The January Holisticle: Less booze and noise, more reading and gratitude for 2018
The 'Be Happy Hotlist' has had an upgrade.
Being happy is great, but it's not the end game (I'm learning). The end game is JOY, people.
Because it's impossible to be happy all the time. That's not how we are designed.
We have to experience the lows to appreciate the highs, and cultivating a general joy for (and in) life is what will get us through those not so great times.
According to the experts, the way to joy is not success, pleasure or even fun (see Matthew Kelly's brilliant The Rhythm of Life for more on this concept), it's fulfilment.
That is fulfilling our potential and purpose and feeling like we are making a difference and making this life count.
And so... the Shelf Help Holisticle is born!
What is a 'HOLISTICLE', anyway?
A 'holisticle' is my own (rather clever, I think) term combining the words 'holistic' (the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected) and 'listicle' (writing in the form of a list).
And the Shelf Help Holisticle is a mini monthly edit of inspiration, resources and advice across the four parts of each of us that should be nurtured in order to be fulfilled and live our fullest and best lives.
These four parts - as referenced in tonnes of self-help texts, including The Rythym of Life and the November BOTM Material Girl, Mystical World - are: the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual parts.
And the bad/good news is that we really need to work on all of them if we're interested in getting better as a whole.
Here are four ways I'm striving to be better in January...
1. PHYSICAL: Less booze
I'm not quitting booze but I am setting some boundaries that I hope will become habits in 2018. If you're ready to look at your relationship with alcohol This Naked Mind and Kick The Drink... Easily are brilliant books for debunking our conditioning around the hard stuff.
I love the Club Soda Facebook forum for tips and general support on drinking in moderation. And if you're going cold turkey try the 28-day challenge with the One Year No Beer boys and/or followThe Numinous and The Sober Glow Instagramaccounts for stylish sober inspo.
2. INTELLECTUAL: More books
I (obviously) like reading, but I'm always running out of time. Inspired by February's BOTM, The Miracle Morning, getting up early enough to read at least one chapter a day of a self-help book before work was one of the best changes I made to my life in 2017.
Feeding our minds in the morning when our brains are fresh means we'll go into the day with a Ready Brek-esque glow and a real sense of accomplishment, as well as having learned something new.
3. EMOTIONAL: More gratitude
The more we are grateful for, the more we will get to be grateful for. Recognising and being thankful for what we already have is the foundation for a happy life and the easiest way to lift our mood without getting a hangover.
The Gratitude Thread on the Shelf Help Facebook page is a place to write three (new) things to be thankful for each day in January. Contributions so far have included pets, people and prescription drugs (we're a very modern kind of book club).
4. SPIRITUAL: Less Noise
I've been trying to teach myself to meditate for over two years and took a weekend Vedic meditation course (with Will Williams Meditation) this summer to finally get my zen sh!t together. It was brilliant and although I still fall off the wagon re 'formal' meditation sometimes I am a lot more aware of taking mindful moments when I can; on the tube, in the post office queue, in the shower. And it's showing in my general contentment levels so I'm determined to keep it up.
The Buddhify app from this month's BOTM author Rohan Gunatillake offers loads of mini guided meditations for all situations, including travelling and bedtime, and I'm also excited about the Quiet Clubs just launched by the Just Breathe movement in London as places to get together and get, um, quiet.
SHELF HELP Books of the Month (BOTM)
Feedback from the first few months of Shelf Help is that not everyone has the chance to read one self-help book a month, so here are the next four month's titles in case you want to start reading a future book now so you'll be ready to enjoy that book club later.
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