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Books that changed my life

Finding Inspiration for a Life Less Conventional: Recommended Reading

Recently over on my @slowlyrollinghome Instagram page I’ve received some questions about where to begin when making unconventional life changes – changes like getting rid, downsizing your house, travelling more or resisting consumer culture.

Conscious decision making about the way you want to live your life that may not be how your neighbours, your family or the mums at the school gate choose to live theirs.

You know the BIG changes that can let’s be honest, feel overwhelming. You can see what you want your life to look like, but where to start?

For me the initial spark was ignited by books and podcasts that challenged societal norms. I swapped trashy TV for knowledge that inspired change. It was then that the whispers in my head joined other voices that said ‘there is another way’.

So here are some of my personal recommendations – they may not all resonate with you, instead I hope they serve as inspiration, sparking your imagination and the courage to take the first steps toward a life less conventional.

"Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Basically anything by Liz Gilbert I have eaten up, but as a creative who has let fear guide her for far too long, this book inspired me beyond what I could have ever imagined. In this book, Liz Gilbert explores the creative process and encourages readers to embrace their creativity fearlessly. She shares insights and personal anecdotes, emphasizing the importance of pursuing passion and inspiration. She encourages individuals to live a creative life driven by curiosity, rather than fear or perfectionism.

"A Life Less Throwaway" by Tara Button. One year I got this book for my birthday along with a Le Creuset cast iron casserole dish. Eleven years later the dish and book are still going strong. This book was my first tow dip into our throw away culture – Tara Button advocates for conscious consumerism, encouraging readers to make mindful choices in a world of disposable products. She promotes sustainability, quality over quantity, and the idea of buying once and buying well. Her book is a guide to living a more meaningful, eco-friendly, and clutter-free life.

"The Art of Frugal Hedonism" by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb. I revisit and dip in and out of this book often - It offers I think such a unique and wonderful approach to simple living. It emphasizes that happiness doesn't depend on material wealth and explores how to savor life's pleasures in a frugal, sustainable way. It's a guide to embracing a more joyful, less consumer-driven existence.

"The Call of the Wild and Free" by Ainsley Arment. This book and the one after, I started reading when my boys were small. In this one Ainsley Arment advocates for nature-based, experiential learning with statistics around the changes to children’s physical and mental abilities in the last fifty years. Arment encourages parents to foster a love for the outdoors and homeschooling which we dabble in. The book encourages a world where children are allowed to explore and learn in natural settings. The book inspires a sense of freedom and curiosity in raising well-rounded, wild-hearted kids.

"Balanced and Barefoot" by Angela J. Hanscom highlights the importance of unstructured, outdoor play for child development. She explores how nature-based activities help kids build physical, emotional, and cognitive skills. The book offers valuable insights and practical advice on how to balance technology-driven lives with healthy, outdoor play experiences. A topic I seem to spend a significant amount of my time thinking about!

And last but not least, "Untamed" by Glennon Doyle – I came to this one after the others and it was the catalyst for huge change. I feel this book should come with an advisory warning! It is likely to change everything. I have wonderful real life friends who have transformed their lives after reading this book because it stirs something deep inside you that can’t be ignored. It’s essentially a powerful memoir that encourages women to embrace their authentic selves. The book chronicles Glennon’s journey of self-discovery and breaking free from societal expectations. It advocates for finding courage, truth, and wildness within, ultimately leading to a more liberated and fulfilled life.

Glennon also hosts an amazing podcast about all these topics too…. You could sign up for my monthly letter where I will also be sharing my podcast recommendations soon, delving into topics that inspire change.

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