My Mary Poppins Bag for Life (By Jori Lichtman)



Do you remember the scene where Mary Poppins pulls all sorts of things out of her bag? She pulls out a lamp, a mirror, a tape measure, and even a coat rack and a plant. Essentially, everything she needs to make herself comfortable and productive in her own Mary Poppins kind of way.

Well, I’m certainly no Mary Poppins, but in a way I feel that every day I’m filling my own bag. Butl, instead of being filled with physical items, my bag is filled with ideas. Ideas to help me on my journey to living a more meaningful and connected life. These ideas come in many shapes and sizes – and more often than not, all sorts of bits and bytes. And in our hyper-connected world, these ideas are more accessible and affordable than ever. Often (but not always) the only price I pay is my time to watch a video or webinar, read an article or book, or attend a lecture. For me, it’s a worthwhile investment as I usually gain at least one valuable and applicable insight from the content I absorb.

And best of all, just like Mary Poppins’ bag, mine has infinite space.

With a few months of writing under my belt, I thought now is as good a time as any to share just a few of the resources I reach for (or plan to soon!) when I’m stuck, looking for guidance or inspiration, or want to add to my personal growth, self-awareness, and character development toolbox.

I’ve only just scratched the surface and I know there is so much more out there. So, once you have a taste of the content that fills me up, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to share some of your favourite resources with me. You can comment below, email me, or share your suggestions in a Facebook group I recently created called Read me, Watch me, Hear me.

So here goes…a few spoonfuls of sugar in the form of inspirational content:


  • Brown is a researcher and storyteller who has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. My piece The Courage to Tell all My Heart references Ms. Brown’s definition of courage, quite different than the heroic meaning we know today. I have read and enjoyed two of her wonderful books: Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection. I look forward to continuing to read her other books, her ongoing blog, and watching her TED Talks.


  • Dr. Gottman seems to be everywhere these days – or maybe I’m just noticing  him now that I’m seeking out content like his. I recently picked up his book 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work and then a few days later, a great article based on his research appeared on my Facebook feed, highlighting the importance of kindness and generosity in relationships. Shortly after that, a friend referenced his work in conversation. My husband started reading the book first and I look forward to jumping in as I have no doubt his content will resonate with me.


  • After participating in a live Webinar, I recently joined this site featuring a wealth of videos, podcasts, tip sheets, and articles about parenting challenges ranging from discipline, power struggles, and everything in between. The content is created by parenting expert, Amy McCready. I find her ideas to be practical, realistic, and grounded in our current reality, and I already find myself implementing some of her suggestions.


  • Attending Thursday night and Saturday morning Shabbat classes at The Village Shulin Toronto is another great way to fill me up. We discuss topics such as forgiveness, generosity, and anger in an informal setting. The concepts and lessons are linked to the Torah and the Ten Commandments, but what I really love is that I always leave with new ideas and suggestions to tackle everyday challenges. And just this past weekend I enjoyed a dose of what is means to #LiveAwesome when I heard Charlie Harary speak about inspiration. It’s easy to see why so many people are so captivated by his style and message – and I’m now an official follower too.
  • I recently completed a 6-week Mental Mastery mediation program and will be starting another program this week. In the area of meditation, I’m very much a novice but I’m enjoying learning about the process, some of the science behind the teachings, and taking the time to be with my thoughts.


  • On the lighter side (and not for the politically correct), this is a great way to spend an evening with friends.

The next spoonfuls on my list: 

As always, thank you for reading and please continue to share your comments, suggestions, and ideas to fill my bag.

And if you have a nice lamp, I’ll take that too.


Jori Lichtmans is a 2015 Momentum Trip participant with the Village Shul.

To the Top