Is there anything better than a beautifully narrated audiobook, a cozy blanket and a cup of tea (or coffee, I guess, if you're one of those people) on a cool autumn day?
No. The answer is no. I admit it: I'm a person who enjoys a bit of atmosphere, a bit of gloom. The bare branches with the vibrant autumn leaves whisking down the street, the overcast sky and crisp air. It's enough to make anyone feel just a little bit more magical.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
If you’re on Jordanna Rowan’s blog, you probably already have a definition of mindfulness. But, to be sure, let’s define it for the sake of this post.
Mindfulness, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” In a nutshell, mindfulness is having a strong connection to one’s own mental state and overall thoughts. If you’re living a mindful life, you’re aware of your thoughts and feelings in each moment.
I'll be honest, I love a good TED talk.
They're short and to the point. Just long enough to get you interested, and just motivating enough to get you started on a new journey. More than once, I've taken what I'd learned from a TED talk and applied it to my life, creating positive changes to my character and habits that have stuck with me to this day.
I love how TED talks give you a great kicking off point to explore a subject— kind of like those 'brief history' guides, that seem to cover just about every topic imaginable— and I've often gone looking for more material after watching one.
So, without further ado, here are 12 life-changing TED talks, and the book that you'll want to read after.
I even went through 7/8ths of a masters in Library Information Science, thinking (mistakenly) that since I had such a passion for books, that was the career for me. Bad graduate school choices aside, books have undoubtedly shaped my life, supporting my dreams or helping me make a change when the time was right.
Today I'm sharing with you ten to twelve (I think twelve) books that have shaped my life in some way or another. These are a mix of fiction and non-fiction of many varieties, and you may find yourself a little baffled by the collection. But hey, it's like one of those treat bags you used to be able to get at the corner store for a dollar. You never knew exactly what was going to be in it, but there was always at least one thing you liked. And you don't even have to pay a dollar.
If you were to ask the average middle class North American what they would change in their life, you’d expect to hear things like, “I’d love to get in better shape!” or, “I wish my financial situation could be a bit better”, or even “I want to spend more time outside, enjoying nature.”
But hey, we’re all pretty busy, right? As much as we’d like to improve our lives, who’s got the time? Between a busy work week, spending hours in traffic on your commute, and paying for your house and car, there’s no time for working out, or money left over at the end of the month to put away.
Did I draw you in with the dramatic and controversial headline? I hope so.
As a blogger of two dear blogs, editor of a digital mag, and an online business owner, I read a lot— especially online— about following your passion. About stickin' it to the man (do people still say that?) and striking out on one's own to create the business of their dreams (tried that road, longer than expected, and came with shitty directions).
We're supposed to tap into our womanly intuition, listen to our hearts, and follow our calling so we can make waves in the world, so we can inspire other women everywhere to do the same, to take their destiny into their own hands, rather than bumbling along on the conveyor belt.
I struggled with anxiety for many years.
In some ways, I'm still coping with anxiety— it's simply not winning anymore. It never really goes away, though. It's still there, in the back of my head, the worries and panic a little quieter now.
On another day, I'll share my anxiety story (because I know that when I was first experiencing how terrible and alienated anxiety and panic disorders could be, I would have given anything to know that so many other people were experiencing the same thing— that I wasn't some kind of freak), but today I wanted to share a few things that helped me cope.
A caveat? This is what worked for me. I'm not suggesting that this will work for everyone, and I'm certainly not offering medical advice. This is what helped me, after many years of suffering and depression, begin to live with anxiety, and not merely exist with it.
Sometimes, when faced with a problem or tricky decision, we tend to linger near the surface, taking our first thought or reaction as truth.
"I have to speak in public, but I don't want to."
And that's where it ends. A moment of exploration and possibly deeper understanding stuffed unceremoniously under the couch.
Welcome to 2017.
But if you're reading this at any other time of the year, that's okay too— and you know why? It's never too late to look back. If you're reading this on September 1st, and you're like, shit, this year hasn't exactly gone so great– it's okay. There are 2928 hours left this year.
It can be a little comforting to remember that the secular Western New Year is a completely arbitrary date that means nothing in either the personal or greater universal world. Today can be your New Year.
2016 may not have been the best year on record (although, to be honest, it was a good year personally for me, and while lots of rough things have happened this year that have been emphasized by the media echo-chamber, lots of good things have happened globally, too).
I am, however, determined to make 2017 particularly stellar. I can already feel that it's going to be amazing (the past four days have certainly been great. That must be a good sign, right? Right?). I've been waking up feeling especially fabulous, work has been going really well and I've been working on some fantastic design projects, and I'm overall feeling like I can take on just about anything.
Bring it on, 2017 (should I maybe not be tempting fate?)!