Monday is what are you reading day; so lets get going with GMECFF

Gratitude. Meditation. Exercise. Compassion. Fun.Frugality.

My six words for 2012. These will be my focus

And here are five books, one for each word, the fact they were all already mine is my focus on frugality.


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…..okay I think it was Salt Lake City or maybe Albuquerque and the year was 1995, I started my first gratitude journal. I have always kept a journal, I am a lifetime writer after all, but this was different and in addition to the daily ramblings of life and observations. I kept it because of a book recommended by Oprah that has periodically mightily influenced my life. The book, “Simple Abundance” has coffee marks on it now and some of the passages reflect that decades have passed, but the basic principles are still pertinent, if not more pertinent today than it was 18 years ago. Like any great book or koan, each reading of Breathnach’s daily wisdom offers me something new.


“Beyond Religion, Ethics for a Whole World” Written by the Dalai Lama, this non-theistic book talks about how to live, how to meditate and why to move beyond religion. Mind you he does not, in any way, recommend abandoning religious practice, in fact his teachings will enhance any religious practice so for those inclined substitute “prayer” here instead of meditation. For those who are atheistic, this book will also speak to you as he teaches about secular ethics and why humanities survival will be enhanced with the practice of basic ethics. I have read this, downloaded it from audible and listened to it and am about to listen to it again. I am actually reading “The Teachings of the Buddha” in my print/paper time.


I know I have already completed my first sprint triathlon, but I am still so much a beginner that my exercise/diet book of the day is “Your First Triathlon” by Joe Friel. I have just taken it off the shelf. No comments yet…..willing to entertain any recommendations.


I just finished re-reading “Crow Planet” by Lyanda Lynn Haupt and am about to re-read “Chop Wood, Carry Water”. Crow Planet is only nominally about crows, Ms. Haupt is a reluctant fan of corvids, unlike me who adores them, but her struggle with naturalist nihilism and incipient depression is a perfect backdrop to teaching lessons in being an urban naturalist and raises the most important question of compassion repeatedly. “Is this helping or is it just about me feeling good about myself?” The book is very well written as are all her books. This book is a must read for any avian lover or fellow wordsmith, or potential urban naturalist.


A young adult book that immediately engaged me in its characters as easily as “Little Women” or “Wrinkle in Time”,  I purchased “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” by Jacqueline Kelly on the recommendation of my friends at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. This book and a blank book and amazing pencils will be my new “go to” book for any young mind and heart. “Fun” doesn’t do it justice. So I will admit that all my books right now are re-reads and all of them re-inforce in text as well as my already owning them, my value of frugality.

My mental tribute to reduce, re-use, recycle or perhaps just a statement that I have reached that age where the familiar is reassuring. I prefer to think of it as my answer to our nano bite culture and proof that to really see or understand or appreciate anything amazing, it takes time and truly more than one read.

So now, what are your focii this year, and what are you reading?

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