Two great friends each have me a wonderful birthday present. Seeing as I enjoy reading, contemplating, and applying new ideas to life they each found a book that they thought would be meaningful for me to read. I didn’t want to prioritize one over the other so I tried something different. Both books are sitting on my night stand. Each night before I go to sleep I read a bit out of each.
The content of the books is so dramatically different from each other. I’m finding the balance of reading a little from one and then moving on to the other is both enlightening and soothing. The duality helps to stretch my brain in fun and unique ways.
The first book is Zen Flesh Zen Bones. It is a collection of stories, lessons, and philosophy. The stories themselves are incredible nuggets of info that get my thoughts flowing. While some of them were written hundreds of years ago they still resonate so well today… maybe even more so today with all that’s going on. I’m thinking on the lessons I can’t help but see an exquisite compliment to Stoicism and my religious beliefs. Not in place of, but an addition to, an expansion of both. It has already had a profound impact on my thoughts and actions. I’m very grateful for the gift of this book!
The other book? Aim Low – Quit Often, Expect the Worst, and Other Good Advice. This book isn’t full of centuries old stories, lessons, and philosophy. What it contains are other nuggets of advice such as:
- No, I can’t, or I would have by now.
- Find out if a wrong answer could put you in jail. That will determine the right answer.
- Admit your mistakes and you will mature and grow. Don’t admit them and you might get away with it.
As you can imagine, I’m laughing repeatedly, deeply, and often when I read this book. It’s so cynical and off kilter that I’m caught off guard by the comments even when I have an idea they are coming. I’m enjoying it immensely!
What’s great about this combo is that I start off with humor and then roll into slightly serious before shutting off the light. The humor helps me focus on the present as the laughter leaves no room for thinking about other things in life. The deep thinking with a freshly cleared head helps my soul process the thoughts more completely. Sleep comes swiftly as I’m already in a deep state of chill. When I wake up in the morning the deeper thoughts still linger and set the tone for my day.
I’m very grateful for this daily dose of duality, what a wonderfully calming and joyful combo!