life curation · reading list

Reading List Temporarily on Hiatus . . .

Happy Saturday, beloveds! As you all know, I’m gearing up to start regularly producing content on my YouTube channel and, as a result, there will be a few changes to the blog.

For now, I’ll be putting the reading list posts on a bit of a hiatus. I’m still reading – a lot – but I’m going to save my reviews for the really special books that cross my path. That way, I’m focusing on creating content that I’m truly excited about, and I believe that enthusiasm will be contagious.

book1

Other than that tidbit, I’m doing a lot of writing today (I’m updating my word count once I finish up for the day) so I can make a real impact on my 365k words goal. I’m glad that I’m making progress, but I’m being gentle with myself because I know I’ll see the most impact in the fall, when I go on vacation (which is always a good time to write) and when NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writers Month – rolls around.

After I finish my writing, I’m going out. I deserve a treat! I hope you all get to treat yourselves to something nice today, as well.

Take care, and enjoy your Saturday!

reading list

Reading List: August’s Book

Happy Friday, darlings! I hope you’ve got an exciting weekend planned or, if relaxation is what you need, I hope that you’ve planned some time to chill out and restore yourself.

book1

It’s time for August’s book!

I tossed around a few options for this month, because I was unsure whether I wanted (yet another) book focused on self improvement or something completely different. However, while looking through a few of my stacks of books, I came across one that I hadn’t read yet and was eager to finally dig into.

August’s book is Elizabeth Takes Off by Elizabeth Taylor. I don’t think I’ve read a celebrity’s autobiography in years, so this will be very different from my norm. I love Elizabeth Taylor (remember I did a post about her nearly a year ago?) so when I purchased this book, it was because I wanted the secret to her crazy-tiny waistline. Yeah, it’s superficial, but if she’s giving out the secrets, I want to be the first in line, with my pen in hand.

When I glanced through the book, I recalled that this is, indeed, a book about her diet, but it’s also a discussion about her personal life and career, so it should be a well-balanced, fascinating read. I’m looking forward to reading this one!

reading list

Book Review: Your Life By Design By Curtis R. Estes

I had to schedule this book review a little later this month, because I had a really hard time making it through this book for the purpose of reviewing it. You’ll understand a bit later why writing this review was challenging.

writing

The book I selected to read during the month of June was Your Life by Design by Curtis R. Estes. I’ve had this book for several years but never managed to read it – until now. The book is a series of exercises and examples designed to help the reader examine current patterns and choices. After examining the present, the reader is gently lead through the process of creating and executing a new vision – a vision that reflects the reader’s closely held values and desires.

In short, this is a workbook that requires thoughtfulness and time as you complete the exercises. That, by default, makes it a difficult book to “review”, since there are actions required from the reader in order to get the most out of the text and I sincerely feel that these exercises should not be “rushed”.

This book contains many fantastic tips for examining lifestyle balance and harmony. I’m a fan of how this book emphasizes looking at your life and determining how much joy you derive from your activities. For instance, I was intrigued by Estes’ personal calendar, that not only listed out his activities for the day but also assigned an emotional score to each activity (identifying how happy or unhappy he was about completing that particular task) as well as a list of the day’s overall goals and the expenditures required for the day. This holistic view of the day really helps to put individual activities into perspective.

All that being said, I HIGHLY recommend the book for anyone trying to create new patterns and a clearer vision for his or her life. The steps are great for creating the kind of changes that will nurture and boost behaviors that contribute to a quality lifestyle. I thoroughly enjoyed this workbook. In fact, I liked it so well that I decided that I would be going through the exercises, individually, in the fall of this year.

reading list

July Reading Selection

Whew, what a busy year I’ve been enjoying! I’ve been loving the changes I’ve seen so far and the exciting times ahead. Because things have been moving at an accelerated pace, I almost decided against selecting a book for July.

But I love books and I’m constantly reading a wide variety of material, so I might as well select one book that I will review after reading. The book I’ve chosen for this month is Monet by Karin Sagner-Duechting. This book is a large book – almost coffee table-sized – and has beautiful photographs of Claude Monet’s work. After telling you all about my love of impressionism and Monet, particularly, I figured this would be a good selection.

Funny enough, I had forgotten that I had thi book. I got it for $2 at a thrift store and put it on my shelf but never thought about it again, until I started poking around for another book for my monthly reading selections.

reading list

Book Review: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

writing

When I mentioned The War of Art by Steven Pressfield┬áin my May Reading List post, I shared that I had read it before, but I rushed through it. I read it as part of a business “boot camp” that I participated in a few years ago. The book was good but since the business I was designing wasn’t “creative”, it didn’t feel relevant to my circumstances at the time.

However, I’m in a different space in my life now, and I am tapping into my creative powers regularly. That’s why I post daily in this space, whether I have lots to talk about or not much going on. It’s all about continuing to write and dedicating myself to my craft. Errors and all, I post here every day with the hope that I’ll share something that inspires or educates.

Back to War of Art: this book is all about learning what “Resistance” is, how it impacts our creative projects, and how to break through it. For those that don’t know, Resistance is anything that distracts us from our creative projects or interferes with our creative expression. Resistance takes many forms, but each of them are detrimental to the creative, who is denied their natural expression when they allow Resistance to win.

Resistance is described as an enemy that has mastered the art of disguise: so much so, it’s possible that this enemy is attacking you from several angles. However, once identified, the enemy can be defeated and the creative can realize his/her ultimate goal. Pressfield assures us that Resistance can be beaten, as he stated, “Defeating Resistance is like giving birth. It seems absolutely impossible until you remember that women have been pulling it off successfully, with support and without, for fifty million years”.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section outlines the many disguises of Resistance: it can be something as blatant as procrastination or as subtle as vicarious living through loved ones. The second section describes the way to conquer Resistance which is going “pro”: utilizing strategies of the “professional” to sets out to do his/her work regardless of all of the Resistance swirling in the atmosphere. The third section is all about what happens after Resistance is conquered. This section speaks of the magic of starting a project, the incredible outcomes of deferring to “higher powers” like God, the Muses, etc., and moving beyond the Ego.

This entire book is enjoyable, but I’m especially a fan of the second section. Many of the practices outlined are disciplines that could serve you in multiple arenas. I often need to be reminded of what a “professional” does, so that, instead of being frustrated by circumstance, I’m focused instead on what I need to do.

This was such a good read! I hope you all check it out and find some benefit in it for yourselves!

reading list

Reading List: June’s Book

I’m almost done with The War of Art, so it’s time for me to select another book. I really wanted to read a book that I either 1) hadn’t read before or 2) had started reading but never completed. I also wanted the June reading selection to speak directly to one of my goals (by the way, I’ll be posting goal updates VERY soon!). At minimum, I wanted the selection to be in support of those goals.

book

So, as it happens, the first book that I picked up while tidying my bedroom was Your Life by Design by Curtis R. Estes. I opened the book up and literally, the page I landed on spoke directly to me. I didn’t have to hunt for the book: my June selection found me!

I’m looking forward to reading this and discussing it with you all. Talk to you all tomorrow!

reading list

Book Review: Lifestyle Design for a Champagne Life by Cassie Parks

What’s better on a Friday than a book review? I can’t think of too many things I enjoy more than reading and talking about the books that I’ve read!

I really enjoyed rereading “Lifestyle Design for a Champagne Life” by Cassie Parks. I read the book previously and found the tips to be tremendously helpful, but I was due for a refresher.

For those interested in law of attraction (LOA), Parks gives a great formula for engaging and leveraging LOA to create a dream lifestyle. This is a fantastic intro to LOA principles and a step-by-step guide for using some common but powerful LOA tools.

champagne

Here’s a toast to your dream life!

Parks’s overall approach is as follows:

-Envision your dream life

-Script your story

-Experience the life now

The steps are simple enough, but Parks gives additional details to add additional magic. Her system invokes more emotions – therefore, more intensity – than some of the processes used by other LOA coaches. That additional intensity means that your manifesting is more effective and you can align yourself with your desires faster. And when you align faster, the things that you desire come to you easier and quicker.

My favorite aspect of this book is how Cassie makes it easy to get in touch with your dream lifestyle. Her methodical approach is clear and easy to follow, and her genuine desire to help is endearing. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in using LOA tools to attract your dreamlife!