Quarantine Content – a list of all that I’m reading/watching/listening/eating

Hi loves,

If we weren’t in the constant content era before, we’re certainly in it now. With the quarantine and pandemic going on and people being unable to leave their houses, content is the only thing connecting us these days and there is SO MUCH OF IT. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of it all.

It’s been interesting exploring my relationship to content and how I engage with it during this time.

On one hand, I love content. Other people’s work and art and stories and classes inspire me. They encourage me to write and make my own.

On the other hand, it’s really easy to get stuck in the endless void of content, constantly consuming other people’s ideas that you have no time or space to make your own.

Engaging in constant content is a pretty good distraction to trick yourself into thinking you are “being productive” or learning something new, when in fact you could be better off, unplugging and tuning into the wisdom of your own voice.

I’m such a proponent of being a creator, rather than a consumer, but I think the key to learning and growing from content is making sure it’s mindful and being really aware when we use it as a band-aid or as a distraction.

I’m guilty of using it as a distraction more times than I can count, but I wanted to share the list of content that I’ve been engaging with in hopes that it either inspires you to check some of these out (in case you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to look) or you’re interested in where my brain has been at since the content we engage in is such a reflection of what we’re thinking/feeling at a given time.

BOOKS:

Books are my favorite form of consuming content. You can learn more about a topic you’re curious about, immerse yourself into someone else’s story, or be inspired by different thought leaders.

Books are definitely part of my distraction mechanisms. I’ve bought at least 20 new books since quarantine started…don’t judge me.

BOOKS I’VE READ

Untamed by Glennon Doyle – a “can’t put it down” beautiful, modern book on learning how to unleash your wild woman.Ā  There were definitely some roll your eye moments, but I do enjoy Glennon’s writing.

Yin Yoga by Paul Grillie – I’ve been super interested in learning this yoga method and would love to start teaching it. This book is by one of the original founders of Yin Yoga and was short, sweet, and taught you everything you needed to know!

Wild by Cheryl Strayed – finally read this book. never seen the movie. a beautiful book about a woman on a solo journey. it reminded me a lot of the solo journey I went on last fall and inspired me to keep writing my own stories. I’m so curious though, why did she decide to write the book 12 years after the journey?

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron – a beautiful book and super helpful to read right now during these uncertain times. It’s funny how we always want to make ourselves feel better when we’re sad or wonder why we feel a certain way or make sure we stay “grounded”. Pema’s perspective shows us that it’s okay to not be okay. We don’t need to fix or change it. We just need to be.

Life-Changing Foods by Medical Medium – I finally joined the medical medium hype after seeing it all over social media and initially resisting it. This books breaks down over 50 fruits, vegetables, and herbs and talks about their health & spiritual benefits. Definitely recommend if you’re into health from a spiritual perspective.

Believe, Ask, Act by Mary Ann Di Marco – this book talks about how to connect with your angels & spirit guides. I found it super helpful in strengthening and exploring my relationship with the beings unseen who guide and support us throughout our human experience.

Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein – I enjoyed this book which also goes into depth with connecting with our spirit guides and learning how to align with joy to manifest what we desire! I agree with Gabby’s perspective of following what feels good – what life is alllll about babbyyy.

To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins – a travel memoir, similar to Wild that inspires me and wants me to book the next plane to Guanajato.

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CURRENTLY READING:

Yoni Shakti by Uma Dinsmore Tulli – I took a workshop with Uma in February of 2019 in London after learning about her work in Wild Power. She teaches a unique form of yoga called Womb Yoga and this book is all about the female side of yoga since yoga was originally created by men and for men. I love this gentler, more feminine approach to yoga and definitely see myself teaching/creating workshops incorporating these techniques and methods.

The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard – one of the “New York Poets” who was friends with the likes of Frank O’Hara, I got into him because of his I remember exercise I learned in a Skillshare class. It’s such an immediate form of writing and helps you recall such specific memories and details. Highly recommend his writing to artists and poets of all kinds.

Creativity by Matthew Fox – This book has been sitting in my “buy later” section of amazon for over a year and I finally am reading it. Written in the 90’s, it’s amazing how relevant much of it still is and my philosophies align with him on how creativity is the ultimate form of universal expression.

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes – While I love the magical mysticism of this book, I find it really dense and hard to get into, which is why I’ve been “reading” it since the end of February. I want to absorb all the stories though so I’m okay with taking my time.

ON MY LIST

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse – highly recommended by spiritual queens I follow on the internet.

How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell – something I should definitely learn more about… but does reading a book about it negate the fact that you’re doing nothing?

The Art of Possibility by Benjamin & Rosamund Zander – highly recommended by thought leaders I admire!

TV SHOWS:

I don’t really watch a lot of TV, except for these few shows:

Great British Baking Show: Pax and I have been watching an episode or two almost every night before going to bed. Best enjoyed while drinking a cup of tea and eating chocolate or a slice of my homemade carrot cake. This show makes me feel warm and cozy without having to be too emotionally invested because I find that hard for my empathetic self (except I still cry when some people are sent home…)

Normal People: If you want to REALLY cry and I mean sob like your heart has been ripped into a million pieces and get super invested in fictional character’s lives, then watch Normal People. Such good storytelling. Such good acting. I watched the whole thing in two days and am obsessed.

Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart: I had no intention of watching this Bach spin-off, but then quarantine happened and I was like … wellp. I actually really love it as bad as it is. Definitely cringeworthy. Definitely trashy, but ALSO the musical performances??! I am HERE for it. I’ve never seen American Idol or the Voice or anything like that but now I definitely see the appeal. I love watching people do what they love while also falling? in love. I’m rooting for Rudi. She’s got the STAR power.

Fleabag: I feel like I’ve talked about this one before, but I discovered Fleabag right when quarantine started and loved it. I also watched the one-woman show that inspired the tv show (on National Theater Live) which was cool to see how they adapted the one woman show for the screen. Gave me ideas for my own!

Never Have I Ever: The most adorable show about an Indian American teenager navigating high school. This was such a fun one and I loved that half of it was about having sex with a boy named Paxton. I could relate šŸ˜‰

Classes // Online Learning

Skillshare: After hearing about Skillshare for years, I’m finally getting into it and seeing all the classes they have to offer – everything from creative writing to photography to entrepreneurship. Make sure to do their 2 month free trial!

Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact with Roxanne Gay – All hail the essay queen that is Roxanne Gay. If you’re interested in writing at all, then definitely check out this one first.

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Writing for Inner Calm with Dani Shapiro – this class taught me such valuable exercises I’m still using, like the I Remember exercise from Joe Brainard!

Make Creativity Your Career with Andy J Pizza – Andy’s so fun and creative and teaches you some valuable exercises to figure out what you really want and how to go after it!

Creative Personal Writing with Ashley C Ford – all about writing from personal memory, loved this one.

Presentation Essentials with Simon Sinek – Ever wanted to do a Ted Talk? Simon will teach you how in an effective and entertaining way to get your ideas across so people will actually hear them.

Creative Mornings Virtual Field Trips: If you haven’t heard about Creative Mornings, it’s a global network for creatives where they offer free breakfast talks with inspiring thought leaders. They’ve now taken their platform online and are hosting “field trips” hosted by members of the Creative Morning community with classes ranging from how to make a mocktail to how to make a map to crafting your own personal retreat days! It’s a fun way to engage in your creativity with fun hobbies and learn something valuable along the way.

I’m happy to announce that I am TEACHING a Creative Mornings Virtual Field Trip called #FridgePoetry – a Creative Writing Workshop. Sign up here.

Podcasts:

I haven’t been as into podcasts lately because I’m tired of having other people’s thoughts in my ear – can anyone relate? I haven’t been wanting to listen to my usual podcasts, but I did discover two new ones which gave me joy because they were full of creative conversations and great noodles for thought.

The Dreaded Question – hosted by Lili Torre asking creatives (mostly in the theater industry) about their parallel careers and answering the dreaded question that many artists face – so what are you up to now?

The Long and the Short of It – hosted by Jen Waldman and Peter Shepherd, we get to listen in on their great conversations about creativity, being an artist and good human in this world. Check out JWS Studio if you’re interested in acting classes online.

Music:

Deva Premal – my mom played Deva Premal constantly as a teenager and now I’m getting really into her as well. It’s so soothing and brings me back to India. I like to listen in the mornings while burning my incense. Listen to this song.

Beautiful Chorus – an insanely talented, HIGH VIBE girl group. So beautiful. The perfect music to do yoga to or just vibe to if you wanna feel them good vibes. This one is my fave.

Jack Johnson – a classic fave. So good at making me feel really GOOD while cooking or getting into my work flow. This song is my forever fave.

Recipes:

Drinks: There’s something about being inside at my desk all day with the kitchen so readily available that I’ve been craving fun drinks which includes coffees, teas, sparkling waters, smoothies, and juices to sip on throughout the work day.

Lattes:

Quarantine has turned me into a coffee person. Who knew making your own lattes could be SO FUN!!

Iced Coffee Latte:

-peets ground coffee, nut-based milk or creamer (I love the So Delicious brand or a sugar-free, dairy-free hazelnut coffee creamer) ice, coconut whipped cream, cinnamon & chia seeds on top

Mermaid Latte:

I’ve been wanting this mix from Nutra Organics for seriously two years, but they used to only ship from Australia and shipping was like $50 and I couldn’t justify it. I found out they recently started shipping from the USA so I ordered it immediately. I topped mine with my beloved coconut whipped cream.

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mermaid latte

Iced Earl Grey Latte

A simple recipe using Bergamot Vanilla Lavender Earl Grey teabags, ice, and topped with coco whipped cream & cinnamon.

Just reading the words: bergamot, vanilla, lavender, earl grey, tea, latte, coconut, cinnamon make my heart SWOON.

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Juices:

If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you know how obsessed I’ve been with my #dailyjuice. Here are a few of my fave recipes:

Celery Juice: Part of the Medical Medium protocol, I’ve been starting most mornings with celery juice. You’re not supposed to have it with anything else and apparently it boasts miracle health benefits. I quite like the taste and it hydrates me first thing in the morning.

Beet, ginger, carrot, green apple, lemon – a CLASSIC that has all the good & tastes delish too

Orange, Lemon, Ginger, Wild Blueberries – this one is inspired by the Medical Medium who called it “boba” and when the blueberries melt, they do kind of pop in your mouth like boba. super fun, super refreshing, super cheery

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Smoothies:

I’m pretty simple & consistent with my smoothie recipes. They’re usually something like this: ripe banana, frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or mango) one date (gives you a nice gummy texture) spirulina powder, moringa powder, almond milk. Customize it howevaaa you want

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Desserts:

RGE Twix Bar – this HEALTHY version of a twix bar is SO GOOD. You can find the recipe here. I almost ate the whole pan by myself, but warning: there is a fair amount of coconut oil in each layer and it low key made my stomach hurt so consume in small amounts.

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Carrot Cake – I wanted to make something out of all the carrot pulp I had from juicing, so I made a classic Carrot Cake. the cream cheese icing = divine and so good consumed with a cup of chai and a side of Great British Baking Show.

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alright this is store bought strawberry shortcake, but you get the picture

Wine & Cheese Nights: are everything. nuff said. Enjoy some pics.

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aaaand I’ll stop there. This post took me a week to write because I wanted to make it comprehensive & useful. I hope you found something that sparked your inspiration in here!

What content are you engaging with? You know I’m always open to recs šŸ™‚

Much love,

Merm Ley

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