Thankful for books

I realize you watch Netflix with your eyeballs...

I've never been one of those people that just can't wait to curl up with a good book. You know who I'm talking about. They may be working on one, but they have a pile of five backups they're just itching to start. Fiction irritates me. (Take note that none of my complaints apply to anything written by J.K. Rowling. I mean...obviously- PUN)! I went through a pretty good "coming of age" themed reading trend in the early 2000's, but for the most part I prefer non-fiction books that teach me something. My attention cannot be held while a classic writer spends ten pages just setting up a scene. Come on. I have very little free time, and if I do catch a moment to actually sit down after work, I am likely to binge watch something on Netflix and rest my eyes after a ten hour day of counseling, and paperwork. I realize you watch Netflix with your eyeballs. Just go with me here. So you're thinking, thankful for books huh? I'm not feeling it. Wait a sec.

Labyrinth of used books...

Let me tell you about one of my very favorite places. It's called Rainbow Books in Downtown Boise. Since I was about 20 years old, I have been visiting this labyrinth of used books with an inexplicable drive to find the perfect one. Though my disdain for fiction has led to numerous debates from my lit lover friends, I have been a great fan of self-help, eclectic spirituality, and lifestyle books. I can't tell you the dozens of times I've entered this store without direction, to leave with a great treasure you could never find at your local book superstore. Once, I even found an old 60's print of Shakespeare Sonnets that was bound in bright yellow with a dried flower pressed inside. I mean, how poetic is that? I too, have a pile of books waiting to be read on topics from angel healing to gratitude. Happiness, to the latest Harry Potter. Like I said, J.K. Rowling is my one exception.

I hated reading as a kiddo. I think all of that sitting still was challenging for me, as my mind was so active with worlds I would rather be living in. My imagination has always been a distraction. I can't emphasise enough, it's a really big deal when something sucks me in and moves me to stay up past my bedtime, or cancel plans so I can soak up more awesomeness. When it comes to self-help/eclectic spirituality I could literally jump into those pages and roll around like Atreyu in the Neverending Story.

From energy healing to medication...

I've found the primary function of reading in my adult life to be the facilitation of healing. Like I've mentioned in previous blog posts, my struggle with depression was not only serious, but somewhat crippling. I tried treating it with everything from energy healing, to medication. Churchiness (the act of going to church regularly...it's a word because I say so), to breathing techniques. Dare I say I've tried everything but walking on hot coals, and meditating in a sweat lodge- I'm just too wimpy for such things. Lucky for me, reading was an excellent supplemental treatment for the times I felt I needed something. No idea what, just needed it. Here are a couple of reads that bandaged the broken parts:

1) The Desire Map by: Danielle LaPorte. 

Good vibe house...

This book was a huge deal for me. A friend of mine was living in this radically amazing old house in which priests used to live- back in the day. I don't even know how many square feet existed in that structure, but it was unlike anything I've ever seen. The residents of this house were an inspiring group of women: a burlesque dancer, an herbalist healer, and massage therapist. Every one of them-single mothers to young boys, and created a beautiful energy of community and unconditional acceptance. One friend of these women offered to lead a Desire Map workshop in this "good vibe house," and I was quick to sign up. 

Eating Haagen Daz chocolate ice cream...

About seven of us gathered with organic treats and got to work. This book allows you to identify your core desired feeling, while motivating you to incorporate this feeling in your daily life to increase personal happiness. Example: some people wait their whole lives to go on a trip of some kind- to achieve the ultimate reward or accomplishment. Most of that joy comes from anticipating the trip. Some even find themselves lost or let down, without a goal as soon as the "sought after" event takes place. The hope would be to feel that joy and fulfillment every day through small actions that feed this flame. It's genius. Check out a sample chapter from this book here. I can say with absolute certainty that this book was ingested with the same enthusiasm found when gobbling up Haagen Daz chocolate ice cream. If you know me, you know that's a serious statement.

2) The Magic by: Rhonda Byrne

Like attracts like...

This book was one of those epic Rainbow Book finds. I spoke a bit about this in my gratitude video blog here: Audrey's Peace of Mind's video blog. This book provides a robust gratitude practice that draws upon the law of attraction. This is the idea that like attracts like. I had a patient who recently told me he watches happy movies all the time to attract joy into his life. He's not wrong. If you're vibing cranky, frustrated feelings, you're going to find yourself getting stuck in traffic, stubbing your toe, and getting nothing but bills in your mailbox. If you emit joy and gratitude, the world will just look shinier. Much of the draw to the law of attraction, is to create abundance in your life based on these positive feelings. You can read more about that on a website I follow by Sarah Prout. She has a truly inspiring story about creating abundance in her own life using this tool. To boot, she offers lots of free exercises so you can give it a try. As you know, I find gratitude to be answer to almost everything. Do you remember the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding?" Her dad was certain that Windex solved every problem. My own dad thinks popcorn solves everything. Me? I'm all about gratitude. While I may find fiction to be a slower version of watching TV, non-fiction has always piqued my interest with ways to heal my heart and mind. I encourage you to give one of these books a try if you're feeling in need of your own personal healing, and by the way- Happy Gratitude Tuesday. What are you thankful for?

AM