In with the Eyeball Books

I generally hate reading. I love the idea of reading a book, and have a tower of them next to my bed, but am not compelled to open and consume them. Audiobooks – very yes. Eyeball books – very egh. 

In my college Comparative Literature class, a fellow student/pal was giving me a hard time and announced to everyone, “Jenna is a book hater! She hates books!” It’s been like 20 years and I still remember the scene. I can hear his words and see my TA’s face melt into disappointment as she wrinkled her forehead and said, ‘Jenna…why?” The hurt on her face would make it seem like I killed a member of her family.

Fast forward a couple decades…My bestie has made a tradition of giving me books on birthdays and holidays. You might think, “Wow, what a terrible friend to give you books when she knows you hate reading.” On the contrary. She knows how much I hate reading and gives me books in spite of this. She knows exactly when I need to read important messages.

When she gifted me “The Desire Map” by Danielle LaPorte a couple years ago, I paid attention. This book is an investigation into how you want to feel in your core, and lining up your days, weeks and life to make those feelings a reality.

I recently used this book to guide my between-Christmas-and-New-Year’s-reflection bash. After writing down a couple dozen feelings, I needed to synthesize. As much as I like to overachieve, focusing on 20+ feelings in the new year didn’t seem reasonable. I found overlaps and categories, and narrowed it to four. 

In transparency and vulnerability, I’m sharing these categories and feelings with you. Maybe they’ll resonate. Maybe you’re also working on them. Here we go:

  • Be All of Me: When I speak up, show vulnerability, trust what I need and am confident in declaring it, I feel BOLD
  • Space for Inspiration: Having a physical space to pursue yoga, writing, reflection, as well as the discipline in my schedule to hold space for the things that make me a whole, healthy Jenna, it makes me feel GROUNDED.
  • Pursuit of Purpose: I’m paying attention to what lights me up and what sucks my energy. Writing, coaching, teaching, sharing stories and helping people see their potential fires me up. When I align my actions with this fire, it makes me feel in FORWARD MOTION.
  • Know your Worth: I’m ever-attentive to my self-worth and self-esteem, and am learning to pour energy into things and people that are pouring it back into me. No more settling for less than I deserve because it gives me a hit of validation. When I set boundaries, it makes me feel SELECTIVE. 

There it is. My work for 2021. And I’m already doing the things! My “In With The…” project is one way of hitting all these feelings. Creating a morning writing/coffee/yoga ritual also delivers on these feelings. I’m looking forward to sharing the stuff I’m discovering in these four buckets as the weeks and months unfold.

What advice do you have? What works for you? Please don’t recommend a book. 

2 thoughts on “In with the Eyeball Books

  1. I am ever impressed. Just admitting you hate reading will leave many to judge and criticize. Way to go on being honest and finding your own ways to learn, listen, grow, and inspire! Love your 2021 outline. I think you do those things already but now have sharper focus. Such a beautiful, brilliant and inspirational person!!

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