EP 115: A Year of Books to Grow With

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Hi friends. I'm so glad you're back. So for this week's episode and the next two weeks, I'm going to be giving you what I feel like is the treasure map. And it's the treasure map for if I was going to set up people's reading list and the, what should I read next kind of way? These are the books that I would lay out.

So today's list is a year books to grow with. So I paired a book for each month of the year. And if you decide to take these books on. As you are sort of a hundred percent guilt-free self-care always in progress learning, doing the exercises in the book, kind of self study. This is a path. I'm creating like a treasure map of like, how can I get a really impactful year with only 12 bucks?

So let's start with January. For January. I recommend reading, Becoming Heroines: Unleashing Our Power for Revolution and Rebirth Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin.

This book is powerful. This book is written by a woman who have been following her work for years. Elizabeth has had a podcast about women's leadership.

She's also had a podcast about resistance and revolution. And I went to see her speak a few years ago. And one of the things that she kept saying through this entire presentation was don't just look for the fight. Yes. You have to show up. Yes. You have to make your voice heard, but there's always this kernel of, and what's next?

What do you want the world to look like? How do you want your impact? So once you have everyone's attention, what do you want to do next? How are you going to be a great ally? How are you going to speak to your own privilege? How are you going to learn to listen? And then learn and lead. It's such a great book, so impactful.

So for January and everyone loves that January energy where you're like, you know what? I have all the energy of a woman. Boom here it is Becoming Heroines.

Now we're going to lead into February, which usually is the month where people go, wow. I worked really hard in January and even though it's winter and I'm super tired, I was ready to new year, new me and February.

I like to think of as. The redo month. The do-over the just kidding. January was hard, so let's, let's go into February with some softer energy. So for February I choose Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff.

This book changed my entire life. Wow. I mean, I, it's probably the most impactful book I've ever read and you know, how much I like Brene.

But Brene is the one that turned me on to this book, this, this book, this, this idea of self-compassion and learning to be kind to myself and through that making. Like huge shifts in every part of my life. If there's one thing that I want everyone to take into their life, it's the practice of self-compassion.

So that's going to be the February book where you go in January, you're hot, you're hot. You're coming in hot. Cause you're like, I can do anything in January. And then in February, you're like, just kidding. It's still winter. I perhaps need to pace myself for the year. And so we're going to bring ourselves some loving kindness with the self-compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff.

This dish changed my life. All right, March is my birth month. And so I am going to share with you a book that I read in 2021, and I think. Wow, this is completely bonkers. This here book is absolutely revolutionary.

This book is changing lives left, and right. And that book is called Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab.

I will say that. When I read it, I thought, oh, I'm somebody who has good boundaries. That's terrific. I went into it, that framework and what I, that frame of mine, I should say. And when I spent some time with that book, I thought, Ooh, I would very much like to sit next to this author.

Read this book, share it with your family, your friends, your colleagues, share it with everyone because clear is kind.

And there is a brand new, not only the book, but there's a workbook that goes with it. So if you're somebody that's like, Ooh, boundaries, that kind of makes my tummy hurt or get a little sweaty in your armpits. Cause you're like, you know what sucks boundaries are, you know, who sucks at them? 

She's a psychiatrist or a psychologist. So how would that be? Anyway? She, that book is another, like, this is like a PhD. Like you might want to take a whole year for that one, but we'll March on. So the birthday month is the book that in 2021 blew my mind. All right.

For April, you know, we're fully into spring and April. I just finished reading the The Afrominimalist's Guide to Living with Less by by Christine Platt.

I did an episode with our good friend, Carly from Tidy Revival that was entitled minimalist because so many books about minimalism are what written by. Young ish, like millennial age, white dudes that I'm like, what, what is happening here?

So I went into this, reading, this book, thinking I already know there's everything. What I already know what I feel about minimalism. I already know about a bunch about minimalism, but this is what I'm going to tell you. The book. Well-researched and it was I listened to it on audio and the author reads it and she not only gives her own story.

It's through the minimalism, through the lens of black liberation and taking care of all of the people around the world who have, who come from African descent. And I was like, oh, this is the book. That everyone should read about minimalism. This is the book. This isn't like, I'm going to count my spoons and live how you know and brag about how much I, how little I live on.

No, no, no. This book is about taking care of yourself, taking care of your family, taking care of your community, taking care of future generations. It. So good. It's such a fresh perspective on something that we're always doing right spring. We're like let's, let's do a whole overhaul of everything. Let's declutter everything.

So do yourself a favor and find yourself a copy. Perhaps use the one from the library as to not collect more possessions and read The Afrominimalist's Guide to Living with Less Okay.

In May, you're probably going to have a bunch of graduations to go to. You're also probably thinking, boy, I wish I was still a student, so I could gear up for some summer break. Guess what? There is a book that is the perfect graduation gift for whoever is graduating and their entire family. And it is called Your Turn: How to Be an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims.

Now this is what you need to know about Julie Lythcott-Haims. She is a prolific writer and I've read all of her books.

Every time I think she cannot be more brilliant. She is. And this is what I always think is like, she's only a couple of years older than me. How is she so wise? So your turn, how to be an adult. You guys, I will tell you it is super long.

It's more than 400 pages, but in the book, you know how we're always like where's, where's the book about being an adult? Like what, like, why does that life come with a handbook or a manual? Julie wrote. Go read this book and you'll be like, dude, I have this part of adulthood. And you're like, but I'm already an adult.

Or this is just for young people. It's really not because I don't know about you. Like I'm in my fifties. And sometimes I'm like, did I miss that day in adulting school?
And also where do I sign up for adulting school? Like, how come, I don't know how to do X and I have. Kind of underlying panic about like, am I doing the right thing? Am I on the track of being a real adult?

All of these things. So when I read that book, I thought, you know what, anyone who is struggling with the idea of what do you do between say when you finish school and when the you're the end of your life.

And that could be, you know, like 70 years, it could be, it could be 80 years. Like how do you know. If you're, you're touching on all the parts of being an adult and it's not just like, you know, graduate, get a job, stay in your job, buy a house, have kids. It's not that kind of thing. It's like, how do you have a meaningful life in your post school?

And what's very interesting is Julie also she wrote a very lovely memoir called a real American, loved it about growing up as a biracial woman in the United States, as well as she is a former person who worked at Stanford. Not exactly. Position was, but she came into contact with a lot of students and she wrote a book about how to, well, how to be an adult, but also like how to raise an adult.

And it was like, if you have a kid that isn't graduating yet, so somewhere between zero and 18, also check out her other book because it it helps guide us away from. Helicopter parenting and actually giving our kids the skills that they need in order to go into young adulthood with some resiliency and some agency and some advocacy skills and some initiative.

And I adore her writing. So I hope in may, you will give that as a graduation gift. Maybe read it as a family, read it with your friends. Such a great guy to being like, okay, I'm on track. I know now I know what all the pieces and parts are of being an adult and having a meaningful life. I can apply this to my own.

Okay. Speaking of summer break, I know that a lot of us still are working in the summer. So I want to introduce you to a book very short and it comes with a challenge and that the book's name, and you might go, oh my God, I need this book right now.

You're going to skip the line, whatever. And it is How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine Price.

I just read this this past weekend and I think. You know what everyone probably needs this. And inside the book, she sets you up for a 30 day challenge of how to break up your phone so that you can have a more connected in person. So fostering your relationships with the people that are actually in your presence, as well as.

Like how to not go cold Turkey essentially. So it's a guided process to figure out, okay. What, like, where am I now with my phone and the relationship that we have, our, our, our long standing relationship. Where, where is it helpful? Where is it not? And then recreate it. As you build your phone use back in recreating something that makes more sense for how you want to live your life.

All right. So. As we go through the summer. A lot of times we are sold this bill of goods that we have to be productive all the time. We have to like get good grades, get a job, do extracurriculars, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. Otherwise we suck as a human or totally garbage.

Well, this last summer I read a book that has such a great title and it's called Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price.

I think everyone should read it because there is this undercurrent of, unless I'm busy, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I'm not reaching my potential. And I think that learning to rest and learning to be really. Judicious with how we spend our time and how we spend our energy.

We can be more impactful than just being busy. So if you have not yet checked out, laziness does not exist by Devin price. July would be a great time to do that. Okay. We've got going back to school books here, friends in August. Oh, I don't know if you've read this yet, but. The book is called What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry

I read this book and I've been talking about this book lately, because I don't know if you know this, but living through the last, you know, almost two years, the whole world has got some trauma and we're, our resilience is being tested.

And so if we change. One question about how we deal with other people from what's wrong with you, kid, spouse, neighbor person. That's just cut me off in traffic to what happened to you. I just actually heard that, like I heard that I heard a different, like a completely different tone. What what's wrong with?

You sounds like you want to fight. And what happened to you? Even just the sound of my voice into a more compassionate place when I I listened to it and it it's, it goes back and forth between like all the science and all the science of trauma and resiliency work. And it's between Dr. Perry and Oprah it's so well done.

So since we're going back to school, getting geared up for it, The next couple books are going to be about this idea of how can we help rather than label. Okay. For September, we'll be deep in to the school year.

Everyone will be back to school in September and it's The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity By Dr. Nadine Harris.

Now she is the doctor, California doctor, who is the first surgeon general of the state of California. And her area of focus is on adverse childhood experiences. And you might be thinking, wow, you're going from trauma to trauma. And the answer is yes, because the more we learn about trauma, the more you're like shit.

Trauma is not it's sometimes not this like lightning bolt thing that happens. Sometimes it is the people in our life have mental health issues or there's domestic violence or divorce, substance abuse disorders. All the things. Right. And, and we can't sort of, we can't sweep trauma under the rug cause it had enough, you know, when you sleep stuff under the rug, it creates a lump.

And so the, the trauma lump does it doesn't go away by itself. So I always advocate for everyone to read the deepest well and to follow. Dr. Harris has worked to check out our Ted talk because trauma can be healed and you can elongate the, the length of your life and trauma. Isn't something that happens to other people.

It happens to all of us and it's just hood and matter of degree. And so September is a great time to tackle AC. Adverse childhood experiences and really being like, you know what, I think now's the time to find a therapist. Okay. So we're again, we're, we're, we're all in it's homecoming time. You guys it's October.

So I read a book this past fall called the The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence by Jessica Lahey.

When I finished reading it, I immediately emailed the principal of my child's school. And I said, oh my God, every parent should read this. Like, we should do this as a school-wide book club, because we can help every student stay out of substance abuse disorders by.

Having really connected communities at school and at home and getting students to that, they feel like they belong somewhere.

Those books are super great companions for one another. They're well-researched and it says, again, this idea of like giving our kids a runway to make mistakes so that we can help them guide them through them so that they know. Learn from those mistakes and maybe make less dangerous mistakes in the future.

That's my hope. Okay. We're on to November. And 2022, you guys, 2022 is a midterm year, which means not a presidential election, but a third of Congress is going to be elected. So that means no off years. We got to spend all of our time learning about candidates and lobbying candidates and lobbying for and telling people and registering people to vote.

And how do we do this? Well, one way we do it is that we pick up The Lightmaker's Manifesto: How to Work for Change without Losing Your Joy by Karen Walrond

It's so good. It's so good. This is exactly it. People ask me all the time. Like how do you have time and energy for activism? It's called self-care and self-compassion honestly, if I didn't have those daily practices, I couldn't be out there, you know?

Trying to change the world. I would be too tired. I loved Karen's book so much. And part of the reason is there's a thread that goes through it. And I think this, she has that in common with Elizabeth's book becoming heroines. And that is all the change that we want to see in the world is likely not going to happen in our lifetime.

Because people have been fighting these fights for generations, and we are part of a long line of people dedicated to making change. And that means we'll be sustaining the next generation to come behind us to make even more change. You've got to get your hands on the light makers manifesto, how to change the world without losing your joy, such a great Well, it's like a cell.

It's like, okay, I can do this. I can like, I, it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom and it also doesn't have to be public. It meaning your activism. And it also doesn't have to be huge as Karen's example is like, we don't all have to stand in front of a tank and tenements. Right.

We don't have to put ourselves in physical danger to have an impact on the world and, and to create change nor do we have to be super grumpy about it.

We're coming up on the next. We're like we're already at December, which means we're already looking at the new year. So again, this fall, The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose. By our friend, Oprah Winfrey. And I thought when I read it, oh, this is really good. This is a really great coaching book.

Little bit of story, lots of questions and reflections, a little bit of story, a lot of time to journal a little bit of story. Here's an exercise. So if you're. Feeling wibbly, wobbly about your future. That's a great, great book to help ground you and guide you to what you want to do next, and to create a meaningful life's direction and purpose.

It's all there in the title. And if reading a book of mine. For growth, it sounds like something you would want to do. That is one of the benefits of joining the deferred maintenance immersion experience.

We go deep. We are going to do 12 books next year. We're going to have live discussions. We're going to be putting the exercises Into our lives. And this is also what I'm going to say. Just like our regular book club or my public book club.

You don't actually have to read the book to get the stuff because here's the thing, friends as you well know, I read the book and then in deferred maintenance, I'm the one that's like leading the discussion and saying, okay, these are the exercises.

How will we apply them? This is the general thing. I bring the, bring the curated book list. I bring the main points. I bring the exercises and we do it together with lots of loving accountability. So if you want 12 months of. Self care support and a supportive community, and some, a loving accountability, as well as mindset shifts, deep satisfaction.

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