I seem busier lately, and to stay balanced I’ve consciously made a point to be present.  You know what I mean–when you’re at work be at work, and when you are home, fully be there for your loved ones.

I thought I had been, and if I asked my spouse and children they would very likely give me tolerant, supportive, truthful, benevolent confirmation of this.   Is there anybody else out there who is the only female in the house?!?  But today I had a huge awakening.

I have not been making a lot of eye contact.

Oh, I’m present all right.  I listen, and I contribute to the conversation.  We all spend our common time comfortably companionably.  No one would have any complaints, except maybe understandably my husband who currently has the flu.  But presence without consistent and purposeful eye contact has room for this added layer of richness.

Perhaps nothing is missing, it’s just ready to deepen.  I like that.  And I know no one at home would complain either.

left eye

IS: Your Authentic Spirituality Unleashed

ISThis book by Faith Freed describes itself as a helpful grounding tool for those who are spiritual mavericks.  If you find and value Truth from multiple places, including personal experience, and you create your own path…you might be a Maverick!

What if Adam and Eve could have been apes…?  Not seeing a conflict of possibility there, I’ve wondered that since childhood.  You can imagine how much my Sunday School teachers loved to see me in class….

A possible challenge you may then face is where to find grounding for your wisdom?  Where do you go for a foundation, structure, or support?  It’s not like there’s a central meeting place for all of us who find going our own way to be spiritually nourishing.  That would defeat the purpose of “going our own way.”  I mean, as soon as we make a group now there are group norms rather than individual…which is why we’re where we are in the first place!

IS uses a visual of a sparking holy disco ball to symbolize four dimensions of this party we call life.  IS stands for Infinite Source, which is also known as God, the Cosmos, or whatever name you choose to call the energy and essence of everything that exists.  What I love is that IS directly connects to I AM in my own spiritual maverick-ness.  (Does anybody else see that?)

These four dimensions make up the spiritual (unseen) and physical (embodied) aspects of Source and self.  They are described fully in this book, as well as in application to specific big life ideas defined by chapter.  These big ideas include Immediate State, Inner Stillness, In Sync, Intention/Surrender, Inevitable Symmetry, InSeparable, and In Service.

Each chapter also has a shout-out (prayer), invitation (specific exercises), and anchors (key phrases).  This makes each chapter easily referenced, thus becoming a handy manual.  I especially like the anchors, which puts it all in a nugget of wisdom that is easily remembered.  And posted on random notes left about the house and car.

IS reinforces your already-awesome personal spirituality.  It reminds you that you are not alone and weird in your view of God that you think might possibly make your childhood clergyman shudder in fear for your soul.  You already know you are fine, now you know other people support you!

I believe it was Henry David Thoreau who, on his deathbed, was asked by his aunt if he had made his peace with God.  He replied, “I was not aware that we had quarrelled.”  (I learned this from my Mom, try here.)

Faith’s style is personable and fun.  This book reads like a conversation, not like a textbook.  Pick up a copy and revel in not only acceptance and support, but celebration!

So, I’m wondering.  Is the author’s name her real name or a pen name?  ‘Cause if it’s her real name, what a Cosmic coincidence!  (See the In Sync chapter…)  If it’s a nom de plume, it is utter genius. This book is truly about individual and personal faith freed!!

Hay House kindly gave me a copy of this book, asking only that I review it honestly.  Thank you, Hay House!

Hay HouseAmazonBarnes & NobleChapters Indigo

The 7 Things That Made Me Genuinely and Irreversibly Happy

7-things-coverEven if you feel content with your life, it’s hard to ignore the title of Rohan Healy’s book!  At it’s very best it could potentially turn your life around.  At the very least it is wonderful support for the way you already live your life.  I guarantee there is something worthwhile in here for everyone.

Happiness is addressed right off: we are not dealing with a continual high state of elation here.  Rather, true happiness as contentedness and an overriding feeling of being okay and at peace.  You know what I mean–real happy instead of an image of happy.

The 7 Things are organized into parts of the book: the body’s innate intuitive intelligence, stoic philosophy, bullying, affirmations and holistic healing, healthy relationships, personal finance, and abundance consciousness.

Each part is beautifully descriptive with an explanation and background, some personal experience, and real-life applications for the reader to use.  This book provides tools for day-to-day living, not just happy horse-poo overarching concepts.  🙂 Additionally, each part is summarized at the end, providing key points as reminders and nitty-gritty to revisit.  An entire section at the end supplies outside resources, again organized by  the 7 parts to the book.  It is very well laid out in a format that is easy to return to for refresher reference.  In addition, it is easy to read for understanding: Rohan’s style wraps around you like a warm quilt, and you readily assimilate to its comfort.

Anyone who inhabits a body will glean something helpful from this book.  Its purpose is to help readers have courage and support to be their unique and authentic selves.  As stated immediately, Rohan’s intent is in the spirit of sharing.  He encourages the reader to “please take what you like, leave what you don’t, and skip what you already know.” (Healy, Location 94 [hey, I’m on an e-book, that’s the best I can describe!])

Read this book and be supported in your authenticity!

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A Successfully Crappy First Draft!

So I’m taking a writing class for my own fun and interest, and I just had an epiphany about perfectionism in writing.

Like many of us, I want my first tangible efforts to be…well…better than actual crap.  I know it won’t be ferpect right out of the gate, but I at least would like to know it is heading in the right direction.  I figure my inner editor counts as cleaning up the first draft in my head, and what gets past her and into print for the first time is really my second draft, right?  Or at the very least, a better first effort?

Yeeaaahhh….not so much.

Okay, okay, I was already aware that a more successful route is to just get it down in print, and work with it from there.  Easy to know, harder to own. Apparently I’ve been confusing successful with production and not process.  Even though it sounds simple to write a little bit every day and just barf it out with the ability to come back and clean it up later, it turns out that I’ve been writing more like an anorexic than a bulimic.  Either way, I’m malnourished.  Perfectionism? Me? What?

Anne Lamott, spunky author of Bird by Bird, delivered my aha! moment: purposely write a “s**tty first draft”.

Now, practically even better news than that of short assignments is the idea of s**tty first drafts.  All good writers write them.  This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts.  (21)

The first draft is a child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later….There may be something in the very last line of the very last paragraph on page six that you just love, that is so beautiful or wild that you now know what you are supposed to be writing about, more or less, or in what direction you might go–but there was no way to get to this without first getting through the first five and a half pages. (22-23)

I’ve read this idea before, but today it just adhered to my cells.  I went from knowing that it is okay to have an icky first draft to understanding that it should be an icky first draft.  It’s whole milk that produces cream, you can’t get that from skim.

This is something I can wrap my head around: I can create the perfect crappy first draft, I’ve been stifling it all along!  Ha ha haaaa…

Seriously though, I sat down with my journal to play.  And I gave my inner editor some time off, inviting her to come back when I had something for her to review rather than preview.  Since she was pretty exhausted, she felt this was a good idea and promptly took off for an Arabic bath (thank you, Jenny Morbey Makes!).  I haven’t seen her since.

Sitting down and playing was…super fun!!  Letting go, I flew instead of walked,  I ate lobster instead of sandwiches, and I colored with the whole box of Crayola instead of my #2 pencil.  I am no longer the same.  Oh, I’m gonna do that again!  And again.

A successfully crappy first draft nourishes the creative garden.  I can’t wait to see what grows!  I’ll even invite my inner editor back for the harvest–but only after she enjoys her vacation.

How To Create Your Own Wildflower Meadow

photo from American Meadows

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!


A very warm and heartfelt thank you to AP from the beautiful The Belief Blog for nominating A Wisdom Within for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award!  Your writing continues to elevate me, and I am grateful for your support.

The guidelines for accepting this peer award are as follows:

1   Display the award logo,

2   Link back to the person who nominated you,

3   State 7 things about yourself,

4   Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

7 Things About Me:

1. One of my favorite songs is Ode to Joy.

2. I have a secret desire to learn to speak German via Rosetta Stone.

3. I once rescued a kestrel with a banged-up wing.  My creative husband named him Sir Flap-A-Lot. (The falcon successfully healed and flew away.)

4. I happily live in a small log cabin.  Yes, it has an outhouse.  No, it’s not our only bathroom.

5. I totally won the kid lottery with my two sons.  They’re now teenagers, and I still say that.

6. Much like the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, I have never been to Boston in the fall.  But it’s on my bucket list.

7.  I could not have asked for better parents.  Way to go, God.

I acknowledge and fully understand that some of my Nominees have chosen not to participate in blog awards. For that reason I have not disturbed their decision by letting them know of this nomination. However for the purpose of sharing with you those blogs that I find inspiring, here they are:

1. Stand Upon Grace

2. Leaf and Twig

3. Rohan Healy

4. Smile, Breathe, and Go Slowly

5. Beyond the Dream

6. Work from the other side

7. Madisyn Taylor

Be sure to visit these, especially when you can take your time and absorb their beauty.  Or click quick and come back additional times, that works too!  I’m learning about more and more awesome blogs, my baby step strides are expanding as I grow.  Share the love!

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