Tag Archives: Marie Kondo

My Top 10 Books to Inspire You

Tzivia Gover Author PicksThis post was written in response to a question posed by the librarians at Boston Public Library, where I’ll be speaking about my book Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life Thursday, January 14, at 6 p.m. as part of the Boston Public Library’s Author Talks Series. 

Q: What are the 10 Books that Inspire You Most?

It wasn’t easy to come up with my “Ten Favorite Books to Inspire You”—but it was fun to give the question some thought. As a writer I have an entire village of favorite books that inspire me on my shelves. (I live in a relatively small space, otherwise I’d have an entire metropolis of favorites!) But which ones might inspire you as well? To narrow it down, I began by flipping through the pages of Joy in Every Moment, my latest book, which includes quotes from many of the books that have inspired me to live my best life—one moment at a time. Then I added a few more to come up with a highlights list that includes books of poetry, philosophy, self-help, psychology, and fiction. I hope you find something here to inspire you! Enjoy.

  1. The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel: The fictional character, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, inspired me to “choose the better story”—a reminder I turn to again and again.
  2. Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman: I re-read this book-length poem with a group of friends almost every year on the Fourth of July (the anniversary of the book’s publication). It takes us about two hours to read the entire poem aloud, and each time I feel inspired to try to do my part to live up to Whitman’s vision of true equality and democracy.
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl: A psychiatrist imprisoned in a concentration camp comes away recommitted to his belief that we can live positive and purposeful lives filled with meaning—no matter what the circumstances. Now that inspires me.
  4. You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay: As a young woman, this classic self-help book inspired—and empowered—me, to wake up to the role our thoughts play in manifesting our lives.
  5. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by Carl Jung: My dreams are a constant source of inspiration to me. Jung’s work helps me to explore them, trust them, and find meanings within them.
  6. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo: With joy as the organizing principle for getting one’s house in order, this quirky little book inspires me to experience my surroundings in a richer way!
  7. From Where You Dream, by Robert Olen Butler: This book inspires me to grab my pen, nearly as soon as I open my eyes in the morning—and start to write.
  8. Active Hope, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone: I turn to this book again and again when I need to be inspired to live from my heart in a time of great challenges to our magnificent planet.
  9. Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed: Pearls of wisdom wrapped in humor and humility and delivered with gloves-off, gut-wrenching candor—that’s what I call inspiration.
  10. Comfortable With Uncertainty, by Pema Chödrön: I have this book in paperback and in an MP3 file on my iPod so I can read or listen to it any time, including at 4 a.m. on nights when I can’t sleep. This book inspires me to face difficult situations and emotions with a loving heart.

May these books inspire you, too. Or better yet, may you be inspired to share with others your ten most inspiring books!

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[Originally Published by Boston Public Library http://www.bpl.org/press/2016/01/08/author-picks-tzivia-govers-top-ten-books-to-inspire-you/]

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The Life-Changing Magic of Deleting My Facebook Pages

Recently, I consulted a consultant to help me tidy up my web page and set some business goals for 2016. But after laying out my array of projects and pursuits (there’s the dream business, the mindfulness workshops, the poetry workshops for adults in literacy classes, the writing workshops for dreamers, the book I just wrote that needs promoting, the books I wrote years ago that need promoting, my own writing and  … ) the consultant basically said:

“Honey, you’re a mess. You need to get yourself organized.”

Okay, that’s not exactly what she said, but that’s what I heard.

So, I decided to start by tidying up my office. I’m one of those people who can’t think until I clean up my desk. And to clean up my desk I need to have someplace to put those towers of paper. And in order to find places for those towers of papers I need to clear out some file drawers and cabinets, and so …

That’s when I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join all of my other friends who’ve recently begun tossing out Hefty bags filled with old clothes and shoes and books, and fold their sweaters and T-shirts so they can be stored in the drawers standing up (!) … and I began reading Marie Kondo’s book, “The Amazing Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

But does it spark joy?

I haven’t had the time to address Kondo’s suggestions in any global way (see list of projects listed above) but I have taken her message to heart. Kondo’s premise is that we find a quiet expansive period of time and go through everything we own, object by object, holding each one in our hands and asking, “Does this item give me joy?”

Before I began the book, I’d been warned that Kondo, a Japanese tidying expert, might sound a bit nutty, but that I should hang in there.

But truth be told, I fell in love with Kondo’s quirky, obsessive, heart-felt dedication to her work, and I immediately resonated with her prescription to use Joy as the guiding light in her tidying method.

The other hallmark of Kondo’s approach that I love is that the first step in “getting your house in order,” is to discard anything all those items that don’t bring joy.

So, while I’m waiting for a break in my schedule when I can take each item in my office in hand and ask the magic question, I’m starting to discard some of the complicating detritus in my life, anyway.

Out with the old, in with the Joy

Along with a coral-colored sweater, a fork with a twisted handle, and some worn-out shoes, I’m sloughing off Facebook pages. Yes! I have accumulated 7…count them 7 Facebook pages, including 1 personal page, 1 group page, 2 family event pages, 3 business pages!

My personal Facebook page brings me great joy! There I connect with my family and friends—and as long as I don’t spend too much time there, I love reading updates about my loved ones. So that’s a keeper.

The other Facebook page that brings not only joy but deep meaning to my life is my 350 Dreamers page, where I meet with dreamers from around the world, to practice using the power of our dreams to bring healing, love, and light to our world in the face of Climate Change. (Anyone is welcome to join, whether you regularly remember your dreams or not.)

And finally, I really, really love my new author’s page on Facebook. This page is where I offer tips and ideas for increasing joy and meaning in day-to-day life, through working with dreams, writing, and mindfulness.

The upside of Facebook

For me the best part of Facebook is it lets us publish to the world (or at least to our friends and followers) our true values and aspirations. It’s also a place we can ask for support and affirmation and guidance. My author page is where I get to reach hundreds of people and practice honing my message and sharing my best practices for living my best life.

But alas, my other two Facebook pages (they’re gone now so I won’t talk too much about them) just felt like too much baggage. They each served a valuable purpose and brought me happiness once, but now they are just clutter in the cyber-reaches of my mind. So, as Kondo teaches, I thank them for the good they brought me, the connections they nurtured, and I bid them adieu.

And now, I hope you will take a look at my new page, and if it brings you Joy to receive practical, hopeful, original, and sometimes humorous messages in your newsfeed that help you to follow your dreams and live a life of meaning and happiness—please click the LIKE button.

Whatever you choose, I hope you will do it with intention and in the spirit of joy and love.

I’d LOVE it if you’d LIKE my new page on Facebook! It’s all about Dreams, Joy, and Waking Up!

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