Here's how the first quarter of 2011's gonna go: Picky. Picky. Picky.
ONLY GREAT BOOKS, and books that will support me on my hero's journey. (And if you didn't get a chance to read my December Story: 1. Go do it right now. Go. and 2. Everybody's on a hero's journey. Or everybody that counts, anyway. That means you.)
This translates as:
* Books about creating change via one's steadily growing expertise, one's local interactions, and one's extension into the world via the interwebs.
* Books that fit my 2011 Reading for Change Challenge themes: getting to know 'the other', civil discourse, compassion, and positive social change.
* Books that help me create that change.
* PD books and research news about great teaching and about reading and social change.
* Books by strong writers that I'm reviewing at the author's or their publicist's or a friend's request.
* An occasional fiction or play or poetry collection (YA and adult) that's a great read.
In Nov. and Dec. I took the meandering path. I wanted to see whether the "reading for change" process would work with just about any book, or random set of books. Turns out, it did. Does. So now I know.
But here's the caveat: Magic doesn't offer itself up when you're out there "do-gooding". You have to enjoy whatever action you imagine and imagine enjoying it, or you'll simple get action, no magic. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Obviously, doing something decent, something open-hearted and generous: well, that's most likely a good thing, most of the time. But it doesn't necessarily make magic. Only following your bliss does that. And, over time, following your bliss - while mindful of all beings - is what's needed in the world after all.
So let your actions be non-harming to your mojo. They don't have to be service, service, service, at least not overtly or prescriptively so. If service feels like bliss, then you're onto something extraordinary, and magic will attend on you. If it feels like a have-to, a chore, then - again - it's probably just fine, helpful even, but not all that motivating for future actions, now is it? So try something creative or connecting or joyful instead. Becoming more of who you are will likely help the world too.
And now I need to test another proposition: Does it work when you're supporting a resolution or a change in your life, or a quest, or does it wear on you if it gets too programatic? Let's see, shall we?
And if you get a moment, will you let me know your top five greatest books of the past decade or so? Throw it into the comments section or email me. Either way, just tell me a little bit about yourself (your work in the world, and/or your current hero's journey would be enough). I'll compile 'em and offer 'em up as a source of truly great reads for those on this path with us. (I'm developing a site to support us as we try this together...)
And here's another change: I'll be visiting other change- and book- blogs on blog tours and blog hops, so I might be posting memes from them, and then offering y'all a chance to participate in the memes too. Stay tuned. This may mean an extra widget or two, but I will maintain a clean-looking site.