Mind Your Thoughts: Four Books To Inspire Mindfulness & Creativity

Reading is food for the mind. It can be the source for motivation, knowledge, pleasure, insight, and is just damn near the most enjoyable thing in my world. Next to films, I love to read and could spend many hours doing so. I've grown up with a particular affinity for fiction and biographies, but since endeavoring a huge mind shift and lifestyle change this year I've begun to delve more into books on that very subject; mindset. 

Your habits and actions are a reflection of the rhetoric you feed your mind. Books that have value, push you to ask questions, challenge your beliefs, take you to a place you've never been before or maybe have been too scared to go to, that is an amazing tool to enhance your creativity and well-being.

So, I wanted to share a few books that have had a great impact on my creative process, how I approach my work, and my life!

 

No.1

The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life -Twyla Tharp

Tharp breaks down creativity into something tangible, concrete, and applicable. Creativity is a beautiful thing but to facilitate it's success, is a challenge. Reading The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life  is a great reminder of that beauty and a great guide to how to approach creativity so there are results, especially results you are proud of. There are interesting applications and anecdotes from her creative process, as an incredibly talented choreographer of over 35 years. There are exercises structured around key themes like rituals, self awareness, honing your memories, and more...all to fuel creative enterprises.  

"In order to be creative, you have to know how to prepare to be creative."

You have to be willing to make creativity a part of  your daily life. It's not just about the impulse, it's about finding the groove with which you seek the impulse and find the lasting habit of creativity. This book will help you do that.

 

No. 2

Louder than words: harnessing the power of your authentic voice - Todd Henry

I came across Louder Than Words: Harnessing the Power of Your Authentic Voice in the aisles of Portland's Powell's Bookstore. It was the bright orange and black typography, stark against the white background that caught my eye. Reading the title I was compelled to read it because of the focus on your authentic voice. I had yet to really ask myself what my voice was, let alone my authentic voice.

Authenticity is indicative of truth, unashamed, confident, and humble of the message you speak. That is a valuable trait that can be developed at any point, as Henry demonstrates in his book. He delves into making a lasting impact with your work. The only way to really do so is to speak, act, and create from a place of authenticity. He has some practical insights and exercises to help hone that process and covers the essentials to creating resonant work like uniqueness, consonance, empathy, and timing.

"Are you doing your best work, or are you just getting by? Are you fulfilled at the end of the day, or are you just glad the day is over? In today's marketplace, you don't have the luxury of going with the flow. If you want to succeed - and thrive - you have to do work that sets you apart." 

I found a lot of motivation to find and strengthen my voice, my greatest asset. I recommend you read it to help you find yours.

 

No. 3

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One -Dr. Joe Dispenza

When I first read the title "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself", I was slightly disconcerted. My mind immediately went into a self defensive place and I couldn't help but ask, what's wrong with being me? Isn't that the essence of living a full life? Being true to yourself?

Yes, but to be true to yourself means loving yourself, living a life of habits you value and love and feel fulfilled by. And that's where the second half, How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, is so interesting and eye opening. 

If you've ever felt unhappy with your life, felt burdened by negative thoughts or a desire change unhealthy habits, this book is a great source for gaining an understanding and apply methods to change. Dr. Dispenza goes into the biological roots of why we think the way we think and act the way we act.

"Years of thinking certain thoughts, and then feeling the same way, and then thinking equal to those feelings (the hamster on the wheel) creates a memorized state of being in which we can emphatically declare our I am statement as an absolute. That means we're now at the point when we define ourselves as this state of being. Our thoughts and feelings have merged."

It was really interesting to learn of how the body and mind communicate with one another, the importance of recognizing the vibration of your state of being, breaking down your existing habits by observing them and then making a conscious effort to identify who you do want to be.  It's a great read, and one I'll be reading over again for sure.

 

No. 4

The Introvert Entrepreneur -Beth Buelow

After reading this book I've come to appreciate being an introvert so much more than I ever had before. I have often felt slightly insecure by the title introvert because I had been told it was indicative of shyness or social awkwardness, something disadvantageous to the outgoing quality of an extrovert. But The Introvert Entrepreneur squelches that misconception and talks of ways that introverts can work through the elements of entrepreneurship that are challenging, like networking and selling, and use our strengths to create successful results without compromising our health and well-being. She also has interviews with other successful introvert entrepreneurs who provide unique insights to her questions--cohesively tied to the chapter's subject matter. It provides a holistic view of the way an introvert thinks, in all its subtle complication. 

"I've also found that authority comes more easily when I release attachment to being right, being the best, or having everything turn out a certain way. That might seem counter-intuitive; we usually think that we feel more confidence and authority if we know exactly where we're going and we're 100 percent determined to get there at all costs. Placing our authority in certainty is greatly increasing our risk in an already risky venture. There's much more to lose if we're emotionally attached to a particular result. When you release attachment, you allow yourself to be more open to opportunities. You are better able to tap in to your introvert strengths of listening, reflection, and curiosity -- to explore beyond the norm."

Whether or not you identify as an introvert, this book provides great insight to the way most introverted minds works and ways in which to find empowerment and the tools to find success in your business exactly how you are. Say, you are an extrovert, this book can prove useful in understanding how people who gain their energy differently, which I believe can improve your own enterprises.

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I hope you make time to feed your mind as much value as you can and I think these books are great sources to do so. May they inspire your mindfulness and creativity so you come to know no bounds. I'm continuing to read more so I will definitely be adding a part II to this list!

 

Warm wishes,

Kels