Do you like to read? Love to practice yoga?
Check out Blissful Books (it’s FREE)!
Blissful Books at Inner Bliss meets monthly to discuss books that stimulate, resonate and inspire. Check out this Q&A with Kerrie Johnson, Bliss Maker and Blissful Books leader to see what this offering is all about.
IBY: What type of books does the book club read?
Kerrie Johnson (KJ): We try to stick to books that have a connection to yoga/mindfulness/leadership/habits -- so self improvement-y books. Some of them are based in a business approach (Like Simon Sinek's Start With Why), some of them are more lifestyle based (like Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies or The Minimalist's Everything That Remains), and some are more spiritual based (like Byron Katie's Loving What Is or Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart). I would say 95% of the books we read are nonfiction, but I love fiction so much that I'm always looking for something that will fit our general theme (like Paulo Cohelo's The Alchemist and Frederik Backman's A Man Called Ove)
IBY: What is the connection between reading and yoga?
KJ: Yoga and reading, specifically the types of books we read, are just a few of the tools we have in our tool belt to navigate life. When we are living a life where we are constantly trying to learn and improve, we can't help but find little lessons everywhere. We might read about mindfulness, or patience, or grace, and then find ourselves in the midst of a yoga class staring those lessons right in the face. Reading a book and discussing it with a group also brings a sense of community, just like yoga does. You're still doing your own thing and having your own experience, but you also get to share it with others. Often I'll go into a book club discussion thinking one thing, and through our conversations and discussions, I'm always leaving with a different perspective on something!
IBY: Where and when does the club meet?
KJ: We meet on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm in the small studio at Inner Bliss Westlake.
IBY: How many people typically participate?
KJ: We normally have between 6-10 people, sometimes more and sometimes less. There are folks who have been coming since Blissful Books’ inception with Jen Yuhas. We would really love to grow the group, so please join us! It’s FREE!
IBY: Does the book club use discussion guides or is it a loose structure?
KJ: It's a very informal, friendly and loose structure. I always tell newbies, there is never a quiz! I have some questions in mind that I'll use to steer the group if I think it needs some direction, but we wander in and out of specifics from the book and application to everyday life. Some folks talk a lot, and some say nothing at all, and it's all good! Sometimes we'll reference passages from the books, but most of the time someone who is brand new, or read the book a while ago, or didn't finish the book, will have no problems participating in and benefitting from the conversation.
IBY: Do you have to finish the entire book to attend book club?
KJ: No! Finishing the book is never a requirement! There is never a quiz, no stump the chump, no asking you to recall a specific passage. We use the book to guide our conversation, not dictate. If someone wants to show up and just be part of the community, having not read the book, we are so happy to have them! Also, you don’t have to sign up, just show up and there is no fee associated with Blissful Books.
IBY: Are you looking for book selection suggestions?
KJ: YES! I am always open and looking for suggestions! I pick the books 6 months at a time, so if someone has a suggestion they can always shoot me an email and I'll add it to the list of possibilities.
A note from Kerrie:
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 3rd at 7:30pm in the small studio in Westlake (same location and time). We will be discussing Andrea Owen's How to Stop Feeling Like Shit" Here is a link to Owen's website. It looks like she also has a podcast, although I have not listened to it.
Here is the list of remaining dates and book selections. For our new folks, I pick books 6 months at a time (so in December I'll let the group know what our books are for January-June). I'm always open to suggestions, so if you run across a book that you think would be a good fit for the group, just shoot me an email or let me know the next time we are together!
September 3: How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits that Are Holding You Back from Happiness by Andrea Owen
October 1: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
November 5: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do by Sarah Knight
December 3: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron