Kitchen Table Wisdom--This one was a really good collection of essays by a doctor turned holistic-health counselor for people with cancer. I had read quotes from this book in several of my other books and it was fun to finally read it. Some really neat stories about healing, life after death experiences, etc.
Everyday Serenity: Meditations for people who do too much--this was my most recent read-a-page-a-day-after-doing-yoga book. Reading this book is part of why I'm clarifying my priorities and figuring out ways to "stop" and "do nothing." (see below for more about this.) Some of this was really good, some felt shallow or trite. Lots of good quotes though. Each meditation opened with a quote, such as this one I've liked for quite some time: "Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky." (Ojibwa saying)
Girls Who Grew Up Great--this one was an example of my tendency to just read *anything* that happens to cross my path. I got this in a box of yard sale donations and flipped through it, got interested, and read the whole thing while I nursed Z down for bedtime. Luckily, reading the whole book only took about 15 minutes and I learned a few things from it (like about twin sisters in ancient Vietnam who mustered up a big army of 80,000 people with mostly female generals and drove the Chinese out of Vietnam. This was like in 40 A.D.).
Mother Rising--I LOVE the picture on the cover of this cool book about planning blessingway (or "Mother Blessing") ceremonies.
What Should I Do with My Life? This book was interesting. The author interviewed a bunch of people who had answered the title question in their own lives, or were in the process of trying to. He did kind of focus a lot on himself and his personal journey and so each person's story tied back to, "well, I did this and this and thought this and this," so it seemed more like a book about himself than what the cover indicated. I feel like, personally, I have too many ideas of things to do with my life and need to weed them out, not try to discover my passions and how to follow them! Reading this book made me think about all the other things I could have done and/or could be doing, especially the stories about people who have traveled all over and worked for big companies in other countries, etc. (and are only like 32) and I did start to feel a little insecure or "small" or underachieving or *something*. Then, the day I finished the book, my Zen calendar came through with this quote:
"The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despire your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, ever place is the center of the world."
Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life--I read this on the heels of the book above. Anyone who knows me well will know why I was instantly drawn to this book. It was good. I recommend it!
So, speaking of priorities, everyday serenity, what should I do with my life, following an authentic life, and so forth, I may be taking a break from this blog in general for a while. I've been whining and complaining for months now about having "too much to do" and this would be an easy something to cut for a while (I have a problem with being black and white about things--either I do it and do it whole hog or I need to completely QUIT, not just "take a break" or "step back" or "come back to it later." Those things don't come easily to me--I am all or nothing. Things take up mental space in my head and thus continue to use up my time and energy, even if I'm theoretically "just waiting for later" unless I've actually quit them for good. However, I have fun with this blog, so I don't want to quit it for good, but I'm having trouble just taking a break either. Maybe blogging here is a good wintertime activity? There is SO MUCH TO DO in the spring. It isn't like I have tons of loyal readers here really, so I don't really know why it matters or not if I quit, take a break, or keep going! LOL!)
As I explained to M a few months ago, maybe I don't actually need to change what I'm doing, just how I think about what I am doing. It is my stressful thoughts that most often cause me problems! I also have dozens of craft projects I want to pursue, but then use up all my free time doing things online instead--some work stuff, some play stuff, all stuff that replaces working-with-my-hands stuff. I go through phases with creative work, in which I sometimes feel that making things is a waste of time or that is simply doesn't fit into this season of my life. I only have certain scraps of free time to work on things without the kids around and I like to use that time writing and also working on birth work/activism (oh, and reading email and blogging, which is what I'm having cognitive dissonance about lately), so making things doesn't make it. However, I have lots of new ideas for cool stuff lately and so it is creeping back into my brain and saying, "make time for me!" and I'm starting to wig out from my Mountain of To Dos (this comes from the Everyday Serenity book referenced above).