My happy place : artwork by @rozi_clarkeartist

Hello dear friend,

Firstly, I’m sitting here, hand on heart, head slightly bowed and sending Big Love to each and everyone of you. I’ve been thinking of you lately in these strange times in which we live. Don’t be shy in reaching out. Saying hello. Letting me know how you are. We are all on this journey called life together. We are here to connect. Hold hands. Support each other. Sip tea together.

I believe now, more than ever, is a time to honour our energy – our precious aliveness, with greater devotion. Deeper awe. Remembering over and over, to face towards the light. Forage for new ways of stitching ourselves together for the future. Perfectly imperfect! It is a time for rewinding life back to what really, really matters. Kinder ways. More compassionate ways. Grateful ways. Loving ways.

So my friend with this in mind, I’d like to introduce you to the Calm Bookshelf. A resource of books that have helped me personally find some peace, stillness and quiet resilience. Books from all walks of life. Memoirs, mental health, poetry, spiritual, vibrational medicine, oracle decks and even exceptional novels that have changed me forever. I’ve read some stunning ones recently.

I am starting slow and small. Suggesting just 3 to begin with so as not to overwhelm. I’m also being mindful of giving the Calm Bookshelf breathing space in her infancy. Time to blossom into something worthy of your time. There will be a page on my website (soon), devoted to the Calm Bookshelf that you can visit anytime if you’re looking for healing words. In need of a silent companion.

Of course I also welcome and absolutely encourage your suggestions. There are so many wonderful books out there.

Know right now, in this very moment there are words seeking you out. Wanting to be seen. Pulled in closer. Read. Lingered over. Understood. For life is always talking to us and sometimes it chooses the portal of books.

The Calm Bookshelf is a happy place (inside my head) where we can sit together, just you and I, sip chai tea slowly, from our favourite tea ware and read books that comfort us in times of fragility or take us us on a brave journey or spark seeds of unimaginable inner resilience or simply to pause, relax and unwind with an excellent story. For books do indeed have quiet little super powers inside their pages.

The beautiful artwork above ( by @rozi_clarkeartist a gorgeous friend of mine) is of my favourite bookstore, Gertrude & Alice in Bondi Beach, Australia. The picture below, at the very end of this email is of me sitting in Gertrude & Alice, sipping chai tea (of course, what else would I be drinking need you ask). I can literally stay there for hours. Comforted by the walls of words. Catch whispers from the books. Those that beckon me to reach out, touch them. Pluck them from the shelves. Open at a random page and have an aha! I need this right now kinda moment. Therein lies the magic of bookshelves over brimming with words.

Please let me know what you think of the following three recommendations for the Calm Bookshelf. Have you read them? I’m sure many of you have. Did they speak to you? Are they keepers? Worthy of being on your beside table. I’d love to hear from you. Please share your favourites.

Thanks for reading this far and remember to pause, take a few slow, gentle, kind nourishing breaths every now and then. Your deserving body will thank you. xox Carole

The Boy, the mole, the fox and the horse :

Everyone should own a copy of this book. This is my comfort book and favourite from last year. Filled with images and a few caring words that tell the journey of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse. It’s for those times in life when you need to be wrapped in a cosy blanket and hugged tight. It’s a reminder of the simple things in life. What really matters like kindness. It shares the possibility of resilience when we’re feeling wobbly. All I have to do it hold this book and I feel instantly uplifted. It brings a smile to my face. Reminds me that kindness is always the way forward (closely followed by tea and cake). You can follow Charlie Mackesay (the author) here on instagram if you aren’t already. His generous kindness will not disappoint.

Today I am loving this page. I need it written on my bathroom mirror.

“What do you want to be when you grow up? “Kind” said the boy.

: Stillness Speaks :

Pick up this book. Read any page. A sentence. A paragraph. It matters not. For this book is a collection of small yet powerful signposts to help us connect to our inner stillness. Become less imprisoned by our continuous of thoughts.

Stillness Speaks is timeless. A loyal companion for life. Reminding us over and over not to take our thoughts too seriously. To move our awareness beyond the thinking mind. Seek the stillness within. The place where answers live. Peace is eternal.

After first reading this book 15 years ago I’m re-reading yet again for the millionth time and still continue to learn and remember.

Snippet from the book.

“Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness. When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness you become still yourself”

: Where the crawdads sing :

I could not put this novel down. It lingered with me long after I finished it. Written by Delia Owen a nature author, zoologist and wild life research scientist in Africa. Her brilliant debut novel has nature at its very core. The story is of Kya who grows up, isolated in the marshes of North Carolina. It set from 1952 – 1969. There are two stories running alongside each other with different time lines. One is of Kya and the other of an unsolved murder.


: Carole Bourne :

: Rituals for honouring your energy :

Your weekly ritual 

Slow rest retreats for women

Meditations for calm and slow

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