I had the honour of choosing the book this month over at the Laughing Medusa Blog‘s Self-Love Book Club.
Colour me surprised but I wasn’t expecting to be moved by a book donning the title Spirit Junkie [Gabrielle Bernstein]. After all its cover is plastered with a bleach blond skinny woman flanked in a sequinned happy-face dress. I want to be at peace (or feel like I have some kind of inner-peace, ahem sanity), but not at the cost of being a putz. Does this resonate with you?
For some Bernstein’s anecdotes may come off as charming, but I didn’t find most of them relatable. What I did take notice of was her simple explanation of how fear takes charge of day-to-day life. Simply put, my cool, collected walk and contagious laughter is undermined by my fear of f–king up. A fear that I am nothing more than my past mistakes, that there is no way that I could have learned or grown or become stronger because of them. Have you felt this way too?
Fear is normal and at times even can be helpful. Bernstein asks you to choose love at every turn, but I can’t quite get on board with that. Conversely, I suggest that you grab the reins on your ego when the negative thoughts turn from exploratory to aggressive and you can’t quite decide what end your most recent meal is going to fly out of.
How, you ask? Start the inner-dialogue and deflate your ego. Bernstein contends that by just communicating your fears out loud or writing it on paper (for those fond of journaling) can release us from the madness that our fear of reliving the past plays in our daily life. If you are looking for a non-preachy, slightly bleach-y approach to reducing negative self-talk in your life, I suggest you pick up Spirit Junkie and go buffet style. Spirit Junkie provides meditations and journaling prompt to help guide you through the process, allowing you to choose whatever seems to make sense to you and for you at the time. We’ve all got to start somewhere.
As the holiday season starts to ramp up and our to-do lists reach frightening lengths, it seems appropriate to set out a reminder to stop, drop and play.
Capturing a little wonder in our hearts and exploring something familiar or new is a great way to shed the shackles of stress and find some perspective. A reoccurring best practices theme in The Self-Love Book Club is naming and discovering the avenues to happiness. Letting go by getting a little silly is a great way to nourish your inner-child. Indulging in tradition or making new ones is something you can carry through the year to bring you that extra joy that seems to creep into everyone’s hearts around the holidays
At the beginning of the month I deemed to steep myself in a bit of the arts and culture. My budget left a little to be desired, but I still managed to pick two sure-fire feel good experiences and incorporate them into my scattered schedule. David Bowie brought me back to being a child and reminded me that it isn’t the worst thing to dance in the most stoic places. Born Ruffians was a chance to shake it out on the dance floor with my life-long partner-in-crime, my brother. The band decided to open with fan teenage karaoke – there are no words for how much I laughed.
Go ahead, have fun and play, your grown-up life wont suffer from a little self-indulgent excitement now and again!
Over at The Laughing Medusa’s Self-Love Book Club we just finished reading The Happiness Project, a book I had originally picked up two summers ago. In a nutshell, as much as I appreciate Gretchen Rubin’s candor, I really felt overwhelmed with coming up with my own methods to tackle my own laundry-list of goals. Again, The Happiness Project left me wanting more. What I did appreciate was her idea to focus on one goal a month. Rubin gets into some of the science of building habits, and her Happiness Project and website reflect a 21-day project model. I am personally of the belief that it takes around 30 days to develop a habit, for me three weeks can feel abrupt.