Get It Done with Fierce Medicine
In 2015 I read two books in conjunction with each other that had a powerful effect on me. If you’ve struggled in the last year to prioritize multiple, complex projects; if you feel pulled; if you have the sense that your actions are out of whack with what matters most but you’re not sure exactly how, then it’s my pleasure to recommend Fierce Medicine by Ana Forrest, and Get It Done by Sam Bennett to you. Individually, they’re both interesting books in the self-help vein. Together they have a synergistic quality that may help you renew your sense of purpose.
Part memoir, part yoga manual and part self-help guide, Fierce Medicine is made potent by author and yoga teacher Ana Forrest’s willingness to lay her flaws bare. Forrest, the survivor of a youthful suicide attempt that proved a watershed moment on her path to becoming a yoga guru, tells her story of enduring terrible pain, emotional and physical, before learning to “stand straight.” At the emotional heart of Fierce Medicine is a writing exercise called the Death Meditation. I know it sounds depressing, but it is not! I did it and found it deeply moving. There’s something about Forrest’s writing, her rawness and openness, that can open the reader to her teaching, fierce as it is. After doing the Death Meditation, false priorities, things I thought were important but really weren’t, fell away. And a renewed commitment to specific aspects of my work and life as an artist emerged. Highly recommended.
A light, playful read, Get It Done by Sam Bennett is the tonal opposite of Fierce Medicine, and a wonderful complement to it. In a method that reminds me of the one David Allen outlines in his excellent book, Getting Things Done, Sam Bennett coaches readers through overwhelm with a series of exercises that aim to help prioritize and break ambitious projects into doable, 15-minute chunks. Bennett’s writing voice is casual, friendly and fun. A creative person herself, she gets what it’s like to have many projects in various stages of undo. If you struggle to get projects across the finish line because perfectionism and/or procrastination, then is the book for you. I found it grounding to read at the same time I was working through Fierce Medicine.
May you find joy and readiness during this week between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a special one! My favorite of the year. While I’m not much of a resolutions person I do take it in earnest as a time to rest, enjoy and prepare.