Tag Archives: the secret

5 for Friday: What I’ve Been Reading

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Well, it’s been a while since I’ve updated on what I’ve been reading. {Well, other than soup cookbooks or books about hygge!} Still, I have been reading a good mix of fiction, non-fiction, print and audio that it’s about time to let you in on what else I’ve read so far this year.

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The Art of War
by Sun Tzu (nonfiction) – skip

This one came up on a list somewhere. I thought maybe it was one that included classics or texts that everyone should read. But truthfully, I think I found it on a list of “books you can read in a day”. Well, I didn’t because it really didn’t capture my attention. Yes, it’s great that we have a piece of this history available to us, but reading about strategies of war is not exactly my idea of a good time.

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Good Karma
by Christina Kelly 
(fiction) – worth a read

With a photo of dog on the cover, I thought this book was going to be more about a dog than it really was. My hardest part was getting past the beginning – mostly the reality of the transition into retirement not being what one expects. Probably because I could see myself thinking entirely those things. But with a Savannah backdrop, a happy ending and a book including a dog, the read was a nice little escape.

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The Perfume Collector
by Kathleen Tessaro (fiction) – worth a read

This book was handed to me by my mother-in-law last fall, who enjoyed it and encouraged me to read it. My TBR pile is quite large, but I wanted to make sure I’d read it before we visit again. She knows I love stories that take place in Paris! I also loved the historical context, a little empowerment of women along the way as well as the beautiful descriptors of scent as an art!

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Madonna in a Fur Coat
by Sabahattin Ali (fiction) – worth a read/listen

I came across this book on a list of underrated books. The only way I could get my hands on a copy was by downloading it on audio from the library. For some reason, I am unable to get the volume high enough when I try to play books in the car connected via bluetooth, so this one is one I’d listen to at home with my earbuds in while I was doing dishes or putting the laundry away.

I really enjoyed it and it kept me cleaning! I knew nothing about the book in advance, which may have been why I read it. But I will tell you that it takes place in Turkey and Germany in the 20s and features a woman whose quotes I would have highlighted often if I had been reading the book in print! I guess you could say it’s a love story… but I feel that sometimes that is what turns people off from reading. It’s much more than that.

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The Power
by Rhonda Byrne (fiction) – must listen

I’m a huge fan of The Secret, The Power, The Magic books. After I first read The Secret, I started keeping a gratitude journal. It changed my focus on what was going wrong on a daily basis to what was going right. Back when I was doing in-home wine tastings, a woman on my team said that she not only read the book, but had the audio version that she’d listen to in her car. I found it genius to listen to positive practices on repeat!

When The Power came out, I never bought it in print, only on audio. Unfortunately, I lost the CDs in our car accident two years ago because they always stayed in my car. On a side note, perhaps it was because of gratitude that we walked away from that event because if you read my post, the words “thank you for our safety” went through my head during each turn of our rollover.

Still, I recently found a used library copy of the audio version of The Power on Thriftbooks {<–referral link} and I once again have my own to listen to whenever I desire. It felt really good to listen to it again. It’s like it came back into my life at the right time. Which means that the universe is always responding!

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What is the most underrated book you’ve read?

Cheers~
Carrie

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A Year in Review… And a Magical One Begins

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It’s been a year.

Rob’s parents sent a nice card this week. My mother-in-law wrote a note that I should only do what I truly want to do today. I loved that message. If I would have thought ahead, I would taken the day off of work. 😉

But despite that, I am going to make it the best day possible. I’ve recently learned a new way of life. It’s something that I can’t believe has taken me this long to realize.

Before I get to that, let’s go back to what I posted last year – the list of what I *thought* I wanted to do by now. Boy have things changed! A lot of the list is running-related because I was in full swing at the time. Let’s take a look at what I’ve completed, what I haven’t, where I may have changed my mind and what I’d still like to do.

This list was written 9/26/12:

  • Do a Beer Run – I still would like to do this one day. They look so casual and fun.
  • Do a Color RunCOMPLETE!
  • Complete a 5-mile raceCOMPLETE! It was one of my slowest, but happiest races.
  • Incorporate weight-lifting into my fitness routine – Not even close.
  • Run a 10k race – Running is off the table for a while.
  • Take a trip abroad to a country I’ve never been – We travel somewhere internationally every year. This year, however, with two weeks off for back surgery and, well, less money due to said surgery that left little resources to go abroad in 2013. However, holding off scheduling an international trip meant that when I learned about a friend’s wedding in L.A. that I can attend and will extend a little vacation there!
  • Use my Bahamas Cruise Gift CertificateYou can read about that trip here. I guess that could have counted as international.
  • Reach my goal weight – Ouch. The hard truth is that I lost almost half the weight I wanted to over the course of a year. Since my back surgery, I’ve gained 12 pounds back. No excuse. I know what to do. I just can’t do it running right now. It’s time to adapt.
  • Read more booksYES! Among them include:
    • The Hunger Games series
    • 50 Shades series (Yes, I had to find out what the hype was a about. But if I see the word “murmur” one more time…)
    • Through a Dog’s Eyes
    • In a Dog’s Heart
    • Stuff Parisians Like
    • Histoire de Z’idiote This one’s in French, but I don’t recommend it. It’s about a little shih poo that looks just like Sophie! It was fun to read to feel like I haven’t lost all of my French, but the book was very bizarre! I am still grateful that Rob found it and I had the opportunity to read it.
  • Run around Lake CalhounNo, but I walked it and then some.
  • Run in Eau Claire, WI – No. Running is off the to-do list for the time being.
  • Run the Challenge Obesity 5k in AprilWell, I didn’t run it, but I did walk it post-surgery!
  • Write more concise posts – Even if I tried to convince you of this, you probably wouldn’t agree. 😉
  • Create a written bucket list – I’ve come to realize that I don’t need this. If there is something I really want to do, it’ll be on my mind. That’s all that matters! A vision board is more suitable. Visualization is key!
  • Organize Rob’s favorite recipes in one place – COMPLETE! Reluctantly, I joined Pinterest, but only for organization of favorite recipes and those we want to try.
  • Do something {even a little something} for someone else – every single day – I don’t even know how I could begin to measure this.
  • Organize Music – NOPE. A winter project perhaps?
  • Put together a wedding and honeymoon album – NOPE. Add that to the list of wanting to put together a photo album of our trip to Ireland for my in-laws. I’ve been meaning to do that for months. It’s a matter of organizing all of the photos and selecting the best with a slooooooowwww computer.

This year, I’m not putting together such a list. Not because I feel like I’ve failed or that these are like resolutions, but because I’m learning more and more about gratitude.

For the first time, ever, in my life, I’m filling up a journal. I’m not talking about this little public weblog journal I have of favorite places to eat and such around the Twin Cities metro. I’m talking about a real, hand-written journal. A friend gave me this leather-bound journal at my bridal shower a few years back. I’ve recently labeled it as my:

gratitude journalIt sat empty, without a marked page until February of this year. I was afraid to write in it, afraid to ruin another journal. You see, over the years, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started a journal. But it always made me feel bad. The words I permanently penned to the page were harsh and embarrassing to look back upon after the fact.

They were so negative.

You see, I thought journaling was supposed to be about that. I thought by writing my thoughts and feelings that I would feel better… that I would work out whatever it was that was bothering me whenever I ran into a challenge in my life.

But I was wrong.

Instead, I felt worse. And later, I always felt ashamed by what I had written. So many journal pages have been torn up. Journals themselves were thrown away because a few pages were tainted. I wanted to start fresh with a new one.,, with new words… to begin a new chapter in life. This never worked.

Until I started writing about gratitude.

journal

This journal is now three-quarters full. I’ve never kept a journal this long. At the beginning, I didn’t journal in it every day. In fact, I went months without doing so. But when I came back to it, I didn’t feel the need to start over. I didn’t feel ashamed, guilty or negative about anything written in it.

So I’m focusing this year on Gratitude.

I’ve been reading the book The Magic, by Rhonda Byrne. You know, the author of The Secret. I’ve always loved learning about the Law of Attraction and I even have the audiobook as well as that of The Power. However, I was never quite sure how to implement everything. Sure, there were suggestions. But I needed structure. The Magic gives me homework every day for thirty days. Yes, I’ve started and stopped the book a few times. But there are two practices in it that I now use every day.

And even those have changed my life.

And let me tell, you my world is a better place, no matter what is going on in my life. Because no matter how difficult things may be, there is always something for which to be grateful.

Today, I’m grateful for another year.

Cheers~
Carrie