My Top Five Lovers

And by lovers….I mean books, of course. Come on people. Get your heads out of the composting bin.

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Ok. I’m gonna get right to it. I love love love books on spiritual guidance/how to be my best self/how to be of greater service to my family and the world. I just do. And I know it’s not for everyone, which is great news actually, because then I’d have nothing to share with people. I’d be all ohmygosh I have to tell you about this super cool thing Dr. Wayne Dyer said about when you change your thoughts….and  then they’d be like…yep Lis. Read that. I already KNOW how to change my thoughts so that I can change what I see in the world. NEXT. 

But alternately, I do love talking about books with people who enjoy these kinds of books. Because then I might hear of one that makes me jet off to good ole’ Amazon quicker than a woman ordering the latest handbag that Jen Hatmaker herself wore during her amazing trip to all the amazing places in the world. I may or may not have raced there only to find that they are all sold out. Thanks for nothing Jen. OH fine. I still love you, because I did get in on your plug about the beachwaver. You were right. I’m in so much love with it that the waver and I should get a room.

jen

Jen writes one of my favorite books, called For the Love. If you know her, like I pretend know her, she is just real and the also  the salt of the earth. Salt isn’t fancy, it’s just the flavor that you take for granted will always be there. That is Jen, strong, steadfast, and such a role model for me. AND is also literally SALTY sometimes. Which is just perfect.  PSSSTTTTT. I’m slipping her book in, and yet not counting it as one of my five. Like how I did that? teehee!!! 

Alrighty. Let’s get this going, shall we? I’ve got lots of things to LINK to, because I know you are going to be wanting to go to Amazon and get all these books. Do a little finger warm up, because you are gonna be doin’ some clickin’. And nobody wants you to pull a finger. Unless it’s your Uncle Fred, who never gets tired of that joke.


  1. Excuse me, your life is waiting, by Lynn Grabhorn. This is the first book I read that woke me up to my power to vibrate faster in order to pull in higher frequencies. Ok. Don’t glaze over here, now. Lynn is hilarious in this book and speaks very plainly with tons of stories. She just went on a mission to make her life better, discovered the work of Abraham (several angels who channel their message through Esther Hicks), and actually set out experimentally to find out what happens when you take steps to change your own vibration. Lynn has passed into the Heaven realm now, but I’m so glad she fulfilled her purpose on earth-to write a book that completely changes people’s lives. It did mine. Yep, it’s that huge.  (teehee!! I did it AGAIN!! I snuck another book in!! See how I did that?)excuse me your life is waiting
  2. The Power of  Your Subconscious Mind, by Joseph Murphy. Published in 1963, folks. And it’s a heavy hitter. My oldest friend (we attended each other’s one year-old birthday parties-old) gifted me this book, and I go through periods in my life when it doesn’t leave my side. It’s full of affirmations, stories, bible verses (that Dr. Murphy broke down to better understand the meaning) and so much more. For example, he once worked with a doctor who said, “Everything in my life is topsy-turvy. I’ve lost health, wealth, and friends. Everything I touch turns out wrong.” Joseph talked with him, and inspired him to write this affirmation, which he lovingly repeated every day:                                                                                                                                              Infinite intelligence leads and guides me in all my ways. Perfect health is mine, and the Law of Harmony operates in my mind and body. Beauty, love, peace, and abundance are mine. The principles of right action and divine order govern my entire life. I know my major premise is based on the eternal truths of life, and I know, feel, and believe that my subconscious mind [God] responds according to the nature of my conscious mind’s thinking.                                                                                                           And of course, he got better. This book is chock full of amazing stories and inspiration, and I’m always blown away that it was written 20 years before I was even born! Ok fine. Eight. 
  3. I Need Your Love, Is That True? How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead, by my beloved Byron Katie. (Just call her Katie-she’s casual like that). byron katieOne day, I got really brave, and read this book all the way to the end. The first time I tried, I got super nervous, because Katie was saying all sorts of crazy things like, It’s not your job to like me, that’s my job. And I was like, seriously lady? Really? Because I genuinely love shoving that burden off on my husband and family. But the thing is, she had a point, and I started to look at all the relationships in my life very differently. What if I actually started to take responsibility for my own happiness? What a concept! And then, she had this handy worksheet called :                                   Ask the Four Questions. It was life changing, and every now and then, I need to pull one of these bad boys out in order to ….well……in fancy terms—just get over myself already. I really can’t even begin to recommend this book enough, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Katie may call you sweetheart, but she doesn’t pull any punches.
  4. Carry on Warrior:  The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life by my friend and mentor Glennon Doyle. Every now and again, I get really stuck in my writing, and so I shoot G a little tweet or message, and even though she is crazy busy and famous, she always has words of wisdom for me, and as long as I live, I will never stop singing her praises. She is the realest deal there is, my little reader. She takes the brokenness of her life, and lays it out there for all to see. We watch her descent…but then we see her rise, and it’s something of beauty. And it’s all there-so that you can use Glennon’s journey, to help you on yours. The thing G does, is takes that invisible line there is in the world that divides-marks some people as out, and other as IN– goes and grabs everyone’s hands, and DECLARES that everyone BELONGS, and pulls them into the circle.  (Her newest book, Love Warrior made Miss Oprah Winfrey herself take notice and say, “Girl! you are my new best friend! move over Gayle!” (well maybe not that last part.  (teeheheee!!! I did it again! I am the trickiest blogger EVER)                            carry on
  5. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said? I think Liz would say to me, “just tell em what it meant to YOU, honey” And so I will tell you that this book taught me what it looks like to completely surrender–to let go of a plan, or the way you think life should be. To be brave, and try things, and that nothing, and I mean nothing, is more vital to living your best creative life, than taking time to develop a spiritual practice. I am taken aback when I read this book, at the way Liz just went beyond fear, and created such BIG MAGIC in her life. (high five me, here, ok? I’ve just now successfully snuck in yet another book without it counting. Oh the cleverness of me!)

eatAnd so. There it is, my darlings. I must tell you how very painful this was for me, to only pick FIVE. Technically 10.  How do I leave out The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith, or You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life: Simple 4-Minute Meditations for Inspiration, Transformation, and True Bliss , or What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything , or, oh man. I need to stop. I could really just go on and on. But let’s end on my trickiness, shall we? (13 books in the top five list!! that has to be a record! I really am a very naughty girl)

♫La La La La La ♫

There is no way to do this post without going all AUNT AVIS on you. I interchange the word brag with Aunt Avis (God rest her braggy little soul). She was my funny, and adorable aunt that loved to boast. Usually it was about her own children, but she would extend it even to nieces if the opportunity presented itself. I’ve told this story many blog posts ago, but it’s worthy of a re-tell. Continue reading

DiY happyness …the final frontier

True happyness: the final frontier? I just said  that in the voice of Captain  Kirk. I kinda think so. We’ve figured out alot of things..but Happyness proves to be the one thing we don’t have down to a science.  Yesterday’s post, 29 gifts, linked happyness..to giving.  At first, that probably seems a tad backward. But the farther down the lane I get on this, it seems like Zac Brown might really be right when he says..You get what you give . if you don’t know Zac Brown, he’s a really cool dude that usually wears a stocking cap and was just livin life..and doin his thing  till Jimmy Buffett discovered him. He writes  songs about lovin his chicken fried, cold beer on Friday night, and a pair of jeans that fit just right. This guy’s got it figured out.

 It must be said…I am no expert. I have spent my share of dark days holed  up in my mini van on a dirt road consuming diet coke straight up. But…I have some tried and true tricks that get me back into the sun. I call my Mom. I go workout. Or I listen to  Zac sing about fried chicken.  And I have one more trick up my sleeve. Her name is Mary, and  you can find her at http://yourjoyfulwedding.com/  She is my dear friend that wears many hats…all of them fabulous. Mary has mastered the art of mothering, life coaching, and ceremony planning. I will be talking about her a lot in my posts, because her gentle guidance in my life has been one of the most beautiful gems of grace I’ve ever been given.

Not long after I began  talking  with Mary, I quickly learned that I would be doing homework. If I wanted things in my life to change, I couldn’t just sit around and talk about the problems. That’s certainly part of what I had to do initially. But with Mary….there was no dwelling. There was talking..identifying..and then homework. But no dwelling. This is what I love about the whole business of life coaching. It’s exactly that. Someone coaching you through a difficult problem….helping you to learn how to fix it for yourself.

My first assignment was to keep a gratitude journal. Every night, I had to write down a number of things I was grateful for. When I first started, it seemed hard. I had gratitude block.  Cuz I was being a spoiled brat I was in that place..where all I could see was the unpleasant stuff. But, I stuck with it, because all I knew was…there was something about Mary.  by the way..Something about Mary  is also a really awesome movie..but has nothing to do with this post   I wanted what she had. Her face glowed. She seemed to handle every little hardship in her life with ease and skill. I was inspired by the way she treasured and respected her children as individual people,  and couldn’t help but notice the deep friendship  she shared with her husband. I watched in wonder as she created TWO thriving businesses…both as imaginative and wonderful as one could imagine.

And as I kept to my homework…I started noticing more things throughout the day..to be grateful for. Pretty soon, I was writing in the margins. One page a day could not contain all the things I was thankful for. My gaze had shifted from seeing all the wrong…to noticing all the beautiful. It was always there, I just couldn’t…wouldn’t…didn’t…see it.

So..to recap: Keys to happyness

  • Untangling stressful thoughts with  Byron Katie’s questions
  • Giving to others
  • Staying in the present moment
  • Being grateful for what you have, and taking notes
  • Contact my friend Mary Maisey Ireland ( THAT would be a gift to YOURSELF)
  • Listening to Zac sing about  cheat meals on a Friday night

I’ll leave you with this quote from Meister Eckhart: If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is “thank you,” that would suffice.

DIY happyness

It’s hard not to notice all the Do it Yourself blogs out there. There’s everything DIY these days: homemade laundry soap… gift wrap…. bras. I’m making that last one up…but it wouldn’t shock me a bit to google BRAS and see DIY  in the results. I’m not making fun of DIY. I myself find my own eyes lighting up like Clark Griswold’s tacky Christmas bulbs that twinkle when I see those letters. If you don’t love that movie by the way, I seriously doubt you will like this blog. Turn back immediately. I’m totally pumped about Doing it Myself …but then I realize I’m fresh out of chicken wire, and I don’t own a sewing machine.

Here’s the thing…I’m wondering if anyone has ever thought of a DIY for Happyness. I deliberately misspell  happyness ever since The Pursuit of Happynesshttp://youtu.be/_xcZTtlGweQ with Will Smith. I remember that movie each time I spell it that way… and  it makes me HAPPY.  I’m thinking I may have to get a little copycatish fancy, and do this as a Series. Cuz if you are anything like me, your brain can only take in so many words. You might think I have a plan. Of course I don’t. I don’t even know how long this series will last or if it will last at all.  I may decide to stay in bed for the next few days and eat  cookie dough and watch really bad reality tv instead.  Do I have you around my little finger yet? I’ll remind you, that if you are an organized soul, this may take copious amounts of alcohol in order to stay tuned, but..I hope you do. I love talking about Happy.

My gut says that the first block to happyness is ugly thoughts. We constantly have this running commentary going on all day…OMG I look horrible today..I’m hungry..where’s my phone..I need some new flip flops..I have GOT to stop drinking Diet Coke..o crap. I forgot to feed my children today, I’m not fit to raise lizards!..and on and on and on. Some thoughts are harmless, others are mean and nasty. Towards others, or ourselves. Like my awesome Hypnotist Andria http://www.dakotahypnosis.net/all-about-us/staff/ likes to say:

…..We are not responsible for the thoughts that come into in our head. Only the ones we keep.

So..how do you get rid of the icky ones? I started reading Byron Katie a year or so ago. She was referred to in one of the books I was reading at the time by Martha Beck. Katie has quite a story, but I gotta keep this short..so if you want to know more about her..I would suggest you read her book, I Need Your Love, is That True? She has this awesome formula for questioning one’s thoughts, and shedding unpleasant ones.

  • Take your thought that is causing you stress. Unbelievable!!! I waved at George as he was coming out of the tattoo parlour…and he completely ignored me! He doesn’t care about me at all!
  • Ask yourself, is it true? Now when I say…is it true..I mean..if the whole fate of the world hung in the balance..based on your absolute certainty that this was indeed true..could you say..yes it’s true.  (hint hint…we can’t really ever know if something’s true for sure..so the answer will always be NO)  I can’t know it’s true that George doesn’t care about me. (As it turns out, George didn’t have his glasses on..never even saw me. He can’t wear glasses for the next 3 weeks while his dragon tattoo on his right eyebrow heals.)
  • How do I behave when I believe the thought…George doesn’t care about me? I kick stray cats, I eat ungodly amounts of cool whip..I snap at everyone.
  • (This one’s my favorite..right here): Is there any good reason you can come up with to keep thinking the thought..George doesn’t care about me? No. Being sad and eating that much cool whip isn’t good for anyone.
  • And finally..the TURNAROUND. Turn around your negative thought so it points the other way. George DOES care about me. If this is a stretch for you, come up with 3 things to prove he does. He did loan me $10,000 last week for my breast implants…. he babysits my ferret whenever I ask… he’s never ignored me before.

So. Understand the process? It’s just you..talking your way through a stressful thought. Katie would always recommend talking TO the person as well, in this case, George..if you still have your doubts. Her point would be, to not let your thoughts get ahead of you. She has great ideas for what to do if you find out George really was ignoring you like slathering peanut butter on his car and then dumping feathers on it that are quite lovely.

More to come. But speaking from experience, learning to question my thoughts has gone along way towards my happyness. Thank you so much Byron Katie. And thank YOU Will Smith/Chris Gardener for inspiring me to misspell words. Happyness was underlined seven times when I hit spellcheck.  Awesomeness.