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"Your life is not a problem to be solved but a gift to be opened." ~ Wayne Muller

14 Books I Loved in 2014

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It’s the time of year when I love to share my favourite reads over the last 12 months. It’s 2014 so I went with 14—a mix of fiction, memoir and self-growth—and added in my favourite quotes to give you an idea of the writing. Hopefully you’ll find a gem in here that will inspire or entertain you as you move into a new year.

1. Stitches by Anne Lamott (non-fiction)

This book unfolds as a series of short stories from Anne’s past, in which she’s searching for meaning within suffering. It’s a presented as a sort of “how-to” book but I found it more an invitation to reflect and find meaning in her words.

This is undoubtedly my favourite quote: “Gravity and sadness yank us down, and hope gives us a nudge to help one another get back up or to sit with the fallen on the ground, in the abyss, in solidarity.”

Definitely worth the read.

2. The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte (non-fiction)

I listened to this book on Audible and Danielle LaPorte’s sultry smooth voice really lended itself to the content of the book, which I would describe as empowering, firey and soul nourishing. LaPorte invites the reader to view their life and dreams through a new lens and to consider how you feel about everything from money, to career, to relationships, and how to feel on fire about all of them. Here’s my favourite quote:

“Your way begins at the other side. Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color. Do it now.” —Rumi

3. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (historical non-fiction)

This has to be one of my favourite books ever. It tells the story of the Grimke sisters, who fought against black slavery in their city and their own home for most of their lives. It intertwines the stories of  Sarah Grimke, and “Handful,” who is presented as a slave gift to Sarah on her eleventh birthday, and the long journey they make to freedom.

Favourite quote: “History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another’s pain in the heart our own.”« Continue »

Why I’m Ditching The To-Do List This Christmas

I have a Christmas list. Not for gifts—it’s a to-do list.

It begins in October with the traditional family photography session to capture that perfect picture for the front of our Christmas cards. Then it escalates in intensity through such tasks as “organize Christmas party,” “bake cookies” and a whole lot of “buy xx,” until by December there’s pretty much several tasks to be done per day.

I’m sure you can relate.

But this year I didn’t even look at the list. No family picture. No party. No baking. And very little buying so far.

And I love Christmas—it’s one of my favourite times of year—but the thought of opening up that task list and going through all the motions again, when it seems like only a few weeks since I carefully packed away last year’s Christmas decorations, just seemed so…well… exhausting.

So I didn’t open up the document. I ignored it. And apart from hanging a few decorations on the tree and scanning online stores for possible gift ideas, I have forgone all of my usual seasonal activity.

I’m officially taking a break. And it feels so good.« Continue »

Why We Need to Keep Writing When We Feel Defeated

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“Writing has been a sturdy ladder out of a deep pit.” ~ Alice Walker. The low hum of laughter surrounds me. I’m standing in my friend’s living room where a group of us are gathered to celebrate Christmas and the year’s achievements. But my smile is forced and my words sound like echoes through my head. […]

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How To Be Remarkable

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This world is noisy. So much noise we feel consumed by it all. The mail in our inbox competes for attention, along with the needs of our children, bosses, spouses and friendships. Only if we have a little left in the bucket do we reflect on our own needs. This seems to be the way of life for […]

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