If you’re looking a book purely about decluttering and spending less you’ll be disappointed in this book. The Year of Less by Cait Flanders is so much more than that. I tried reading that cult favourite book which asks you to take every item you own and hold it in your hands, see if it sparks joy, then throw it out if it didn’t. That book didn’t spark any joy so I threw it out. The Year of Less has its own electric current and I struggled to put it down.
Cait Flanders is a well-known blogger and freelance writer living in BC, Canada. I’ve been a blogger since 2006 and a freelance copywriter for almost as long and so can tell you, it’s rare to see anyone write so openly, honestly and so compellingly about alcohol dependency, consumerism, mental health and facing and overcoming it all in a brave and inspiring way.
Cait tells us what led to the decision of starting a year-long shopping ban, how the challenge was set up, what she could and couldn’t buy and we live with her through that year, and beyond. We see events unfurl in her life that threaten to break her, we look at things in her past that have shaped who she is today (or during the period the book was written about) and we look at where she finds herself after the year of less, and beyond. This is a personal journey for Cait that she generously decided to share with all of us and in doing so offers inspiration to countless others struggling with the pressures and expectations life likes to heap on top of us.
There are many books out there which tell of how a person has reinvented themselves or found the “true them”. Some are tongue in cheek, some hilarious and some rather dark. The Year of Less offers a lot of this and yet is somewhat unique in that it is written in a refreshingly matter-of-fact way.
This is a beautifully designed book that is easy to read (you don’t want to put it down) which glows with a truth that’s hard to deny. If you’re not sure what I mean by that read it. There’s a little of all of us in Cait Flanders and I for one wish there was more of Cait Flanders’ bloodymindedness in me!
If I was the sort to hand out stickers and give people star ratings The Year of Less would get a solid 5/5.
Find out more about Cait on her website and purchase her book from all major retailers (you won’t be sorry).
Hay House Publishing were kind enough to send me this book to read and review.
My thoughts about the content are entirely my own.
When the Joy of Mindful Writing popped through my letterbox I knew after just a few pages that this was going to be one of those books that I keep with me for a long time and refer back to again and again. The Joy of Mindful Writing, one of a number of books in the Mindful series from Leaping Hare Publishing, has been written by Joy Kenward who writes with warmth and a keen understanding of what it is to write and to be mindful.
This isn’t a read once and shelve it kind of book. This is a book that you put page markers in, sticky notes or even highlight (unless you borrow someone else’s copy of course). It’s a reading and understanding book with exercises, meditations and more for you to try, all of which help you get closer to your goal of mindful writing.
Mindfulness is not something you can switch on and off like a light switch unless perhaps you have reached Buddha level (which I have not). I started to gain a keen interest in mindfulness and mindful living last year and as a consequence am now nearly the end of a mindfulness diploma. I’m also someone who loves to write. I’ve been blogging for coming up twelve years and have been a freelance copywriter for nearly nine years full-time. I love to write and I’m pretty good at it. There are different ways to write however and mindful writing is more than rambling in a blog post or working to a client-sent brief. Mindful writing is….. more. I’ve written mindfully in the past, without knowing it. I don’t write that way all of the time because it isn’t relevant. It’s difficult to explain but if you are a writer moving into mindful writing, you might very well know what I mean.
The Joy of Mindful Writing is perfect for those just starting to write and those who, like me, have been doing it for years. It’s not a better way to write or a more professional way to write. It is simply a different way to write and its something I’m exploring more in my personal writing right now.
To fully appreciate the impact this book has you really do need to explore it yourself. There are meditations and more which help bring clarity and open you up to creating something unique and special to you.
This is the only book in the Mindfulness series that I’ve explored however it will most definitely not be the last. Thank you to Leaping Hare for sending me this book to try out, it’s been quite the exploration!
See the full The Mindfulness Series collection for more ways that you may enjoy a more mindful way of living.