I love it when I get to combine favorite things...like writing and coffee shops, and friends and red wine, and delicious food and my favorite foody/hubby. Great combinations get bonus points if you throw in some coffee, too. Well, I've been working one of those kinds of combinations a lot lately by reading books (favorite thing #1) that inspire and motivate (favorite thing #2). (And yes, I often enjoy some coffee...or tea...while I'm at it.) It is possible that I'm even a little obsessed with this combination right now...not that I'm the type to go overboard with a good thing...
I've mentioned many of these books in various recent posts, but I thought I'd share them all in one big ol' book post. So, if you're looking for a little inspiration, if you need some motivation, consider checking out one of these books and see if, perhaps, they are the kick in the pants, or the shift in perspective, that you're looking for...
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero...I adore Jen Sincero's voice. Listening to her audiobook was like sitting down with a good friend who's figured a few things out that I haven't yet. I kind of craved listening to her, and I will definitely listen to the book again. I connected with her skepticism about a lot of this inspirational, motivational, touchy-feely stuff. (I've always loved this stuff, yet been skeptical of much of it at the same time. Which may be a little strange, but it felt to me like Jen had the same skepticism.) Her voice is edgier and brasher than you've likely heard in other inspirational books, but I just loved it.
What inspirational/motivational books have you read or listened to that you loved? Please tell me, because I'll need a new one to start as soon as I'm done with Brene's.
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I've already shared a lot of Ah-Ha's from these books in other posts, but here's a new one...
Random Ah-Ha from all this reading: The importance of reconnecting with my body. Although I suppose I began the journey of reconnecting with my body last year with all the work I did in Danette May's program, I now see that the work I've done so far was the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
I think, in the past (and sometimes in the present), I've valued the mind above all else. As I get older, the spirit has begun to retake priority. But I think I've always relegated the body to third class citizen in this holy trinity that makes up the human experience. It is a carrier, a vessel, a mode of transportation for mind and spirit in this world. But a lot of this recent reading has made me realize that I have become far more cut off from my physical body than I realized. I have built mental blockades over the years that keep me from connecting with my body and what is has to teach me.
And my big Ah-Ha is that this is a really bad thing. This realization has me connecting a whole lot of dots in my life. You know those moments, when you figure something out and then say to yourself, oh, that's probably why this is this way, or why that happened, or why this is an issue for me.
Though I started reconnecting with my body over the last 12 months, I think I was only doing it in certain ways...within certain parameters. (Healthy food. Healthy movement. Guided meditation.) But once my body had my attention, it took the opportunity to start screaming at me...kinda like an adult in role play therapy who screams at the empty chair that is their stand-in "mom." And it's been equally as scary as being that chair.
The skin problems, the hormonal fluctuations, the crazy menstrual cycles, the anxiety and panic attacks, the chronic pain, the exhausted evenings...all, now, feel a lot like my body yelling at me for the focus it deserves.
I can't say that I've figured out how to fully reconnect with my body (because I haven't), but I'm far more aware of the issue and I'm seeking ways to address it. Meditation, mindfulness, and yoga come to mind. (Also quiet, stillness, and, most important, listening.)
In Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton talks a lot about her disconnection with her body and the process she began to reconnect with it. It was one of the parts of her book I connected with the most. She talked about yoga and meditation and checking in with her body at key moments to see what it was trying to tell her. Listening. (It's something us "word people" sometimes have trouble with...we're far too busy talking (or writing). Also, doers...doers are too busy doing to really listen to anything!)
In Finding Your North Star, Martha Beck, talks about a body scan exercise designed to find areas of the body that feel numb. She asks that you focus in on those numb areas, saying that these areas often hold the un-dealt-with pain (anger, frustration, sadness, worry) of the past.
So I take these nuggets and I start the journey of reconnecting with my own body, of really listening to it and trying to give it what it needs-- time, attention, care, love, a voice...kind of what we all need more of.
Until next time, take a few minutes each day for the next week and reconnect with your body. Get quiet. Get still. And listen. Really listen.
P.S. This blog post was written while enjoying a Grande Americano with a few shakes of cinnamon...mmmmmmm, writing and coffee, a favorite combo. ;-)