I’m not a fast reader, but I’m a dedicated one. I’m also pretty diligent... always needing a highlighter when I have a book in hand. I like to pick up books that I’ve read and scroll through my highlights to refresh my memory of what I thought was important. Below is a list of the books that have most recently had an impact on me and a few of my highlights that I think are worth sharing.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer - Thanks to the wise and loving David Bell, he recommended I read this book as I transitioned out of Verizon and started to build CAYA. Nothing made me feel more seen in this moment than The Untethered Soul. Michael Singer helps define what it means to “find yourself” and delivers a clear understanding in one’s path and discovery of it all.
“If you want to free yourself, you must first become conscious enough to understand your predicament. Then you must commit yourself to the inner work of freedom.”
“Life creates situations that push you to your edges, all with the effect of removing what is blocked inside of you. That which is blocked and buried within you forms the root of fear. Fear is caused by blockages in the flow of your energy. When your energy is blocked, it can’t come up and feed your heart.”
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, by Priya Parker - I first stumbled upon this book because of the cover art, then I read the title and immediately felt drawn to read it. I’ve spent most of my career creating experiences for all kinds of groups and am a sponge for anything teaching how to elevate human interactions and connection. Priya not only breaks down the importance and many layers of human connection and gathering, she also gives practical examples you can begin using, whether it be around the dinner table tonight, a birthday party or the next board meeting.
“Gatherings that please everyone occur, but they rarely thrill. Gatherings that are willing to be alienating - which is different from being alienating - have a better chance to dazzle.”
“Gatherings crackle and flourish when real thought goes into them, when (often invisible) structure is baked into them, and when a host has the curiosity, willingness, and generosity of spirit to try.”
The Secret of the Highly Creative Thinker: How to Make Connections Others Don’t, by Dorte Nielsen & Sarah Thurber - I came across this gem while strolling through the 9 little streets in Amsterdam last year. I wish I had this book while working in marketing and events at Verizon. I always felt pressure to top what we had done the previous year, yet didn’t always have the tools to get to the "never been done before" ideas. This book is full of tools to begin approaching problems and projects from a different perspective for creative and different results.
A favorite highlight:
“It boils down to one thing, she said: “Highly creative people are good at seeing connections. By enhancing your ability to see connections, you can enhance your creativity.”
The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, by Chip Heath & Dan Heath - Similar to The Art of Gathering, this book spoke to my desire to learn everything I can about human connection and experiences. It takes you through the key elements needed to make an impact in the experiences and moments we orchestrate. The real life examples are also helpful as you begin to think about applying the information into your life.
“And that’s the charge for all of us: to defy the forgettable flatness of everyday work and life by creating a few precious moments.”
“We can be the designers of moments that deliver elevation and insight and pride and connection. These extraordinary minutes and hours and days - they are what make life meaningful. And they are ours to create.”
Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection, by Brian Grazer - I’ve been thinking a lot about how to tell my story and what to tell. I love how Brian Grazer told stories about his life experiences under the umbrella of human connection. He’s authentic and wise in retelling his own stories on such an important and needed topic.
“What I’ve discovered over the years is that if Im not taking a chance on connecting, then I’m missing possibilities that could have enormous internal, and external, rewards.”
“When people look you in the eyes, they almost instantly decide whether they want to hear what you have to say, whether they trust you to be their leader, or whether they want to know you better. So it’s worth reflecting on what your eyes are saying.”
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert - Ahhhh, Elizabeth Gilbert is incredible! She’s honest, real, wise, thoughtful and everything else that sparks joy and creativity. I’ve never thought about ideas the way she talks about them. This book will make you think twice about the passing thoughts and ideas you have in the shower and during the idle moments of life.
“I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.”
Happy reading, creating and living each of life's moments, as they come.