The Second Rule of Ten

The Second Rule of TenA must-read!  As with its predecessor, The First Rule of Ten, the story successfully crafts a murder mystery that is wholly plausible yet unpredicted by the reader.  At the same time it subtly wears as an unintended (?) self-improvement book simply through reader identification with the main character, Tenzing Norbu (Ten, for short).  I feel I am able to approach my own regular daily life in a more mindful way, because I have viewed Ten’s.  I picked this story up for the mystery, yet am also carrying away its Mystery!

Although an ex-monk, Ten is also an ex-cop.  He is now further into creating his life as a private investigator, yet maintains his Buddhist principles.  The result is a very human individual with integrity, going about his business of figuring out life–which reads very well!

As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, modern-day police procedurals are not my favorite form of mystery fiction–I prefer the historical aspect rather than drugs, gangs, and f-bombs–but I am hopelessly addicted to this Dharma Detective!  Again, it’s the winning combination of a thoroughly enjoyable character and an intelligent challenge of a puzzle! I’m glad to see that a Third Rule of Ten is in the works, it can’t arrive fast enough for me.  Boy, I hope there will be more than ten….

A Hollywood director’s murder. The possibility of a love interest relationship. Gang warfare.  Attending to friendships.  Crime scenes.  Father-son dynamics.  Tattoo parlors and car chases.  Mindfulness and presence.  Sex, drugs, and meditation retreats–this story has it all, and you won’t be disappointed!

Those who like mysteries will love this puzzle.  Those who enjoy character exploration will devour this authenticity.  Although reading the first book is not necessarily a prerequisite for reading this second one, you are really gonna want to just for the sheer joy of the whole story experience!  (Oh fine, read the first one after you read the second one if you want!)

Hay House graciously gave me a copy of this book simply in return for my honest opinion of it.  Little did they know I’ve been waiting for this to be released ever since I read the first one on my own when it debuted!  Now I’m in the same boat for the third….  What would Ten say about patience?!   Read the books!

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Liebster Blog Award!

liebster award medallionThank you to Stand Upon Grace for your gracious nomination of this humble blog!  It is received with heartfelt appreciation.

Take a side trip along a scenic gravel road to Wendy’s homestead here: http://standupongrace.wordpress.com/    Refreshments are readily available, for both body and spirit!

For information on the enigmatic history of The Liebster Award, click on the medallion above.

5 Random Things About Me:

1. I was going to be a writer one day…now I write.

2. I used to reason…now I intuit.

3. I used to process as a way to produce…now I release the outcome.

4. I used to seek approval…now I know I am enough.

5. I used to seek authority…now I am my own maven.

Wendy’s 5 Questions:

1. What is your favorite recipe?

Have to say our stovetop-popped popcorn!  Maybe it’s the three popped kernels in the 1/4 c. canola oil heated at med-high heat (8 on the dial), that signal it’s time to pour in the rest of the heaping 2/3 c. of Jolly Time White goodness.  Perhaps it’s the teasingly loose knob on the copper lid of the handed-down, dedicated, pot-bellied, aluminum pan seasoned with generations of communal snacking love.  Could it be the dusting of finely ground popcorn salt combined with the 2 Tbsp. of melted buttery drizzle?  Likely it’s the family and friends gathering over the generously-sized bowl of popcorny goodness–serves everyone!

2. How do you show/express love and kindness to others?

Actually, I resonate with all five Love Languages, which I find kinda interesting.  It’s love to take the time to learn how the other best receives, and then present to them in that form.  It’s love to also express to them in your own mode.  Love provides acts of service but does not cross the line into servitude.  Love freely gives credit and compliments but does not overstep into patronizing.  Giving it some thought, I realize that I think about what I can do to honor the other person in that moment, without dishonoring myself; to give support and encouragement for the other to confidently go forward in their lives from there.  Very good question, Wendy!

3. What are your favorite ways, or activities, to spend time with those you love?

Family Movie Nights!  (With popcorn, see above!)  Sharing chores, indoors and out. Eating our meals together.  Trips to town for groceries and supplies.  Kids’ activities and events. Seasonal awesomeness such as fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, time at the cabin. I’ve had people tell me that we spend an uncommonly large amount of time together as a family, but I disagree that it’s unusual–perhaps they are just speaking from their own patterns, which is understandable for all of us.

4. What words do you live your life by?  What is your motto, or mantra for life?

Illuminating another’s candle does not diminish my own light.

5. What is your wildest dream?

To write full-time from my home in a manner that supports my family, inspires readers, and sustains my spirit!

liebster blog 3

My Nominees:

Jenny Morbey Makes  http://jennymorbeymakes.wordpress.com

Leaf and Twig http://leafandtwig.wordpress.com

Dianne Gray http://diannegray.wordpress.com

Cristian Mihai http://cristianmihai.net

AP http://thebeliefblog.com

My 5 Questions:

1. Create three sentences using this format: “I used to…now I…”

2. Who in your circle of family and friends are you most similar to, and why?

3. If you had a surprise day off from your regular life, what would you do today?

4. Pick an archetype that has lately been speaking to you; introduce who it is and share their message.

5. What is your favorite routine maintenance task or chore?  Your least favorite?

For those with blogs chosen for the award– copy and paste the award in your blog. Tell who nominated you with a link to my blog. Share five random things about yourself and then answer my questions. When that is all done, nominate five bloggers that you follow and send them the rules, creating five new questions for them to answer along with their random things.  Have fun! liebster2

Archetypes: Who Are You?

Archetypes

I just read this amazing book by Caroline Myss, called Archetypes.  These are collective symbols that everyone in the culture understands; patterns, habits, and behaviors that people can all describe.  When we speak in archetypes, we speak in common terms.

For example, if I were to say my uncle’s sister’s daughter’s son’s mom is such a martyr, you would immediately get an accurate picture of what I mean by her personality.  If I told you my brother’s grandma’s daughter’s son-in-law’s wife is an amazing mother, you would also understand what it is I am trying to say.

Did you catch that both of these people link back to me?  No family members were harmed in the making of these examples.  Hmmm…is that a Caretaker tendency…?!?

Identifying archetypes is helpful for understanding yourself and others.  When I can step back and look at a situation, myself, or another person through the lens of archetypes, I am able to see the impersonal patterns of consciousness that connect us all.  When I encounter a person who is a Drama Queen, for example, I can keep my own energy and not lose myself in theirs.  And I no longer resent either the person or myself for the situation!  Yaay!

Archetypes help clarify our human interconnectedness as “the universal language of the human soul,” as Caroline puts it.  This book is like a workbook, helping the reader to identify some of their primary archetypes.

It is organized into ten parent categories that reflect today’s common expressions.  These archetype families group similar expressions, making it easier to start identifying.  As an example, the Creative family includes the Artist, Creative, Performer, Storyteller, etc.  At this point I don’t necessarily need to define my nuances of a specific archetype (Author? Artist? Storyteller? Scribe?), it is enough to begin with the parent category (Creative!).

I found this book to be highly inspiring!  If you would like to know more about archetypes in depth, take a look at the same author’s book Sacred Contracts, or visit her website salon for more information.  Spiritual Seekers who have already read and experienced her previous work will still greatly enjoy Archetypes, it has great nuances.

One more important and fun aspect of this book: there is a companion website that is an archetypal community for everyone!  Go to www.ArchetypeMe.com, read The Concept and How Our Site Works for better descriptions than I do justice here.  Take the identifying quiz, then enjoy content created for and tailored to archetypes.  Have fun, see you there!

Hay House, Pioneer Spriritual Visionary, gave me this book in exchange for my honest Detective, Intellectual, Seeker, Spiritual, Nurturer, Teacher, Mother opinion of it.  My Goddess, Warrior, Creative, and Writer truly Advocate(s) this book!

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Hold Yourself Dearly

Reading Tama Kieves’ writing physically hit me in the chest and knocked my spirit into alignment: Hold yourself dearly.  Here are some excerpts:

 Hold yourself dearly.  No one has walked in your shoes but you.  Hold yourself dearly.  This is a practice, a prayer, an amulet and a portal.  

…know the gospel of [your] own brilliant nature.

…know that even if life wasn’t going the way [you] thought [you] wanted it to go, this [is] a really cool moment in a really cool life, because all of life is really cool when you stop judging your circumstances and start loving your own spirit.

Hold yourself dearly. Hold all of it dearly. Breathe deeper…just breathe deeper, and drink in the love that is always here for you.

As I move into a New Year, I remember to speak in terms of I am–thank you, Dr. Wayne Dyer!.  And thank you, Tama Kieves, for also sharing your brilliant nature.

I am enough.
I love my own spirit.
I am grace.
I hold myself dearly.
 

For Ms. Kieves’ full writing piece, please visit http://www.tamakieves.com/all-i-want-for-christmashanukkah-is-me-a-practice-to-calm-and-claim-yourself/.  And sign up for her awesome free newsletter–it’s something I’ve stumbled across and it’s made a difference.  Happy New Year.

photo from FMU Photo

photo from FMU Photo @ WordPress

 

God’s Bountiful Table

Our kitchen table is a central part of our family, serving more than just meals with its purpose.  Guests are honored here. Parenting occurs here. Friends connect over coffee here. Family members intertwine and enfold here. Homework is learned, bills are paid, opinions are shared, books are read, writing is released here.  Tears are shed, laughter is shared–life’s richness of relationships is created at our kitchen table.

I’ve had on my list for a long time now, a kitchen table that fits. With gratitude for the current one, my eyes have been open for the “real” one that is coming.  Although we haven’t met, I’d know it anywhere: wood, rectangular, sturdy corner legs, solid, large opening up to even larger.

It’s good to dream!  Live boldly, create wildly, embrace gratitude yet decline complacency. Envision great things for yourself, and then go manifest it!

God’s vision for you is much greater than you can ever imagine for yourself.  (And I know you can imagine pretty darn greatly!)  Accept this Truth, and honor your spirit with this gift.

I accidentally (!) found a furniture store with a Magic Back Room of scratch & dent pieces, sold as-is. Their main feature is $79 dinner tables—of course.  Being out of town, I spoke on the phone with a very helpful gentleman who replied that they have a table that fit my description—and he gave me its name so I could find an example of a new one online.  It looked perfect!  Excitedly my husband and I (okay, mostly me but he was on board) drove out the next week.

Standing over the table, it was everything I envisioned!  Inspecting the scratches and dents, I accepted its condition and was already mentally placing it in our vehicle when suddenly—my husband lowered the boom and emphatically declined the table.  He noted that it was not solid wood, and the particle board/veneer construction was not something he could live with.

“This one is a definite No…” Even as my spirits plummeted, I agreed with him wholeheartedly. However, in the same breath he gestured to the table behind him:  “…but what do you think about this one?”

Oh. My. God.

Hesitantly, I stepped over to it, marveling at its beauty.  Its shape, lines, and deep color were actually humming.  With my sweetie noting its solid wood construction, we further investigated its potential.  Going from size larger to ginormous, it had even greater capacity than I thought possible.  There was only one minor blemish to be found, we had to look hard to find why it was in the scratch & dent selection.

This wasn’t the table of my dreams—it was greater than my imagination.  It came home with us that day and now enhances our lives with its grace.

This table embodies God’s bounty.  I dreamed big, He dreamed bigger for me.  I had a preconceived idea of what would appear, He presented it in a different package.  It reminds me to do my part in life, yet remain open to what God can do for me—and then let Him. We each have a reserved chair at His table, we just must accept the seat.

Thank you God, for your bountiful blessings. And for my allowing of them. Amen.

God's Bountiful Table

photo by gina drellack

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