I have kept a daily journal for the past 13 years, and it has served me more than I can say. For that reason, I am delighted to be giving a workshop tomorrow night in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, on the subject “A life worth living is a life worth recording.”
In the 2-hour event, I’ll go into:-
a) The basics of journaling.
b) The benefits of journaling.
c) The methods of journaling.
This won’t just be a lecture, it will be an experience, as I weave at least six 5-minute exercises into the presentation for participants to work on. It will also allow us to dig into some of the important fundamentals of personal growth.
I guess the only thing we won’t cover is whether the word is “Journaling” or “Journalling” – The internet seems ambiguous and divided on that one! Here’s the poster for the event.
All over the planet at this time of the year, people meet together to celebrate the life and works of Scottish poet Robert Burns. The event is called the Burn’s Supper, and is typically held on the anniversary of his birth, January 25th. Here in Saskatchewan, a Burn’s night was held in the small town (1500 population) of Carlyle last night. The date might have been off, but the spirits were high as almost 100 people gathered in the town theatre. There was piping, Celtic music, plenty of Haggis, Scottish beer and whiskey, and of course featured readings of poems by Burns.
I was honoured by the opportunity to serve as the featured speaker, giving the address known as “The Immortal Memory” and making the toast to Scotland’s most famous literary figure. Of course, for me it was an opportunity to wear my beloved highland outfit again, despite the -20c temperatures! The outfit is actually more than 35 years old now, it belonged to my late father, who was also a great Burns aficionado. In fact, in the inside pocket of the jacket, there still remains a program for a Burn’s Supper in Fort Augustus in 2002, at which my dad spoke, wearing this very outfit.
And so, the outfit was worn in honour of my Dad, as was his wedding ring and golden watch, a present from my late mum on their Golden Anniversary in 2001. And in my pocket was one of my grandfather’s world war one medals, to remember the Cunningham side of my heritage as well as the Kerr. And, that was fitting too, for it is through the Cunningham side that family tradition says I am related to Rabbie Burns… And like him, I too am now an author.
A couple of days ago, I had the chance to attend a book signing event in Yorkton by fellow Saskatchewan author Corliss Rassyle. Of course, I took the opportunity to chat for a moment “author-to-author” and at that point the organizer snapped the above photograph. You can learn more about Corliss at the link HERE.
It’s almost half way through the month of January already! Goodness, is time getting faster? Hmm, an interesting question to ponder, but not for today. Today, I’m well into reading my third book of the year, and as with the first two, there are aha moments to be had. Imagine my shock then, when someone asked me to recall the four major points of book two, and I was unable to think of them!
What? – didn’t see that coming! If she’d asked me the same question about four days earlier I’d have told her what they were. However, with my attention now firmly on book three, it seems the short-term memory had promptly forgotten the salient points of book two. Somehow that’s not the result I had in mind when I committed to reading 52 books this year.
So, to quote from my often-repeated reality statement, “Show me the lesson!”
Unless you are gifted with a photographic memory (which I am not), it’s unlikely that you will recall everything you expose your mind to. It was the same when you were in school and crammed at the last minute for an exam. The cramming might have got you through the exam, but a few days later the material was gone. I know this happens, and so do you, but somehow I failed to take it into account in approaching the reading of the first two books.
So what is the answer? The answer is “Interactive reading.” The simplest way to engage this concept when reading a book is to make notes. This can be done chapter by chapter as you read a book, or it can be deferred until the book is complete, in which case you can write yourself a short summary about what you got from the book, what you learned, and how it impacted you. I have chosen to take the latter approach, and have already been going back to the first two books to remind myself of the points that stood out for me.
Here’s the interesting thing, I actually incorporated this concept into This Book is the Perfect Gift. Every one of the 182 vignettes has space below it to write out what you think about what you just read. This is one of the most powerful, practical elements of the book’s concept and design. If you read the book and choose not to write notes, you’ll gain value, but not as much as if you take time to interact with the material. It’s for this reason that I have not published an e-book version, and at this stage have no plans to do so.
So, whatever you are reading today, I encourage you to consider engaging “Interactive Reading.” It will make all the difference in the world to your retention of the material, and the value it brings to your life.
As an author, I love it when people read my books, it brings a sense of meaning to what I do, it fulfills an inner purpose. Well, if we live in a universe where balance is important, it means that I should also be willing to keep on reading the works of other writers, not just for my own education and edification, but also to give encouragement back to them. With this in mind, I’ve set myself an intention to read 52 books in the space of the 52 weeks of 2019. Furthermore, I’m using my facebook to be accountable to my audience, sharing what I’m reading as I begin each new book. Not every book will fall into the personal development genre, I’ll be exploring other interests of mine as well, and sometimes reading material that really stretches my mind with radical ideas.
So, how am I doing so far?
I began my reading program a few days into the year. My first choice was “Happiness Now” by Robert Holden. The book was completed within a week, and I found many aha moment revelations with its pages. I certainly would recommend it to readers of my own writings. Robert was also given a copy of my own “This Book is the Perfect Gift” by a mutual reader last year, so far I’ve been unable to contact him to see if he managed to spend any time with it.
During the first week of the year, I heard about “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz for the first time. Then in the space of 48 hours, three other people mentioned it. Then, as I walked into Chapters bookstore in Regina, Saskatchewan, there it was up front and center on a featured table at the entrance to the store. I figured somebody was trying to tell me something, so I bought it, and it was read within a day and a half, with even more powerful lessons being noted for my own life at this time. It truly is an amazing book.
So, today is only the 10th of January, and I am ahead of the game with two books down. So, I made the decision to dive into “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. In truth, I started reading it way back in 2009, but I only got half way through it before it was hitting away at pre-conceived beliefs I had. I put it down and did not get back to it until today. It will be very interesting to see how I respond to it this time around. I know I have changed my philosophies of life a lot in the last decade, so this book will put that notion to the test!
On top of these books, I grabbed a fresh hardback copy of “This Book is the Perfect Gift” out of my stock on January 1st, and as I advise others, I’m opening up a random vignette every day, but only writing notes on them every second day. I am loving how my own book ministers to me! How can it do this? It was written from my higher self, my connection to source. However, as with most people, I often live from my ego, my lower self. So, my own writing becomes a source of encouragement to me. I will grab a fresh copy every year, and allow the journals to keep track of my own spiritual growth too.
So, what are you reading today? I hope you are reading my book of course, but don’t read it in isolation. Read to inspire yourself, better yourself, expand your mind or challenge your long held assumptions. And for goodness sake, don’t just fill your mind with the newspapers! I say that as one who was a news reporter for six years!
Here is my reading journey so far this year in pictures. May this inspire you to be an avid reader.
Spotted at a health show today! – Add the book into any Christmas gift basket this year, and you are adding REAL lasting value that will keep giving for years! Bulk purchase options available for businesses, groups, etc. Just ask for details!
The book has made it down to Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Here’s Webcaster “Bobby D” down at the beach this morning, sharing his copy of the book with the statue of Brazilian Poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade. Not sure what the poet had to say, but here’s what Bobby says. “This Book is the Perfect Gift is absolutely loaded with bite size life enriching wisdom. Author Kenneth James Kerr sure knows how to stimulate and expand our minds for growth no matter how well we think we are doing.” Note the world-famous Sugarloaf Mountain in the background! More about Bobby D’s work at www.BobbyDlive.com