If you haven't caught on by now, I am a self-improvement junkie. I never quite had the words to express that before (thanks, Kate), and even if I did I'm not sure I'd have used them until I read this quote from Brene Brown:
"Living a Wholehearted life is not like trying to reach a destination. It's like walking toward a star in the sky. We never really arrive, but we certainly know that we're heading in the right direction."
Self-improvement comes in many forms — meditation, prayer, healthy lifestyle choices, et cetera — but I get a LOT of inspiration from the books I read. This list includes what is currently on my night-table...and on the breakfast bar...and in my office...and on my Kindle. (I totally forgot about my resolution to only read one book at a time.) Here is the list, followed by a few that I hope to move on to next.
- The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown. I love Brene and have watched tons of her YouTube lectures, but I had never read her books. I'm taking the eCOURSE that goes with it. Not even half-way through, already I've underlined so much...written sad and happy faces in the margins...there is even a Holy s**** on page 16. And I do not throw Holy s**** around very often any more what with the kids and all! Read this book if you don't always feel comfortable in your own skin...and if you're human, don't lie. That's you.
- Money: A Love Story, by Kate Northrup. I briefly mentioned in an earlier post that I was reading this, and I have to admit that because the Brene Brown book is for a course, Kate has been sitting in my "personal basket" for a couple weeks. I haven't done any of the exercises from her book yet, but this message has sunk in: If you don't value yourself, you will never have the life you really want, in terms of finances, relationships, career, EVERYTHING. Thanks again, Kate — I really needed to hear this!
- A Course in Weight Loss, by Marianne Williamson. I have never made it through A Course in Miracles, and [honestly] I had this book once before and sold it back to Amazon without reading it. Apparently, now it's time. I never really got rid of those last 5 pounds of baby weight, and even then I'd be up another 5 or so since college. I know that's probably not a lot, but I'm not as upset about the weight as I am about WHY it is I eat so much/when I'm not hungry/why I can't break my bad habits. This book gets to the root of that, and although I'm still on Lesson One she makes such big promises, I'm starting to think it's The Only Book To Read If You Really Want To Stop Eating Everything In Sight.
- Steering by Starlight, by Martha Beck. She writes a lot about connecting with your true sense of purpose and living your destiny, which is self-improvement GOLD. I think one of my new CDFs is Divinely Led, and this book certainly helps you frame your life path in a more positive light and feel the guiding forces behind your decisions. It's still hard for me to get to and STAY in this magical sort of mindset, but I'm hoping her book will help me practice that more often.
- Weelicious, by Catherine McCord. This has TONS of "family-friendly" recipes, and I was drawn to it because I refuse to give up on my kids not eating carrots and beets and spinach (oh my)! They eat broccoli and cauliflower, but let's be honest: They also eat Cheetos and pretzels. I'd really like to get them more excited about whole foods, and McCord's philosophy (much like French cooking) states that there should be no short-order cooks, and you shouldn't pre-judge what your kid will or won't eat. One of my favorite nuggets of wisdom: Studies have shown that some kids need to be presented with new foods up to 15-20 times (!) before they'll even consider trying it. I have tried bribery. It doesn't work.
Every day in the morning I also like to try to read one Bible passage, the daily Jesus Calling devotional, the daily Book of Awakening meditation and a page from Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much. (I know. It's a lot. How ironic.) I don't always have time, but there is such wisdom in all of these works...they give me a daily jolt of confidence and joy.
I won't give you my entire Wish List from Amazon (because that would be like 150 different things), but some of the books I hope to order soon are:
- Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst. The subtitle says it all: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food.
- Anything by Pema Chodron — she is an American-born Tibetan nun who teaches meditation.
- Balancing It All, by Candace Cameron Bure — wasn't this book all over the news recently? Whatever — I just want to read it, not argue about it.
- Outrageous Openness, by Tasha Silver — recommended by Lissa Rankin, who I am a big fan of.
- Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown — because she's just that good. I can't wait to read her other books.
What do you think I should add to my list? I love me a full Amazon shopping cart! Leave me a comment and tell me what's on your bookshelf, night-table or Kindle. Happy reading!
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.