For the next three days I am on a writing and restoration retreat of my own making. (And that of my sweet husband’s, since he’s holding down the fort at home.) So in honor of my retreat I (quickly, because I’m supposed to be working on my book not writing a blog entry) offer you your own opportunity for retreat:

Five Favorite Mini-Retreat Books

  1. 8 Weeks to Optimum Health: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body’s Natural Healing Power by Andrew Weil. I woke up this morning and drank lemon water and practiced yoga. I know these two things are the perfect way to start each day, yet I never do them. Retreats are a good time to re-focus on our health and healthy habits. Over the years I’ve often turned to this book to re-focus myself. Dr. Weil is simple and elegant in his health advice and his steps, though not revolutionary, are easy and effective ways to take care of yourself. 
  2. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. This one’s for the ladies. A funny, intimate, irreverent, poignant, straight shooting, heart baring, girl power book that will jazz you. Rhimes is known for her hit shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder but now she can add bestselling author and sisterhood guru to her resume. 
  3. Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There: A Mindfulness Retreat with Sylvia Boorstein by Sylvia Boorstein. Don’t you love this title? I’m a “doer” so Boorstein’s book is a good reminder for me to just stop. Stop and Be. My favorite meditation teacher/writer, Jack Kornfield, called this book: “Graceful, clear, completely user-friendly instructions for mindfulness practice.“ And it’s true, Boorstein makes Buddhism and mindfulness accessible; she also adds humor and stories to enliven and engage.
  4. Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity by David Lynch. When I think of David Lynch I think of his surreal, often violent, arguably brilliant and weird films, including Blue Velvet, the only movie I’ve ever self-censored. (I started watching when I was 17 and quickly realized that I was too young.) But Lynch is also a spiritual and philosophical being with 30 years of transcendental meditation practice that informs his creative process. His book of 85 brief chapters is random and somewhat incohesive but I didn’t care; it was refreshing to have someone discuss spirituality and creativity in a unique way and the panning for gold pays off. (There’s also a scattering of biography, filmmaking, and gossip.)
  5. Anne Lamott. If you’re a writer, you should read Anne Lamott. If you’re a human being, you should read Anne Lamott. And if you’re looking for a retreat, well, Anne Lamott is your facilitator, your guide, your new kick ass best friend. Read Bird by Bird as a reminder to take baby steps when things seem overwhelming. Read Operating Instructions as a reminder to let go of worry and control and allow events to unfold naturally. Read Help Thanks Wow for a reminder to ask for help, show gratitude, and ook for the sacred and extraordinary in the everyday. Read any of her nonfiction books and you’ll be given the gift of a funny, wise, entertaining teacher.

I’m off to write and restore…