Indulgence or Escape?

This weekend I had an interesting discussion while I was reading tarot. The 9 of cups came up in the reading, and we talked about enjoying the pleasures of life, while being careful of overindulgence.

The other person commented about over-consumption, and I responded that it’s not just that. For whatever reason, that card hit me personally, Overindulgence is not just over-consumption. It can also be escapism.

I am a Pisces, and there are times when I really have to focus to stay in the “real” world. I have a tendency to want to escape (and I really hope you read that in Dory’s voice from Finding Nemo… es-CAH-pay!).

escape into books, indulge in a bookPisces have a tendency toward addictions as a way to escape the world. Drugs and alcohol are obvious choices there. And yet there are many things one can become addicted to – caffeine, sugar, people, lifestyle, etc. I’ve managed to avoid addiction to drugs and alcohol, and I’ve experienced addictions to caffeine and sugar and people and experiences.

Addiction isn’t the only way to escape, though. I escape into books or movies. I escape into creative projects. I escape into games on my phone. I’ve been escaping into books mostly. (To be fair, it’s a REALLY good series, and I’m almost done.)

Reading is a lovely indulgence. It gets me away from the glowing screen, and activates my imagination. It’s also a means of escape. I’m frantically writing this blog post before I go to work this morning because I chose to read yesterday morning, and go to a movie yesterday afternoon.

Was it self-care? Heck yeah! November was a crazy busy month, and December doesn’t seem much less busy, with more requests of my time the more I try to hibernate. With all of the demands on my time, it doesn’t seem too unreasonable to give myself the downtime of reading.

As long as I keep it balanced and get my work done, too.

How do you find your balance between indulgence and escape?



So Many Books!

I love to read. When I was a child, and my parents would tell me to go outside and play, I’d often just grab a book and go sit in the yard to read.

20130121-092745.jpgI bring a book with me almost everywhere I go. Actually, with the Kindle app on my phone, I do bring books with me everywhere I go!

I have a problem, though. I don’t make as much time as I would like to read. I’m a pretty busy person. A lot of my time is committed to other people and projects that I have on the go. So squeaking in a few moments here and there to read can sometimes be pretty tricky. Or else it means not doing something else.

I already don’t watch television. I will sometimes borrow movies from the library, though even that is pretty infrequent. I’m working on making sure I journal regularly, and getting enough sleep. All of this means less reading time.

I have a book shelf (and now an iPhone) full of books. All of them call out to me to read and learn from. Most of the books I want to read are self-development or spiritually based, though I do have some mind-candy (fiction) in there as well to mix things up.

I find now, though, that my attention span for books isn’t quite as long as it used to be. Computers and modern technology have given me a form of ADD – if its not extremely engaging, or if the story is moving too slowly, my mind wants to switch to something else. Change the channel, so to speak.

I’m not sure what the solution is here. I spend much of my work day at the computer. Then there’s email and marketing to do on the computer when I get home from work. So unplugging entirely isn’t really an option (though at times, it does seem like a blissful dream).

If I am not as responsive to email or Facebook or comments on the blog here for a while, I ask your forgiveness. Chances are I have my nose in a book.



Summer Reading

One of my favorite leisure activities is reading. There are some weeks that I manage to get a lot of reading in, and others not so much.  I was cleaning the stack of books, some read, some unread, off my nightstand, so I thought I would share some of my favorite reading with you.

In general, my reading comes in three categories:

  • mind candy (otherwise known as fiction)
  • business/professional development
  • personal growth/spiritual development

Let’s start with the Mind Candy, since all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl.

My all time favorite in the Mind Candy Category is definitely The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  It tells the Arthurian Legend from Morgaine’s (Morgan le Fay’s) point of view.  All of her Avalon series is good, and Diana Paxson has even continued the storyline with excellent success.  As with most book to film stories, the book is MUCH better than the movie.

An excellent series that my son introduced me to is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  It is a fun twist on Greek mythology.

While I’m not a big fan of the HBO series True Blood, I absolutely love the Sookie Stackhouse books, starting with Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.  The series is based, very loosely, on the books, and I found the books a lot more fun!  They definitely qualify as mind candy!

Moving on to the business/professional development category, one of the first books I recommend to change your mindset about money is Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker.  If you are stuck in a financial rut, this book will help get you started in the process of turning yourself around.

Another book that really helped me change my thinking about money is The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources by Lynne Twist.  She is an incredible woman, a phenomenal fundraiser, and someone who has done incredible work to feed the hungry. She was also called to help create the constitution in Ecuador, which is the only country that includes rights for the land.

If you are a business owner, or entrepreneur, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin is a wonderful resource. Once upon a time, tribes were small and very localized.  With the internet at our fingertips, tribes have become globalized.  They are seeking leaders, not only for big trends, but also for specialized niches.

Right now I am reading Rules for Renegades by Christine Comaford-Lynch. The tag line is How to Make More Money, Rock Your Career, and Revel in Your Individuality.  I’ve just started reading this one, so I can’t tell you much about it other than that she has an excellent sense of humor, and she’s been through some incredible experiences.

And last but not least, personal growth/spiritual development.  Where to start?  I’ve read several of Dan Millman’s books, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior, and The Laws of Spirit. Dan Millman has a wonderful way of weaving life lessons into an easy to read story that draws you in. He keeps it interesting!

One book I read quite a long time ago that really stuck with me is Keys to the Open Gate: A Woman’s Spirituality Sourcebook by Kimberley Snow. the author includes wisdom from many different religions and excerpts from books around the world.  She includes activities and meditations to go along with the writings.  It’s a good book to read a little bit every day.

Most recently, I just finished reading The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. Deepak is definitely one of the enlightened teachers of our time, and this book is clear and concise.  I’ve noticed these laws ineffect in my life just since reading the book.

What are your favorite books?  What’s on your summer reading list?