Welcome to this month’s Coffee & Questions segment here on The Purpose Show! The Coffee & Questions segment is a time when I sit down with 2-4 questions from you. You guys ask questions in many different places – email, Instagram Messages, Instagram Comments, Facebook, all of that. I have my team help me pull a few select questions and I answer them once a month. This is a time where I always physically have a cup of coffee with me because it feels super fun. It feels like I am sitting down with my friends, having coffee, and just…chatting.
This month’s Coffee & Questions is a bit different than previous months because we are diving into one of my favorite things all month long … books! A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.
Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
The books that have shaped her life.
Why she never read a book on minimalism and how that has impacted her journey to simple living.
How important it is to take action from what you are learning in the books you read.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Ep 06Ep 004: Positive Words For Your Children
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
Since I am featuring incredible books and authors on the podcast for the month of October, I am hosting giveaways on The Purpose Show Facebook Community! Head over to the page to join in the fun! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober
Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey, sweet friends! I’m so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I’m so happy to finally unveil what it is I’ve been working on!
This month, October, is all about reading. We’re calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.
A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I’m taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.
I’m interviewing some amazing authors this month and we’re talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I’m going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.
Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?
Let’s celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We’re going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.
I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let’s encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.
Okay guys, I’m excited to jump into this edition of Coffee & Questions. Truth be told, I have already lied to you once. I am not drinking coffee this time. Usually I really do like to have a cup of coffee and make it kind of like a ritual, sit down, cozy up, have a cup and talk with you guys and answer questions.
I think the whole idea of podcasting can be kind of weird sometimes, really impersonal and I never want that to get picked up in my tone. If I’m sitting at my desk and I’ve got this high-tech microphone in front of me and these notes to remember what points to hit in an episode, I think it could easily become stiff and non-conversational and that’s just my worst nightmare.
I mean I’m sure every once in a while there’ll be a really important episode that I need to hit all of the certain points or whatever, but typically, especially for the Q & A episodes every month, I want it to just feel really relaxed, friendly and friendship-y. So, I really do sit down with a cup of coffee and try to pretend that I’m just sitting with a few of you chatting and answering things.
But today I have a sore throat and I’ve got a Lacroix sparkling water. I actually have the apple cranberry flavor, which I’ve never tried before and it’s super good. I normally don’t like cranberry things, but this is amazing. It does not taste like cranberry. So anyway, it’s Lacroix & Questions with Allie today.
I am going to share with you a few of the books that have shaped me for this episode of Coffee & Questions, or Water & Questions in this case, and I’m really excited because I think it’s going to be really helpful. I always love getting book recommendations from other people and I think this is really cool and specific and these books are the ones that jumped out at me when I thought about what are the books that have shaped me and made me who I am as a person. So, I think this is going to be really great and really helpful and that’s my hope with this.
The first question that I want to answer, I’m really excited about and I’ve never talked about before and that is what are a few of the books that you would say have shaped you as a person? And I’m really excited to answer this question because first of all it was a challenge, so I had to kind of sit and think.
Again, truth be told, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about this. I didn’t spend days and go through my house and look at all my bookshelves and skim the shelves for books that I thought shaped me. I didn’t do that because I know that when I do that a bunch of books are going to jump out to me and I’ll be like, oh yeah, that book shaped me too. And I feel like if a book really shaped me, if it really made an impact on me, it would come to the front of my brain.
So, I’m sure I’m leaving several great books out that did in some way shape me in this list, but these are the books that came to my head right away. And I think that’s important.
I also wanted to say that I think a lot of people expect me to list at least one book on something to do with minimalism, but I’ve actually never read a book on that topic for pleasure because of how my story went. I started this journey to “less” and just being really intentional about my things, figuring out that it was taking up my time and that it mattered, and it was something that I should be looking at constantly, about six years ago at this point.
And I didn’t know that minimalism was a thing. It wasn’t trendy. I hadn’t really ever heard of it. I had no idea. It was just an epiphany that I had in this moment with God on my bathroom floor after like a serious breakdown and a terrible season of being a mom. And so, I didn’t know. I didn’t read this anywhere. I didn’t figure that out. So that just isn’t my story.
I think it’s great that the message is so out there now for other moms, that’s fantastic. But I didn’t have that, so I never read a book on that and then it changed my life. That’s just not how my story went.
Also, now I’ve really hammered out my own philosophy of minimalism that’s specific to mothers that’s really realistic and doable. And some of the things that I have seen or read now just don’t really feel that way. It feels a little bit stiff and legalistic and hard to follow when you’re a busy mom with multiple kids and you’re not really thinking about being that perfectionistic about this whole minimalist thing.
My philosophy is really shaped around just being realistic and doable and helpful. It’s a side note to back you up as a mom. It’s not a lifestyle that rules everything you do and you know, takes over. So, I figured this out myself and then created my course and created all my stuff, around that.
The only time I have read a book on the topic of minimalism has been for research for work, specifically my book proposal. You have to discuss other books that are similar to the one that you want to write and how yours will be different. So, I’ve had to skim and read a couple of big name ones in research for that. But other than that, I’ve never really read a book about it. So, none of these books have to do with minimalism.
I have a list of about six books that I feel like they kind of popped up in my head and I’m going to share them with you now.
The first book that shaped me is actually somewhat of a recent read. Full disclosure, I’m kind of all-in/embedded in this topic in my life right now. If you were to peel back the curtain of my life and look into what’s Allie learning right now, what’s Allie going through right now, it would be this. I’m all-in. I’m actually rereading the book I’m about to tell you about for the third time as I record this.
I’ve dove all the way in. I’m studying it. I’m really taking it and putting it into action in my life. It’s just something that I’m really deep into right now and that book is Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf.
This book was such a sign for me to read. It kept popping up. No matter where I looked, no matter where I turned, I would see this book. It’s kind of hard to miss because it’s got a weird cover. It’s bright teal and it’s got a big purple sparkly brain on the cover. It’s not super cute. It’s just kinda like, it is what it is. And so, I noticed it every time I would see it. It’s not a new book. The idea is not new. Dr Caroline Leaf is not new. She’s been a practicing scientist for decades, but it just popped up a lot.
It struck me as a boring read, so I didn’t dive in. I finally ordered it after I saw it a bunch of times and I finally read it after it popped up three or four more times after I had it sitting on my shelf to read later. I finally dove in on a trip that I took and then I read it again on a recent trip, and now I’m reading it again now because it’s just that crazy.
Switch On Your Brain is all about the God-given power of our brains, what we think, how thoughts actually take up physical matter in your brain, and how you basically are what you think. This has always been fascinating to me in my adult life, but this book really put it in perspective. This book taught me a lot about why I was so drawn toward meditation, getting quiet and really being intentional with what I’m doing with my brain.
I’m not a Buddhist; I’m a Christian and I’m not really into the “new age” sort of thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things, but that’s just not what I believe. And so, I always was kind of drawn to that though. Meditating is so great for me, but it’s hard to learn about meditation without getting that side of things, that side of research.
Switch On Your Brain explains why it’s so important to get still, to meditate and to control your thoughts. And it’s all backed by Scripture. This book changed my entire life. I’m absolutely still learning and really focusing on this area of my life right now, like I said, but I was a different version of myself after this book came into my life. I can 1,000% say that. This book absolutely changed my life. Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. I will link to that in show notes.
The next book that shaped me was a funny, funny, funny, little book. The topic is not funny, but the cover is funny. It’s a weird little book called Hung By The Tongue by Francis Martin.
It’s a very tiny, pamphlet-size book. It’s got a picture of this Indian guy on it and he’s being hung and his little tongue is sticking out. It’s really random and weird. My mom gave it to me in high school…actually she didn’t. It was just on her shelf and I picked it up and decided to read it in high school. I always have loved reading even as a child, but that’s how I really started to learn that books can change your life and really be passionate about reading all the time, was in high school from my mom’s bookshelf. So, thank you mom for having great books on your shelf all the time.
I picked this little book up and I want to say that I had started to date Brian. I think that was around the time. It was the end of high school. I seemed to be a really passionate person who had a very hard time controlling my words. I would say these true, but cutting and hurtful things to my boyfriend at the time, Brian, and it seemed to really hurt his feelings.
I was just so confused by that. Like, why? What’s the problem? Why are you so upset if something I’m saying is true? I was just so young and dumb and I just didn’t know what I was doing. I hadn’t really come to grips with, and I’ve shared this with you guys before, that I am such a fiery, passionate person. My thoughts and my words, they just will flow out of me without any filter if I’m not careful. I feel what I’m feeling 1,000% all the time.
Hung By The tongue caught my attention because of the title, the cover, it was weird, and a small read. And I remember sitting in my little Civic and reading that book in the parking lot of Del Taco, reading it in one sitting, and being so shocked. I never read it again, but it stuck with me.
It’s basically just the idea that what you say matters, and you get what you say. It was Scripture-based, really short and to the point, really powerful and really hard hitting. It was like a punch to the gut. That weird little book shaped me for sure.
That was when I really started to think about what I said and notice a pattern of when I say things, it changes my relationships. It changes what’s physically happening in my life and it taught me that you are what you say. You get what you say, get what you speak.
And that was huge for me. I went on branching off of that new belief and new realization from there.
I’ve talked a lot about what I’ve learned about that topic in terms of being a parent and raising my kids and talking to them. There’s a whole episode that we have that we’ll link to in the show notes too, about the power of words and your children. It’s about how I learned about raising my toddler son, Leland, when he was so difficult, the words that I spoke over him and how that totally changed the path he was on and the behavior he was exhibiting. This is huge and this was kind of the start of that for me. So, Hung By The Tongue by Francis Martin.
Most people know I’m a blogger and a podcaster, but that’s really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That’s why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.
I don’t spend months creating courses for no reason. This is where the action is. My courses are for the serious doers out there. If you want to see focused, real change happen in your life – change that lasts – this is what my courses are for.
This is where I dive all the way into actually implementing minimalism in your home and simplification to the cluttered parts of your life as a mom. We get legit detailed in these courses. My students have incredible success rates that they share in our Private Students’ Community and you can see some of their testimonials on my website.
I work really hard to keep my courses priced as low as I can, but you guys know I totally get being on a crazy tight budget, which is why I also have payment plans available
My courses are different from each other. They each serve different purposes and will take you to different places in your life. Don’t overthink which one to start with. Just go to the website and pick one that’s resonating with you and enroll.
For Purpose Show listeners only, you can take 10% off any course you choose with the code PURPOSESHOW. Visit alliecasazza.com/nextlevel for the breakdown of all the different courses I have to offer, how they’re different from each other and which one might be best for you.
I cannot wait to cheer you on and take you onward and upward. Motherhood is much too sweet a time to be spent in survival mode.
The next book that shaped me was You’re A Badass by Jen Sincero. So, this book is not a Christian book. You will have to take the idea of it and back it up with what you believe if you are a Christian. But Jen is amazing. I’m a huge fan of hers. I would love to meet her one day. She’s awesome.
Her book is really in line with these two books I’ve already named. It’s really about, “Stop kidding yourself. Get your stuff together and start to create the life you want. You don’t have to be broke. You don’t have to be stuck. You can change whatever you want. You have the power to change your life. Let’s do this.”
And it came at a time when we were living in northwest Arkansas. I was trying to start the business, but it was in the very early stages and it was slow going and difficult. We were super broke and we were just at this point where we didn’t care anymore. We just wanted things to change. And I read You Are A Badass. I actually listened to the audio version of it. I remember having to make a new email account so that I could make a new Audible account and get the free credits for the book so that I could read the book because we were so broke.
I remember lying on my living room floor, listening to that book, soaking up those words and realizing I can change everything. I can do this. I know what my purpose is. I know that my message will change mothers all over the globe and will help them. And I know that this is what I was put on earth to do and I’m going to really do this.
This is when I learned about speaking affirmations specifically about where I wanted to go, about really using my brain to take me to a new place to change my life. So, I credit this book with what happened in our life. Obviously, I credit my hard work, the power of God and the purpose He had for me, but in terms of books, this is the book that turned everything around for us and taught me what I needed to know.
Now I have to give a quick disclaimer before I give the rest of the books. You’ll notice that all of these books, like they’re great. You can read them though and nothing will happen. Every single book I read, I take action on it.
Brian always jokes with me that it’s really important that I’m careful with the books that I read because every time I read a book, I go and I do what I learned. I actually do it and I’ll change my whole life after what I just read. And so, that’s the key. Nothing gets done without action. You can read an amazing book and feel really inspired and not do anything about it. You’ve got to take action.
So, I took action with Switch On Your Brain and I started being more intentional about my morning meditation, my morning quiet time, my thought process and taking my thoughts captive.
I read Hung By The Tongue and started watching my words to my boyfriend at the time, to my parents, to my friends.
I read You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero and I started speaking affirmations, journaling through my thoughts, dealing with my money blocks, taking control of my life.
You’ve got to take action.
The fourth book that shaped me is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. He is actually one of our authors and his episode is coming quickly this month. He is just incredible. That book is absolutely incredible. I read it for business, but it applies to all of life.
Essentialism is the book that helped me begin to delegate, to realize I needed to hire other people and only work on what I need to be working on. It was huge.
Essentialism is about doing less of all the things and more of the things that matter. So instead of looking at my big to-do list and just going through it and knocking things off to feel accomplished, it’s looking at my big to-do list and asking myself, “What are the things that are actually essential to be done? What has to be done? What, if it’s not done the business won’t go on? My family won’t go on? What has to be done?” Focusing on doing those things first and prioritizing. He says in the book, “if you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” It’s very empowering in terms of managing your life.
I really, really loved it. We’ll talk more about it in his episode, but Essentialism by Greg McKeown.
Another book that shaped me is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I’ve talked about this book before. This book is about how we tend to self-sabotage and stop ourselves from moving onward and upward, whether it’s in business or love or just having a great abundant life. This is a very important read. I would highly encourage all of you guys to read all these books, but this one is just really, really good for stopping the self-sabotage in your life and realizing that you can have a good abundant life. You can really heal yourself from illness, heal yourself from marriage problems by choosing to control your brain, what you think and be intentional about that.
I’m feeling like there’s a pattern in the books that shaped me and maybe why I tend to try to be positive all the time, control my thoughts and my words, because all of these books have that theme really.
So The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. It’s a game changer.
The next book is Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I read this book years ago and I’ve read it again since. This book is basically non-Christian thoughts on the Christian faith. I think that’s what he calls it. He’s really funny, really real and he just helped me understand God.
I grew up in a really awesome household. My parents are awesome. They’re super relaxed and laid back. We went to small churches growing up and we just had a really cool, relaxed Christian faith in my childhood. But the school that I went to was a really elite private school. It was a Christian private school where you memorize Scripture and you’re graded on how well you did. You go to Chapel every week, sometimes twice a week. It was very religious-based.
Obviously, I spent a lot of time there and so I kind of went into adulthood with beliefs about God that aren’t actually truly who He is. So Blue Like Jazz, I credit that book with really opening my eyes to who God really is, that He cares and He wants a relationship with us. It just opened up my faith. And that was the start of all of that.
Now, the super rigid religious, works-based type of Christianity, just has such a bad taste in my mouth and it really puts me off. It bothers me when people see that I’m a Christian and they assume that I’m that sort of Christian and they put that label on me. They talk to me in that way, or use Christianese to talk to me. I believe in God and I love Jesus and I talk to him every day. He is a part of my life and I have a relationship with the living God that created our world. In that sense, I’m a Christian. So, I’ll just leave it at that.
Blue Like Jazz just really helped me see who God is, see what He is in, how He works, what His personality is. That really helped me at a pivotal time in my early adult life.
So, there you have it. Those are a few of the books that came to the front of my brain right away that I believe have shaped who I am as a person. That was really fun and I hope that helps you out a ton.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend!
See ya next time!