In the spirit of winter, I went offline and inside for the last week of the year. So many of us feel the pressure to spend the turn of the year with ACTIVITY and TRAVEL and GATHERING WITH OTHERS, and this year I tried a different approach.
I know a few of you made the same choice. We walked, sat by the fire and read. I haven’t valued rest as much as I do now (thank you pandemic?) and it’s a key component of balance, clarity and vitality.
All the chill and none of the FOMO. Put that on your holiday 2023 itinerary :-).
And now that I’m back with renewed gusto, I wanted to share some of my favorite points of view from the end of last year.
Cultivating Joy, Awareness and Connection.
- The Book of Joy. This collaboration between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu is like sitting at the knees of two wise old uncles I didn’t know I had. They share their prescriptions for joy as earned while serving as spiritual leading through the atrocities of the last sixty years: apartheid, being driven from one’s country, government and police brutality, separation of families, etc. The book details their insights for obtaining joy, and extending kindness while developing connection to others. The nerd in me loves that it’s all backed by social science research.
- Secrets of Happy Families. As a person, a mother of 3 young children, stepmother to an adult, and a partner, I’m keen to find systems that work for my family. This book is not based on the recommendations of therapists or coaches but from business leaders, athletes, nature and high performance teams. For those of you who envision weekly stand-up scrum meetings with your family (or, better yet, have kids run their own morning routine and bring you a coffee while you read the paper), give this one a read.
- Mind Body Green Podcast. I’m a little torn on this one, as I find the host self-congratulatory and navel gazy, but his quests are top notch. Loved the interview with Gabor Mate on Trauma and Anatacia Marx de Salcedo about the power of exercise for reducing inflammation and reengaging mitochondria.
- Honorable Mentions: Super Soul continues to inspire. Fresh Air is taking it higher. The New York Times is doing a lovely challenge on relationships to kick off 2023, and I also love their 2015 guide for How to Fall in Love. Y’all recommended Stutz and How To Do The Work to me as well.
Wearables: What Gets Measured Gets Improved. Oura and Apollo.
- I have been loving my Oura ring for a few years now. I identify as a sleep nerd (thank you, Matt Walker), and use Oura to track my sleep cycles, exercise, temperature, HRV and more. It’s considered to be one of the best wearables for consumer self-monitoring and I recommend it.
- Apollo is another wearable that promises to increase deep sleep, REM sleep using physical vibrations. I was hoping it might vibrate kids and dogs right out of my bed, but it’s not THAT powerful (and they’re like touch therapy too, amiright?). Time will tell, but as Apollo has partnered with Oura and demonstrated effectiveness, I’m game. Also I’m all for biohacking with wearables instead of ingestibles (just not there yet, though many of you are enjoying ayahuasca, ketamine, CBD, and more).
Awww, Go On….Awards and Recognition
The press has been both kind and inviting to your pal Al recently! Here are some pieces I wanted to share:
- 10 Best Career Coaching Services in America in 2023 (I’m #5!)
- NJ Monthly asked me how to make and set effective resolutions.
- NY Post asked for my opinion about getting drinks after work with colleagues (do it), and Business Insider asked me about how to handle a bad performance review (own it).
Thanks for taking the time to read my roundup. I also wrote an incredibly controversial blog on Elon Musk that BLEW UP on social media. Empathy is hard to do *sigh*.
Happy New Year, friend.
Lots of love,