I am a self-help junkie. I’m pretty well up to reading anything self-help wise. From creativity, time management and happiness. You name it I have likely read a book on that topic. I was looking at my books and decided to do a post on some take-aways. Here are my top ones and why. PS there is so much more in these books than what I am mentioning so go read!!
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth GIlbert talks about being open to ideas. That ideas are floating around waiting for someone to bring them to light. We just have to be open. Sometimes you read something and think yeah okay. But I can say I have had this experience. I wrote my first fantasy novel a few years ago during National Novel Writing Month https://nanowrimo.org/. It was one of the easiest NaNoWri I have done. Why? The novel in places wrote itself. I just had to try and keep up with what was happening in the story. It flowed out of me. So yeah the idea landed and I was open.
She gives us permission to be creative and take up space. That everyone is creative and don’t let others give you a definition. One of the biggest take-aways from Big Magic was to toss perfectionism out the window. Elizabeth says that perfectionism is unachievable. It stops people from not only completing their work but often from beginning it. Perfectionist decide in advance it won’t be perfect and they won’t be satisfied so why bother. Easy way out. It is okay to have a shitty first draft, an off picture, piece of pottery whatever. Just finish it. Do your best – yes edit and edit some more, but at some point let it out into the world. It won’t be perfect. It will be done. Now we can move on to the next thing. This was major for me as it gave me permission to finish stories and let them go. Knowing they were not perfect but they were my best at this given time.
Belonging – Toko-pa Turner
Toko-pa takes us back in time to the origins of our estrangements and reframes it. She shares her journey on belonging starting as a child. This book spoke to me as I never felt I belonged as a child and adult in my family. I tried to fit in. I made sure other people were welcomed and taken care of but it never seemed to be reciprocated. You know when you sit in a room with a group of people and still feel alone? Yeah.
Belonging let me know that it wasn’t about me. I was okay. I was enough. They were okay and enough. They, even though family, where just not my tribe. They didn’t get me and that was okay as I would find my tribe later. But let me tell you it took a long time to realize I was enough, unique and yes different and that was okay. Just reframing it as they were not my tribe that is why we didn’t connect on a deeper level made such a difference. It was a light bulb coming on. Not my tribe. Okay. Good for them. Move on…..and I did.
You are a badass – Jen Sincero
The book has lots of good advice. Short chapters with sound bites to take in. She wants us to create the life we want and know we are enough! Already….. A few key messages I took away where:
- It is none of your business what other people are doing. Basically stop comparing yourself to anyone. She says what is important is that we enjoy ourselves and what we are creating with our uniqueness. Stop comparing we are not them!
- Along the same lines “what other people think about you has nothing to do you and everything to do with them.” This is something that bares repeating on a regular basis. Jen says all that matters is what’s true to you.
- What you choose to focus on becomes your reality. I see this when I hear negativity and victim mentality. People seem to get stuck in that. They see themselves as victims and there is often nothing positive around them. When there actually might be. Negativity breeds negativity.
- To be a badass 1) just see what you can get away with. Push your boundaries. “I just want to see if I can…..” 2) lose track of time. Is there something you do that when you lift your head hours have done by? You are totally in the flow. 3) keep being a beginner. Even when you master a skill don’t lose the fun in the process.
- I will leave you with this quote “The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information.”
Creating a Charmed Life – Victoria Moran
The book is broken down into small bite size chapters. All about helping us create a charmed life. The book was given to me by a co-worker twenty years ago so I have read it numerous times. Here are a few that resonate with me.
Play your free square – we all have something we are good at. A lot of the time we brush it off as it is not something we had to work at. When we recognize and appreciate our free square we can use it to build on our assets and other good things that don’t come as easy. Ask yourself these questions to find your free square: 1) do you have an aptitude for something that seems so natural you don’t understand why others struggle with it? 2) What do you get compliments about?
For me recognizing my free square gave me the freedom to just be me. In all my weirdness, of cheering others on, realizing that there is enough for everyone and challenging people on their scarcity mentality. My free space says I don’t have to deal with that crap.
Live your life in chapters – I have been doing this for years now. I think it is fun to turn a new decade and think what can I possible fill this up with? What projects to do I want to complete? Places I want to see? Baggage I want to let go off. It seems like a clean slate sometimes. Anything is possible. I realize we have set chapters like university, new career and young family. But we also can create chapters. This pandemic for one could be a chapter – how did you make it through? What did or are you learning? Did you take the opportunity to explore or change things? Make each chapter count and think of it as a new fresh journal.
Coexist gracefully with the unresolved – life isn’t smooth all the time. Learn to take a breath, step back, journal or talk to someone you trust about an issue. If you can’t solve it right now learn to live with it. Don’t let, especially small irritations, eat away at your day/life. The example the author gave was fencing in an obstacle. To keep it contained so that it doesn’t affect the rest of your life. I like the visual of this. That or park it for now.
Build soul equity – knowing we are here to grow and learn. Valuing our daily experiences and learning from them. Not just learning but applying them to other situations. Appreciating where we are right now and grabbing our wins. Recognizing our loses and learning from them.
I have read so many more incredible books that I have learned lessons from. I’m still a work in progress. The above are ones from my bookcase that I could easily get my hands on. I’m a big library person and have taken advantage of that all my life. I would love to have recommendations so please drop them in the comments.
You can always start now!