Books with a Lifetime Membership to my Bookshelf – part 1

(or the books that have majorly influenced the course of my life)

I’ve read 520 books this spring…or at least it seems so. The number is probably closer to 5. In truth, before having a child, that number would have been paltry, but now it’s huge! They’ve been powerful books too.

You know, now that I consider it…I think I’m a reader of “powerful-books” in the Spring. Can that be true? Do I only read powerful, growth books in the Spring? It might be so. Yes, one of the books I’ve read lately is about learning your rhythms and being attuned to the cycles of nature. (Do Less, by Kate Northrup) Is that true for you too? How interesting. And exciting!

I’m one of those people that learns a new thing or resonates with an idea and I, immediately, want to share it, in case it expands your mind too. So…here’s what I’ve been reading this Spring. I’ve also added some other Spring books from years past – but only the ones that changed my life.

In my twenties, I owned a bookstore so a love of books is no surprise. What is surprising is how I can read more when my book is on my phone. So sad, but true. I LOVE the tactile experience of reading an in-the-flesh book…but I am able to read in the margins of my life more readily with ebooks. Sort of sobering. Please tell me that days with a book cracked on my lap will be a part of my future…once my wee child is a wee bit older?!

Okay….Let’s start with time and money!

When and How to Get Things Done…

I love planning.  I may have mentioned that.  I love imaging how I can be more productive and how I can fit more into my life.  I want it all you see.  To grow my businesses, be a present and available Mom, quality time with friends, a connected and loving relationship, time to grow and learn, space to make, self love….and on.  This spring I stumbled upon two books on time management.

“Free to Focus” by Michael Hyatt, isn’t about doing more.  It’s about being focused on what’s important and letting the rest fall away.  It had several immediately applicable takeaways for my life.  I now have three items on my to do list on any given day that need to be done.  Once they’re done…I’m good and the freedom that comes from that feels great.   I also vet my to do list – ditch what doesn’t really need to happen, delegate what I can, and focus on what I need to.

Then, I found “Do Less” by Kate Northrup…this was a perfectly-timed find for me and one that resonates deeply with me on a spiritual and soul level.    I can’t recommend this one enough.   Kate also asks us to focus on what matters AND she asks us to tune into our energy through our menstrual cycle and the moon phases to plan our lives in the most loving, thoughtful way.  Much of her book was a new concept for me and made me giddy with excitement to put it into practice. 

There are several practical experiments in the book to gently incorporate the ideas into your life. Things like identifying your “vital few” (the few things that bring the biggest results and are things that energize you to do), tracking either the moon or your menstrual cycle (depending on whether you still have a cycle) and watching how you feel energetically during each phase. You know how some days the things you set out to do are effortless and other days those same tasks are a complete slog…tracking your phases is a way to tune into when you are best poised to effortlessly do something. She also talks about cycles and knowing which part of the cycle you (or your project) is in….emergence, visibility, culmination, fertile void. It’s kind of mind blowing for me to understand the value of the fertile void; that time after you’ve created or launched something and done the detailed work when you reflect and rest. I’m in love with this book!

Recently, I started using her weekly planning process.  I sit down weekly and consider these four things as I plan my week.

  1. Checking in with my body to see how I feel? (how’s my energy, what phase of my cycle am I in)
  2. What are my top 3 Priorities for the week? (these will guide my to do list)
  3. How do I feel emotionally and how do I want to feel during the week?
  4. What’s going on with the universe? ( Moon phases, solstices, eclipses, etc.)

Becoming Friends with Money!

5 years ago, I read “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominquez and Vicki Robins on a 3 month road trip out west.  The idea of wisely and thoughtfully trading your life energy for money resonated deeply with me and it prompted 3 years of tracking expenses to see what the life I live costs me. 

This spring, after a conversation with a friend where my beliefs around wealth oozed out,  I received sage advice to look into my limiting beliefs around money.  She suggested  “You Are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero.  Most of this resonated and opened my eyes to ways in which I’m holding myself back.

Then I found, “Money, A Love Story” by Kate Northrup and this sealed the deal.   Wow.  I found some real depth in the work she suggests in her book.  I may have just changed my relationship with money and earning forever.  I did the journaling and soul-searching work in the book (truly she gives the assignments in bite-sized do-able chunks) and was able to reframe my story around money; changing my struggles into an exciting learning experiences…even as I tell the story. I was also able to really identify WHY I behave in certain ways in regards to money (and food, honestly). Whew…good stuff! Another book by Kate Northrup that I can not recommend highly enough. (In fact I quickly put a few copies in my shopping cart to share with loved ones…)

I’ll drop in next week with my favorites in other categories like…Personal Growth, living a Simple Life and Making!