For October, we read 10% Happier by Dan Harris.
It’s a skeptic’s guide to meditation. Dan Harris, a former news anchor who had a panic attack on-air, outlines his pre-panic attack life full of chasing the next best thing, handling overwhelm and partying hard, and guides us on his discovery of meditation, but in a totally nonchalant cool-guy way. He knows it’s a touchy subject that’s easily dismissed with an eyeroll, eventually he tells someone he does it because it makes him 10% happier. The book spends more time on Dan’s story than anything – it’s not so much a how-to guide as it is a narrative to convince you to just try it. In that way, it reminds me of one of my favorite down to earth self help books – You Are A Badass.
I actually really liked the book, and not even from a mindfulness standpoint. Some of my favorite books, movies and shows offer a behind the scenes look at a person’s life. I will watch every musician documentary-style concert movie that exists. Jonas Brothers’ “Chasing Happiness” on Amazon Prime? Yep. Beyonce’s “Homecoming” on Netflix? Seen it twice. I like seeing the human that is the artist, if that makes sense. We’re all human. We all have stories. I like hearing and reading those stories. It’s part of why I really enjoyed this book. It gave a behind the scenes look at this famous news anchor – his life, his choices, the cutthroat nature of his career and why he acted a certain way. It was a good read and I would recommend it if you’re sort of interested in meditation, but you don’t want any of the fluffy nonsense that sometimes accompanies learning about it.
He also has another book - Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics - and an app, neither of which I looked into, but both of which I assume offer a more in depth guide to starting a meditation practice.
For November, we’re going to read 1,000+ Things Happy Successful People Do Differently by Marc Chernoff. I’m excited about this one. Hopefully you are too.
Don't forget to sign up for my how-to-paint class this coming Sunday! We'll be using watercolors to paint a cactus and succulent scene. Space is limited, don't miss out! Sign up here.