Weekly Inspiration (Links I Love)

This is where I will share my sources of inspiration from the past week: it could be from books, podcasts, blogs, films, artwork, food/recipes, etc. I hope you find some encouragement here as well!

Podcasts

The Brendon Show

The best quotes I heard all week and possibly all month so far are from Brendon Burchard’s podcast The Brendon Show. This is what he said in the episode entitled Best Of: How to Deal With Self-Doubt.

“We don’t think of doubt as a choice, as a decision”. (Brendon Burchard)

We think doubt just happens to us, Brendon says, “(but) You’re choosing it. Be aware: the next time you’re choosing doubt, say, ‘Oh, wait, I’m choosing doubt. Why am I choosing doubt right now? How is that going to serve me?’”

I honestly never looked at self-doubt as a choice before—I just assumed it was part of life. Thank you, Brendon for enlightening us!!!

If you struggle with self-doubt as an entrepreneur, creative, or just in everyday life, you definitely should listen to this episode and put these truths into action!

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/brendon-burchard/the-charged-life-with-brendon-burchard/e/60370867

Getting Bookish with Shawna and Lizz

I listened to a new podcast called Getting Bookish with Shawna and Lizz. In this episode they interviewed Tiffany who started a fire when she was interviewed on What Should I Read Next a few months ago and talked about her Literary Society. Of course hundreds of book lovers wanted to know what on earth was a Literary Society and how could they start their own.

In this episode, Tiffany shares all about Literary Society. I should mention that her interview with Anne Bogel prompted me to start the FLX Literary Society and our first meeting is on May 23rd! You can find out more on our Facebook page or email me at FLXLiterarySociety@gmail.com

Books

If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, or in charge of an organization, and you have never heard of Seth Godin, stop whatever you’re doing and go to his website. Subscribe to his podcast Akimbo and to his daily blog. Buy his books. Sign up for his courses. Seth is a genius in the entrepreneurial, marketing space. He will challenge you, open you to new ideas, push you to do good work and ship it. And then to do it better.

I just finished reading Seth’s latest book This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See. There is so much practical and inspirational food for thought and action to be found within these pages. I’m going to write a more in-depth review soon, but I had to mention in now.

Chapter 9-11 were quotable throughout and worth the price of the book alone. Some of what you’ll find in chapter 9: “Everyone always acts in accordance with their internal narratives. You can’t get someone to do something that they don’t want to do, and most of the time, what people want to do is take action (or not take action) that reinforces their internal narratives.

Marketers bring change and a lot of folks are resistant to change, Seth shares, and there are two ways behavior can be changed: our desire to fit in and our perception of our status.

I wish I had understood this twenty years ago! Anyway, I’m not going to tell you anymore before my review–go get yourself a copy and start learning how to market better.

I’m loving the quiet simplicity of Wendell Berry’s poetry collection Given. I shared one of these poems for Evening Poetry a few days ago and there are more to come.

If you’ve never picked up and read a Wendell Berry book, then crawl out from under your rock and get reading!

I am currently reading The Art of Loading Brush and even the introduction moved me. Another one of his I recommend is Our Only World. He is a plain-spoken, intelligent, reasoning writer with love for people and the planet. Everyone needs to hear what he has to say.

Instagram

One of my favorite accounts for poetry, book quotes, and photos from the UK is Sarah Clarkson’s Instagram. She is an author, book lover, and was homeschooled, so she is definitely a kindred spirit. I was inspired to start Evening Poetry because of her. During Lent, she would do a Live video each evening and read poetry. Her latest book is Book Girl, which is, well, about books and reading.

Another favorite is Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Instagram. She has a Live video each week where she makes a recipe from one of her cookbooks. I am purchasing her latest cookbook, Eat What You Love, after checking it out of the library. I made a few recipes and there are dozens I want to try. For gluten-free, dairy-free folks, cookbooks like this are valuable and a real boost for when you’re feeling a bit glum about the work and monetary investment of this lifestyle. After a quick glance through the cookbook, I was inspired to keep it up!

OK, lovely readers, that’s some inspiration for your weekend. I’d love to hear what’s been inspiring you lately.

The Hardest Promises to Keep

I don’t know about you, but I have a lifetime of breaking promises to myself. Of telling myself one thing and doing another. Of agreeing on a course of action only to face the unpleasantness and lack of novelty of follow-through and fizzle out.

Last summer, I was made aware of this while listening to a podcast by Rachel Hollis. She talked about how so many people are in the habit of starting and stopping things, about the lack of commitment to our own priorities, about how breaking promises to yourself makes you not trust yourself. And how no one would flake out on another person the way we often flake out on ourselves. That idea–of keeping promises to myself–was one I hadn’t really thought of before. I don’t know why.

Although I neither blame my parents or the Christian culture I was raised in, my life–the way I think and live– has been affected. Sometimes it’s been very positive, sometimes not. One of the “nots” would be this rather irksome saying my mother used to quote to me when I was a child: “Jesus first, Others second, and You always last. That spells JOY!” Sorry, Mom, but it ain’t necessarily so!

The whole concept of living to serve God and others is a noble one and I am not suggesting that now I have seen the light and only serve myself. I believe that a human who lives only for self winds up feeling empty and dissatisfied, lonely, and worthless. We all need to be investing part of ourselves in that which is greater than us, in that which may not serve us, but which will benefit others.

But in the past few years, I have begun to see how damaging the above concepts can be for women who think that God wants them to spend their entire lives putting aside their needs and/or desires, because someone else’s needs or wants must always come first. And as much as I hated to admit it, I had done a good deal of this as well. Until age 39 when I fell apart. My experience is not so unusual, really. As Brendon Burchard says, “Living incongruent to what you believe is the greatest form of unhappiness.”

So after I had my mid-life crisis, as it’s aptly called, I reassessed everything. I began to catch myself when I would say yes to something that I really didn’t want to do. I had to remind myself often of the Jen Hatmaker quote, “If it’s not a Hell, yes, it’s a No.” And this past year, I have begun to deal with my lack of consistency in many areas of my life and make myself do what I told myself I was going to do.

Commitment to myself is tough, but I know it is right! That means if I have time scheduled to write or work or exercise and one of my kids wants me to drive them last minute, or a friend wants to come over, I have to say no. It’s hard to disappoint people–I hate it!!! But I’ve had plenty of practice disappointing people in the past few years between leaving church, getting a divorce, getting remarried and living differently than I did before. (I am starting to warm up to the idea of writing more about this difficult season I’ve been in.)
If you have a habit of breaking promises to yourself, it’s going to be a process to turn things around. Begin with something small, but be on the lookout for places in your life where you constantly shove yourself aside to please others. You put things off, change your plans, let personal growth and wellness goals fall by the wayside because someone else is demanding. Again, I’m not saying live to please only you, but there has to be some place for you in this life. “Your one wild and precious life” as Mary Oliver says. I will leave you with her poem The Summer Day. Happy Monday, friends!

The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper I mean–

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand.

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life.

–Mary Oliver