I read two books recently which impacted me in surprising ways, so I thought I’d review them here quickly:
The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year by Jennifer Louden – I put this book on a library hold months ago and forgot about it. So it was a pleasant surprise when I finally got it from the library and what a joy to read such a refreshing book. The book could best be summarized as a way to do life differently. “This way of organizing, or, more accurately, of improvising, our lives is built on the knowledge that we are creating our lives through how we think, how we react, and where we put our attention.”
The first part of the book focuses on five key ways to live life more intentionally and with greater awareness: connect, feel, inquire, allow and apply. The second part of the book poses a few insightful questions for each week of the year. For example, “What am I most passionate about this week? What or who do I want to say no to this week? What or who do I want to say yes to?” I’ve been copying a few of these questions into my planner and/or journal over the last 4-5 weeks. Not all of the questions resonate with me every week so I just pick the ones I want to focus on (or sometimes reword one to fit my thinking). Doing so has helped me live with greater awareness – a feeling of connectedness between what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. It’s a great resource for any woman who is tired of living life according to a “to do” list, just moving from one task or event to the next, and it’s a book I can see myself referring to again and again.
The other little surprise – another library hold – has been Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Art by Rice Freeman-Zachary. It’s a compilation of ideas from different artists on how to, well, make room for art! It’s not talking about decorating your office or studio so much as focusing on your mindset towards creativity. The art produced by the contributors is nothing like I’d ever do, but I think that’s a good thing perhaps, as it allowed me to focus on the ideas and suggestions they offer to make room for creativity.
Both of these books reminded me that life is exactly what we make of it. We can take what’s dished up to us each day and merely muddle through, or we can live life fully engaged in the process, and seeking to be aware of God’s work in, with and through us each and every day.