What are you reading? Top 5 from 2020

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Assuming you agree 2020 proved to be a year like no other—at least in our lifetime—you might find yourself in one of two camps: during the past 12 months, you read more than ever (whether to escape reality or to preserve your mental health or all of the above); or, you remained unable to read anything other than your pervading news feeds (understandable). Regardless of which camp you reside, if one of your New Year’s goals includes reading [more], check out my Top 5 from 2020:

  1. Greg Olsen’s “Lying Next to Me“—for fans of suspense
  2. Gay Hendricks’ “The Big Leap”—addresses limiting beliefs & finding your “zone of genius”
  3. Scott Allan’s “Do it Scared”—shares techniques to charge forward with confidence
  4. Alice Feeney’s “Sometimes I Lie”—takes readers on a psychological thrill ride (eked into 2021)
  5. Tina Radcliffe’s “Finding the Road Home“—for lovers of stories with heart, humor & faith

What book did you read last year and recommend?

Image courtesy of zole4 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Regain the wonder: creating new traditions

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‘Tis the season once again. And this year, no doubt, many of our traditions will look different. As we navigate the pressures inherent with the holidays—amidst the added stressors of an ongoing pandemic—I’ve found it helpful for my own mental health to adopt a spirit of wonder and possibility that exists beyond the norm, or the “way it’s always been done.” For example, rather than rush through a harried month of December, my family created a new tradition: the Advent “tree.” This entails a small, makeshift tree onto which we clipped little notecards—dated from Day 1 to Day 24. Each morning, we read a chapter from the Gospel of Luke, and afterward we open the corresponding day’s card to view that day’s activity. Some activities include completing Christmas word puzzles, setting up our nativity scene, “attending” an online concert and baking loaves of bread to share with family and friends. A simple and sweet way to slow down, connect and reflect.

What’s your favorite tradition?

Checks and balances

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Checks, Balances[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

 

Today is the final day of my Two weeks to a new, improved you challenge and time to Be alive with step 5. I’ve revisited my LIST and re-evaluated my satisfaction in the various areas of my life and, although at a snail’s pace, I’ve made progress. A common lesson taught by yoga instructors during Bikram practice, especially during Savasana, a pose of total relaxation, is to acknowledge any unnecessary movement—to be aware and then to let it go. We can address the distraction(s) the next time it comes to our attention. This is where I find myself at the culmination of my “change my life in 14-days” assignment: I’ve recognized those areas in my life that deplete my energy reserves and, in some instances, I’ve let go of one (or more) distraction in order to address another. Eventually I’ll make my way through each item but, instead of a challenge, it’ll be a mental-health check and balance over time.

How did your two-week transformation turn out?