It’s that time of year again where work teams and families plan for Secret Santa. Budgets (and themes) are decided on, names are drawn out of a hat and people start gifting.
Our work team have the usual one of £5 but the staff book club are doing something slightly different this year. We are doing a jólabókaflóð instead
This is based on an Icelandic tradition where people give books on Christmas Eve but we’ve added in some chocolate as who doesn’t like chocolate?
Well actually my pick 🙂
So books and biscuits (cookies) for the recipient of my gift.
It’s taken me out of my comfort zone a bit as the recipient doesn’t like any of the same books as me. What do you buy when you have no knowledge of the genre? I’m not at work Friday so will be trawling the shops looking for non-fiction books where you can learn about other people and places.
We also all agreed that we would accept second hand books. The beauty of this means you get more for the budgeted amount plus as in the UK that usually means buying from charity (good will) shops then some money goes towards a good cause too.
I really like this idea. I like to do something different and am thinking of putting forward a suggestion to my family to try this as well.
Day 8 of the challenge and so far I’ve managed to do a blog a day even if sometimes I forget until nearly the last minute.
In my first post I linked to my book blog. I love books and love the fact that I’ve been able to turn something fun and enjoyable into a (sort of) paying business. By paying I don’t get actual cash. I get something better of you are a book worm – free books!
A few years ago one of my friends who had just got a publishing deal turned me onto a website where you can request books to download free in return for an honest review. I was already blogging reviews & as I have mentioned many times cash is scarce due to a debt plan so for me a really good way to get new books without cost and in return doing things I already do.
It’s been amazing. I’ve had publishers thanking me for reviews and in return offering me yet more books. A couple have sent me paper copies of books as a thank you. The next step for me is to accept some blog tours from authors and build my page even more. That’s my 2018 go
All this led to my friend then telling me that her publisher had a tasting panel and did I want to join. With this I get books before they have been accepted by the publisher and rather than just a review, it is for me (and others) to comment on the Point of View, the relatability of the hero/heroine, overall story and any possible tweaks and changes. That’s quite an ask and responsibility especially as I have to say whether I think it should be accepted for publication. But I think it helped me grow as a reviewer. I’ve learnt to think about not just whether I like it but whether the general public would like something.
I always feel bad when I have to recommend turning something down. I am well aware how hard it is to write a book and put your heart and soul into something so I only do this if I absolutely know it won’t fit in with the publishers ethos.
Sometimes turning a hobby into more of a business doesn’t have to be financial, it can be just as rewarding in other ways
I haven’t updated this page in 3 months. I’ve been so busy trying to start up my holistic business. Talk about hard work and I’m only aiming for part time alongside my day job (for now).
Anyway just a short post – I’ve got a bunch of posts on my various blogs to do over the next few days but I wanted to share my newest one. This is my business one. I’m really proud of it. It covers the type of things I offer as well as (to me) a fab new book club. It’s based in Leeds but feel free to read the book and leave some comments on the post.
This is a comprehensive look at chakras: what they are, how they affect the body, how to use meditation and physical practice to heal a blocked one. I found this a fantastic book to start my journey on learning some healing roles and hopefully becoming a holistic practioner. As well as all the information I found a few quotes that inspired me and I’d like to share:
(Time for yourself) This is your special time. Explain to children. It’s good for young children to see their parents take special time.
Perceive, believe, achieve
Meditation can relieve stress
I can… (characteristic of Sacral chakra)
I love… (heart chakra)
Some yogis live on prana (energy). You may not want to live on prana. I personally prefer the occasional meal
If you believe in failure, failure will hold you in its grip
Walk in love and light
And finally she ends with a quote from John Lennon whose words sum up what she says is ‘that moment of release when we step off the treadmill and start to simply be…’
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go
round and round.
I really love to watch them roll,
no longer riding on the merry go round
I just had to let it gooooooo!
This is what I aim to do going forward. Time to step off the merry go round and follow my dreams
I’ve just started reading the surprisingly short book on Cosmic Ordering and it made me think of something that started happening at the beginning of the year.
I’ve a big list of ‘wants’ for this year. I don’t like to call them resolutions, more like things I’d like to happen. For example: I wanted to be fitter and healthier and so far I’ve lost 11.5lbs and walk 10,000 steps every day.
One of the other things I decided to do was start letting people in and also getting out more in able to do this. I have friends and they are very good friends but sometimes you can’t move forward without stepping out of your comfort zone and maybe making a few more. The original plan was to try and do this as cheaply as possible but essentially I was going back to my old plan of saying yes.
Reading this book it could be classed as unintentionally cosmic ordering, it could be asking spirits for help and receiving or it could simply be wishing things into existence. Whatever your belief system – positive thinking breeds positive results.
Simple friendships have blossomed at work – some on a 1to1 basis and again through a night out where we all got to bond. I started going to book clubs and met some wonderful new people there. I joined Weightwatchers and have not only a very supportive group of people wishing me luck but have made a few friendships from it. I was even asked by a woman at work if I wanted to go to dance classes with her.
Not only has it brought new people into my life but opening myself up has brought people back into my life I haven’t seen in years. I went to a school reunion and rediscovered old friendships. I looked into moving my Monday workplace to somewhere new which brought me into contact with my natural fathers cousin, enabling me to reconnect with half brothers and sisters I haven’t seen in 12 years and also bringing me a new cousin I’ve not met yet.
It’s fascinating what one little word can bring. It needs to be done carefully though. In the past I said to too many things then had to learn how to say no all over again but if concentrated in small events such as friendships it should be easy enough to control. I’m looking forward to seeing how these things develop over the rest of the year but also can’t wait to see what else life has in store for me.
This book took me a while to read. It’s a simple enough book and like some, not full of jargon and psycho-babble but it doesn’t hook you in enough to be one you can’t put down. I often put it to one side to go read something else.
I saw a review that said it was only for people with addictions to shopping and wouldn’t suit anyone else. Well, first the book is aimed solely at over-shoppers so that makes sense to me that it would only be suitable for those people (me formerly included). However for me I think the content would also be suitable for over-eaters and maybe other addictions as well. Not the whole book but you can fit it in to other issues. There are plenty of sections about re-building confidence, mindfulness (more on that in a second) and discovering just why you do the thing you do whether that is buying too much, eating too much, drinking too much..
There are exercises to do and a shopping journal to keep helping you track how you are spending money and hopefully start spotting patterns of behaviour. My favourite one is an exercise to find out your 5 biggest strengths and then use them in some way more positive than overspending. Examples used include a woman whose strength was creativity and joined some pottery classes. She then channelled her energies into making gifts. Other strengths may not be so obvious but it does give you some things to think about.
The bit that I found niggling was the chapter on mindfulness. I have no problem with it and have tried it myself. However it’s starting to feel like the therapy du-jour and like every self help book has it tacked on in an effort to cash in. It’s just not original anymore to see it in a book and I’d like to see a bit more variety.
Overall I enjoyed this book. It’s not the best self help book I’ve read but it does provide some interesting insights into people’s behaviour and I, for one, learnt a few things about mine.