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Book Bites: Untamed

I absolutely LOVED Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It was a quick read, but it was incredibly thought-provoking and gave me lots to think about and consider. Other parts of it just resonate on a soul level.

In Untamed, Glennon openly and rawly tells the story of her untaming. Glennon was hiding from her discontent. Then, several years ago at a conference, she looked up and fell instantly in love with a woman, Abby Wambach. She decided to quit abandoning herself and to instead abandon the world’s expectations of her. She quit being good so she could be free. She quit pleasing and started living. It will make you laugh, cry, invigorate you, inspire you, and make you want to untame your life! Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon urges us, “The braver we are, the luckier we get.”

Untamed is a loving call to action to live as your true self without compromise. Glennon says, “find what your makes your heart ache and follow it”.

Conclusion: READ THIS BOOK! You can get a copy here:

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Book Bites: The Year of Less

Since I devour books, I decided to call this series “Book Bites”…little book reports on yummy books!

I just finished “The Year of Less: how I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store” by Cait Flanders. It’s honest, thought-provoking, and inspiring.

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

In brief summary, the book documents Cait’s year of purchasing nothing except consumables (groceries, toiletries, gas for her car). She combined the no spending with decluttering, and got rid of 70% of her belongings! She learned how to fix things rather than throw them away, researched the zero waste movement, and learned to appreciate trying to live without an item before purchasing or replacing it. There are also lots of tips, tools, and advice if you want to try this yourself.

Why I loved it

Cait talks about retail therapy and spending like the self-destructive habit that it is; similar to over-eating, drug and alcohol consumption, or tv binge watching. She says, “Each time I craved it, I had to stand in the moment, pay attention to what had triggered the craving, and change my reaction.” That’s powerful stuff.

She also goes deep into understanding why she held on to things and purchased things. She talks about keeping things and buying things for the person she thinks she should be rather than the person that she actually is. Owning who she truly was helped her get rid of a lot of clutter. She says, “I realized I had spent the first 29 years of my life doing and buying whatever I could to be someone I thought I should be. I kept so many things, and consumed the wrong things, all because I never felt like I was good enough. I wasn’t smart enough or professional enough or talented enough or creative enough. I didn’t trust that who I was or what I brought to the table in any situation was already unique, so I bought things that could make me better. Then I spent a year sorting through the mess and figuring out who I really was.” That realization will really punch you right in the face! It was hard for me just to read and consider; let alone go through that process!

In the end, she calls on us to ask ourselves the question about our consumption and binging: what part of you or life feels like it’s lacking? Nothing you eat, drink, or buy can fix it. Instead, she says you have to simplify and strip things away and figure out what’s really going on. Cait says, “Falling into the cycle of wanting more, consuming more, and needing even more won’t help. More was never the answer. The answer, it turned out, was always less.”

I highly recommend this book! It’s inspired me, as part of my 2020 goal setting, to plan a No Buy July. I don’t think I’m ready to commit to a whole year, but a month sounds doable!

If you’d like a copy of the book, you can get it here: The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

Note: We are Amazon Ambassadors and may occasionally receive compensation for recommended product purchases.

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Books That Changed My Life!

Reading is my favorite way to learn, to expand my mind, and to change my world view. I decided to create a list of books that really had an impact on me, and then I decided to share it. Enjoy!

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Why I Adore It:
Read this book. Read it again. And, every few years, read it again. Watch her Netflix special, her TED talk, and her Super Soul sessions with Oprah. Read her other books. Listen to her lectures. Brene Brown will open you up to courage, vulnerability, an understanding of shame, and, above all, love.

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat by Bill Watterson

Why I Adore It:
When I first encountered Calving and Hobbes, I fell immediately in love. I think it’s the first book that caused me to actually laugh out loud while reading it…and sometimes tear up a little. Both the words and the drawings are magical. I read it over and over again.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Why I Adore It:
I’m sure you’ve seen memes about this everywhere and lots of videos, but I recommend reading the actual book! The KonMari Method works. In a nutshell, you gather up your belongings by category and then look at each one and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If not, you chuck it. I’ve done my whole life! And…I try not to bring anything into my home without doing the “does this spark joy” check. The reason why this changed my life is because with less to take care of, there’s less to take care of!

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Why I Adore It:
This book created a desire…a yearning…in me to live the life I’d always wanted. It is a memoir of Liz’ journey to discover the arts of pleasure, devotion and spiritual exploration, and the balance between worldly pursuits and the divine…and she opened herself back up to love after heartbreak. What got me the most was how she learned how to love and listen to herself and to live unapologetically. She didn’t hide her struggle or her failures. It’s about self-discovery and self-recovery and what can happen when you take responsibility for your own contentment and stop trying to live according to society’s ideals. Lots of folks poo poo this book…those people are not my people.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman

I read this book when I was 17, and it blew my little smalltown girl mind. It’s smart, funny, satirical, and raunchy. It’s on this list not just because it opened my white bread eyes, but because it got me interested in his other books…which got me interested in social commentary, politics, and justice. Gonzo journalism at its best!

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Why I Adore It:
This book is raw and brutally honest. It’s a memoir about the author’s incredibly dysfunctional life after the death of her mother. She takes the leap to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone with no experience. Cheryl’s story just spoke to my soul. Her use of humor and her willingness to brutally examine her life and take responsibility for doing something about it inspired me tremendously.

A Year Of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

If you don’t know who Shonda Rhimes is, you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years. By all accounts, she’s wildly successful, and, yet, in this book she shares her fears…of being seen…of failing…of public speaking. After something her sister said, she committed to a year of saying yes to the things that scared her. This book chronicles that year. It’s amazeballs. It inspired me to do the same with my life. Say YES.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

First of all, my favorite word is in the title. Manson makes the researched-based argument that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better.  This is a self-help book, but it’s a self-help book with humor and realism. This book challenges you to pay attention to what you give a fuck about, because we only have so many fucks to give! It really helped me to gather up my fucks and spend them on the things that are most important to ME and not where other people think I should spend them.

It Was Me All Along: A Memoir by Andie Mitchell

This book. Ouch. It’s a memoir about overcoming body image issues and food addiction. It’s about self-acceptance. And, it’s about realizing that it wasn’t food, other people, the media, ect…it was me all along. Yeah…that’ll take a minute.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

A friend of mine recommended this book. Apparently, she likes to see me cry. I don’t want to give away the plot (and you can read it on Amazon), so I’ll just say my favorite line is: “Everyone joins a band in this life, only some of them play music.” It’s on this list because I’m not a religious person, but this book helped me understand I don’t have to be religious to be spiritual or to believe we’re all connected.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

So, I didn’t really like Amy Poehler. I love Tina Fey, and I had read her book and liked it and she mentions Amy quite a bit in it, so I thought I’d give her book a try. It blew me away. Amy is fierce and ballsy and funny and righteous! But, what I loved the most is how fearless she is! It’s an absolute inspiration!

Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

“Don’t be a chickenshit, Frances!” Do I need to say anything else? This phrase has become a mantra for my life. After reading this book, if I’m stuck or afraid, I ask myself if I’m being a chicken shit. If the answer is yes, that’s all the motivation I need to move forward!

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