I know. You're wondering, "How does she do it?"
Well, for one, I have a fairly messy house.
And these books aren't exactly novels.
BUT. I READ TWO BOOKS.
And I want to share them with you, because they are both lovely!
So here goes...
The first book is The Velveteen Principles by Toni Raiten-D'Antonio. I technically began this book before the new year because it was a Christmas gift, but I finished it in January, so I'm counting it.
I make up the rules around here, OK?
The Velveteen Principles is basically a guide to being human, revolving around the lessons in The Velveteen Rabbit.
The theme of this book appealed to me because I love everything about this quote from the original children's book:
"It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But those things don’t matter at all, because once you are real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
It is an easy and lovely read.
I can't say I learned a whole lot of earth shattering things or had a lot of light bulb moments. I can owe that partly to working in an environment with, and being surrounded generally in life with, people who have taught me a ton about the value of being authentic, and the beauty that can be found in being real and flawed.
But this book was certainly a great refresher course & kick in the pants to keep moving in that direction.
Here is one quote that gave me a whoa moment:
"Remember, the most important and most lovable parts of you are invisible."
I mean I already knew that, but forget it so often. The visible things about being human can be great, but they sure don't make up your worth as a human being, soul, friend, sister, wife, mother etc.
This book was a fairly quick read and I recommend it if you need some extra shots of encouragement in a world that is constantly bombarding us with messages of how we need to measure up to others.
The second book is My Friend Fear by Meera Lee Patel.
I devoured this book in only a few sittings because it is not only beautifully written but visually stunning. Meera Lee's paintings and lettering accompany her words in such a way that you really feel like you become part of the book as you read it.
As someone who has dealt with anxiety and fear for as long as I can remember, her honesty around how she has befriended her fear encouraged me to do more of the same.
I typically do a lot of underlining in my books, but this one is so gorgeous that I didn't want to mark up the pages.
Quotes that especially stuck with me...
"If the pull of fear is holding you back from cultivating your dream, spend more time listening."
"Where there is self-awareness and surrender, there is no shame in blooming alone."
And a few beautiful images from the book...
I really recommend this book if anxiety and/or fear are holding you back from experiencing your best life.
I'm looking forward to sharing more of what I read this year with you. Any suggestions? What are you reading? I'd love to hear about it!