Today kicks off our Book Club – we are reading Heart Talk by Cleo Wade.
If you haven’t picked up the book yet, you can grab it here (either physically or digitally – this is an affiliate link).
I’d like to chat for a few minutes about how I envision this book club going.
Once a week on Tuesdays I’ll send an email to you via this list. I’ll offer a question or two to get you journaling and thinking about part of the book.I’ll also tell you a little about what I am thinking. Starting next week, I’ll also include downloads of lettering or pictures for your personal use that I’ve done from the book. (My patrons will likely have a hand in choosing what I do.)
What I hope you get out of this book club is a few minutes each week to yourself, to read and to think, even if the rest of your week is intense. I purposefully chose a short, easy to read book to make sure even the busiest of you can squeeze it in.
I am so glad you are joining me in this. This book is seriously everything to me right now, everything I need to hear.
So let us start!
I’d like you to read from the introduction through page 47 this week. You don’t need to do it all at once, but I will reference a few specific spots below for your prompts. As you read, feel free to make your own observations or notes, and you can email me back with your thoughts if you choose to. I’ll be going live when we wrap up in the Llamas Love Lettering facebook group to chat about the book, and I’d love to share some of your thoughts there!
This Week’s Prompt:
In reference to the poem “All of It” on page 12:
Ms. Wade asks us to befriend our ingredients. What are YOUR ingredients, ALL of them that you can list? Set a timer for two minutes (or longer, if you’d like) and make a list of all of the ingredients that make up you.
Here is my list:
Strong, tired, loving, sick, passionate, complicated, stressed out, goofy, extra, funny, neurotic, affectionate, outgoing, antisocial, fun loving, voracious reader, over-volunteerer, committed, artistic, creative, deep thinker, BIG thinker, scatterbrained, caffeinated, blunt, no filter, mother, artist, wife, sister, daughter, niece, friend, enemy
When you look at your list, how do you feel about it? Are there more “negative” words than “positive”? Why do you think that is? Do you embrace every part of yourself, even the parts that you aren’t necessarily happy with?
When you’re done with this list, maybe still wondering if all of those things you listed are actually things you can be happy with, I want you to turn to pages 46 and 47, and read what is written there.
Nothing about you is a mistake.
We will continue this next week friends.
Before we get into the next section of the book, I’d like you to reflect for a few minutes on what you might have gotten out of the first part. Did you find something you needed to hear? Did you struggle with the tone or the vibe of it? There are no wrong answers.
As I was reading through the next chunk of the book, I found myself thinking of one of my favorite quotes from a musical, “forget regret or life is yours to miss.” (That’s from RENT, in case you didn’t know.) I try to live my life regret free, because I know that the choices I made, whether “good” or “bad,” have lead me to where I am now.
And I’m okay with where I am now.
This week, I’d love for you to read up through page 102, the poem “the only battle.”
While reading this week the poem that struck me was on page 52, “i did not lose the lesson.” That poem beautifully summed up the idea that, instead of regretting our choices, we should honor them for what they’ve taught us.
That’s what I’d like you to think about today.
What are the scars you have gotten in your life that have taught you to not touch the oven when it is hot?
Here one (of many) of my responses to this question:
I spent a lot of my life only valuing myself based on what others thought of me. The opinions of the people in my life dictated my self worth, and I was in a marriage for years where that self worth came up on the very low side. I spent a long time feeling like there was something wrong with me, that because I couldn’t be the person someone else expected me to be, who I was wasn’t worthy.
I don’t feel that way anymore. While I am in a new marriage where I feel appreciated for who I am, I don’t depend on my husband’s opinion of me for my self worth. I know I am worthy, I have dignity. These things just are, they are not dependent on someone else’s approval.
I am thankful for my first marriage. I never would have known how important it is to be happy with me without it. (Plus, I got a couple of rad ass kids from it.)
If you want to share your thoughts with me, feel free to reply to this email. If you want to share with more people, head over to the Llamas Love Lettering Facebook group.
I’ll leave you with this quote: “Most people in life are just looking for a safe place to be themselves.”
I encourage you to seek out as many of those safe places as possible, because being yourself is always a good thing. And I hope that I’m in some of these safe places so I can cheer you on.
I hope you’ve been enjoying Heart Talk so far – continue reading for this week’s Book Club prompts as well as a download!
I’ve been really loving reading some of your responses so far! Some of you have emailed me, others have been chatting about it in my Patron Facebook group, and yet others have been sending me DMs on Instagram. I want to hear your thoughts, so please, if you feel comfortable, feel free to share!
Now, let’s move on to this week’s reading.
I’d like you to read up through page 159 – for those of you using the e-book, it is the spread with “you belong” all over it.
When I was reading this section of the book I found myself reflecting on belonging and insecurity. I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling like I didn’t belong, feeling super insecure about everything from my looks, my height, my skin, my personality, etc, etc.
I’m grateful for the changes in my life that have helped me realize I’m worthy just as I am. I took a second to go back to the list of “ingredients of me” that I made in week one so I could celebrate all of it, the good and the not so great.
But then I got to page 136 and read the line, “Don’t be the reason someone feels insecure.”
That whole spread got me thinking – how much of my life have I been focused on my own inner self esteem issues without seeing where I might have impacted someone else, either positively or negatively?
So that brings me to today’s reflection/assignment/prompt/whatever you want to call it:
Can you think of an opportunity this week to be kind to someone in a really meaningful way? To show them you see them as a person? It could be something as small as buying the coffee for the person behind you in line, but I encourage you to think outside the box about the people in your life and find something that would truly feel personal to them.
I volunteered to bring the desserts to my church this weekend for a potluck with our new minister. (This is not my answer to this prompt. I had already volunteered to do that. haha) I had planned to go to Costco and buy a bunch, it would be quick, easy, and I wouldn’t have to think about it or expend effort. My kid heard about it and wanted to bake something for it. My first thought this weekend was “oh man, that always winds up being more work for ME” and I considered saying no.
In writing this today, I’ve decided to not only say yes, but to encourage them to pick whatever recipe they want and support them while they do it. It is something they love, and would mean the world to them to get to do this both for me and for our new minister.
I think that’s worth whatever “inconvenience” I was convinced I’d have to deal with. For as the line on page 136 continues, “Be the reason someone feels seen, heard, and supported by the entire universe.”
So what about you? What could you do? Go out and do it.
And while you are so busy thinking of ways to help other people in your life feel they matter to you, let me send you something to remind you that you matter to me.*
*Click on the image in that post so you can download it!