Today, let’s talk about four of the best self-nurturing and common sense living books. These books are ones that sit on my shelf and have brought me so much delight over the years, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
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Video Transcript: 4 of the Best Self-Nurturing & Common Sense Living Books
One of the things that helps me to flourish in my creative life is a practice that I think of as self-nurturing. That is basically finding ways to take care of myself, to be kind to myself and it’s also often known as self-love or self-care. For me, there’s been times in my life where it couldn’t always cost a lot of money to practice self-care.
I couldn’t just drop $100 on a massage or fly off to Fiji. Instead, I would turn to one of my all-time favorite nurturing practices, and that is reading. So in this video, I wanted to share with you four of the best self-nurturing and common-sense living books I’ve found.
#1. Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender
Book number one is really both, it’s self-nurturing and a common-sense living book. This one I took with me on a writing retreat to Bali, so I did actually fly off to Fiji, so to speak.
I was delighted to dive into this book at the end of every day to unwind and find inspiration for some pieces that I was writing at the time.
What I love about Sue Bender is she is very raw, she is very authentic and she tells it as it is in these little, tiny vignettes. Some of the stories, most of the stories, I should say, are really only a couple of pages long, and sometimes even only a paragraph. You finish each one and you feel this little poignant, “Yeah, that was good.”
So, Everyday Sacred is #1 on the list. Not because it’s the best, just because it’s the right size to fit on top of the pile.
#2. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Number Two is a book written by Cheryl Strayed. Now, my dear friend Jess Ainscough put me onto this book, and also onto Cheryl’s other book called Wild, which is about her trek through the mountains in America.
This book here is actually a collection of essays and columns that she used to write under a pseudonym for an online website where people would write in for advice from Dear Sugar. It’s a collection of her responses to people’s questions, and I loved her book because it was really a lot of common sense, but, in fact, it wasn’t that common.
Sometimes I think in our culture we have ideas of what we should do in the face of life’s difficulties, and she comes up with these surprising twists and like, “Hmmm, you know what? That makes a lot of sense when I think about it like that.”
I devoured this in about two days, and I highly recommend it as something to dive into before you’re going to sleep.
You’ll find it very entertaining and delightful.
#3 Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
The last physical book that I’ve got to show you is so dear to my heart.
Simple Abundance, A Day Book of Comfort and Joy, has been sitting beside my bed for approximately 14 years. It’s the one book that is never too far away from my arm’s reach, because I love to be able to just flip open and dive into one of her short little stories or essays that Sarah Ban Breathnach writes.
One for every day of the year. It’s always got this lovely, nurturing quality about it.
In the book, Sarah’s drawn from a whole lot of past wisdom and advice from women’s magazines, from back in the 50’s and the 20’s and the 1800’s, and kind of compiled them into these very relatable and accessible nuggets of things that we can bring home into our daily life to bring us comfort and joy.
Everything from decluttering and tidying our house, to finding what clothes suit us, to making sure we make time for hobbies such as gardening and painting . . . it’s just a woman’s wonderful, wonderful world of advice.
Find yourself a copy of Simple Abundance if you’re looking for some comfort and joy.
#4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
The final book that I wanted to share with you, I can’t show you a physical copy because it’s on my Kindle, but it’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I know I’ve spoken about this on the blog, as I’ve given away a copy in the past, but Marie Kondo’s book is so beautiful in that she talks about how to declutter your environment and make it so it really supports you and brings you joy and pleasure.
As I’ve followed the sequence of steps in that book, particularly in my wardrobe, it’s totally revolutionized the way I feel about getting dressed in the morning, among other things.
Why Self-Nurturing is Important for Creativity
So those are the four books that I’m really delighted to be able to share with you today, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below what books you love to turn to when you’re looking for some comfort and pleasure in your daily life.
I really do believe that the kinder that we can be to ourselves, the more kind we can be to others and also the more our creative life will flourish, because there’s one thing that happens when we start to set off on making something happen in our creative life…
Our inner critic will likely be roaring at us.
The more that we can buffer ourselves with a cocoon of love and kindness and gentleness, the more resources and fortitude we have to be able to not push through, but to step above those critical voices and actually make what it is that we desire to make in the world.
So that’s it for me for now. I wish you a beautiful week. Be kind to yourself and nurture your creativity, and I’ll see you later!
Did you miss last week’s post? Check it out here: How to Make Anything You Want