I Heart Magazines

As per my challenge of last week, I spent about 2 1/2 hours at my local library last week perusing their excellent magazine collection (a new weekly habit I hope--maybe not 2 1/2 hours). I started off with The New Yorker which of course is fabulous (am strongly considering subscribing) before moving on to Psychology Today. I was drawn in by its cover but quickly found the articles inside to be fascinating and easily accessible to me--a non-psychologist. In fact I loved it so much that I took 3 pages of notes on one of the articles that I was reading about being authentic. So fascinating. Here are a few of my thoughts and notes:
  • One of the questions asked/debated in the article is "Do we invent this authentic self or do we discover it?" As an LDS person I found this to be a rather interesting question on the one hand I think that we discover it--in short, we existed as intelligent beings before we came here where our minds were wiped clean of the knowledge that we had. Therefore, we are (or should be) daily trying to rediscover who we really are: our authentic self. But then on the other hand, our knowledge and memory of ourselves were wiped clean so that we could come down to Earth to learn and grow. So we are daily inventing ourselves into a new authentic self as we learn, discover, and experience new things. In the end it really has to be both (not that that was an option given by the psychologists). We are both discovering and inventing who we truly are.
  • Here are 8 Acts of Authenticity given by the article (8 ways in which a person who is authentic lives their life): 1. Read novels (this lets us get inside the head of another which helps us to distinguish our own identity) 2. Meditate (this helps us to create moments of happiness not contingent on outcomes or external factors--from here we can learn how to create real fulfillment) 3. Be Deliberate (be aware that you have choices and consciously choose what you do--this so reminds me of Elder Bednar's conference address that states other's can't offend us we choose for ourselves whether to be offended or not) 4. But not too deliberate (People often make better decisions when they don't think about it--go with your gut) 5. Cultivate solitude (quiet time for self) 6. But stay connected (Community is an outlook toward life in which you define yourself in relation to the world around you) 7. Play Hard (doing something you really enjoy expresses who you really are) 8) Be willing to lose (if you are willing to lead a full life you are going to fail some every day (besides we tend to flourish under the most challenging circumstances anyway so it is time to be okay with failing--maybe even grateful for it)
  • A great quote on being the true eudaimonic you: "Eudaimonia refers to a state of well-being and full functioning that derives from a sense of living in accordance with one's deeply held values--in other words, from a sense of authenticity."
  • Okay, one last quote: "Authenticity is not for the faint of heart--It can feel better to be embraced as an impostor than dumped for the person you really are." (I'm so bad at this--I can't tell you how often I just smile and nod rather than say what I really think)
  • I wish you were all right here in the room with me so that we could really have a proper discussion--I just can't seem to find the words for all the thoughts flowing through my head right now. Also, I'm thinking this falls into the category of inner poise that I am trying to work on as a New Year's resolution so I'll be thinking about this some more this month.

After finishing up this article I browsed Architectural Digest for their pretty, pretty pictures. It was such an inspiring time. Yay, for libraries!


Jillian said...

Way to go with your challenges! I'm still trying to de-clutter (Spring Cleaning!). I have way too much junk so it seems to be taking forever. I went through part of my closet and put some clothes in the D.I. pile, but I need to do it again. Maybe if I give away clothes a little at a time it will be easier on me.

Jen said...

Wow, very deep. Being authentic is hard! I like the 8 acts of authenticity. It always amazes me how there is so much good in the world that falls in line with the teachings of the gospel. Number 8 is hard but so true. I am still learning to be grateful for the failings in life, but I truly am. Good post!

Amanda said...

I'm so about going to the library. Our library is open late on Monday nights so when things are rough I let Rob put the kids to bed and skip off to the library to read. They have a couple of chairs that are particularly comfortable and no one there will bother me if I want to read half a novel at a sitting!

Science Teacher Mommy said...


I've taken this magazine off and on for the last 13 years, mostly on. It is like a $1 a week (or less) to subscribe. The website allows access to most everything in the magazine, but I like the feel of it in my hand.

Be warned, however, sometimes the articles really push the envelope. I often find myself avoiding the articles on art (too often trashy and sometimes over my head), the fiction and certain authors. You will learn who you like. Katherine Boo, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Seymor Hirsch, Elizabeth Kholbert . . . . these are some of the finest writers/reporters you will find anywhere. And they are all there regularly in TNY. There is definitely a liberal slant, but there is also an honesty and thoroughness that you won't find anywhere else.

That's all.

Yankee Girl said...

I already love David Sedaris and am looking forward to getting to know the others as well--in 4-6 weeks when my subscription will start arriving! Why 4-6 weeks? I'd think with computer technology they would have a system that would allow the subscription to start in about 2 weeks.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Oh! We will have so much to talk about! Let me know the minute it shows up. I began taking this in a writing class in college: the professor from the class and I still regularly correspond. Yes, we actually write letters, and she is nearly 70. She is pretty much one of the loveliest people I know. She actually live in L**** (where I was last spring when my baby was born), and she brought me an enormous basket full of goodies like lemon-coconut Thai soup and homemade jam and sourdough bread and beautiful placemats. . . .

It is just so rare to meet people who are ACTUALLY like that?

Yankee Girl said...

I'll let you know as soon my first one arrive. And you are so right that it is rare to meet such wonderful people--I'm jealous.