Book Review: Chasing Slow

Let me start by saying that I loved this book and I devoured it like a little kid on Halloween night. I finished it and felt a little sad because I wanted more, it is ironic that I consumed a book named Chasing Slow so quickly.

This is not a how-to book, this is a beautiful story of Erin’s life so I’d put it in the inspirational memoir category which made the storytelling rich and fulfilling and had me nodding that her thoughts and perspectives could be mine too. If you are feeling a little lonely: this book will give you great company.

There’s a thread in this book that really spoke to me. As the title suggests Erin is on a path of Chasing Slow, living with intentions and seeking flow (ME TOO and Jess Lively is THE lady to talk to about this – she’s got two free webinars coming out this week and I urge you to check them out.) and yet there is this thread of entrepreneurial spirit, pure ambition, and curiosity in the great experiment of life that keeps drawing her attention away from slow. I half wanted her to find the perfect equilibrium of slow ambition because I deeply want a model for how that looks…but I see how the ebb of all of this and how there is not a resolution is even more perfect because as aspirational as that might feel it’s not all that realistic.

Things this book had me wondering:

  • Can I plant a Red Wood tree? I’ve got to order some seeds because there is just one way to find out.
  • Should I try the pixi haircut again. I’m leaning towards no because I really love a pony-tail and I hate lipstick but this book had me craving it.
  • Is there ever a set-point where chasing and the slow meet? I have a feeling it’s fleeting but I bet it feels like that moment you’re lingering on a see-saw and you feel weightless.

I loved it. It made me laugh and cry and relate and that all felt so very good.  Put it on the list of things you read as you’re in your winter hygge mode.

Restoration & Preservation at Work in Our Lives

It’s been a busy start to the year (more on what’s happening below). Something has been recurring since just before the holiday season and I’ve been marinating on it ever since.

My marination started with this video about How Wolves Change Rivers, have you seen this?  If not, watch it, it’s less than 5 minutes and incredibly interesting as most things are when narrated in an English accent.

These five minutes resonated and lingered in my mind and got me thinking about the Wolf Effect in our own lives about how there are things we think, or people we surround ourselves with, or actions we take that make far greater ripples in our own restoration and preservation than we could possibly know.

 

I’m curious – have you experienced Wolf Effect in your life? If yes, what was the catalyst?

I’ve been hearing about the benefits of Meditation for a few years and while I’ve downloaded the apps and dipped my toe in a few times it’s never been something I truly got my head into. There was always a to-do list forming in my mind and that made me feel like a failure.  A local yoga studio (breathe if you’re local and interested) has a new series called meditate.now. and I’m signed up and excited to see the ripples this practice could create.

Breakdown of what’s been happening the last two weeks!

*This is an affiliate link so I’ll make a few cents if you purchase from that Amazon link.

 

Book Review: How to Live a Good Life

There are two things I actively think as I start anything (the day, a meeting, a meal, a conversation) and they are:

  1. Come to Learn.
  2. Be a Blessing.

It’s simple and it reminds me that I have one real job in life: to live it. To show up looking to learn and to have my presence bring something positive to a situation. In the vein of showing up to learn I want to read more books this year and if they’re great I want to bring them to you too. Maggie Mason wrote a post that I was grateful for because she introduced me to this article by Tim Urban. If you want some perspective on how many pizzas you have left or how many books you’ll read in the balance of your life read it. It’s great.

It’s fitting that my first book of 2017 is How to Live a Good Life* by Jonathan Fields and it was an excellent read and one that I’ll be applying and learning from for a lifetime.

Who will enjoy this book?

If you have this feeling that you “should” be happier in your life and you can’t really put your finger on what’s causing this lack of satisfaction and ease this is a great book for you because it will first help you identify where that feeling is originating and then provide MANY actionable steps to bring on the goodness.

In a lot of ways this book is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book – you pick the order in which you read it and apply along the way. There is the option of doing it 1 chapter a day and experimenting if you like that approach.

Nuggets of learning that I absolutely loved.

Jonathan introduced me to a Japenese phrase: shinrin-yoku which translates to forest bathing. I’ve long been someone that loves to be in the woods and learning about the benefits that forest-bathers receive from time with the trees made perfect sense and helped explain a call to spend time shinrin-yoku’ing.

The other thing that I really loved about the book is it gave me three “buckets” to look for my fulfillment from (vitality, connection, contribution) and the premise is you can only be as happy as your LEAST full bucket allows. A lot of times in life we are in a space of focus to fill ONE of those buckets and then we don’t understand why we’re not happier.

For example: You may be spending a LOT of time working on your profession right now (contribution bucket) and you’re REALLY accomplishing things in this field and you have this feeling that you SHOULD be happier about this but you’re just not. The reason: you haven’t been filling up your vitality and connection buckets and because they’re running on empty they’re limiting your ability to feel fulfillment and happiness.

Jonathan also gave a really amazing meditation mantra that you can do anytime and one that I’ve been doing the last week anytime my attitude needed adjusting (it was a lot, thanks Mercury in Retrograde for really testing all the systems and processes to make sure we’re aware of all the weak spots).

May I be free.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I live with ease.
May INSERT NAME be free.
May INSERT NAME be happy.
May INSERT NAME be healthy.
May INSERT NAME live with ease.
(repeat as many times as necessary)

I’d love to know if you pick up this book and if you want a chance to win my copy of the book (I believe this book should be read LOTS and LOTS of times and this is one way I can ensure that) head on over to Facebook.

*This is an affiliate link so if you buy it through this link I will receive a few cents.