Even though much of my work is literally TOO BIG FOR WORDS, occasionally I am inspired to write, and this is the place for that. Feel free to join in the conversation. Thanks for reading.
“How do you read so much?” I am often asked. “I don’t watch TV,” is my standard reply while my inner mantra is “So many great books, so little time!” How can I read more?
For the past decade, I have had my nose in three to five books at a time, with a dozen or more waiting in the wings (read: overflowing off my nightstand). I literally devour books: highlighting, tabbing, underlining, annotating, yes even dog-earing pages, much to the chagrin of my friend Lynn, for whom books are sacred, permitted only to be held and never written upon. When I get down time, I sit down and dive into a book!
Books - or really, the voices of their authors - woke me up! Thirteen years ago, a book gifted to me literally fell off my shelf, squeezed out as the only work of fiction among a dozen parenting books, poor thing. It lay there on the floor, screaming for my attention. Suffering from sleep-deprivation nursing three colicky babies born in four years, I had put reading on the shelf. This bestseller was the subject of great controversy and intrigued me. Thanks to Dan Brown, I sped-read The DaVinci Code in a weekend and got hot on the trail researching his claims that completely contradicted my then-worldview and Catholic upbringing. I had to know the truth. Through reading dozens of voices and learning dozens of new views, I eventually formed my own new worldview, and found my voice. I was awake!
When my husband lost his job a few years later, I was ready to move off the cushion of self-discovery and into the world, to act upon my new views. Distilling “what’s next?” I clearly remember distilling criteria for my dream job into the yin and yang of a wish list that included: reading and writing, time alone and time with others, teaching and learning. Having paid for two degrees for myself and planning for the education of my trio of teens, I knew I could not satisfy my craving to go back to school. (How often do we stop ourselves there: If only I had a degree in ___?)
This is how my love/hate relationship with technology came about. The wonderful wide world of the web created an easily-accessible classroom for me, providing teachers and fellow students from all over the globe. In the past five years, I have taken dozens of online classes (yep, complete with homework and certifications), read hundreds of articles, and previewed and purchased hundreds of books. (As an aside, I also connected with three authors online, and created an at-home business supporting their work - getting paid to read/edit their writing! Seriously!)
My love for books supports my lifelong commitment to learning. How lucky am I to do what I love - reading and learning and then creating Circles teaching and transforming?! In this age of information, where brain science confirms the benefits of MINDfulness (novelty-seeking and attention-training), why not spend some time with your nose in a book? We grow old without “new”ness. Instead of gravitating towards that old familiar section in the book store, wander the other way and see what novel form of writing intrigues you! If you need ideas, check out my website or let me know. I’ve got lists…