A Year of Inspired Living Kelly MartinsenMore people than ever will be journaling this January, with encouragement from author Kelly McGrath Martinsen. In her new book, A Year of Inspired Living, Martinsen speaks with wisdom, tongue-in-cheek self-effacing humor, and raw honesty to help readers reach into the hidden corners of their lives and develop a greater awareness of their own personal relationships and journeys. Life stories followed by reflective journaling make for a therapeutic and fulfilling combination. For all of you wanting to make a real change in the coming New Year, this book, which focuses on nurturing the soul, is for you.

Martinsen takes a remarkably refreshing approach to writing about self-improvement with her book. She interlaces knowledge of the publishing process and her cultivated ability to identify and hold onto inspiration. This interactive, year-long, guided journal makes the overwhelming task of improving your way of life surprisingly tangible.

The book starts with January and works chronologically through the months of the year, making a perfect guide to your resolutions. The chapters bring up new ideas and topics to mull over with each turn of the calendar page. “A Year of Inspired Living should be read slowly, one letter a week and savored more like a fine wine,” Martinsen said.

Martinsen, who became the publisher of Natural Awakenings Long Island magazine in 2012, has gained personal clarity in journaling since childhood. She approaches this self-reflecting method on the same level as the reader saying, “I hope that writing these letters and journaling your reflections brings you the same joy and profound self-discovery that it brought me.”

Natural Awakenings is a wellness magazine that promotes feeling good, living simply, and laughing more. Since taking over the publication, Martinsen has included a “Letter from the Publisher” in her monthly magazine, focusing on a different topic each month. The idea for A Year of Inspired Living was sparked from Martinsen’s letter, which she writes with thoughtful intimacy. She has received an outpouring of heartfelt responses from readers expressing how much they relate to her thoughts– thanking her for her words of wisdom.

The book was created by taking her “Letters from the Publisher” and transforming them into essays, aiming at inspiring readers in the same way her letters do. You, the reader, become the writer of your own story, with space at the end of each chapter to express thoughts, feelings, and intentions. She says, “A Year of Inspired Living will help you discover the life you want to lead, the person you want to be and the impact you want to have on the world.”

Something really special about the novel is how each chapter begins with a specific word, accompanied by its definition. Here’s one example: “Choice: An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.” Every word sets the mood for a story Martinsen is about to unfold and prompts the reader to consider the value of that word in their life. She says, “You are the publisher of your life! So wouldn’t it be nice this year to solidify that via a guided writing format…?”

In this tech-obsessed era, sitting down and writing to yourself in a book may seem hard to wrap your head around, but it might be just what we need most. She sums up the purpose of writing the letters to yourself succinctly, “Simply put, these are letters written to yourself that helps you to locate the things you may be searching for. It can bring you a hearty sense of self-realization.” This New Year, don’t call it a resolution, call it A Year of Inspired Living. 


Kelly Martinsen (Long Beach, New York) is the publisher of Natural Awakenings Long Island, which is part of the larger family of Natural Awakenings Magazine (circulation 4.2 million). Natural Awakenings Long Island is read by over 55,000 people and is the exclusive free magazine distributed at all Whole Foods on Long Island and distributed to other healthy-living establishments on Long Island; she has made many connections in the wellness and inspiration world and has gleaned pearls of wisdom from all of them. Martinsen has just begun to extrapolate on the overwhelming response to her editorial letters and hopes to write more books that focus on the process of delving deeper into living an evolving life, raising conscious children, and applying the power of faith.


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