The Book Report by Rebecca Traver - Our Online Bookshop Curator

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”
~Brené Brown

In a culture where the indicators of happiness are often framed with very narrow metrics, those of us who aspire toward wholeness rather than perfection can feel a bit let down with ourselves and the world when we measure our lives by them. I don’t know about you, but making bright and shiny New Year’s resolutions hasn’t worked all that well for me over the years; the emphasis on goal achievement exerts too much pressure. And, in my experience, that kind of pressure tends to derail even the sweetest of dreams. 

What if we give ourselves the gift of a slower, more intentional pace and process instead? Some breathing space? A chance to compassionately and honestly assess how we’ve met the challenges of this past year? What threw us off balance? What brought us peace? What inspired us? What would we most like to focus on shifting as we move forward? How might we serve?

Lucky for us, the first New Moon of the year falls in Capricorn and is beautifully aligned to help strengthen our resolve to experience well-being and sustainable growth. Let’s be open to a variety of inspired ways to esteem process rather than outcome, quality instead of quantity, contribution over consumption, and so on. 

Here are some offerings from the Bookshop in support of these most worthy intentions:

At this time of year many of us turn to creating vision boards as a way to help free up the places we feel most stuck or unclear about where our next best direction may be. If this idea sparks your interest, take a look at Vision Boards for Beginners by Shelley Wilson, Vision Journal: A New Way to Do a Vision Board by Latifahia Brown, The Complete Vision Board Kit by John Assaraf, The Vision Board Book by Gini Graham Scott, or In Your Dreams: A Vision Board Kit by Ilana Griffo. 

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind."
~Natalie Goldberg

Klimt: Tree of Life (Foiled Journal) (Flame Tree Notebooks): Flame Tree  Studio: 9781783611836: Books

If journaling or planning is something you feel drawn to, we have some beautiful journals and notebooks to help keep you inspired and engaged. It can be helpful to put words and / or images onto paper - perspective can shift, clarity may reveal itself, and, if nothing else, it gives the mind somewhere to express itself outside of itself. 

If this resonates for you, you might also want to take a look at What's Your Story?: A Journal for Everyday Evolution by Rebecca Walker and Lily Diamond, Work / Life Balance List Ledger and the Endless Possibilities Pencil Set by Adam J. Kurt, The Sky Is the Limit by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar, Journey: Follow Your Dreams and Live Your Destiny by Paulo Coehlo, How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices by Annie Duke, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living and its accompanying journal by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, and The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll.

Perhaps the very idea of vision boarding or committing to a journaling practice feels like just too much right now, in which case authors Celeste Headlee, Jenny Odell, and Beth Kempton could well become your most treasured allies for 2021.

And more generally, I invite you to browse through these lists - as the mood or the circumstance may strike you:

If self-care feels like something you’re ready to explore more deeply or expand an existing practice, these may bring insight and encouragement.

If learning how others have traveled through troubled times, these might inspire your own journey.

If grief and loss have come calling, these may help to see you through.

If you’re ready to take a closer look or another look at how sobriety might add value to your life, these may serve to light the way.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
~Marcel Proust

Recent Articles