Tuesday, August 26, 2014

30 books that have changed my life

Reading is one of my core desired activities. It feeds me from the inside out. It's not just about the knowledge I get, it's the whole experience. The brushing and flossing of my teeth at night, taking my triphala, walking into the bedroom, setting the alarm, peeling away the down comforter from the head of the bed, and crawling in, like a child crawling to a mother for nourishment and care. I pick up my book and read. Usually it's for about 45-60 minutes, other nights it's shorter, on the weekends, I like reading in the morning, the stillness of the world still vibrant. Also, I am an avid supporter, donor, and patron of the Seattle Public Library, one of the finest systems in the United States, where I can be caught browsing the shelves on a Sunday afternoon post-grocery shopping.

I wanted to share with you 30 non-fiction books that have changed my life. Now, narrowing down 30 was difficult and I have hundreds of books on my shelves, fiction and non-fiction. I wanted to keep some boundaries on this list though that speak to my desire to be constantly evolving and learning about the human condition. Self-help gets a bad rap and I hate the term, so think of this collection as my "Soul Collection."

Here they are:

Yoga and the Quest for True Self by Stephen Cope
Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi
The Path of the Yoga Sutras by Nicolai Bachman
The Four Desires by Rod Stryker
The Sevenfold Journey by Anodea Judith & Selene Vega
Light on Life by BKS Iyengar

Buddhism, Mindfulness, Soul Work 
Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
True Refuge by Tara Brach
Meditation for the Love of It by Sally Kempton
The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
Dharma Punx by Noah Levine

Creativity, Writing, Thinking 
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte

Food & Adventure 
Cooked by Michael Pollan
Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
Eat Right for Your Type by Dr. D'Adamo
Into thin Air by John Krakauer
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes
High Infatuation by Steph Davis

Sunday, August 24, 2014

summer break

Lounging. Lots of lounging.
Oh. My. Gosh. This summer has absolutely, totally, rocked. It has kicked ass and taken names. It has been so full of juicy fun, vitality, growth, laughter, unabashed delight. I have been enjoying it sooooooo much. And now, it is starting to feel like the end is almost near. And you know what? I am okay with it. I have been out and about, eating meals al fresco, enjoying late night movie fests, adventuring to lots of fun events, taking yoga outside, and most of all, living with ease. I have stepped back from my blog, mainly because I hate the thought of sitting in front of the computer when the sun is shining for almost 16 hours a day.

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2007, I quickly learned that you live here and put up with the grey skies and drizzle for the 6+ months to enjoy the beautiful, succulent summer months. We have totally lucked out this summer and I am realizing how blessed and grateful I am for not only the amazing weather, but for all the micro moments that the summer has captured. Here are a few photos showcasing what I have been up to.
Assisting at the Seattle Art Museum Yoga in the Park Event.
250 people coming together for yoga on Saturday mornings. Does it get any better?
Sunset picnics at the beach. Need I say more?
Summer garden harvest! Oh. My. Yum. 
Summer Street Food Festival with my Seattle Family. 
My mom visited for 12 days and I had the entire time off.
It was so fun to connect and hangout together. 
Lots of deck time. Reading, sipping, reading, sipping...
Dahlia love. 
Coffee dates on cool mornings, solving all the world's problems over a cuppa.
There was a lot of ice cream eaten. A lot. 
There was ample spiritual practice this summer. Hanging out with my goddesses.
Tears, smiles, open hearts. 
Red Sox vs. Seattle. A perfect evening. Nothing says summer like baseball. 
Reflection was a staple.
Balancing extroverted energy with my introverted nature. 

I ran a 5k race in July.
It was great to train and I felt so good and strong.
It also marked a celebration that my chapter of healing from Lyme disease had been achieved. 
One of many weekend lunches with friends this summer.
This place has the most rockin' black bean burger lunch in Seattle.

Oh, I could go on and on for days. I love these simple snapshots. What moments are you savoring? What memories are you creating with your friends and family? May the rest of your summer be oh so juicy, full of great food and fun, and ample down time. :)