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  • Heidi Fiedler 4:30 pm on 2019/09/19 Permalink
    Tags: 12 rules for life, , , brene brown, eight dates, , essentialism, greg mckeown, , john gottman, jordan peterson, julie schartz gottman, , , my friend fear, ryan holiday, , , stillness is the key, the gifts of imperfection,   

    9 Books to Help You Become the Person You Want to Be 

    The right book at the right time can help us feel a little less alone. That’s especially true with nonfiction written by someone who once struggled with the same issues you’re struggling with today. The books below are on some of the most powerful desks in the world, and they’re frequent bedtime reading as well. Whether you’re looking for a pep talk or a detailed action plan, these books will help you envision a new future and grow into the person you want to be.

    Essentialism, by Greg McKeown
    This is the kind of book you’ll want to schedule a personal retreat to read each year. Its principles have guided the work of CEOs, teachers, creatives, and others who want to use the limited time we have to do work that matters. With sections on play, rest, and making choices, the book goes beyond traditional definitions of work to address the learning and work we can spend our whole lives doing.

    The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown
    Researcher Dr. Brene Brown’s work includes talking with thousands of people about shame, worthiness, and fear. Then she analyzes those conversations and transforms them into simple lessons we can all use to live more wholeheartedly. She’s worked with executives, military leaders, parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, and more, giving people the language and tools to feel worthy, overcome fear, and live their best lives. This book is a great introduction to her work.

    My Friend Fear, by Meera Lee Patel
    This gentle invitation to see fear in a new way is filled with wisdom and gorgeously illustrated in Patel’s self-taught watercolor style. Throughout the book, she shares her own struggles with insecurity and self-doubt. Quirky diagrams, personal stories, and luminous quotes all work together to prompt readers to see fear as a sign they’re doing something new, not something wrong. Keep this one on your bedside table and read it anytime you need a little reassurance or confidence.

    Better than Before, by Gretchen Rubin
    With her frank, commonsense voice, Rubin attracts readers who are eager for a no-nonsense approach to making all areas of life a little better than before. Whether you’re struggling with weight loss, exercise, work-life balance, decluttering, personal relationships, or one of the other areas that make us humans feel a little too human, Rubin offers sensible, tested advice. She’s an expert on habits and encourages readers to find what works for them, while offering loads of practical advice. Grab this book whenever you’re ready to tackle a new project or personal bugaboo.

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
    We’re taught that the relationship between work and success is linear. Try harder, do better, be happier. But life proves time and again that idea is actually just a recipe for feeling crazy and crabby. Manson offers real talk about what’s actually in our control and how we can focus on what matters. It’s a refreshing approach to happiness and finding meaning, and after reading Manson’s work, you’ll find yourself drawn to contentment and feeling grounded rather than in hot and heavy pursuit of joy. This is a book you’ll give a f*ck about.

    Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    This is the sort of book that’s loaned, gifted, whispered about, and exclaimed over with friends. It’s one to turn to when you’re feeling stuck, longing to shrink down, and to maybe never think the words “I have an idea” again. In this modern classic, Gilbert tackles the fear that every artist faces during the creative process with wisdom, sharing the personal practices and mindset shifts that helped her write several bestselling books. And if you’re thinking you’re not an artist, she’ll help you see yourself in a new way too!

    Stillness Is the Key, by Ryan Holiday
    Holiday has positioned himself as a modern Stoic teacher, and his lessons are popular with leaders, thinkers, and warriors of all types. His latest book offers a counterintuitive premise: slowing down is the key to succeeding. With rewards like taming your temper and developing self discipline and creativity, Holiday makes a strong argument for getting quiet and turning inward, even when the world around us is spinning.

    Eight Dates, by John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman
    If you’re eager to deepen your relationship with your significant other, Eight Dates helps couples prioritize time together and know what to do with that time once they’re on an actual honest-to-goodness date, so they’ll grow closer and fall more in love, rather than come home fighting. From the team that predicts divorce rates with a 94% accuracy rate, the book is packed with scientific research and personal stories. There’s actionable advice and suggested dialogue to make it as easy as possible to transfer the best practices for successful relationships to your own life.

    12 Rules for Life, by Jordan Peterson
    This wide-ranging book touches on science, nature, philosophy, mythology, and more, all while feeling personal and thoughtful. Written by a psychologist who has spent his life thinking about how to make the world a better place and help people find meaning, the 12 rules are meant to lead readers toward a more moral existence. Does the book accomplish its goal? Reviewers and thought leaders from all walks of life have both celebrated and rejected Peterson’s work. Read it for yourself to join the conversation.

    What books would you recommend to readers hoping to become the person they want to be?

    The post 9 Books to Help You Become the Person You Want to Be appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 4:00 pm on 2019/06/20 Permalink
    Tags: , montessori philosophy, montessori schools, parenting books, simone davies, the montessori toddler   

    15 Easy, Reassuring Montessori Practices FromThe Montessori Toddler You Can Try at Home 

    Simone Davies is a Montessori educator based in Amsterdam. She works with toddlers every day and has come to appreciate their energy, curiosity, and delight, but she’s mindful that not all parents feel quite the same way about this age. Her new book, The Montessori Toddler, is designed to empower parents who might be drawn to the idea of Montessori while also feeling intimidated by trying to implement the philosophy at home. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the book offers ways to set up the house to make the space more child-friendly, but the focus is on mindset, creating a calm environment, and understanding how toddlers see the world. Below are some easy ways you bring Montessori into your home, whether your kids attend a Montessori school or not. Hopefully you’ll find these practices as enjoyable as they will!

    1. Use the acronym SHOW when teaching children something new. It’s a reminder to use Slow Hands and Omit Words. When we’re talking and pointing out details, toddlers can get confused about whether they should listen or watch, so it helps to keep any demonstrations simple and quiet.
    2. Approach daily life as a chance to build practical skills. Pouring water, carrying dirty clothes to the hamper, taking off socks, nose blowing, and cleaning windows are all activities that engage young children’s senses and test their skills.
    3. Find ways to make each room accessible. In the bathroom, this might mean adding a low step, so your toddler can reach the sink. Or try adding an extender to the light switch.
    4. Make time to go outside every day. Try bringing indoor activities outside when the weather is nice.
    5. Grow a garden. It’s ok to start small! Welcome questions and digging in the dirt.
    6. Set up a cozy place for reading. Place books face-out on a bookshelf or in a basket. Let your toddler choose the books. Add a beanbag or cushion to encourage lounging.
    7. Step back and observe your child every day. Notice how they grasp objects. Watch what they eat. Observe preferences and interests. Listen as they communicate. Avoid judging or analyzing. Notice your own reactions. Use these to make small changes that can make daily life easier and more engaging for your family.
    8. Give your child a sense of belonging by trying to see the world from their perspective and avoiding labels like “the naughty one” or “the athletic one” and offering neutral feedback instead of praise.
    9. After you ask your child to do something, silently count to 10 before asking again or doing something else. That’s about how long it takes for toddlers to process a request.
    10. Acknowledge feelings even if they’re difficult feelings like being mean or hurt. Use phrases like “It looks like you…” or “I’m guessing you might feel…” Know that in a tantrum, the first thing you must do is help them calm down. Offer a cuddle if they’re receptive. Attempt to reason or explain only once the storm has passed.
    11. Try singing to add a bit of lightness to tough transitions or unpopular moments like brushing teeth or changing diapers.
    12. Let your child take the lead to see what activities they choose. It builds independence and can help you get to know your child better.
    13. Use positive language. Let your child know what to do, rather than saying what not to do. Try “We are gentle with the baby,” instead of “Don’t touch the baby!”
    14. Teach your child to share by taking turns. Give them the words if they need support. Toddlers can learn to say “My turn. It will be your turn soon.”
    15. Celebrate wherever you are. Trust that whatever your family looks like, it’s enough and you’re doing your best. Remember you’re a human. You might never stop learning or growing, but you can still enjoy who you are today. The same goes for your perfectly imperfect toddler too!

    The Montessori Toddler is on B&N bookshelves now.

    The post 15 Easy, Reassuring Montessori Practices From<i>The Montessori Toddler</i> You Can Try at Home appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 4:00 pm on 2019/05/28 Permalink
    Tags: daily rituals: wormen at work, mason currey, , ,   

    Let Legendary Writers Inspire Your Daily Routine 

    Daily Rituals: Women at Work reveals the routines of writers, artists, scholars, and more. The sheer variety in the book makes it clear there’s more than one way to be successful. But if you’re like Edith Wharton, who once noted in a letter that “the slightest interruption in the household routine completely derails me,” you may find it helpful to tinker with your daily routine and add some structure. Because whether you’re writing or just looking to lead a more creative life, routine can help you minimize decision fatigue and make room for spontaneous moments and original thoughts. Below are a few ways you might get started.

    Experiment with Time Blocking

    Doing the same type of tasks each day can help your brain transition into work more easily. Virginia Woolf was both wildly creative and very regimented in her routine. Mornings were for writing. Afternoons were for revising. She had tea, then took time to write in her diary or keep up with correspondence. Evenings were for decidedly non-writing activities. Rinse and repeat.

    Read Every Day

    Nikki Giovanni’s routine includes puttering around the house until she’s ready to make her way to the computer. She writes only when she’s inspired. But she reads every day, even if it’s just the comics section of the newspaper, saying “I think it’s way more important to read something than it is to write.” We might be biased, but we agree completely.

    Enhance Your Experience

    Colette first wrote when her husband locked her in a room and demanded she complete a daily quota of pages. If you’re not keen on imprisonment, perhaps take a cue from Colette’s later years, when she wrote blanketed on a divan. There she took a more languid approach to the writing process. Much better, non?

    Travel

    Zora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God while researching voodoo culture on a Guggenheim Fellowship. Experiencing Jamaican and Haitian life helped her understand American’s race, class, and gender issues in deeper ways. But you don’t need an official grant to see the world with fresh eyes. ­­Take a road trip, book a ticket to a foreign country, or just eat lunch at a place you’ve never been to before. Making travel a part of your routine can enhance every part of life—especially mealtimes!

    Scribble Hard

    If you haven’t found the right daily routine, perhaps it’s time to think on a larger scale. If you find yourself writing like crazy every few weeks, go with it. Louisa May Alcott burned bright and fast when she wrote, skipping meals and neglecting sleep. She also wore a “scribbling suit,” made of a black apron and hat. The look was designed to say “Do not disturb. Very serious writing business is happening here.” It may been a touch overly dramatic, but it did keep family away while she worked.

    Block the Internet

    Zadie Smith credits much of her success to resisting the modern requirement to own a smart phone, avoiding social media, and turning off the internet with the help of apps. She doesn’t force herself to write, but she doesn’t let herself get distracted either. Speaking of which…isn’t there somewhere else you should be? Maybe your local B&N, perchance?

    The post Let Legendary Writers Inspire Your Daily Routine appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 2:00 pm on 2019/05/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    10 Ways to Fight Burnout and the Patriarchy at the Same Time 

    If you’ve ever worried you’re not doing enough while yet feeling stretched way too thin all at the same time, you are a human. If you’ve ever felt those contradictory symptoms of burnout and also felt forbidden to acknowledge it, you’re probably a woman. What makes Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle such a standout is the way the authors clearly identify the underlying cause of burnout. Our capitalist, patriarchal society is hard on everyone, especially women who are expected to give, give, give, never asking for a break or acknowledgement, all while wearing a smile and remaining calm in the face of impossible standards. (Just typing that sentence was dispiriting and exhausting!) The issue is worse for women of color and other minorities who live with a whole other set of impossible expectations and rules, along with being judged as women. The good news is that when we fight burnout, we fight the patriarchy. It goes beyond the idea that self care is radical and revolutionary. It’s a mindset shift that changes the way we see ourselves and the world. And perhaps one day it will change the way the world sees us. Below are 10 ways to get started.

    1. Resist the message that women need to “be nice, be strong, be polite” all the time and never have any feelings, by finding healthy ways to process your feelings. Exercise is the fastest way. (Picture yourself smashing the patriarchy for maximum effect.) Meditation, talking with friends, laughing, and cuddling with someone you trust also work. There’s power in being able to move fluidly between feeling unsafe or stressed, and then feeling calm again.
    2. Plan ahead. Anticipate problems, write lists, schedule, budget, anticipate, and execute. (You’re probably already doing this.) Now use those skills to manage the stress that comes from living with overwhelming and unrealistic expectations. Actually schedule time to process your feelings. (Go do it now!) It will help you be strong enough to keep going.
    3. Reframe challenges as being moments when you might grow and learn. It can help both in the moment and looking back. The idea is to redefine success on your own terms. Don’t let the man tell you whether you’re winning or not. Depending on your circumstances, this might be easier said than done. But the science says it truly works.
    4. Know you’re doing a hard thing makes it easier to keep going. It’s hard if everyone keeps telling you it’s no big deal. So at least give yourself the gift of acknowledging the rules are mindbendingly contradictory and expectations are impossibly high.
    5. Set specific, personal goals that are measurable, in your control, enjoyable, and you can achieve quickly. It helps you remember your own definition of success and ignore the expectations that can never be met.
    6. Recognize the moment when you swing between feeling like your goals are unattainable and being frustrated by the system. Then name it. The Nagoski sisters call it “foop.” It’s a silly word for those tricky thoughts like “I’m sure I can save this relationship, I just need to try harder. But no, it’s hopeless, they’ll never change, I’m not good enough at feelings to help them be a better person, but ugh, it’s not my job to change them! But ugh, I should change me!” (Can the Nagoskis see inside our heads???)
    7. Make the struggle meaningful by connecting it to something larger, whether that’s your legacy, spiritual calling, or connection to others. Finding your purpose or whatever it is that makes you feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing is energizing and empowering. At the very least, it can be sustaining in the face of oppression.
    8. Fight helplessness by doing something—whatever you can. Scream. Walk. Dance. Turn your pain into art. Organize your bookshelves. Just prove to yourself that you are competent and capable.
    9. Reject the billion-dollar industry that constantly encourages us to diet in order to shrink ourselves, and to otherwise doubt our bodies. Just don’t. You are beautiful. Right. This. Very. Second.
    10. Connect with people who get you and the issues you face. That might mean a very loving husband, a true friend, or the Nagoski sisters. Their book is a welcoming place after a long day, and reading it feels like the perfect antidote to burnout and centuries of accumulated injustice.

    Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle is on B&N bookshelves now.

    The post 10 Ways to Fight Burnout and the Patriarchy at the Same Time appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 2:00 pm on 2019/05/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    10 Ways to Fight Burnout and the Patriarchy at the Same Time 

    If you’ve ever worried you’re not doing enough while yet feeling stretched way too thin all at the same time, you are a human. If you’ve ever felt those contradictory symptoms of burnout and also felt forbidden to acknowledge it, you’re probably a woman. What makes Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle such a standout is the way the authors clearly identify the underlying cause of burnout. Our capitalist, patriarchal society is hard on everyone, especially women who are expected to give, give, give, never asking for a break or acknowledgement, all while wearing a smile and remaining calm in the face of impossible standards. (Just typing that sentence was dispiriting and exhausting!) The issue is worse for women of color and other minorities who live with a whole other set of impossible expectations and rules, along with being judged as women. The good news is that when we fight burnout, we fight the patriarchy. It goes beyond the idea that self care is radical and revolutionary. It’s a mindset shift that changes the way we see ourselves and the world. And perhaps one day it will change the way the world sees us. Below are 10 ways to get started.

    1. Resist the message that women need to “be nice, be strong, be polite” all the time and never have any feelings, by finding healthy ways to process your feelings. Exercise is the fastest way. (Picture yourself smashing the patriarchy for maximum effect.) Meditation, talking with friends, laughing, and cuddling with someone you trust also work. There’s power in being able to move fluidly between feeling unsafe or stressed, and then feeling calm again.
    2. Plan ahead. Anticipate problems, write lists, schedule, budget, anticipate, and execute. (You’re probably already doing this.) Now use those skills to manage the stress that comes from living with overwhelming and unrealistic expectations. Actually schedule time to process your feelings. (Go do it now!) It will help you be strong enough to keep going.
    3. Reframe challenges as being moments when you might grow and learn. It can help both in the moment and looking back. The idea is to redefine success on your own terms. Don’t let the man tell you whether you’re winning or not. Depending on your circumstances, this might be easier said than done. But the science says it truly works.
    4. Know you’re doing a hard thing makes it easier to keep going. It’s hard if everyone keeps telling you it’s no big deal. So at least give yourself the gift of acknowledging the rules are mindbendingly contradictory and expectations are impossibly high.
    5. Set specific, personal goals that are measurable, in your control, enjoyable, and you can achieve quickly. It helps you remember your own definition of success and ignore the expectations that can never be met.
    6. Recognize the moment when you swing between feeling like your goals are unattainable and being frustrated by the system. Then name it. The Nagoski sisters call it “foop.” It’s a silly word for those tricky thoughts like “I’m sure I can save this relationship, I just need to try harder. But no, it’s hopeless, they’ll never change, I’m not good enough at feelings to help them be a better person, but ugh, it’s not my job to change them! But ugh, I should change me!” (Can the Nagoskis see inside our heads???)
    7. Make the struggle meaningful by connecting it to something larger, whether that’s your legacy, spiritual calling, or connection to others. Finding your purpose or whatever it is that makes you feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing is energizing and empowering. At the very least, it can be sustaining in the face of oppression.
    8. Fight helplessness by doing something—whatever you can. Scream. Walk. Dance. Turn your pain into art. Organize your bookshelves. Just prove to yourself that you are competent and capable.
    9. Reject the billion-dollar industry that constantly encourages us to diet in order to shrink ourselves, and to otherwise doubt our bodies. Just don’t. You are beautiful. Right. This. Very. Second.
    10. Connect with people who get you and the issues you face. That might mean a very loving husband, a true friend, or the Nagoski sisters. Their book is a welcoming place after a long day, and reading it feels like the perfect antidote to burnout and centuries of accumulated injustice.

    Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle is on B&N bookshelves now.

    The post 10 Ways to Fight Burnout and the Patriarchy at the Same Time appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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