3 entries categorized "Books"

Living the Charged Life by Knowing What Inspires Me

On my Summer reading list was a new book called The Charge by Brendon Burchard.  It's my favorite type of book: a self-help, non-fiction (I know, I'm a nerd).  

According to Burchard, we fall into three categories:

The one living in the Caged Life asks, Will I survive? So the focus is always on whether or not I will be safe or be hurt. 

The one living the Comfortable Life asks, Will I be accepted and succeed? So the focus is on belonging and satiation.

The one living the Charged Life wonders, Am I living my truth and actualizing my potential? Am I living an inspired life and inspiring others?

 I'm living the Charged Life, most days (there are occasional days when the past haunts me and I falter into the Comfortable Life).

The Charged Life usually calls to us after we have done what we were supposed to do, become who we thought we were supposed to be, lived as we thought we were supposed to live.

Although I never thought of the title "Charged Life," that lifestyle for me did come through breaking through the past.  In my late twenties, I had to decide what believe and what want for me. I cannot be caged, and I don't like to be too comfortable, so I began to seek after inspiration by dabbling in creativity and chasing butterflies whenever possible.  Over time, I shed layer upon layer of the shoulds and found my own, my very own, musts.

When we live the Charged Life, we don't worry about making waves; we worry about doing what's right and what's meaningful. If controversy or hurt feelings happen along the way, we meet them with our full presence and care - but we march on.

I read the above quote to my people-pleasing teen yesterday.  A couple of boys have been unkind to her recently, but she worries so much over keeping everyone happy that she is on the verge of not choosing what is right - to keep those boys at arm's length, not allowing them to be unkind anymore.

People are not born Chargers. It's easy to think, "Oh, I can't do that.  I'm not like her.  I'm not creative.  I'm not that talented."  

[Chargers] consistently practice being conscious of their reactions and realities. Theywork for their charges, and they know they have to. 

How can you start living the Charged Life?  My suggestion is to chase after everything and anything that inspires you, without fear.   When I get stuck, I create lists of what inspire me, like:

  • learn how to use a spinning wheel
  • grow cut flowers
  • keep chickens
  • spend one-on-one time with the children
  • have a weekly date with my husband

As you can see, not everything is expensive or impossible.  In fact, inexpensive things are usually most inspiring to me.  Spending a lot of money makes me feel "caged," probably because I always have to pay the piper in the end.  

In The Charge, Burchard spends two-thirds of the book on how you, too, can live a Charged Life.  It's possible for anyone.

What inspires you?  Off the top of your head, what five things would be on your inspiration list?

Order your free copy of The Charge today!

Share with us what makes you feel most alive for a chance to win a High Performance Academy Online Seminar with Brendon Burchard, author of The Charge (valued at $1,000).

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Burchard Group Sponsored Conversation. The opinions and text are all mine. Burchard Group Sweepstakes and Rules.

Book Review: the Beaded Edge

As you know from my posts over the past month or so, crocheting is the craft that's getting the most attention in our house.  Our 13yo ballerina loves to join me in whatever hobby has captured my fancy, and this fall/winter, it's crocheting!  We have created hats, scarves, two purses, and more, but the one thing we haven't created yet is beaded edges and trims.  And that's precisely why we must. 

Beaded edge
Interweave Press has a new book, the Beaded Edge, coming out in the Spring of 2011. I have  a review copy of that book and, oh my, I'm so excited to pull out my beads and do something a bit different with my crochet hooks.

the Beaded Edge is not a book full of edgings one can make on guest towels.  Instead, the patterns have fashion and a modern sense of style, with ideas for edging a skirt, the back pockets of a pair of jeans, and even ideas for the home.

Since I'm always looking for ways to spark our children to learn about other cultures, I am delighted, and was a bit surprised, to find a section on Turkish Edgings, including even an essay on how the author learned about Turkish oya (decorative edgings). 

I know there are countless free patterns online for all sorts of crocheted items, but I haven't seen beaded edges that are as beautiful and varied as in this book.  Also, since the book has such beautiful photographs and is so well laid out, it's a great book for sheer inspiration.

Would I Buy It?  I would!   The only thing I wish for, is that the book had the majority of the designs in the directions section in color, instead of in black and white.  Only two designs are printed in color, but it is so much easier to follow the directions when I can see the color of the beads.  At $12.21 (the pre-order price at Amazon) I'll let that slide, but I would have been happy to pay more just to have those patterns in color.

I know it's frustrating to hear about a book that's not out yet, but you can preorder the Beaded Edge at Amazon for just $12.21 with a pre-order price guarantee (the book retails for $17.95, paperback).


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Craft Book Review: Craft Hope

It's always a fun day in our house when a book arrives in the mail, but when a craft book arrives, we're positively giddy.  "Our" and "we're" in that sentence is our 13yo daughter and I, who both love to review craft books. 

Craft Hope is an extra special book to review. 

It was written by Jade Sims, a mommy of three who created a site called Craft Hope, where readers  are encouraged to sew/knit/create a certain craft project, then send it to a charity organization.  That's a beautiful idea, don't you think?

If you get the book, you may want to jump right in and participate in Project 10, which is to choose any project from the book (or a project from Craft Hope) to complete by December 31st.  Make two, because you'll need to give one away.

Our ballerina and I are busy dreaming and creating lately.  We want to make so many of the projects, like the sock monkey, the take-along quit, the clay seed balls, and this  doll:

image from lovelyballet.files.wordpress.com
(photo by our ballerina, age 13)

Our ballerina started on that doll this week.  It doesn't have it's head just yet.  I emailed her over the weekend (yes, we do live in the same house) to request that she photograph her doll's progress, and she responded this morning with, "Oh, I already posted a photo.  It's on my blog." 

Does she sound like her mama, or what ?!

The Bottom Line:   Yes, she sounds like her mama.  And, yes, I would buy the book even if I had to choose between it and 2 Starbucks White Chocolate Mochas. It has a wide variety of crafts in it, from beading to sewing to working with clay.  And it has wonderfully unique ideas for crafting for charity. 

Where to Get the Book:  Any bookstore for $17.95;  Amazon has it right now for a great price at $9.87

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