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“The most valuable thing we can offer each other is a framework in which to think for ourselves” (Nancy Kline)

Two things hit me sideways when I first encountered Nancy Kline – even before she spoke: the sparkle in her eyes and her compelling sense of stillness. She was wearing orange; any woman who can pull that off with style gets my attention.

Then she started to talk.  That was almost a decade ago, and I have never tired of listening to her. 


Nancy is the Founder of Time to Think, a prolific writer, coach and inspiration to businesses, individuals and governments. 


To me, she is a precious role model and mentor – truly, “A Something”.

Find out more at

“Who are we beyond the roles that we play?” (Joan Anderson)

Joan has a knack for jolting me into awareness with the, apparently, simplest of questions – through her writing, and the conversations that we have shared.

I first read her book “A Year by the Sea: thoughts of an unfinished woman” on a summer holiday in Aldeburgh: from cover to cover in a day.  I realise now that the seeds of Sea Change were planted as I read, though it took several years to be born on that Suffolk beach.


As I write this in the autumn of 2016, “A Year by the Sea - The Motion Picture” has come to life on the big screen, to critical acclaim. At a private pre-launch screening on a beach in Cape Cod back in the Spring, I reminded Joan of her challenge to me in our first conversation:


“ encourage unfinished women to remain unfinished”


That just about captures my wish for all of us.

Reading Inspiration

Psychologies Magazine
Natural Health Magazine

Beach Reads: My Personal Favourites

Here are some reads from my own bookshelves. They are all here in the room for you to browse. Every one of them has spoken to me and made a difference: for that reason alone, I am passing them to you.

Books by Joan Anderson, my inspiration for remaining Unfinished:

  • A Walk on the Beach: Tales of Wisdom from an Unconventional Woman

  • The Second Journey: The Road Back to Yourself

  • A Year By The Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

  • A Weekend to Change Your Life: Find Your Authentic Self After A Lifetime of Being All Things to All People

  • An Unfinished Marriage


By Nancy Kline, in whose Thinking Space I continue to meet myself afresh:

  • Time To Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

  • Living with Time To Think: The Goddaughter Letters

  • More time To Think: A Way of Being in the World


By other much-loved authors:


Gift from the Sea. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A very small book, big on wisdom.

Transitions: making sense of life’s changes, William Bridges.

Change and transition are not the same, and we often treat them as if they are. As a consequence our internal transitions can lag behind our external changes – a revelation of a book!

Thoreau on Water: reflecting Heaven. Edited by Robert Lawrence France
A collection of writings by Thoreau on one of his greatest passions.

The Rules to Break. Richard Templar
It’s your life – why not live it your way?

Non-Violent Communication, Marshall B Rosenberg
How to think, speak and communicate beyond the limits of “right” and “wrong”. This can help us transform our ability to navigate those tough times when we feel angry, miserable or unheard.

Spiritual Intelligence: A new way of being. Brian Draper
Four stages of spiritual transformation for living with increased wholeness and wellbeing.

Sightlines. Kathleen Jamie
Invites us to pause and look afresh at our surroundings

Findings. Kathleen Jamie
It’s surprising what you can find by simply stepping out to look...

The Little Tern: A Story of Insight. Brooke Newman
The story of a bird who loses his ability to fly. Metaphor at its best.

Broken Open: How difficult times can help us grow.  Elizabeth Lesser
An exploration of how tough times can be our greatest source of strength, by the co-founder of America’s largest retreat and personal development centre.

Second Innocence: Rediscovering joy and wonder. John Izzo
Just the job if you’re feeling jaded or disillusioned.

Sand in My Bra (and other misadventures). Edited by Jennifer L Leo
Funny stories from women who take to the road.

The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering your Creative Self. Julia Cameron
A classic of its kind. I have read, and followed it every year since publication (Ann)

Swim: Why We Love the Water, Lynn Sherr
Not just for swimmers.

Walking in this World: Practical Strategies for Creativity. Julia Cameron
The sequel to The Artist’s Way that suggests “instead of resisting yourself, try finding yourself irresistible”. Irresistible.


The Simple Abundance Companion: Following Your Authentic Path to Something More. Sarah Ban Breathnach
A yearbook of thoughts - twelve chapters of reflection, exploration and hands-on ways of getting to know your authentic self.

Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight: the six-week total life slim-down. Peter Walsh
A novel approach to shedding the excess, whether it’s attached to you physically or emotionally. Will appeal to the orderly-minded.


Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. Karen Kingston
The challenge is to get past page 20 without dashing off to get started!

The Little Prince. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
One I manage to keep loving, in spite of meeting Antoine at ‘A’ Level... Read it, if only for the encounter between the Little Prince and the fox: “It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye”


The Way of the Sea. Timothy Freke
A pocket-sized collection of thought-provoking quotations and reflections.

The Oxford Book of the Sea. Jonathan Raban
A glorious collection of poetry and prose; you can almost taste the salt.

The Wisdom of Menopause. Dr Christiane Northrup

Passed from Dawn, to Ann, to you.

The Power of Pause, Terry Hershey
Short meditative essays that encourage us to simply be still now and again – as he puts it, “to let our souls catch up with our bodies.”

Embracing Uncertainty: Achieving peace of mind as we face the unknown. Susan Jeffers
How we can harness our unique capacity to make choices at times when we might feel we have none.

The Art of Mindful Walking: Meditations on the Path. Adam Ford
A beautiful book given to me recently as a gift; already a well-trodden favourite (Ann)

Nightwalk. Chris Yates
Beautiful simply as an account of exploring the natural world, on foot, under the moon; exquisite as a metaphor for those times when we have to look closer, listen harder and feel deeper in order truly to see. 


The Not So Big Life: Making room for what really matters. Sarah Susanka
A compelling, insightful and entertaining take on how to renovate and restore a life, from the American architect who created the concept of The Not So Big House.

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull: A Story. Richard Bach
A classic – as a simple and beautiful story, and as a metaphor for the life lived in full flight.

Stillness Speaks. Eckhart Toller
A collection of short pieces to get you thinking about how your thinking might be holding you back...

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. Brene Brown
Inspires vulnerability boldly and beautifully…be brave!

Sanctuary: creating a space for grace in your life. Terry Hershey
Reflections on and suggestions for creating our own little niche to claim some ‘R&R’, especially when we think we don’t have time. And he makes me smile.

Moving On. Sarah Ban Breathnach
A gem, packed with brief and feisty reflections on the challenges of making space for the new in our lives, our homes, our heads and our hearts.

Little Owl’s Book of Big Thinking. Ian Gilbert
A MUST for every child; and for the child in all of us.

First You Have To Row A Little Boat: reflections on life and living. Richard Bode
One man’s story of how yearning to row a boat when he was a child set him on a lifelong love of sailing, and the life lessons learned along the way. Recommended to me when I decided to learn to row, much later in life!

The Art of Doing Nothing: simple ways to make time for yourself. Veronique Vienne
If you need permission to laze and languish, this is the book for you; and you’ll do it in style. Beautiful photos.

Blue Mind. Wallace J Nichols
The book that helped me understand why the sea and watery places are an absolute MUST in my life... and surprise, surprise! There’s science behind it!

Life’s Too F***ing Short: a guide to getting what you want out of life without wasting time, effort or money. Janet Street-

I think we’ve all had a dose of JS-P’s style; here it is in spades.

The Fourth Instinct: the call of the soul. Arianna Huffington
I read this on a cruise ship crossing the Atlantic in the mid-90s; looking back, I see it was probably my earliest inspiration for daring to explore that dimension of myself.

The Bitch in the House and The Bitch in the House is Back, edited by Cathi Hanauer

Collections of honest, raw, humorous insights on sex, solitude, work, motherhood and marriage. Brace yourself, read them, and resist throwing them at someone!

The Middlepause: on turning 50. Marina Benjamin
On my 50th birthday, I decided I had two options: to get older, or to get younger. I chose the latter. This book wasn’t around then so I read it at 55 – it speaks to the 50-year-old in all of us, whenever we read it.

Some Favourites Offered By Other Sea Changers

Steering by Starlight: How to fulfill your destiny, no matter what. Martha Beck
A ‘self-help’ book with ooodles of depth.

Finding Your Own North Star: How to claim the life you weremeant to live. Martha Beck

She gets to the heart of some uncomfortable truths, yet leaves you filled with energy and possibility. A very, very special book for me.

One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. Iyanla Vanzant
Delicious soul-filled inspiration.

Life-Changing Conversations: 7 strategies for talking about what matters most. Sarah Rozenthuler
One to read for life’s big conversations.

Anatomy of the Spirit: the Seven Stages of Power and Healing. Caroline Myss
The seminal mind-body read.

Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now. Maya Angelou
One line is not enough for my favourite author of all time. Just gorgeous wisdom from an archetypal unfinished woman.

Intimacy & Solitude: balancing closeness and independence. Stephanie Dowrick
One to curl up with on a Sea Change retreat!

When things fall apart: heart advice for difficult times. Pema Chodron

Wise, funny, real and soothing.

You Can Heal Your Life. Louise L Hay
A must have in every household!

Storycatcher. Christina Baldwin
A beautiful book about storytelling as a way of making sense of our loves.

When I Loved Myself Enough. Kim McMillen
A tiny book to carry with you, for moments when you need reminding.

A Handful of Quiet: happiness in four pebbles. Thich Hhat Hanh
A gem of a discovery from a Sea Changer who bought this for her children on holiday, introducing them to meditation through beach play.

Rest : why you get more done when you work less. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
If you need a good reason to ease off the gas, this book is IT – a fascinating exploration of how rest is at its best when it’s active - a real treat for body, brain and soul.

Stuffocation: Living More With Less, James Wallman
A great read if you want to think about what really matters to you and how to live a happier and more balanced life.
It helps to focus the mind on what is really important to you and how you can enjoy experiences (these can be simple, from doing something you have always wanted to do, like travelling to a new destination, spending time with family and friends to just simply going for a walk) more than getting consumed with lots of material stuff!

Do you have any favourite books that you would like to add to the Sea Changers’ Beach Reads list? Tell me about them, and they will be added for all to enjoy. It's easy. Contact me here.

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