This post really cut through the noise for me this week. In a lot of ways it’s the opposite of the message we’re fed by so many bloggers and Instagrammers, but it feels like what I needed to hear. “I am a firm believer in only sharing content when it feels authentic, helpful or brings joy. Plain and simple.”
I didn’t really agree with that viral video about millennials everyone was sharing recently, and this post elucidates a lot of my thinking as to why.
Guys I’m not kidding, I’ve been wishing this was a thing FOR LIKE EVER: a Google Chrome extension that shows you whether a book you’re looking at on Goodreads or Amazon has copies available at your local library. This is technology at its finest! This is the best!
A flow chart for us all: write the books you want to read. Also create the podcasts, songs, whatevers that you want to hear or experience.
Another week that flew by, full of inspiration. I feel more settled in Toronto with each passing week, am making new friends, and am feeling energized by the conversations I’m having and the projects I’m exploring. I’m excited that it feels like new opportunities are popping up all over the place: anything is possible! I hope you had an inspiring week too.
Even though I share my favourite books every couple months here on the blog, it’s fun to look back over my full year of reading and see which ones still stand out and speak to me the most once some time has passed.
All of the books on this list had an impact on me, taught me something, or made me feel stuff. I would recommend any of them to anyone – and have been doing so nonstop! I’ve mentioned some of them in posts this year already, but others are new, and as always you can see the full list of my 2016 reading on my Goodreads profile here.
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley: A love letter to man’s best friend – in this case, the author’s lovely dog, Lily.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson: Three parallel love stories. This book is so romantic and made me giddy with happiness.
One More Thing by B.J. Novak: Endlessly clever, observant, hilarious, satirical short stories. I loved this book.
The Bees by Laline Paull: What it might be like to grow up in the caste system of a beehive. Such a cool idea! It’s basically a dystopian novel based on the real science and biology of bees.
The One and Only Ivan by Katharine Applegate: A majestic gorilla grows up in a heartbreaking zoo in a strip mall off the highway.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld: Pride & Prejudice, if it took place in Cincinnati in 2016. (How do I love thee Curtis Sittenfeld? Let me count the ways…)
Slade House by David Mitchell: Creepy, clever, kept me up at night.
The biggest hit of inspiration this week was hands down my first Tuesdays Together meetup with Rising Tide Society here in Toronto. I was meant to go with a friend who had to cancel at the last minute and I almost didn’t go because I was really scared. But I went alone anyways and it ended up being a bit of a breakthrough for me personally. I had been feeling stuck, wanting more connection and energy and inspiring people around me but was trying to think my way to all those things. Instead by going I got not only a night full of inspiration, but also two days later a strategy session and an invitation for a coffee date with an amazing entrepreneur. Long story short, if you have a local chapter: go. It’s so cool.
Pro tip: if you want to send Facebook messages but don’t want to be sucked into the abyss that is scrolling through Facebook, go to Messenger.com. It’s actually that simple!
On a recommendation from one of the aforementioned entrepreneurs, I started using Trello this week and can feel myself falling for it, so to speak. Its capabilities are seemingly endless and so I was warned not to get overwhelmed at first, but I’ve been starting small by just keeping to-do lists and idea lists inside for now. We’ll see how it goes but so far, very good.
I particularly liked the Happier podcast this week for its discussions of personality quizzes and book clubs (these are a few of my favourite things!).
I started knitting this blanket this week – isn’t it pretty!? I’m doing it in a dusty rose and cream.
Jess Lively is getting into the topics of energy, flow, and vibration on the show lately and I’m really enjoying it. Yet another perspective to fold into the mishmash of stuff I find inspiring on a daily basis.
I’m feeling really energized and inspired just from spending time around like-minded people who are doing it: running amazing, creative, not-so-small businesses while still being healthy and authentic and mindful. It makes me want to take my game up a hundred levels in all the areas of my life. I have a lot to digest this weekend! I hope you have a wonderful weekend too. xo.
This year, I’m keeping things simple. In the past, I’ve been all about setting tons of goals, checking stuff off, and working towards things. But back in December, when I started thinking about what goals I wanted to set for myself in 2017, I just felt tired. Looking at my list of goals from last year felt a little exhausting and a lot discouraging, because it made me feel like I “had failed” because I hadn’t checked everything off the list. The last thing I want to do is create more standards to measure myself up against and subsequently “fail” at!
That’s not to say that I don’t want to try new things and feel a sense of progress this year, it just means that I want to do it with a different kind of energy. The idea of hustling and striving and obligation is just not sitting right with me at the moment. It’s the idea of flowing, allowing, accepting, embracing, and doing things from a place of enthusiasm that is really speaking to me.
Which means I don’t have a lot to say in the goals department this year! Here are some of the few goals and intentions I’m hoping to cultivate more of in 2017:
When I embrace silence, I experience miracles.-Dr. Wayne Dyer
I want to create more time and space in my life when I’m not tethered to my phone. I want hours to go by without checking social media, and I want to cultivate a morning ritual that doesn’t include any technology whatsoever. My work is on the internet, as are some of the ways I choose to spend my leisure time, so I never disconnect unless it’s intentionally done. This year, I want less comparison, less scrolling, and more of my eyes on my own mat, so to speak.
Embrace the situation
Whatever the present moment contains, embrace it as if you had chosen it yourself. -Eckhart Tolle
I talked about this a little in my one little word post, but this year I am very interested in the idea of wasting so much less energy on resisting the way things are. When I embrace situations, I accept and love my people for who they are. I bring the light to the moment. I am forced to stop complaining (mentally or otherwise), moaning, criticizing. I experience so much less tension than when I’m trying to steer the ship or make something happen. Things feel easier, lighter, and more abundant (heyyy all my past words hello hi). In short, life is better.
Celebrate the Everyday
Embrace the amazing potential magic of today’s everyday moments. -Zina Harrington
I used to do a photo project called Everyday Beauty! And then I did one called Steph Loves Today while I was living in Korea. Those both feel like so long ago, but the idea was exactly the same: pay attention to the beauty of your life, just as it already is. When you notice it and appreciate it, things start to seem brighter, lovelier, and happier. You start to see the ordinary things for what they actually are: special and precious. I’m only setting one goal in this department (see below), but it’s a feeling I want to carry with me to encourage me to document things more.
Read 75 books
You didn’t think that having fewer goals would mean giving up my reading goal, did you?! Wild horses couldn’t keep us apart. As always, you can follow along with my progress over on Goodreads!
Film 1 Second Everyday
This is one of the more concrete ways I’m hoping to celebrate the everyday in 2017. I love looking back on my 1SE video for 2016, and even though I missed (several) days of the project throughout the year, it’s still just as special because it’s mine. That’s how life looked, and seeing it just brings me right back. By the end of the year, I’d really gotten into the habit again of taking my one second video, so it felt natural to continue. But hey, I might get bored of this project or abandon it, and that’s okay too.
And that’s it! Simple stuff this year, because that’s what feels good. Maybe next year I’ll want to make lists again. Maybe next month I’ll want to make lists again! But for now, this is what feels right.