8 Great Reads for the Holidays

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Hello friends! Just in time for the holidays, here are 8 of my favorite books from 2017 and a quick message from each of the authors. XOm, Jonathan


“Recognizing that people's reactions don't belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you've created, terrific. If people ignore what you've created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you've created, don't sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you've created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest - as politely as you possibly can - that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”

Elizabeth Gilbert


"A typical textbook of anatomy and physiology is still today broken down by organ systems, based on physical structures. But when it comes to health and disease, organ systems are rarely affected in isolation. Distinctions like "heart health" and "brain health" - the sort still made on everything from cereal boxes to infomercials to ranking of academic medical centers are outdated. So I divided this book not by traditional organ systems, but by categories of use. Most of the entries can be read in isolation but make the most sense in the context of the others, as read sequentially."


- James Hamblin
 


“Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. It comes from gratitude for what’s good in our lives and from leaning in to the suck. It comes from analyzing how we process grief and from simply accepting that grief. Sometimes we have less control than we think. Other times we have more. I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again.”

- Sheryl Sandberg
 


"'That was some weird shit,' George W. reportedly said with characteristic Texas bluntness. I couldn’t have agreed more.” 

- Hillary Rodham Clinton
 


“But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming 'the people' has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible—this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.”

- Ta-Nehisi Coates
 


“Spiritual humility is not about getting small, not about debasing oneself, but about approaching everything and everyone else with a readiness to see goodness and to be surprised. This is the humility of a child, which Jesus lauded. It is the humility of the scientist and the mystic. It has a lightness of step, not a heaviness of heart. That lightness is the surest litmus test I know for recognizing wisdom when you see it in the world or feel its stirrings in yourself. The questions that can lead us are already alive in our midst, waiting to be summoned and made real. It is a joy to name them. It is a gift to plant them in our senses, our bodies, the places we inhabit, the part of the world we can see and touch and help to heal. It is a relief to claim our love of each other and take that on as an adventure, a calling. It is a pleasure to wonder at the mystery we are and find delight in the vastness of reality that is embedded in our beings. It is a privilege to hold something robust and resilient called hope, which has the power to shift the world on its axis.”

- Krista Tippett


“Balance is the first pillar of happiness in the workplace, because without it, it’s hard to do a good job or enjoy our work. Without some breathing space in the face of constant demands, we won’t be creative, competent, or cheerful. We won’t get along well with others, take criticism without imploding, or control the level of our daily stress. Just as a solid building needs a foundation both level and strong, mindful balance provides the essential foundation we need if we want to weather the stresses of work and find a way to flourish.”

- Sharon Salzberg


“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”

- Brene Brown