It’s my conviction that it’s not what we do, but why we do it, that makes or breaks “resolutions.”  If you simply want to gravitate towards a more meaningful 2018, here are my recommendations of a few things to add to your life.

Books

  1. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. The history of the world, from our primate beginnings to our ability to destroy the third rock from the sun. His view is expansive, and I love the way he incorporates the many elements of culture. Sometimes our worldview is clouded by our own experience, so hearing about society from the perspective of a scientific approach was refreshing.
  2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.  I literally just finished this one – it kept me up in the wee hours of the night. It’s published posthumously by the wife of an up-and-coming neurosurgeon who dies quickly and at a young age of cancer. He walks through his process of deciding upon medicine as his career as an attempt to understand the meaning of life. In his illness and death, he returns to that search, integrating his education in literature with the understanding of the brain and his work directly with patients. Captivating, brilliantly written, and you will cry at the end.
  3. You’re a Badass At Making Money by Jen Sicero. I’ve been parsing through my beliefs about money and this book was a game changer at revealing hidden thought patterns. If Brene Brown persuaded you to believe that scarcity holds you back, this book talks about how to live expansively beyond that limited framework. I’m actually using a lot of her ideas and applying it toward the idea of time, namely, that I do have enough. (I’ll keep you posted on that one.)

Podcasts

  1. On Being with Krista Tippett. First of all, her voice is like butter. Second, I love the way she asks really good questions.  In her interviews with brilliant people from across all disciplines, she takes it back to a life filled with meaning. You will look forward to this weekly release.
  2. The Robcast. I’ve been a fan of Rob since pre-Love Wins-gate, when he was exiled from evangelicalism and resurrected in the world of the Nones (people who don’t necessarily have a religious tradition but often are very connected to the idea of a spiritual life). He’s upfront about talking about “the Jesus tradition” and will break into  Hebrew etymology, while also talking to to bands, political activists, and performers. Like Krista, he pulls from across the spectrum of professionals, with his emphasis being that “everything is spiritual.”
  3. Home with Laura McKowen and Holly Whitaker. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon these ladies, but I love what they’re putting out into the world. Both of them are in the non-AA recovery movement, and while I don’t turn to them to learn about how to live a sober life, I do love how they relentlessly return to dealing with “their stuff.” They actually introduced me to the money book, among other ideas of how to live presently in the world.

Poetry

  1. Salt by Nayyirah Wahed. First, follow (and fall in love with) her on Instagram. I traded up one of my books to have in my hands for a while and have loved the presence of this work in my home. I’ll sadly return it to Andrea and probably buy it to have nearby.
  2. Without by Donald Hall.  A fellow booklover on Facebook recommended Don and when I brought home this collection about the period of time when he lost and grieved his wife, I was undone. Raw, real, honest, and still with a glimmer of humor. Somehow, hope rises.

Movement

  1. Yoga. Because, of course. But do it to balance you out; if you’re the flexible sort, come at it to add strength. If you’re strong and mighty, see how you can lengthen and bend. Not just more of the same.
  2. Walks. Right before the weather changed, I asked my friend & neighbor (the notorious KLR) if she would take up walking with me in the AM. I had just finished my once-every-3-weeks run and knew I needed simplicity and consistency. So 3 mornings each week (when it’s above 10 degrees), she walks the .45 miles to my house, then we walk back that same road to her house in chatter, and then I return home in silence. It’s quick, gets me moving, and we get to connect. I’ve decided life can really only be lived a half mile at a time.
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