I love reading books, listening to podcasts during my daily commute, and finding out about new ideas, thought leaders and resources. I also love to share what I learn, and so here's the place to find out what I think is new and interesting. Every item I recommend has been personally reviewed by me.
Please note, some of the items on this page contain affiliate links, meaning if you end up buying a book or other resource that I've linked to, I earn a small affiliate payment, which helps keeps this website running!
strengthening the Mind Body connection
ayurveda (idiot's guides)
Author: Sahara Rose Ketabi
I practice yoga and meditation daily, and I was aware of the healing system of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a sister practice of yoga, developed in India thousands of years ago. But that's all I knew, and didn't think much about it. Then, I heard the author of Ayurveda (part of the Idiot's Guide series), Sahara Rose, interviewed on the podcast My Seven Chakras. Her personal story was fascinating, and her description of how she came to practice Ayurveda to heal her digestive issues intrigued me. I started listening to her podcast, and heard mention of the release of her new book. She certainly seemed to know what she's talking about, so I felt fairly confident I could learn at least the basics of Ayurveda by reading her new book. I have been enjoying this book. It's written in a very accessible style, following the format of the Idiot's Guide series. Considering all the concepts involved in Ayurveda, this is no easy task. I'm still wrapping my mind around it. However, Sahara Rose has also included lots of applicable information regarding eating and hygiene practices, which I've actually started adopting, and I already do feel more balanced.
books on creativity
the accidental creative: how to be brilliant at a moment's notice
Author: Todd Henry
I'm a bit late to the game in reading Todd Henry's first book, especially since I've already read his last release, Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice. However, in the past year, my work team has been facing the challenge of creating lots more content-- work, as Todd puts it, that is prolific and brilliant. So when he referenced the practice of Weekly Checkpoints from his first book on his Accidental Creative podcast, I realized that it was time to catch up on what I had been missing. In the book, he talks about the dynamics of creative teams and creative blocks. The second part of the book deals with honoring your creative rhythm by developing effective practices in relation to Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli and Hours.
I've been listening to the Accidental Creative podcast for the past four years. I enjoy Todd's insight into the struggles that creative, "right brain" people often face in their day-to-day work. Sometime, before he releases his next book in early 2018, I need to catch up on Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day.
The Artist's Way
Author: Julia Cameron
Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way: 25th Anniversary Edition is a must read for any creative person, in any field. It's especially written for those who are working to overcome the experience of "block" or being "stuck." I had this book for years and it was too painful to get past the first few chapters. When I found a Facebook group dedicated to The Artist's Way, I joined, and very soon after that one of the members was beta testing a free eight-week course based on the book, I was eager to join. I figured that going through the book with others, using worksheets, would help me complete the book. It was indeed what I needed. However, this book is designed to be used on your own as well. You will be challenged, but in a good way. I journaled a lot while going through this study, and gained many valuable insights about what was keeping me stuck.
There are many good reasons why this book has endured for a quarter of a century. It is well worth the read, and the more time you put into the processes that she asks the reader to go though, the more you will get out of it. It's one of those books that I will return to, possibly on an annual basis. Learn more about Julia Cameron and her work.
Two books that will develop your customer service skills, no matter what industry you're in
Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
Author: Lee Cockerell
In April 2016, I and four other colleagues had the opportunity to participate in the Disney Institute for Quality Customer Service in Orlando, Florida. For two and a half days, we learned about how Disney intentionally designs their systems, processes, and the management of employees (known as "cast members) to provide world renowned customer service, their "magic," complete with site visits around the theme parks to see how their standards are put into practice. Our goal was to see how we could implement their lessons at our organization, and to look into the possibility of hosting a one day version of the Institute at our university (which we successfully did in June 2017). I was very taken with Disney's training and wanted to learn more. I searched for podcasts and discovered the excellent Creating Disney Magic, which is a weekly conversation between host Jody Maberry and Lee Cockerell, the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World® Resort. In Creating Magic, Lee provides leadership strategies based on his over 40 years' experience in the hospitality industry (including 25 years at Disney and Disney Institute), and he illustrates his points with many engaging stories from his career. Lee's show is worth a listen, and his books are definitely worth a read.
Be Our Guest: Revised and Updated Edition: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service (The Disney Institute Leadership Series)
AUthors: The Disney Institute, Theodore Kinni
If you can't attend the Disney Institute for Quality Customer Service in person, this book is a great way to get the main points of the training. This book takes you through the application of Disney's approach to Service, Cast, Setting, Process and Integration. It's well written, and follows the Institute's curriculum very closely.