Head & Heart is a (now) weekly, quick and rough wrap-up of what I’ve been thinking about, listening to, reading etc. A few days late, but here’s my post from last week…
I started the week with a meeting with my lovely friend Amanda Horne. Amanda often speaks about words that emerge for her at a particular time. Kind of like themes that connect a whole heap of thinking, feeling and happenings. It’s not so much about picking a word to think about or meditate on, but rather stopping and listening and seeing which word bubbles to the surface. This week, for me it was the word ‘ask’ (prompted in part I suspect by #5 in Nick Crocker’s list of ’30 Things I’ve Learned’ that I linked to last week). I’m trying to be more aware of what I actually want (without dismissing it without it really entering conscious thought), and putting that out into the world.
I finished Helen Garner’s The Spare Room (audiobook) and am now onto Liane Moriaty’s The Husband’s Secret. Three novels in just over a month! I wouldn’t quite call it a rule, but up until recently I’d just tell people ‘I don’t read fiction’. It’s not that I didn’t like fiction, I just had so much that I wanted to learn that I didn’t think I had time to read fiction. I saw reading fiction as purely recreational and not as valuable use of time as reading non-fiction. But fiction works my brain in a different way. I’m so used to information being presented to me in a factual, logical way, it’s nice to experience narrative storytelling where information is presented in a way to generate an emotional response from the listener. I’m not sure quite what I’m learning, but I’m sure that it’s using different parts of my brain which must be a good thing.
But I still had time to get my dose of non fiction podcasts, listening to a Dear Sugar Radio episode on introversion and extroversion, an interview with Kathryn Schultz on Longform, and Jane Caro’s chat with Wil Anderson on Wilosophy.
Time alone in the car is rare for me, but when it happens I usually do is listen to Radio National. I really love being surprised by the stories. I curate my inputs so heavily and I often feel like it’s a bit of an echo chamber – the stuff I seek out – books, podcasts etc – is often people whose views I know and share, or on topics that I have an established interest in. It’s nice not to know what’s coming up and to learn something new. This week I learned that one third of customers steal when using self serve checkouts, and about Reposit Power, a Canberra company that makes smart batteries.
I’ve started a new Coursera course on Psychology at Work (from the University of Western Australia) which I’m enjoying so far. I’ve long had an interest in doing some further study – particularly in organisational psychology, management/leadership. Having no psychology training, this is a good way to tip my toe in and see if it is actually something I enjoy, rather than just something that I think I’ll enjoy.
I stumbled across (via Shawn Achor) the delightful Seize Your Moments project.
What started off as a very poor week in terms of habits, turned around from Friday onwards. Things bottomed out a bit of Thursday (and involved more tears than I normally would like!), but sometimes it takes things to crack a bit before you actually pay attention and do something about it. Reflecting with my friend Jac over dinner on Thursday led me to the conclusion that nothing (except physically attending to my daughter’s immediate needs) is more important than my three key habits (30 active minutes, 5+ minutes of meditation and bed before 10.30pm). As a result, things have turned around considerably and I’m still on streaks for all three habits (I’ll call this the ‘Jac effect’).