02.16.2014Despite or perhaps because of the recent snow, the *doing* of spring is astir and blinking open sleepy eyes.

Here are some of my recent favorite guides for clearing, focusing, and embracing the pace of what lies just ahead …

* “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. I’ve implemented just a smidgen of well-explained tactics for organization and experienced big results. I wonder what will happen when I use chapters like “The Power of Next-Action Decision?”

* “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” by Natalie Goldberg. Sometimes you need the most simple tip to get started, such as getting the pen that feels right for you. There’s a bounty of prompts, support, and personal stories to inspire the hand to keep moving. Writing is an essential in my life, but all creativity is a hallmark of spring!

* “The Art of Non-Conformity” by Chris Guillebeau. I’ve found myself coming back to this book a lot for distilled encouragement such as “You need passion. You need a vision and a task. You need the answers to the two most important questions in the universe. You need commitment to stay the course.” (Page 83 tells you what Chris Guillebeau thinks the two most important questions are.) This a great book to help you take on the natural momentum of spring.

* “Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac: A 2014 Seasonal Gardening Guide” by Harris Publications, Inc. Not just because I finished my coursework as a Master Gardener through Cornell Cooperative Extension  or because I support the work of the Kingston YMCA Farm Project, I turn to the Almanac mostly because it keeps me connected to that treasured microcosm of life: the garden. There’s a snapshot of each month’s essentials: planting dates, moon phases, and seasonally appropriate activities and plants. You can also learn the secret language of 12 flowers – Violets, February’s Flower of the Month, means “modesty, virtue, faithfulness.”

* “Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living” by Pema Chodron. As you harness the growth, movement, and pushing upward of spring you may enjoy the wisdom offered in this book. Each five to fifteen-paged chapter has opened up a world of self-awareness and possibility for peace in my life. As the stirring of the season stirs up even more I anchor myself in insights such as “We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves – the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds – never touch our basic wealth.”