Its -5 degrees at the 5164-meter elevation of Gorakshep, Nepal. My watch reads 1:07am but I am wide awake tossing and turning despite the previous 7 days of hard trekking. As I glance around the plywood shelter, I laugh out loud. “Does everyone pick Everest Base Camp trek as the second hike of their lives?” 

After decades of living a quiet, risk-averse life, an emergency hysterectomy at 40 forces Melanie to come to terms with childlessness and pondering life’s purpose. Realizing her life to that point had been a carefully crafted path to check all the boxes of the “perfect life”, she embarks on a journey to redesign a life that represents her true self, even if that is incongruent with the norm.  

This 16-day Nepalese trek is equal parts rebellion and emergence. The trek up and back down the mountain echoes the peaks and valleys of her mind’s eye. From depression masked by sex and alcohol to finding meaning in a pair of red pointe shoes at 42. She climbs her way through the mountain boulders to shed a life built on the cracked foundation of other’s expectations. 

Incongruent takes the reader on a journey through Nepal as well as a journey to amplify the authentic self. 

Ever wake up in the morning thinking there HAS to be more to life than this? Ever feel like you are chasing something but not even sure what? Do you ever think you are living just outside your real potential?

In her inaugural book, Incongruent; My misaligned life and the trek to becoming congruent, Dr. Melanie Hicks illustrates the lightbulb moment she realizes her own life was slightly off center and the plan she put in place to right size into congruency. 

Incongruent is a story of peering into the looking glass of our authentic selves. It is a story of deep self-discovery and acceptance of the good, bad and ugly of our own reality. It is a story of being resolute about who we are and what we stand for. It is a story of being brave enough to accept nothing less than perfect alignment with our values no matter what the cost.

Spanning topics both cringeworthy controversial and humorously mundane, Dr. Hicks winds her way through her own life experiences in career, relationships, religion, politics, and society highlighting the peaks and valleys in pursuit of her own dharma. Along the way she features the stories of others on a similar trek, exemplifying each person’s unique way to find meaning.

Through passages like:

When I get to the end of my life, I don’t want my obituary to read:

“She worked really hard to fulfill her financial goals.”
“She toughed out the toxic workplace.”
“She settled for her mediocre job because it wasn’t that bad.” “She was very good at meeting other people’s expectations.”
No I want it to say:
“She was fearless in her pursuit to follow her dreams.”
“She was unwilling to settle for anything less than spectacular.” “She forged her own path and owned her own destiny.”

Incongruent will leave readers thoughtfully inspired to take stock of their own life choices and the legacy they want to leave.

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