Category: bookworm

a lot like magic

My reads this past couple of months:

No Greater Love by Mother Teresa

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

Fearless by Max Lucado

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele

Now that I see it in plain black and white, I noticed that the word “magic” is the common
denominator. You also hear and see phrases like:

Magic is my religion.” (Thank you Instagram)

Mind over matter, it’s magic” (Thank you Frank Ocean)

So what is this whole “Magic” phenomenon?

After pulling the rainbow scarves out of the sleeves, the white rabbit out of the hat, sawing all the books
in half, throwing a handful of glitter in the air …basically removing all the fluff out of the way, I present
to you “Magic” in its most basic, authentic spirit — Love.

Love for life.

Love for others.

Love for yourself.

When love is the choice over anger, fear, ego in all your decisions, magic happens. You Conquer more,
build your own Faith and go about your day running on a tank of Hope just a little past empty. I
understand that it’s all about perspective so what you think and believe or what you perceive as your
reality is what you’ll take away from what you read. Did that make sense? Read it over again. And I know
many people will get a different message after reading this book list but I guess what I’m saying is from
all things this universe possess, why not choose to see love? See it in how you think, how you speak, how
you serve others and yourself. Leonardo Da Vinci once said,  “life without love is no life at all.”

So go like a unicorn and make magic!

step back

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I’m reading a bit less compared to my last book update back in February:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
The Happy Vegan by Russell Simmons
The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp
And I’m currently reading: 
Thinking Fast and Slow by David Kahneman 
Intentional Living by John C. Maxwell
It’s one of the greatest feeling when I reach the end of a book but I took a step back and asked myself, 
“Are you reading to finish the book or are you reading to learn?” 
I was reading to finish the book. My honesty lead me to approach my habit of reading differently and made me look for better ways of soaking information in, but more importantly finding intention behind my chosen habit because to me, that is the key to being focused and consistent. 
First, I made a small change to highlight. 
I never highlighted until I read The Creative Habit. The author, Twyla Tharp, doesn’t read for pleasure, she reads to learn. Her books are filled with highlighted paragraphs, written notes on each page, papers sticking out with even more notes. She’s active with her reading and encourages her readers to do the same. This practice makes The Reader turn into The Learner. 
It may seem straightforward but sometimes I go overboard with highlighting that my book turns into a colouring book. 
So how do you know what to highlight?
You know those sentences that make you straighten your spine and nod your head? That’s your body signalling you that what ever was written resonated deep within you. Roll with it. Scratch that, highlight it. 
Another way of determining whether it’s highlight worthy is asking yourself, 
“Could I see it in Pinterest under the Quotes category or Retweeted on Twitter or posted on The Good Quote on Instagram?”
“If I saw this posted on a social media platform, would I pause and press ‘Like’?”. 
Yep, it’s come to a point where social media is controlling our way of thinking. But don’t think of it as a negative thing. Adjust your perspective! Instead, think of it as a tool to benefit you. Control it instead of it controlling you. In this case, is what you just read worthy of you tapping on that imaginary Like button? Yes? Highlight it!
Secondly, I made a change to have a back up. 
I usually read two books at once. One that’s very informative and another that’s more for leisure. This way when you feel like your heads about to explode with all the new information, you have another book to bounce back on. Read light after reading heavy –Balance! 
It’s like doing a cleanse; All that grease from the fries start to catch up to you. You feel sluggish because there’s no such thing as a well-balanced meal in your world. Your first idea is to change your diet. Your food choices are based on what’s easier to digest, and that’s when you begin your cleansing journey. (I know, cleansing is easier said than done. I mean, it would be so much easier if it wasn’t coupon szn, right? [dramatic sad face emoji]) 
Lastly, I made a change to have an end time. 
Before all I would do is read, read, read. All I did was read. I never knew my limit until someone asked me what movies were out. I just stood there blankly. TV was no longer my life. Netflix, maybe. But not TV. I wasn’t exposed to movie trailers or any commercials. I knew this wasn’t a big concern but instead, I took it as an area I needed to improve on — Time Management. 
Setting yourself up for success begins with prioritizing your time. I made it my priority to set a designated time to read. It allows me to be more focused on what’s in front of me because everything I do already has a set time. I made sure that I focused my time on reading for two hours. Once I hit that two hour time mark, it’s on to the next.
When I schedule an end time for reading, I leave myself wanting more which creates the excitement to read again the next day feel so reeeal. (It’s so real I needed three E’s. One just didn’t cut it.)
I know a lot of you are struggling to keep focus, but don’t be discouraged. When you find that you’ve hit a wall, step back, be honest with yourself and ask questions that will lead you to overcome that obstacle. Remind yourself that an obstacle doesn’t mean to quit. It means you need to do something different. It means you’re about to embark on something new.
I was struggling to get through my “Reader’s Block”. I was reading to say I finished a book. Where’s the intention in that? So I made it an effort to realign my focus on what really mattered to me and what really matters is to continuously learn and grow. I made it an effort to challenge myself. Now, I am challenging myself to bring focus on the ideas and thoughts that stand out to me, to make the book my own by highlighting. I am challenging myself to find balance with reading and every thing else in my life. I am challenging myself to be organized with my time so that reading doesn’t take over my whole day. By just doing these simple small changes, I am now overcoming the idea of being The Reader to being The Learner. There’s a stronger impact on my habit of reading when I allowed purpose and meaning to be the foundation.
What are some of your challenges in your life right now? Why is it challenging? How will you overcome those challenges? Are you doing anything different today that’s different from yesterday?
A small change is a great beginning. Through small changes, a habit is formed only if done day in and day out. And a habit is the tell all factor of who you will be. Through my own mistakes, I’ve learned and now believe that intention behind what I do is what makes you focused, consistent and persevere even further. 
Are you reading just to finish or are you reading to learn?      

  I’m right here with you.

Good luck! 

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titles and authors


In a span of four months I have read more books than my whole four years in high school. I’m surprised how I even graduated without ever reading a chapter, let alone the title and author. (Thank you, Sparknotes!) I would just like to share with you the collection of thoughts and words from the many beautiful minds I had the pleasure of exploring!

Find Your Balance Point by Brian Tracy & Christina Stein

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Bird by Bird by AnneLamott

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman

Carry on, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Currently reading On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.

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You can definitely learn a lot about a person from what they read. Usually their choice of books reflect their current journey in life. Just look at the people reading in the subway on their way to work. I love observing others. I begin to create stories about their life. You become BFF’s and don’t even know it. Yes, it’s creepy. But totally for research, promise. Reading in public is a subtle way of letting strangers know who you are. For me, with the many self-help books I’ve been reading I probably come off as such a mommy or a person who’s going through a quarter-life-crisis. Perfect! It shows that I’m trying to understand the world around me and to be a better me. I could feel embarrassed for reading these books and put up an image by reading a classic novel or something intellectual, but who wants to see a lady snoring and drooling with a book hanging out of her hand? Maybe one day, but not today. Reading is like an affordable vacation I take a couple of hours a day. It relaxes me and takes me to a new world through someone else’s eyes. Who wouldn’t love to get away for only twenty dollars? I’ve been leaning towards anything to do with creativity, writing, and self-development. This is what sets my soul on fire. Reading and writing is something I’m growing a great appreciation for. I hope for it to lead me where I need to be. To inspire and aspire me. I’m going to hold on to this excitement and enjoy the ride. I encourage others to do the same. Keep reading. Keeping learning.

This is just me trying to graduate life.