Sunday, June 19, 2016

7 Habits

This version of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits books was most interesting to me so I read it instead of the other variations.  The idea of making a family mission statement seems a little corny sometimes, but I agreed with him ultimately that it could be really helpful.  So we might do that.  I wanted to read  his book(s) because of reference Joshua Becker made to Covey's idea of about big rocks and little pebbles--that we have to put in the big rocks first or it won't all fit in the jar.  Most of us put in those pebbles--the daily tasks that seem important.  It goes back to what's urgent vs. what's actually important.

Another key idea that I heard first from Kim John Payne is Covey's idea of our Circle of Influence vs. our Circle of Concern.  Imagine the Influence residing inside the Concern (realizing our actual reach).  If we focus on the Concern, it crowds out the space our Influence could have.  When focusing on our actual Influence, it expands.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Recent Courses

I've been enjoying some classes lately.  One that finished a couple of weeks ago was Dr. Neufeld's "Preserving Play in a Digital World."  That topic and the subsequent info around both play and the digital world are all fascinating.  I really enjoyed the mingling of it all.  Play is absolutely endangered, make no mistake.  I had no idea how strangely lacking it was before some of the statistics comparing our current culture to even 20-30 years ago.  I'm currently reading Last Child in the Woods which addresses many of these concerns also.  The understanding of the digital world as shortcuts is very interesting in terms of the relational needs of humans and particularly children developing.  The interactive part of the course offered some markers for when our children are ready to deal with the digital world (particularly social media).  I loved Dr. Shefali Tsabary's and Meghan Leahy's conversation regarding the former's new book.  They touch on some of these themes.


A Simple Year is offered usually once a year, but they have it open now.  I have been playing with January through June so far.  Some months didn't seem that relevant to me at present (like March which was about travel), but they have different minimalists leading each area/month.  They do webinars, have short readings and offer any relevant resources.  They also have personalized homework so you can apply the principles where it matters most.  I have learned a bit more from the experts for sure, but if you're new to simplifying or minimalism, I think you'd get even more from the material.  January (declutter time) and May (simplifying the digital world) are two favorite areas so far.  I'm really excited about July which will have to do with finances.  I really like Cait Flanders' work, and she's leading that.  I am new to her mindful budgeting system but like it a lot so far.

While the course is technically over, but I'm still working through The Enneagram for Awakening (with Russ Hudson).  New for me this time are the three instincts.  Still, there's such richness in each module I've done!  His and Don Riso's The Wisdom of the Ennegram book was my first book, and I also did his seminar with Richard Rohr (Enneagram as a Tool for Your Spiritual Journey).  He's a very thoughtful instructor and really digs into things, explaining them thoroughly.  I've been taking notes, but I need to go back and do a lot of journal work and then try his deepening practices for each module.  This stuff will happen slowly in layers as inner work always seems to.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I love Summer Reading!


This book didn't have new information for me, but I think it's a valuable contribution to what's out there for parenting!  I have loved any of her speaking contributions online too.  Tsabary has a book coming out soon called "The Enlightened Family" which I may read.

The More of Less was FANTASTIC.  Joshua Becker really delivered!  I truly enjoy his perspective and blog.  I had so many notes from this latest contribution that it really deserves its own post.  Several of my books are minimalist/simplicity-related so I might unload some of those thoughts later on.
I also read his book Simplify--it has plenty of good advice and is a smaller read.

He mentions in some of his work the 100 Thing Challenge that Dave Bruno did in 2008-9.  I enjoyed that book as well.  He's a little silly in some of the delivery, but there are some true koans there.

I've been an admirer of Leo Babauta's thoughts/blog for a while.  I read one of his books last year as well. This year, I did a few short reads.  The Little Book of Contentment and The Effortless Life.  He always gives lots to chew on.  I don't always end up agreeing with him, but he's perfectly fine with that from what I can tell.  Clutterfree is a short book he did with Courtney Carver.  I liked that one a lot so I read a couple of her other ones: Simple Ways to be More with Less and Living in the Land of Enough.

One final read that was okay: Frugillionaire (from Francine Jay).  It has some ideas worth weighing, but I didn't find much new there.

I have a lot more to say about some of these than I have just now.  I should note that in the minimalist work and even the parenting book, all are coming from some kind of spiritual or mindful perspective.  Many of these writers are Christians, and some are more Eastern in their thoughts.  All are gratefully met here.

A blog that I have spent a little more time with lately is The Art of Simple.  It has all sorts of insights, reading recommendations, simplicity inspiration etc.