A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

Have you ever wondered why suddenly you are upset or struggling with something and you do not understand why? Well it could be the “Ghost Children“…

Throughout 2018, nearly non-stop, I’ve been listening to non-fiction audiobooks (with a couple science fiction audiobooks peppered in).

Here is a list of many of the non-fiction audiobooks (all borrowed from my public library) that occupied my ears the past 8+ months:

  • I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual – Luvvie Ajayi
  • Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day – Ken Mogi
  • Eat Fat, Get Thin – Mark Hyman
  • Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey – James Holli
  • Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – Bill Burnett
  • You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want – Sarah Knight
  • The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain – Steven Gundry
  • The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations – Oprah Winfrey
  • Nudge: Improve Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness – Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
  • When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing – Daniel Pink
  • Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success with the Secrets of the ADHD Brain – Peter Shankman
  • Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People – Vanessa Van Edwards
  • This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide – Geneen Roth
  • Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself – Mark Epstein
  • Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More – Courtney Carver
  • Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen – Donald Miller
  • You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth – Jen Sicero
  • Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice – Brene Brown
  • Yes Please – Amy Poehler
  • Fail Until You Don’t – Bobby Bones
  • The Art of Mingling: Fun and Proven Techniques for Mastering Any Room – Jeanne Martinet
  • The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

Between my daily walks (3 – 4+ miles a day), road trips, cross country plane rides, and sewing marathons, I’ve knocked off a lot of audiobooks so far in 2018.

Most of these audiobooks were highly engaging, filled with many useful ideas, tips, and inspirations; however one audiobook really stood out: Geneen Roth’s This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide.

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image credit: amazon.com

While listening to this audiobook, read by the author, I was introduced to the concept of “Ghost Children“. According to Geneen Roth, “Ghost Children” are the stories we repeatedly tell ourselves based on an unhealed/hurt part of us that believes things such as we’re not good enough, we are unlovable, we are not worthy – because at some point in our life, many times in childhood, we had unmet needs or a hurt which are still seeking to get comfort from.

Geneen Roth has done a lot of work with women who emotionally overeat (she holds workshops and has written books focused on this topic) and she ties the “Ghost Children” concept to why people emotionally overeat to comfort their hurting “Ghost Children” but I clearly saw a connection to other behaviors.

This connection helped me during a difficult time on a recent business trip attending a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

I work in the healthcare industry and I attended a healthcare industry software related conference in late July/early August held at the Aria Hotel’s Conference Center in Las Vegas, NV.

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Las Vegas Boulevard

The healthcare software company sponsoring the conference was very generous to its attendees to include providing a private Train concert on one of the conference evenings, at the Brooklyn Bowl. I was very excited about this concert as I’ve like the band Train (Drops of Jupiter, Meet Virginia, Calling All Angels) since they first came out with their song Drops of Jupiter in 2001.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) accompanied me on the trip to Las Vegas and I confirmed with someone at the conference registration desk that he could also attend the conference. He is also a long time fan of the band Train, so I was excited to share this private concert with him which also included an open bar and food (as I said the sponsoring software conference company was very generous).

So the evening came for the concert and TTQH headed to the tour bus set up for conference attendees to be transported to the Brooklyn Bowl for the concert. While on line to load the bus, we discovered that only conference attendees with conference badges could get on the bus and attend the conference. TTQH was not able to attend with me.

We were in shock and incredibly disappointed as I had verified with the conference registration desk that he could attend, only to find out that the staff at the registration desk very misinformed. I was torn – on one hand I wanted to go to the concert on the other hand I did not want to just leave TTQH behind at the hotel with this sudden dispointment.

TTQH is a very enlightened and well-adjusted person (one of us has to be in the marriage – ha!) and he quickly recovered from the disappointment and strongly insisted that I just attend alone and have a great time.

So I got back in line and then got on the tour bus. The tour bus was filling up quickly and people were filling every available seat. Except in my row. No one sat with me. (This was likely because I had a very sad look on my face as I was so disappointed I could not share the concert experience with TTQH). The last person got on the bus and sat with the last seat available besides the one next to me.

So the entire bus was filled, except for the seat next to me.  Before I knew it I was quietly sobbing to myself on the bus ride to the Brooklyn Bowl and did not know why.

But – I remembered the audiobook I had recently finished, This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide , and realized one of my “Ghost Children” had popped up!

When I was around 10 years old my parents had a major disagreement with other parents in the neighborhood and, unknown to me at the time, the other neighborhood parents had told their children not to play with me. For a couple weeks, none of my regular friends in the neighborhood, who I played with everyday after school, would play with me. They all ignored me.

I did not understand why and as you could imagine this was fairly traumatic for a 10 year old who was used to playing with most of the kids on my block for many years. Finally one of the children was kind enough to pull me aside and tell me what happened. It was a very upsetting and frustrating experience as I was being punished for something I did not do and I was now an outsider/outcast from my long-time playmates. It is one of those feelings you never forget and I guess it eventually became one of my “Ghost Children”.

Realizing where my sudden painful feelings were coming from as I sat alone on the bus (no one wanting to sit with me), helped me pull myself together. I decided: “yes I am attending this concert alone, but I am going to have a fun time and find a group of people to hang out with during the concert”. There is so much power in awareness of where an emotion/reaction is coming from – it gives you options on how you react.

And this is exactly what I did. Upon arrival, I asked a group of women if I could hang with them for the evening and eventually ended up in another group and had a wonderful time – a “Ghost Children” free evening!

The Train concert was incredible (I sat close to the stage in an elevated area of the bar to the right of the stage) and got to connect with some wonderful people before the concert and during. I learned some new trivia about some of their songs from another concert attendee: the lead singer, Pat Monahan wrote Drops of Jupiter about the death of his mother (now some of the lyrics I never understood make sense).

Here is a little excerpt from the concert (which was only open to concert attendees) – Train performing Lost and Found (I finally learned how to upload videos to YouTube):

I love the lyrics in this song (excerpt from Google):

My dad said son, one
Day we’ll have a drink together
You’re young
You got to take your time
Just trust
Let me raise you right, and later
We can raise a glass to life, and say
Here’s to the time we have
Here’s to the lines we crossed
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on
And the ones we lost
Here’s to the time we have
Thank God for what we got
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost
And found, the ones who stick around
Lost and found, the ones who stick around

 

I feel like writing Geneen Roth, the author of This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide, and thanking her for introducing me to the “Ghost Children” concept. Thanks to what I learned from her book I was able to reset a moment and turn it around.

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Taking a break from the conference and relaxing at the Bellagio hotel, “Ghost Children” free

You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. It’s possible to treat yourself with outrageous kindness beginning today. Geneen Roth


Postscript

During the conference I got to attend my first TED Talks/TED Salon and that was a very cool experience.

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Dr. Andrew Bastawrous at TED Salon: Catalyst at the Aria Las Vegas

The TED Talks were focused on the future of health care. It was amazing after years of watching TED Talks online to see how formally TED Talks are filmed. There are hosts that coach the audience on etiquette for the Talk once filming starts.

The six speakers who talks about moving health care forward were amazing and here is a post on the TED Blog I found about the event:

Moving healthcare forward: The talks of TED Salon: Catalyst

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A slide from one of the speaker’s presentation

By the way – I’ve finally finished my intense work on the secret art quilt project for a future WCQN show that is not yet announced. I am taking a little break from “creating” and then in the near future I will return to sharing what is on my design wall as I used to do in my What’s on the Design Wall series of posts.

 

 

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Quality of Life

The Thorn Bushes Have Roses…

Abraham Lincoln said:

We can complain because the rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses

I have just finished a wonderful audiobook, The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan (2015).

In her book, Janice Kaplan shares plenty of meaningful quotes, like the one above, as well as wonderful stories (personal and of others) about living each day filled with gratitude. The author also provides lots of social science/research (aka “Malcolm Gladwell” style) that supports why true happiness and peace comes from living an existence soaked in gratitude.

A very inspirational and very joyous audiobook listen.

Photo Credit: Amazon.com
Photo Credit: Amazon.com

One of my favorite quotes in the book is one by the Greek Philosopher Epicurus:

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay
Audiobooks and Podcasts, Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: Words

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog on the Schnauzer Snips page for her latest insights from a 16 inch tall person’s point of view…

Words…

Time to continue my series on my sources of creative inspiration. In my last post on creative inspiration, Creative Inspiration: Organization?!?!?, I explored how getting organized makes me feel inspired creatively.

Recently I have been thinking about how written or spoken words inspire me creatively.

Not just any words. The “words” that inspire me are motivational words, inspirational sayings, words of truth, insights into the human struggle, words with meaning – words that matter.

The Spoken Word

In previous posts I discussed some of my favorite nonfiction audiobooks (see my series “Life is Nonfiction”) that I enjoy listening to while walking or working on a quilt. Most of these books are in the “self-help” or “self-improvement” genre and they inspire me to be bold and take chances creatively with my art or with my tierneycreates business.

Recently I listened to some very inspirational audiobook with lots of “great words” to inspire me:

  • Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck by Jon Acuff
  •  The Tools: Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity by Phil Stulz and Barry Michels

I continue to be addicted to self-improvement books and they inspire my creativity. When a book encourages me to be brave and take risks, I translate this into my work on art quilts or new ideas for tierneycreates. These books reinforce what I already know deep in my spirit but somehow do not implement in day to day life.

Quotes

There are some wonderful quotes that stick with me and encourage me to continue on my creative artistic journey:

 “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” – Henry Van Dyke

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” – Rumi

All these quotes I have posted in my house somewhere: in a frame, on a bulletin board, or in a piece of wall art. I feel like the words in these quotes are part of me. They make me feel safe to do my art and to go where I want to go creatively.

One of the quotes is by Rumi.  Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī was a 13th century Persian poet and scholar. I am currently listening to an audiobook, Pure Water – Poetry of Rumi and I want to close this post about inspirational words with one of Rumi’s poems, The Guest House.

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
On a walk, listening to inspirational audiobook, stopped to look at the sun through the trees
On a walk, listening to inspirational audiobook, stopped to look at the sun through the trees
A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Addicted to Audiobooks

I appear to be addicted to audiobooks – I listen while working on textile crafts, driving, walking, cooking, housecleaning, etc. I know it has truly become an addiction because I am currently listening to three (3) audiobooks at the same time:

  • Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
  • Beyond Willpower by Alexander Loyd
  • Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Alright, I am not actually listening to three (3) audiobooks at once (that would be insane) but I have three different audiobooks loaded on my iPhone and I juggle between the three of them depending on my mood.

It is all the fault of my local library (in true addiction you are supposed to blame someone else, right?) for providing an endless supply of downloadable audiobooks through the Overdrive app. If your library has digital downloads, and you enjoy audiobooks, you should take advantage of this free community resource.

Disadvantages of free audiobooks from the library include only being able to keep them for 14 days (they expire from your device after 14 days) and your library may not have exact book you want. I like the pressure of 14 days though – it makes me actually finish up the audiobook. Usually I have books going at various staggered intervals where one expires in 5 days while the other expires in 11 days.

I have been in the middle of a thrilling audiobook and then boom – it expires – and there are other library patrons who have it on hold so I cannot renew it. I end up having to put the audiobook on hold and wait my turn to finish up my book. But that is okay – it is worth it (and it is free!)

Happy Listening!

Audiobooks and Podcasts

Life is Nonfiction

Please see Sassy’s blog in Schnauzer Snips for an update on her (and her new brother Mike’s) adventures.

I like to multitask – even though I once saw a magnet that read (and I bought it for my fridge) : “Multi-tasking: Screwing a lot of things up at once”.

I could never just work on a quilt, in the quiet, I have to be also watching a movie, listening to music or an audiobook. When I was primarily working on traditional quilts from a pattern, I would watch what I call “Quilting Movies” – movies or documentaries that do not require my full undivided attention, just an occasional glance at the screen an listening to the dialogue. I have discovered that when I work on non patterned quilts – art quilts – glancing at a screen breaks my creative thought. Instead, a couple years ago I developed the habit of listening to audiobooks while I quilt.

My next discovery was that I enjoyed to listening primarily to nonfiction audiobooks and over the past 2 years I have listened to one nonfiction audiobook right after the other – while quilting, while walking my fellow blogger Sassy (and her new brother), in the car (audiobooks are exquisite for long drives), and while gardening, cooking, or cleaning. The nonfiction audiobooks I am drawn to are those that expand my view of the world, bring new insight and understanding, and contribute to helping me be a better version of myself. There are moments listening to these types of books that I had to stop sewing a moment, pause in my power walk or sit for a quiet moment in my garden when a big “Ah Ha Moment” came upon me.

Over the next couple of weeks (or more) I will share a little about audiobooks that I have found meaningful over the past 2 years. I will provide a brief summary of the book and share what were the key insights I gained from the books listed below.

Life is nonfiction.

Favorite Nonfiction Audiobooks (alphabetical by author)

  • Brown, Brené (2012). Daring greatly: how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
  • Burroughs, Augusten (2012). This is how: proven aid in overcoming shyness, molestation, fatness, spinsterhood, grief, disease, lushery, decrepitude & more – for young and old alike. New York: NY: St. Martin’s Press.
  • Cain, Susan (2012). Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. New York: Crown Publishing.
  • Fey, Tina (2011). Bossypants. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
  • Gilbert, Elizabeth (2010). Committed: a skeptic makes peace with marriage. New York, NY: Viking.
  • Gordon, John (2007). The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Gladwell, Malcom (2009). What the dog saw and other adventure stories. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
  • Gladwell, Malcom (2013). David and Goliath: underdog, misfits, and the art of battling giants. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.
  • Duhigg, Charles (2012). The power of habit: why we do what we do in life and in business. New York: Random House.
  • Fiore, Neil (2007). The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play.  New York, NY: Tarcher/Penguin.
  • Guillebeau, Chris (2010). The art of nonconformity: Set your own rules, live the life you want, and change the world. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
  • Heath, Chip (2013). Decisive: how to make better choices in life and work. New York, NY: Crown Business.
  • Heath Chip & Health, Dan (2010). Switch: how to change things when when is hard. New York, NY: Books on Tape.
  • Huffington, Arianna (2014). Thrive: the third metric to redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder. New York, NY: Random House.
  • Kelly, Matthew (2011). Off balance: getting beyond the work-life balance mouth to personal and professional satisfaction. Ashland, OR: Blackstone Audio.
  • Kingsolver, Barbara (2007). Animal, vegetable, miracle: a year of food life. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
  • Kornfield, Jack & Siegel, Daniel (2011). Mindfulness and the brain. Louisville, KY: Sounds True.
  • McKeown, Greg (2014). Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less. New York: Crown Business.
  • Robinson, Ken (2013). Finding your element: how to discover your talents and passions and transform your life. New York, NY: Viking.
  • Singer, Michael (2013). The untethered soul: the journey beyond yourself. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
  • Taleb, Nassim (2012). Antifragile: things that gain from disorder. New York, NY: Random House.
  • Tolle, Eckhart (2005). A new earth: awakening to your life’s purpose. New York, NY: Dutton/Penguin Group.
  • Tolle, Eckhart (1999), The power of now: a guide to spiritual enlightenment. Novato, CA: New World Library.
  • Weber, Lauren (2009). In cheap we trust: the story of a misunderstood American virtue. New York, NY: Little, Brown.
  • White, Jennifer (2004). Work less, make more. Ashland, OR: Blackstone Audiobooks.
Listening to audiobook while I sew
Listening to audiobook while I sew