It’s November 16th and I’m posting about my favorite books from October. And yet I refuse to call this post “late” or think of myself as a procrastinator or surrender to the familiar sentiment, “Life is just crazy right now!”
Instead, I am practicing the art of letting life be life.
Most of my creativity, writing, and ideas haven’t been pushed into the world over the past few weeks, instead, they’ve been rolling around inside my head, still wrapped up in the warm cocoon of imagination…waiting patiently to be granted access into the light of day.
When life takes on a different pace than I planned or when unexpected events rearrange my tight schedule, I’m doing my best, although it rarely looks like it, to breathe and adjust.
Please do not think of this as a glamorous feat on my part, I’m the furthest from an experienced yogi as one can possibly be. Interruptions to my daily life usually include a flurry of spoken and unspoken swear words, a potent mix of sadness and rage, and a long ride on my bakfiets to try and find my center again.
And how can I not mention here the power of books to bring me back into my frail humanity, my innate goodness and connection with all of creation.
There’s no denying my addiction to reading (and listening!) to stories. They’re my companions through the constant change. At any given time I can look around and engage with countless characters who are holding my hand as we traverse the tricky terrain of life with all the disheveled, elegant authenticity we can muster.
Letting life be life essentially means I’ve decided (daily!) to define my life within the context of a captivating story. Up and down, right to left, around and around, layered with thick and complicated plots that unfold in the most surprising ways.
The following 6 books accompanied me through the spins and swerves of October:
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
“For my child, for all our children, I want more options, more paths through the woods, wider ranges of normal, and unconditional love.”
The French Art of Not Trying Too Hard by Olivier Pourriol
…anyone who hopes to find a way to act and to reinvent themselves should not start by fixing clear goals, but rather should start in a floating, indeterminate state, in a fog, which allow action to take shape.
Excessive thinking can contaminate a whole existence and even threaten it.
What Wild Women Do by Karma Brown
If you want to transform, you can’t be tentative.– Eddie Callaway, Wild Women Handbook (1975)
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
“Busy is just a euphemism for being so focused on what you don’t have that you never notice what you do. It’s a defense mechanism. Because if you stop hustling – if you pause – you start wondering why you ever thought you wanted all those things.”
To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, & The Modern Dilemma by Molly Millwood
The dark moments, when not banished for being unacceptable, can call into question our customary way of seeing things and propel us toward personal growth. Embedded within the full catastrophe of motherhood is the potential for self expansion, even healing and redemption.
All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
“I swear…that if you choose to end things between us, I will love you more as you’re walking out the door than on the day you walked down the aisle. I hope you choose the road that will you the happiest. Even if it’s not a choice I’ll love, I will still always love you.”
In one sentence, I’d love to hear: why do you read?
Stay tuned for November’s favorite books list- it’s already in the works!