If you didn't get my newsletter last month, you were in good company. All the hotmail, sbcglobal, earthlink and a few other email addresses bounced. By the time I sorted everything out, it was mid January and sending a 12-Days of Christmas newsletter felt odd. If you're feeling left-out, you can still read it on the companyofsaints.com website. Click the Hot Reads button on the left. Meanwhile, if you'd rather not get this monthly letter in your email box, please hit return and let me know. Unsubscribing is easy; and better than languishing in junk mail.
People often suggest what I should do to improve The Word Shop. Usually these suggestions are good, and are only lacking a resident 'doer' to put them into effect. The most amusing suggestion to date comes from Brother Bob, who advised me to put blue or red stickers on the books so that people won't get politically offended.
"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends, you talk to your enemies." Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Like many of you I fight the upward creep of the scale in a variety of ways. I've long decided that yo-yo dieting doesn't work, and I watch for small things that might make a difference over the long haul. Some of what I try becomes part of my usual habits; other great ideas disappear. (The 20 push-ups while making morning coffee was very short-lived.) A tip that I found in FLIP THE SWITCH; Proven Stategies to Fuel Your Metabolism & Burn Fat 24 Hours a Day, has proved interesting and valuable in a variety of arenas: Every thirty minutes, get up and move. Author Robert K. Cooper claims that after 30 minutes of being sedentary, your metabolism slows down into hibernation mode. Just a few minutes of flexing muscles or moving around will rev it back up.
Cooper offers some quick exercises, but when he suggested sweeping as a possibility, the light went on. Now I break up my mornings at the computer and evenings in my chair with a few minutes of blasting around doing those little tasks that I never get around to. The expectation is I will also get less a-round. I'm still playing with different ways to handle the timing. FLIP THE SWITCH has given me several other ideas for my Bouncing Bits stack of hot tips. When I'm done reading it, FLIP will be on our cookbooks, health and diet shelves for $5.
"What a pitiable thing it is that our civilization can do no better for us than to make us slaves to indoor life, so that we have to go and take artificial exercise in order to preserve our health." -George Wharton James
OUTLIERS; The Story of Success, is another interesting nonfiction book by Malcolm Gladwell, author of THE TIPPING POINT; How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. He outlines the way lucky breaks, 10,000 hours of practice and one's cultural legacy can influence many of the "self-made" successes around us. I'm passing this book on to my son the math teacher, as the last chapters are particularly intriguing on that subject.
"No one imagines that symphony is supposed to improve as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them." -Alan Watts
I'm also reading RENOVATION OF THE HEART; Putting on the Character of Christ by Dallas Willard of THE DIVINE CONSPIRACY fame. He also has written RENOVATION OF THE HEART IN DAILY PRACTICE, which I wish I'd read in time for my talk on Lenten Possibilities for the Christians in Commerce. Looking on Amazon to make sure I'm spelling Willard right, I discover RENOVATION OF THE CHURCH: What Happens When a Seeker Church Discovers Spiritual Formation. It's by Kent Carlson and Mike Luken but also looks very interesting. So many books . . . *ding* . . . time to run around the house.
"One of the biggest myths around writing is that in order to do it we must have great swathes of uninterrupted time." --Julia Cameron, THE RIGHT TO WRITE
The February Literary Party genre is Romance. All our Romance books are 50% off through February. I won't tell you what I'm reading, but we have two $1 paperbacks on display that I've read and liked: THE SHELL SEEKERS by Rosemund Pilcher, a post WWII English family saga and MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult about a girl who has had endless surgeries in order to keep her sick sister alive. The Romance Lit party is this Friday, February 17 at 1:30.
"Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the human heart can hold." -Zelda Fitzgerald
Keeping on the Page: Some journals, bravely begun at the first of the year, are now petering out. Is yours getting dull? Would you like to give and receive inspiration and ideas on different kinds of journals? A Journaling Symposium will take place from 1:30 - 3 on Friday, February 24 at The Word Shop. $5 suggested donation. Please RSVP as space is limited.
"At the back of our brains, so to speak, there was a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spirited life was to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder." --G. K. Chesterton
Dig deep; Bounce high.