Have you made time for reading this month? Which season do you think is best for reading? I love curling up on a cold Winter’s day with a book. But I also enjoy collecting a pile of books to read throughout Summer.
For my January Reading Rituals post I thought I’d start with a summary of books I’ve already mentioned so there’s a spot to link all my book/reading related posts together.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Back when I started this blog I wrote about The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The book is for anyone who wants to discover and recover their creative self. The Artist’s Way changed the way I look at my creativity and taught me a lot about taking care of and loving myself (which I wasn’t expecting!).
My main takeaways from the book were:
- The importance of journalling the mundane to make space for creativity. I write Morning Pages every morning
- How important it is to take care of yourself – which led to setting myself daily self nurturing tasks
- That to be a writer (or inset any type of creator here) I have to write. I need to let go of insecurities of making mistakes and not being any good and trust my creativity to create what it needs to.
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
I was lucky enough to hear Gretchen Rubin speak in London in December. Better than Before is a great book if you are looking to create good habits and break old ones. It helps you work out which strategies will be best for you based on how you deal with outer and inner expectations.
The top 3 things I learnt from this book were:
- I’m an Obliger – I respond better to outer expectations than inner ones
- I learnt how to get myself outer accountability to ensure I followed through on things I wanted to achieve (check out my blog post for some examples)
- This book helped me be much more self aware of myself and my habits. I picked up some great strategies which continue to serve me well.
The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
Last month I wrote about my Core Desired Feelings which I came up with as a result of reading and working my way through The Desire Map. Danielle La Porte writes about the importance of understanding how you want to feel to ensure you set goals that help you create the feelings you desire. The book has some fantastic essays and worksheets to help you discover your Core Desired Feelings.
My main learnings from this book were:
- The importance of setting goals that have feeling behind them
- What my core desired feelings are – you can see them here
- The link between spirituality/soul work and achievements/goal setting.
My January Reading Rituals
- I’ve mostly been re-reading old favourites. I find it comforting to cosy down with a book I am familiar with. Re-reading some favourite romance novels was a wonderful tonic to feeling poorly earlier this month.
- It has been a couple of months since I visited my local library. To remedy this I have requested a couple of fiction books I am keen to read. When I get the notification they are ready to collect I will visit the library and make sure I have a good browse while I am there.
- I’ve been listening to audio files of Danielle La Porte’s Fire Starter Sessions. She has a Facebook group you can join to participate in and get access to the files for free. There are 16 audio files to listen to and all come with accompanying worksheets. I am enjoying the different format (I don’t often listen to audio books). I have also find the bite-size audio file lengths handy.
- I’m working on Vein of Gold as part of an online cluster group – it’s been great to have the work & reading paced by our facilitator Susan who is very supportive and helpful. This will be a long 30 week project and I hope to share my thoughts as I work through it.
Looking Forward to Next Month
My challenge to myself for February is to finish reading The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. I want to learn more about each tendency (especially my own Obliger tendency and my husband’s Rebel tendency) and I want to take some suggestions from the book to try out in my daily life.
What are you reading right now? I’d love to hear your recommendations.