I have yet to master the lunch break. Or breaks in general - a full normal hour without checking emails, social media, or eating while multitasking the latter.
But on my good days I read a book, listen to a short podcast, find a new music playlist or write blog posts like this one.
Below are my media recommendations the next time you're craving inspiration, a clear mind and a sandwich.
A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION by Warren Berger
I ask questions for a living. But sometimes my tendency to assume overrides my curiosity. This book has challenged me to develop my own methods of asking strong questions in everyday interactions beyond the mic and camera set. Warren Berger, journalist and author digs into the ways we can ask the right questions to get the answers we want. A More Beautiful Question is license to start over, every day, from scratch and ask the "why" behind where we devote our energy and talents. He explores the background of entrepreneurs and innovators from all industries and how asking smart questions over and over again, led them to change the world in the process.
Warren's tips to researching smarter and not harder has helped me connect with my guests on a different level than just "how did you get here?" questions. There's a strategy to guiding a conversation away from a direction that's awkward, and well...flat.
WORLD CAFE WORDS AND MUSIC from WXPN
I often gravitate to radio/tv shows featuring hosts who's style of work I admire. One of those is Talia Schlanger, host and producer at NPR. She leads fascinating interviews with depth beyond the fast-food news culture we live in. Conversations are centered around the evolution of each songwriter/artist/producer, their purpose for music they've crafted and their personal connection to each creative venture.
This Composer scores NBC's "This Is Us"
Metric's Emily Haines
The Barr Brothers
PICK ME UP + THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM by Adam J. Kurtz
Pick up a pencil and sketch or read concepts maps that will hit you with the facts about perseverance and failure.
- Need a "pick me up" when you aren't feeling the most confident in your work, path or life happenings in general? Retreat to this adult sketch book and nix the anxiety jitters.
- Remind yourself of the timeless truths on fear, doing the work, success, comparison, etc. in this pocket-sized creativity handbook.
THE DIRTBAG DIARIES
My most recent and longest outdoor excursion was a trail run at Percy Warner Park last weekend. I'm not the most avid outdoor enthusiast beyond that but I respect those who have the flexibility and live close to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the nation. When I need a retreat into the woods with a story from those that escape outdoors on a regular basis. I turn to The Dirtbag Diaries. It's a series with fantastic storytelling and lessons on the connection between personal and physical growth. Each episode presents lessons in avoiding short life hacks, unhealthy perfectionism (the perfectionist in me says a little perfection is okay every now and then. ;)) and environmental science (**nerd alert**). This series is the most calming.
The Year of Big Ideas 2018
Tales of Terror Vol. 8
Each Tales of Terror episode is a must-listen and airs annually during Halloween.
Shorts--Let Joy Rule Your Life
STORY GRID PODCAST with Shawn Coyne and Tim Grahl
Want to know how to tell a story through the lens of the reader? Check out this series as Story Grid author Shawn Coyne walks Tim Grahl through the writing and publishing process of his upcoming novel. This series presents an open dialogue about writing with the pre-conceived notion that it's the first time the reader has read your story.
HELP, THANKS, WOW: THE THREE ESSENTIAL PRAYERS by Anne Lamott
I open this book when I need a heart check. Anne Lamott breaks down the prayers we offer up to God in this order:
- Asking for help without an agenda.
- Voicing our 'thank you's' for His divine intervention.
- Expressing our surprise to the blessings we didn't expect (or always deserve).
This book led me to be more mindful of my blessings, where I place my contentment and the battles I choose to fight.
And with that, I'll leave you with....
MUSIC FOR YOUR LUNCH COMMUTE
Follow this curated playlist of my favorite sounds to and from break(s).