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Filtering by Category: Book Recommendations

Inspiration, Summer Reflection & Fall Forecast

Jlynn Frazier

I began the year thinking I would write a monthly recap and share what I’m working on, books i’ve enjoyed, and a few links that have inspired me. Well, that didn’t happen. Perhaps I’ll rethink this next year for something more seasonally. Now felt like a really good time to check in, a lots happened. And as life goes its been a mix of good and not so good moments for me personally and for the world.

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Summer Recap: Celebrations, Creativity, & Connection

Welcome Fall

You may call it fall, fourth quarter, the season of color, sweater weather, or the season before the snow comes. I’ve been loving the beauty and vibrancy of colors. I’ve been running and hiking to soak in as much as possible.

Its been an emotionally charged time here in the US (and around the world). I feel it too. My remedy is to focus on what matters most and that begins by taking care of myself. Only once we care for ourselves can we care for others. And so many need your love and kindness.

If you’ve been rocking it, awesome! If its not been a great time for you, don’t lose hope. As I always say, remember that today is a new day (and a new season) to begin again. 

As I have mentioned at the beginning of the year, I no longer set new years resolutions. I am, however, a big believer in doing work that matters. Ive been slowly working on a new photography book and doing a lot of writing too. As much as I want to put it all together into one piece, I think its going to be two separate, connected projects. I’m pushing hard to have the photography book, my first Maine photography book out as an ebook before the holidays. I’ll share more soon on Instagram, so follow me @jlynnfrazier .

To wrap this up, I leave you with Strala Yoga’s recipe for when you are lost.

Slow down. Slow down a bit more. Sway a bit until you find your perfect centered place. Let yourself settle. Notice. In your stillness notice the action. Happening on the inside. Soften. Take a big inhale. Long exhale. Settle here. Welcome back.
— Strala Yoga

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Reading Frenzy, Progress & February Forecast

Jlynn Frazier

A bit of a recap of what I have been up to, what I'm working on, what's inspiring me, and anything else I want to include. This year, I'm owning this space and giving myself full creative freedom. 

January Recap: Celebrations, Creativity, & Connection

Welcome February

Can you believe it's February and we are a whole month into 2018!!! How's it going? Did you hear whether or not Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow?

January causes a heck of a lot of commotion about resolutions, eh! Where are you at?... Did you start off the year with a bang and feeling a bit tired today? Or perhaps you started quietly and are going momentum? Whether you are rocking resolutions, flowing to your own rhythm and flow, or in planning and incubation mode, remember that today is a new day (and a new month) to begin again. 

As I have mentioned, I do not set new years resolutions anymore. I am, however, a big believer in doing work that matters. To do this, I set intentions for the year and map my progress in my Weekly Desire Map Planner by Danielle LaPorte (YES, PAPER!!!), a daily intention and gratitude practice, I set priorities and track them for the month, and I schedule what's important on my calendar.

This month, I'm tracking 5 things that I am committing to do daily. As Gretchen Rubin said in her book The Happiness Project "What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”My thought is that if I do these 5 things every day, I will feel good, nourished, and consider the day a great success. They are read, write, run, yoga, and gratitude. They are already scheduled into my calendar for each day for the month.  

Also, engaging in work that matters which includes continuing my reading frenzy, writing (and sharing more here... split of excited and terrified), working on a photo project which I think will be a book project (its emerging), and working on learning to ski.  

To wrap this up, I began starting with commotions. February is Black History Month and the commoditization of love also known as Valentine's Day. I like to think of it as a great time to remember to take time for self-love, because if you don't love and take care of you, you cannot spread love to others. 

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My Favorite Books of 2017

Jlynn Frazier

Books are a uniquely portable magic.
— Stephen King

I enjoy reading books and usually have a few going at a time. During my recent hiatus from social media I had a sharp, sudden feeling one day that I have so many books that I want to read. It was an overwhelming excitement and drive to read, write, and create swirling into one loud inner voice calling out to me.

As I have been reflecting back on the year, a year many have called divisive, I remember feeling this tug building from within encouraging me to read with wild abandon. This knowing has ignited my journey (and a holiday reading frenzy) for greater understanding, kindness, curiosity, connection, and hope. 

One of my big wishes for the world is that everyone experience the power of reading to take you on a journey to seek more understanding and openness. To get you started, here are a few of my favorites this year.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
by Brené Brown
During an intense time in politics, but more importantly for humanity and the world. If you read one book from this list, I hope it is this one. The idea that if I find it difficult to see and experience the treatment of one person (or political candidate) then it should be as troubling to see a comic poking fun a different or aposing point of view. It is all a vicious call to choose a side and that our actions demonstrate that we are either "with them or against them." This is harming us and our ability to evolve as citizens of the world.

Brown writes: “Dehumanizing and holding people accountable are mutually exclusive. Humiliation and dehumanizing are not accountability or social justice tools, they’re emotional off-loading at best, emotional self-indulgence at worst. And if our faith asks us to find the face of God in everyone we meet, that should include the politicians, media, and strangers on Twitter with whom we most violently disagree. When we desecrate their divinity, we desecrate our own, and we betray our faith.” 

Beyond the Label: Women, Leadership, and Success on Our Own Terms
by Maureen Chiquet
I actually had not heard of Chiquet, who is the former global CEO of Chanel and grew as a business leader by climbing the ranks at the GAP. The opening story about her experience and curiosity exploring France was heartwarmingly beautiful. So much wisdom and openness to consider for anyone who is on a journey to understand who they are, the work that they do, and the why behind it all. 

A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle Series Book 1) 
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Of all the books I have read, the first chapter of this book might be my favorite first chapter. It just pulled me into the magic and wonder of Earthsea (not to mention my first time reading Le Guin ... how did it take me this long? Don't make the same mistake).

Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature
by Tina Welling
The Wildness is within us, it is us! This book jumped out at me while pursuing the shelves of a local book store and such a gem. Welling shares her understanding of the interconnectedness between the earth’s creative energy and her own personal creative energy. Many fantastic insights into the writing and creative process, the power of spirit walks to open up space for earths connection, and her three step process of naming, describing, and interacting.

The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith
by Gabrielle Bernstein
I read this book during a rather difficult time in my year when I was under employed and seeking an inner guidance for making my next step. This book has and continues to be such and important part of my journey. I devoured the book in two days and I have now have the audible version to listen to whenever I need a remember to connect to the energy of the Universe and believe in the miracles that manifest from choosing love instead of fear. 

Strala Yoga: Be Strong, Focused & Ridiculously Happy from the Inside Out
by Tara Stiles
Ever wanted to do more yoga but found that you just could not find your flow and practice. This book changed my perspective and helped me let go of the expectation that I had to hold a certain pose or do yoga a certain way. Not any more. I am all about following the Strala approach to getting in tune with my breath and moving in ways that it feels good to move.

Seventh Son: The Tales of Alvin Maker, Volume I
by Orson Scott Card
I read a ton of non-fiction, but have been branching out to more genres including fantasy and sci-fi. I have to send a shout out to Jared Palmer for introducing me to Cards Seventh Son Series. I absolutely loved the first book and read all six this year. Its been years, but I'm hoping perhaps this will be the year the seventh (and final book) comes out. A magical journey of talents, ways of knowing, consequences of our actions, and always lurking dark forces. 

Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey
by Jane Goodall
I read Harvest for Hope by Goodall and that guided me to make the decision to become a vegetarian. Since this point, I have held a special place of appreciation for Jane's contributions to the world. This year, I took myself of a date to see the National Geographic film Jane (magnificent!!) and listened to Jane read Reasons for Hope. If you are not familiar with her story this will be such an eye opener. 

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott
Since reading Bird by Bird, I find myself returning to it often for encouragement and a good kick in the butt to take it word by word, image by image, thought by thought and tell my story. An accessible and important guide for writers, creatives, and anyone who wants to engage with work that matters.  

The Power Is Within You
by Louise L. Hay
I had never read anything by Hay and with her transition this year, I found myself curious and so I dove in with an open mind and was blown away by the power of her message. When this came out in 1991, I was just a young girl of about eight or nine and now in my mid thirties, I found myself finding so much to soak in and chew on from self care, spirituality, connectedness, inner knowing, and hope. 

The Soul of the Camera: The Photographer's Place in Picture-Making
by David duChemin
I had the opportunity to meet duChemin at a workshop in Vancouver and have been a big fan of his work, both his photography and the way he talks about making photographs. So much guidance and thought paired with a moving set of images to get you thinking and looking more closely at the way you make photographs (whether for a living or as the family historian). 

The Power 
by Naomi Alderman
I had heard of this book and then it came up on Bustle's 17 Books Every Woman Should Read in 2017. I kept picking it up and plowed through it in a couple of days over the holidays. I found it difficult to read the violence and harshness of the world, yet could not put it down. There is just so much going on, and I will likely re-read it again this year. 

Phew! That's a wrap. So, tell me what are you reading right now? What made your list of favorites this year?