Inspiration: February Favorites of the Month

Want to feel inspired? Then you have to read, watch & listen to inspirational content. The best podcast episodes, most jaw-dropping TV shows, enlightening email newsletters to subscribe to, informative articles, uplifting books and YouTube videos, you name it: every month, I curate content so you don't have to waste time looking for the kind that will inspire you. Just sit back, relax, read :-) 

 

On the agenda today, there is...

1. The trick of the month:

Did you know that most of the population suffers from chronic dehydration?

 This is approximately the size of my head.

This is approximately the size of my head.

I thought I drank a lot of water before taking my teacher training at Yoga Beach House, where one of the house rules was to drink 3 to 4L of water (3 to 4L a day! 100-135oz!). Let me tell you all of us took a lot of bathrooms trips before our bodies got used to it. Now I don't even know how I spent all those years of my life without my 4L/day. I also have officially become a full-time water-drinking advocate (it's harder than it sounds, people are surprisingly stubborn when it comes to drinking habits, just like I was).

So how to drink more water?
• Drink 1L when you wake up, or at least before eating anything. The trick is to have lukewarm water, not cold, otherwise, it's too hard, especially in the beginning.
• Now that it's winter, I use a 1L thermos that I fill up at least twice a day (already makes 3L). I'll have a herbal tea bag in my cup and just fill it up so it's always warm (the Chinese way!).
• Buy yourself a big beautiful 500ml/16 oz cup like on the picture. 
• Try to avoid drinking close to bedtime or your bladder might wake you up earlier than your alarm.
What you get from this: your digestion will improve and you'll be able to distinguish hunger from thirst (again, harder than it seems!).

 

2. The Podcast Episode of the Month:

 Obviously, I had to read her book.

Obviously, I had to read her book.

Tim Ferris's interview with Gretchen Rubin, author of The Four Tendencies and The Happiness Project (among others). I had never heard of her before and had never listened to Tim Ferris's podcast before that one. I was charmed by the non-linear approach Tim takes to ask questions and how deep he goes into topics. 
Gretchen sounds like a very determined woman; she shares how she does her note-taking, how she stays curious, how she makes decisions, and as she wrote a book about looking for happiness, she shares a bit of that, too.
What you get from this: the best kind of inspiration, it'll get your mind working & spinning (in a good way).
Click the image to listen!

 

 

3. TV show of the month:

 Claire Foy does a great job as the Queen, but then again I don't know the Queen personally so.......

Claire Foy does a great job as the Queen, but then again I don't know the Queen personally so.......

The Crown! Apparently, it's the most expensive TV series on Netflix at the moment (it might be a good argument for you to watch it).
I've always been curious about how life in Buckingham Palace must be like, how it must feel to be a member of the British Royal family. They've made this quite engaging, fun, thought-provoking and I would say real (although I wouldn't want to get ahead of myself there since, you know, I'm not a historian/a member of the Royal British family). Oh, and of course, you get to hear the famous 'Queen's English' (I've been having a lot of fun repeating 'family' and every word ending in the sound -y, too funny for a linguist like me). And we're in for a treat because Elizabeth II is still reigning but season 2 ends in the 60s. 
What you get from this: it feeds your imagination, history knowledge & is a real-life resource to practice your British English (fundamental skill to have).
Click the image to watch the trailer!

 

4. Book of the month:

 Photo taken by Simi, to be found on her Instagram.

Photo taken by Simi, to be found on her Instagram.

Letting go of Leo by Simi Botic.
Simi is funny and light-hearted as she writes about things that are not so funny or light-hearted. And more importantly, she wrote an ode to CHOOSING.
See, we always have the ability to choose - whether we'll be spending our lives stuck in diets (that's the main topic of the book) but also whether we want to get angry at trivial things, spend hours focusing on clothes choices, dedicate a life to a job we don't really enjoy, worry about what others think of us, and the list goes on.
Without realizing it, Simi wrote about a yama (a principle), one of my favorites in yoga, brahmacharya, using your energy wisely. This book is about choosing where you put your energy - living nervous & anxious or making space for gratitude & light-heartedness & acceptance & love.
What you get from it:  the will to get rid of the trivial noise you hear in your head every day, the trivial preoccupations you have, a reminder to make a list of what matters to you and make space for that.
Click the image to buy the book!

 

5. Instagramer of the month:

Instagram is a wonderful resource if you don't fall into the comparison trap (or if you manage to catch yourself when you do).

This month, I found a girl called Sam who doodles on topics relating to empathy, compassion, meditation, etc., the yoga-related topics that usually don't make it to Instagram (or if they do, they get lost in the overflowing inspirational quotes by Gandhi & the Dalai Lama and perfected poses). Her sharing the important things makes me feel empowered to share what I really care about.
What you get from it: heart-warming, captivating images in your feed; refreshing and empowering content.

 

6. youtube video of the month:

I wasn't going to share this, I had a song planned instead but I just watched this interview and it is way too good to be shared next month. Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) interview each other; I'm a huge (huge) fan of Gina Rodriguez, her performance in the TV show Jane the Virgin has made me cry, laugh, think and inspired me to write countless times, which is why I'm always on the look-out for interviews she does.
Watching that one, I was deeply moved by the way the two women show support & compassion towards each other, the work they do, the backgrounds they come from. They discuss acting and why it matters to do & take part in authentic story-telling.
What you get from this: an instant heart-warming, refreshing & empowering feeling at the realization that we, women, actually have the power to decide to praise each other and to discuss important topics. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXOQ5kkmOMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Email Subscription of the Month:

 This one is my favorite so far, reminded me to take responsibility for what I want.

This one is my favorite so far, reminded me to take responsibility for what I want.

I receive the 'Notes from the Universe' every day and have been enjoying them more than before for the past month. As one would guess, taking the entrepreneur path isn't an easy journey, and definitely not one I feel confident with. This is exactly why a little reminder that the universe always has my back (as long as I do my part of the job, too) can come in handy when I get up. The notes are funny, enlightening, heart-warming.
What you get from it: Everything you need first thing in the morning. 
Click the image to get the notes, too :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is all for this month - I hope you feel inspired to listen, read and take action today, tomorrow, and all the days to come.
Remember - you can't feel inspired if you don't have anywhere to look for inspiration.

 

 
signature ely bakouche the linguistic yogi
 
 
Creative living 101 a list of curated resources to feel inspired