourself. This book is a great start to getting rid of the negatives and gaining positives about yourself. As you read the chapters, there are spaces you can write in what self-love means to you.
Once you start this book, you will be on an amazing journey to learning how to start ‘Living Healthy, Thinking Healthy, Being Healthy’.” — Melinda Henning
Reviews for Not a Blueprint
5 stars. “There are some books you read for enjoyment or to pass the time but sometimes there are books that leave you feeling a bit differently from before you started it. These books
move you and you feel grateful to the author for having written it and allowing you to look into their lives for some brief hours.
These books leave you saying ‘wow’ and when you walk away from it, it still lingers in you. Ms. Norstrom wrote such a book.
Each chapter is interspersed with self-help type wisdom bullet points making the book a sort of memoir-slash-self help book, which is quite different and interesting.
As a writer I am envious of Ms. Norstrom’s easy writing style but you so quickly get sucked into the narrative that you stop envying her writing and get swept up in her story.” – John Davis, author of My Father’s Son.
5 stars. “when asked to review this book i must admit i was a little put off by the blurb and was not sure it would be the right fit for me but an author friend of mine had read it and told me it was a sad but great story and that the woman behind it had a rough life and so i jumped in (thank you John Davis )
such a heartbreaking story Nina seems to go through it all: a toxic father, toxic relationships, moving from pillar to post and a heartbreaking and truly sad journey for not only Nina but her daughter China, my heart was heavy reading this book and i would not wish any of it on a worst enemy, i won’t say too much as i feel i would give away a lot so i will say this, if you are considering reading this book jump in with both feet you won’t be disappointed
There is no book boyfriend to be had in this story, it is simply not one for that but one that is real so i leave out the would he be my book boyfriend” – traystracy, Be My Book Boyfriend
“Last Friday I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting this amazing and inspiring Author. I am looking forward to the release date of her story, her life’s journey, the “Shoe Prints” of her life. Our past defines our future but it is 100% up to us to steer the direction we want to take. Sink or swim! Nina is one warrior that I am proud know!” – Jill Douglas, Baskets By Jill
“Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter A Journey Through Toxic Relationships achieves what few other books offer, surveying the elements of toxic relationships and people in life which define ‘toxic’ actions and tells how to handle them. That it does this with acknowledgment to the hand of God and a nod to the idea that “…that God gives us strong shoes to walk those paths.” Makes for a discussion particularly recommended for spiritual self-help readers.
The author knows her subject: toxic relationships at home, at work, and in life nearly destroyed her. She learned from these relationships: “My ultimate lesson in my journey has been that healthy relationships require honesty, compassion, strength, and courage. Given the right mechanisms, these traits make maneuvering through lifeless stormy.
Her life story unfolds in these pages, from a religious upbringing and the importance of God in her life to her job, family, and friendships. Christian guilt, shame, sin, emotional attachments and parenting are explored with insights into toxic communications, individuals, and – yes – attractions to and between toxic personalities.
Not a Blueprint thus serves a dual purpose, providing Nina Norstrom’s autobiography and charting her life’s course through toxicity and onto a more positive, supportive path. What’s the difference between a ‘blueprint’ that guides one and the ‘shoe print’ mentioned in the title? Quite simply, this is a focus on the lasting effects (“shoe prints”) which lessons learned from experience leaves on one’s psyche and life. The author is quite clear about the difference and God’s role in this: “…my belief is that God gives us strong shoes to walk those paths. If we are willing, we can readily learn to distinguish whether relationships are toxic or nontoxic.”
Followers of her footsteps should ideally be spiritually-minded readers who will appreciate the incorporation of God’s purposes into discussions of the characteristics that constitute toxic relationships and how to handle or avoid them. Readers with such a background will appreciate the consistent injections of faith into life experiences (a regular thread in the stories), and will appreciate the life lessons Norstrom shares along the way which serves to support that faith: “So, when a person comes into your life, don’t question their existence—just embrace their presence. Take it from the Holy Father: they are there for a reason, and we must embrace that moment.”
Each lesson provides enlightenment, making for an appealing combination of psychological and spiritual inspection recommended for self-help and Christian readers alike.” – D. Donovan,Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review