2022 Favorites & Highlights – Reading, Listening, & Viewing Pleasures
“This moment, do I accept myself just as I am?” – Radical Acceptance
2022 was a tumultuous year for me personally and for all of us globally. I lost a beloved uncle and great-aunt, recovered from COVID, and watched as war broke out between Russia and the Ukraine, with unrest and natural disaster in other parts of the world as well. We all faced our own struggles.
I was privileged to also enjoy a mostly peaceful and creative life, and learned through new experiences and encounters a variety of media.
Personal highlights included outstanding live dance performances, in particular a new work from The Royal Ballet, “Like Water for Chocolate,” and a classic from Pina Bausch, “Orpheus und Eurydike.” My in-studio students had the opportunity to perform in an abbreviated “Swan Lake” and participate in an exam, I practiced yoga and ballet together with devoted students online and in-studio, and released a signature coaching program.
The ability to travel home to Hawai’i as well as to the UK and on regional getaways, time with family, friends, and my love were also memories that I am deeply grateful for.
Perhaps you’d also be interested in some of my favorite sources of inspiration, education, and entertainment from the year past. Some were newly-released over the course of 2022, others were simply new-to-me and recommendable. Even if no one else cares what I liked, this should be a fun reference for future me to see what I was into back in 2022 😉
I would love to hear what you especially got benefit or enjoyment from in the last 12 months, and if you’ve heard of or enjoyed anything from my list as well. Let me know on Instagram @ablythecoach or by email, I am always looking for positive and inspiring inputs.
“What would you do if you were a bad girl?” – We Should All Be Millionaires
I read 32 books in 2022, and here are my favorites.
- Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
- Book Lovers by Emily Henry
- Sex and Vanity is my latest read by Kevin Kwon
- In late 2021 a friend passed One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston on to us and Ela read it to me aloud, finishing in January. This effectively sent me down a queer romance escapade, including…
- Meet Me in Madrid by Verity Lowell (academic lesbians – right down my alley!) and
- The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian and a few of her other queer romances that are very spicy (with graphic sex even, be warned) while also being poignantly sweet love stories
- Confessions of a 40-Year-Old F#ck Up by Alexandra Potter we found at a little free library in London, and Ela read it to me as our second book of the year
- Malibu Rising was my first novel from Taylor Jenkins Reid, which I followed with
- Daisy Jones & the Six and I’m looking forward to her other books (starting 2023 with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo…)
- American Royals I & II by Katharine McGee were surprisingly thoughtful romps and I plan to follow the series when I get the chance
- A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn was my last fiction read of 2022 and I’m anticipating enjoying continuing to read the Veronica Speedwell series.
“Which is what we all want from art, isn’t it? When someone pins down something that feels like it lives inside us?” – Daisy Jones & the Six
- I started with Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic which is totally inspiring
- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach I read with my parents and is a secular Buddhist mindfulness primer
- We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers was my first financial read of the year, followed by
- Profit First by Mike Michalowicz on business finance which I have since begun implementing
- One of my year-long chosen “challenges” was daily reading and listening from Year of Wonder by Clemency Burton Hill and it has been an informative and enjoyable 365 days of broadening my classical music listening, appreciation, and inspiration for dance improvisation and choreography. If you’d like a sweeping introduction to a diverse range of classical music and to find some new favorite composers, I definitely recommend it.
Some ideas from reading and other media sources which I’ve been implementing in my life include organizing business finances according to Profit First, planning goals and projects like The 12-Week Year (quarterly goal setting, sprints), Tiago Forte’s Building a Second Brain (information management), drawing and creative challenges outside my comfort zone, making something good out of loss from Year of Wonder, and Mind-Mapping.
This year I continuing to apply concepts from recent years as well, such as Atomic Habits, The Bullet Journal Method, Artist’s Way, the work of Austin Kleon and others.
“I made a conscious decision that something positive had to come of this, I wanted to be able to look back and say: ‘If my viola hadn’t been taken, then I never would have…’ and what I wanted most of all was to become a full-time composer.” – Sally Beamish in Year of Wonder
Here’s what I loved listening to in music, both new and old, classical and popular, as well as podcasts which treated my ears:
- Lizzo “About Damn Time” and the whole album
- Beyonce “You Can’t Break My Soul” and “Cuff It”
- Bow Wizzle (Snoop Dogg for kids!) “Affirmation Song” and “Everyone is Different”
- Gershwin arr. Turrin “Someone to Watch Over Me”
- Nat King Cole “Autumn Leaves”
- Paganini “24 Caprices”
- Kluengelkoepp “Koelsche Naechte”
- Priya Ragu “Lockdown” – we were fortunate to see them live in Cologne for free!
- Maintenance Phase
- Yoga Meets Movement Science
- Connected Yoga Teacher
- Marketing Yoga with Confidence (now called the Unapologetic Entrepreneur)
- Satisfaction Factor
- Soul + Wit
- It’s Always Halloween
- Tarot for the Wild Soul
- Cosmic Cauldron
- Good Life Project
“Oh, you have the right of it–I do love the ‘mists and mellow fruitfulnes,’ but I can summon enthusiasm enough for any season.” – A Curious Beginning
“Fire Island,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Dancing Pina” Documentary, “The Holiday” (which is not new, but somehow I had never seen it), and international romance has a special place in my heart!), “Strange Land.”
“A League of Their Own” was a saucy and queer update, “Gentleman Jack” based on fascinating personal diaries, Kleo, “Forensic Files,” we’ve been working our way through all 8 seasons of “The Golden Girls,” “Wednesday” proved to be a timely arrival, and “Heartstopper.”
Videos / YouTube Channels
I am still particularly loving Bullet Journaling, Planning, Journaling content, arts and crafts, enjoying the seasons, productivity and growth, self-care, minimalism, ballet, dance, and performing arts.
A few of my current favorite channels are Chocolate Twist Yoga, Moon Magic Yoga, Naomi Gottlieb-Miller, Bullet Journal (Ryder Carrol & Co), Erin Smith Art, JashiiCorrin, HAY Studio, Men Who Bullet, Use Less, The Minimalists, Sheng Huang, and Ali Abdaal.
Questions for Reflection
- What is on your “to be read” list this season?
- Which media sources do you find most enriching?
- What do you want to learn?
- What makes you curious?
- What creations will you make and share?
I would be delighted to hear from you via email or on Instagram @ablythecoach
Blythe Stephens, MFA, Bliss Catalyst
they/them or she/her
Creator of A Blythe Coach : dance through your difficulties
and take leaps of faith into a joyful, fulfilling life