Finding my balance - my summer needs (and reads).

by Angela Swanson

Summer reading list for good energy

Ahhh.... sweet nothing.

On a recent weekend I had a rare opportunity to do nothing - for the whole weekend! It’s not because I didn’t have stuff to do, it’s because I gave myself complete permission to do so. It was Easter weekend, afterall, and Easter for me is about renewal. 

So what did I do? I read a book. I went for walks. I meditated. I called my friends and family just to chat. These things for me are “nothing” but are actually EVERYTHING. I can’t tell you how great I felt by the end of the weekend. It was like being reborn. 

Isn’t it amazing just how little it takes to renew our mind, body, and spirit?

I’ve noticed that too often I slide right into the trap of busy-ness and go way too long without making space for doing nothing. I think it’s because we’ve been trained to always be productive - and for some that means to always be working. My observation is, ever since COVID, when we all had to adjust how we worked and many more of us got to had to work online from home, the insanity of productivity just got worse because if you can work online then you can work anytime and anywhere so the lines between work and life are very blurred if not gone altogether. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I’ve not taken real time-off where I’ve completely checked out of work for more than a day or two for almost three years. Somehow work and life merged and I don’t separate the two very well.

Don’t get me wrong - I love my work! But there is much to be gained from doing less now and then.

Like reading a book. 

Riding the wave of inspiration from the weekend, I decided to take this “doing nothing” seriously and do it more often! So I compiled a few books I intend to read this summer. I’d love to hear what your summer reads are! Maybe we can build this list together. As you can tell from my book list, I’m clearly craving more creativity in my life. What kinds of books are calling out to you this summer? 

#1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

#2. Seeing Slowly: Looking at Modern Art by Michael Findlay

#3. The Art of Aliveness: A Creative Return to What Matters Most by Flora Bowley

    I realize three books is not that many and I’m okay with that. I’ll start with three and see where they take me.

    One of the pleasures of letting yourself do nothing is that you realize there are so many ways to renew your energy, reconnect with yourself, and spark joy in your soul, given the space to allow for them.

    Even if you love your work, like I do, I want to keep my energy in better balance and remember that life is more than working, LIFE is for LIVING.

    And a final note - it’s so delightful to see and feel the positive results that this quickly brings.  I noticed right away that when my energy is in better balance and I’m using my energy in a broad variety of ways (and not just work/sleep/eat/repeat), when I do get back to using my energy for work, I end up working better and feeling happier all around.

    Till next time,

    Chief Energy Fairy

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