Congratulations to our winner, Andrea Nuss!
Today we’re joined by Jax Meyer, and, because she’s awesome like that, she’s giving away some books (details below). Drop a comment into the space below to enter the drawing. We’ll pick the winner on Wednesday, 4/29/2020.
In case you’ve lost track, it’s April. And in the time before the Great Pause (much more amusing to say than the alternatives), April was known as Autism Awareness Month. But times have changed and so has my focus.
It’s hard to be aware of the outside world when barely living in it. Most of us have been isolated in our homes, our sphere of awareness shrinking drastically. At the same time we have to navigate the ever changing rules of society and make the best decisions for ourselves and our families. Where is their room to also learn about an unfamiliar group of people, like people on the autism spectrum?
Personally I’ve been pulling back from the online realm which helped me become aware of other aspects of my life. Instead of wasting hours scrolling the infinite feed, I’d notice my boredom, get up and do something that made me happy. The more I did this, the easier it was to make more choices that made me happy. I started practicing yoga, qigong, and even meditating.
Each choice brought me closer to myself. Now I feel almost completely unaware of the world, but I’m increasingly aware of myself. So what if I’m not talking much about autism during the dictated month? I talk about autism throughout the year. That doesn’t change now that I frequently lose track of the month, not just the days.
I encourage you to take a moment to breathe. Then ask yourself, what am I aware of now? What have I learned about myself in the past month? Don’t ask with judgment, but curiosity.
The world most of us inhabits places unrealistic pressure on people to always be productive and doesn’t value down time. The past month has tossed that cultural story out the window. For the first time we have permission to stay home and do whatever we want, as long as it follows social distancing guidelines. That means you have permission to spend time learning who you are now, and where you want to be in the future. And seriously, I’ll write you out a permission slip if you need it.
Take the time to notice what you’ve been focusing on. Does it light you up? If not, there are many ways to rein in your brain. If you don’t know where to start, here are some recommendations.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle – I unabashedly LOVE this book. In fact, I have a tattoo artist working on a design that will result in Glennon’s four keys permanently embedded in my skin. For anyone who wants to be free from societal expectations, this book is a must read. But even if that isn’t your thing normally, Glennon and her wife Abby Wambach have one of the best instalove stories I’ve ever read.
What I also love about this book is that Glennon isn’t perfect. She gives real examples of both the good and the bad of her life, which I find inspiring. This book and her prior, Love Warrior, helped me overcome some of my resistance to meditation and yoga.
I recommend listening to Glennon’s books if you have that option. Her reading adds layers to the story that a separate narrator couldn’t. Especially when she tells her and Abby’s story.
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris is the perfect book for people like me who struggle with meditation and feel they just can’t do it. I’m not a skeptic, but I appreciate the pragmatic language and realistic approach that is often missing from other meditation books. As I listened to it, I found myself motivated to start meditating again, just five minutes a day.
I’m quite pleased that this book finally kicked off my meditation practice. And as a bonus, I’ve discovered meditation is easier now that I take medication for ADHD. Obviously that isn’t an option for everyone, but this book is geared toward even those who really struggle with meditation.
This book is popular enough to be in most libraries. The audiobook is entertaining and enjoyable, with both Dan and Jeff, his meditation partner, narrating.
If all this is too much and you just want to escape, why not check out my series A Marine’s Heart? The first three books follow Cam Warren through twenty years of her life, before, during and after she learns she’s autistic. As much as the series focuses on love and romance, it’s just as much the story of a woman becoming aware of herself. Perhaps Cam can be the catalyst for your own self awareness.
Have you added self care to your routine? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win an ebook copy of books 1-3 of the Marine’s Heart series (Dal Segno, A Marine Awakening, and A Marine Discovery).
Jax Meyer is an autistic lesbian romance author. Their new release, A Marine Discovery, includes the process of Cam realizing she’s autistic while her girlfriend is deployed. You can find the series, A Marine’s Heart, on Amazon. Jax can be reached at jaxmeyerauthor.com, @butchjax on Twitter, and fb.me/jaxmeyerauthor on Facebook.