I have to admit I’m wiggling in my seat right now. I am so excited for my upcoming week off! Yes, I am unplugging and off for a meditation and yoga retreat. My treat! The kind that feeds my soul!

How about you? Any plans coming up? Perhaps you’re already on vacation… in that case… I’m going to make this short and sweet and pass along some favorite books and podcasts to enjoy.

Mindful books and podcasts for your pleasure:

Modern Mindfulness: How to Be More Relaxed, Focused, and Kind While Living in a Fast, Digital, Always-On World
Rohan Gunatillake – St. Martin’s Griffin

Does mindfulness need a redesign? Author Rohan Gunatillake, the creator of the popular buddhify app, says yes. Although there’s never been more interest in mindfulness and meditation than right now, three barriers keep too many people from making mindfulness a lived reality: the time problem (“I just don’t have time to meditate”), the hippy problem (“You have to be spiritual or religious to get into meditation”), and the digital problem (“It’s not practical for me to unplug everything”). Fortunately, each of these barriers is more apparent than real, and in this accessible, readable book, he lays out some techniques for bringing mindfulness into even the busiest of lives. Gunatillake also argues that switching off our devices is not the key to mindfulness. Instead, he makes suggestions for using technology, like mobile phones and television, to actually be mindful.

Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
Fumio Sasaki – Norton

Imagine you live in a 215-square-foot apartment, with fewer pieces of furniture than fingers on your hand, and about 150 possessions in total. Yes, that’s a bit extreme. But it actually describes the lifestyle of writer Fumio Sasaki, who decided to pare down his possessions to the barest minimum after years struggling with stress, insecurity, and comparing himself against others. As a result, he says, he was able to let go of the emotional baggage that comes from defining yourself by the things you own. Goodbye, Things kicks off by defining “minimalism,” a way of living that has been around for decades but has been gaining popularity over the past 10 years or so. From there, Sasaki explores the psychological underpinnings of our materialistic culture and offers advice for how to shift your mindset around belongings, say goodbye to the stuff, and feel good about it. The book is light and easy to read, dotted with anecdotes from Sasaki’s personal experience transforming from a maximalist into a minimalist.

The Wisdom of Not Knowing: Discovering a Life of Wonder by Embracing Uncertainty
Estelle Frankel – Shambhala

Estelle Frankel, a practicing psychotherapist and teacher of Jewish mysticism, has written a timely new book about daring to not know. Certainty in extreme situations, she says in a passage that resonates today, can lead to bigotry and hatred, which “thrive in environments where people are too certain—when they think they know the truth and consider their version of it to be the only valid perspective.” Too often we allow our fears to shape our imagination; this prevents genuine possibility from emerging in our lives and holds us back from taking risks and venturing into the unknown. Frankel suggests that we should use our imagination to embrace the possibilities that not knowing can offer us, and as a result, “our lives and our consciousness expand.”

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children
Shefali Tsabary, PhD.

Dr. Tsabary details how our children can be raised as conscious adults only when we as parents allow ourselves to be raised into a higher state of consciousness. Dr. Tsabary shifts the parent-to-child “know it all” approach to a mutual parent-with-child relationship. It’s not a hands-off approach at all… in fact, the approach challenges our own dysfunctions and sets the course for awakening, relating and deep presence.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Angela Duckworth

If you haven’t read this yet… go, get it! For anyone who is interested in getting past what doesn’t work in your life, Grit puts forth concrete data on the virtues of leaving our fixed mindsets and living from a growth mindset. It’s a great read and I guarantee you will be uplifted.

Podcast: 10% Happier
Episode 56: “George Stephanopoulos, ABC News Chief Anchor”

Most of us know Dan Harris, the ABC newsman who has a panic attack live on Good Morning America and went on to write best-selling book 10% Happier. Well, Dan also started a podcast. In this episode, he talks with George S. about his twice-daily meditation practice.

On a bit of a deeper note…

Podcast: The One You Feed
Episode 160: Emily Esfahani Smith

“Human beings are meaning-seeking creatures,” says the author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters. “Transcendent experiences are crucial to having a greater sense of meaning in life.”


Julie interviews a host of incredible people who are making a difference in today’s world. Every Wednesday afternoon grab a cuppa tea and enjoy where Julie takes you. You won’t regret it!

Happy Summer!! Go make some memories!


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If this resonates with you and you’d like to overcome some of your own barriers to living the life you want, then click here and I’ll make sure we connect. And you know I like to share the love, so if you know someone who could benefit from this article then please share it! Imagine, thought by thought and act by act we are creating a more conscious world.

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