Good Monday Morning!
Is it just me, or have you also started to notice how mean people are to Monday? I think noticing can often be the first step to making a change, and I am definitely noticing that people seem willing to sacrifice an entire day to feeling bummed without a second thought. Last week, after I wrote my post, everything I encountered online and in-person seemed to send the message that Monday is our worst enemy. But I wonder, is our outlook on Monday the real culprit? Can we commit to looking at Monday as a special day, filled with the energy of a restful weekend, in which we can start something new or make a positive change? I hope so!
Today, I thought it would be fun to share what I'm reading. Reading is a HUGE source of inspiration in my life. Here is a picture of the library that my husband built me as a surprise last summer. I've always wanted to live in a house with a library, and now I do. Except for the books I am currently reading or working from, this holds all of the books that I own, in alphabetical order (mostly). The sign at the top says Biblioteca, which means library in Portuguese. My husband made that too. The fox in the first column was painted by my friend Patrick. Inspiration breeds more inspiration.
Now before I share what I'm reading I think I should share how I read. I usually read two or three books at a time: one fiction, one spiritual, and one non-fiction non-spiritual. That way, whatever my brain is in the mood for, I read. I tend to read fiction at night in bed. I read my spiritual book in the morning before yoga class and my other non-fiction at some point during the day or before dinner. I track the books I'm reading on Goodreads. If you want to stay up-to-date on what I'm reading, find me there.
Here's my fiction book for this week, Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. It is set after the conclusion of Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I have never read P.D. James but she's a hugely popular mystery writer. It's fun to find out what could've happened to Elizabeth and Darcy and I'm enjoying it so far.
This is my second read for this week, the Sir Swami Satchidananda translation of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I was just accepted to my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training course for the fall so I'm enjoying a deeper exploration of yoga in this classic text. Because it is based on ancient writings, it can sometimes be a challenge to apply the teachings to modern life, but I think the process of asking myself how these teachings relate to my 2015 life is a worthy endeavor. This is the second translation of the Sutras that I've read and of the two, I prefer this one. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to learn the other aspects of yoga besides the asanas, or physical poses.
I hope my reading list gave you some energy for your Monday. Does reading keep you inspired? How do you read, one at a time or all at once? What are you reading this week?
Last but not least, my third book is a non-fiction book called Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. Rubin writes a great deal of practical non-fiction on how to live a happier, more fulfilling life, and in this book, she furthers her argument by providing evidence that habits are one way we can create a better life for ourselves and our families.
What I like most about Rubin's writing is that she clearly did her research, but she's not a scientist, so the book is smart but accessible and practical. In one sentence she'll be discussing research and in the next, she'll include a conversation she had with her sister about habits.
As I was reading Rubin, I couldn't help but notice a connection between her theory on habits and some of the Sutras that discuss the importance of practice. You may hear people who do yoga regularly talk about their yoga practice, and for me, that means something I do repeatedly so that it becomes part of who I am. Since starting a regular yoga practice last summer, I have noticed that when I set foot on my yoga mat, my entire being shifts. I feel lighter, calmer, and quieter. It happens effortlessly.
Rubin argues that the power of habits is that we don't have to think about them. We don't have to decide. By practicing yoga everyday, whether physically or mentally or spiritually, I don't need to ask myself whether I'm going to "do yoga" today because the habit or practice has taken over. This can be applied to anything we want to practice in our lives.
One of the fun things about reading more than one book at a time is when I can build these connections between seemingly dissimilar books and ideas.
This blog is focused on exploring ideas around yoga, career, intuition, purpose, and passion. Please leave a comment. Namaste.