#6Degrees: From Phosphoresence to Tiny Beautiful Things

Welcome back to the bookish version of Six Degrees of Separation. Here’s how it works: Start with the book suggested by Kate over at booksaremyfavouriteandbest, and see where you end up by linking it to six other titles. It’s easy and it’s fun, and no two chains are the same!

This month’s starting point is Phosphorescence: On Awe, Wonder and Things That Sustain You When the World Goes Dark by Julia Baird. From Goodreads, Phosphorescence is “a beautiful, intimate and inspiring investigation into how we can find and nurture within ourselves that essential quality of internal happiness – the ‘light within’ that Julia Baird calls ‘phosphorescence’ – which will sustain us even through the darkest times.”

First Degree: The synopsis above makes me think the book belongs on the self-help section and when I think of self-help, the ultimate guru, Brené Brown, immediately comes to mind! I’ve read a lot of her books, but I think my favorite one is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. There are so many instances where I think back to Brown’s nuggets of truth from this book; specifically, things she’s said relating to vulnerabilty and shame.

Second Degree: Another force in the self-help genre is definitely Glennon Doyle, and her latest book, Untamed, is incredible! It was one of my favorite books of 2020, and I will read everything Glennon ever writes. She writes in such a relatable way and I appreciate how she advocates for each of us to live our best life…no matter how that looks to other people.

Third Degree: Another book that absolutely changed my life for the better was Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist. I picked this book up at the right time; we were in the middle of travel baseball and, while I wasn’t in a place to articulate my thoughts at the time, what Niequist wrote about busy schedules and not making time for our family to just simply rest, hit me hard. I knew after reading that book that travel baseball was not for my family and we quit the team as soon as the season was over. After that, we commited to spending more quality time together at a place where we all loved to be – the lake!

Fourth Degree: This summer I read How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and my eyes were forced wide open. I truly thought I was further along in my antiracist journey, but this book did a wonderful job of showing me my blindspots and where I can be a better ally to my Black friends. I highly recommend this book to all people, especially white people! (For a more detailed antiracist reading list, check out this post.)

Fifth Degree: One of the most frustrating things I’ve dealt with as I’ve gotten older is my lack of energy. I’m So Effing Tired: A Proven Plan to Beat Burnout, Boost Your Energy, and Reclaim Your Life by Amy Shah gave me some great insight into changing some of my lifestyle habits to try to overcome this issue in my life. My biggest takeaway from this book was about intermittent fasting – something I’m really interested in but haven’t attempted yet!

Sixth Degree: Probably one of my all-time favorite books (not just in the self-help category) is Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed. This book gives advice on all areas of life, and even if you think you won’t relate, somehow Strayed gives advice in such a way that there’s a lot here for everyone! This is a book that I’ve read and reread and plan on doing so for the rest of my life!

Next month (April 3, 2021), we’ll start with the 2020 Booker Prize winner, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.

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