Life Wants Your Input

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you want to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. ~Barbara Kingsolver

I’m pretty good about speaking up when I have something to say. Just ask anyone from my grade school playground, my college roommates, or my husband.

What I’m not always so good at is recognizing what it is that I have to say.

I can outlast you in the car at lunchtime in not making a decision on where to go to eat. And I justify it by the fact that I truly have no desire for anything specific in that moment. I even say aloud, “No, really, if I had an opinion about it, I would most definitely say so.”

I don’t need to have an opinion about everything.  And yet…

The hardest part of speaking my truth is identifying what it is that’s worthy of sharing. Worthy to whom?!?

That’s actually hiding. Playing small. Staying safe. Not putting myself out there.

Because it doesn’t have to be perfect before it’s portrayed. We write, speak, paint, sing, create, and breathe for ourselves, not for others.

And Life needs us to participate. Just as we are. Now, in progress. Perfectly imperfect.

We don’t need to wait until we’re fully inspired before we speak. We don’t have to “save” it for the big stuff. Life is an ongoing conversation, not a final decree.

My voice is for whispering in the meadow as well as shouting from the mountaintop.

 

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I’ll meet you for a picnic lunch.

 

 

 

Thestrals for Muggles

Harry Potter
Harry Potter

Remember when Harry Potter could now see the otherwise-invisible Thestrals pulling the horseless Hogwarts carriages? He had no idea that such a thing existed. It was only after a heavy life-changing experience that he was able to see these huge critters.

We, too, have heavy life-changing milestones available to us. When we’re outside of the experience, we still know what’s going on.  When we’re in it, however, that’s a whole other animal–that oftentimes we don’t recognize until after we’ve made it through the experience.

It could be the death of a dear one, as it was for Harry. It might be a divorce. Losing a job. Empty nesting. A parent going into a nursing home. Bringing home a child. Celebrating 50 years of marriage. Something thought of as a life-event, a milestone.

And no matter the outcome, we can now see things that… those who haven’t been through it? Well, they just can’t.

And that’s okay.

Thestrals have their own beauty. It’s a privilege to see them. And, Harry Potter found a friend or two who truly knew. Our heavy experiences always offer something beautiful, we can choose to open our eyes even a little. And we’ll find our own Neville and Luna there as well, when we need them.

Embrace your milestone moments, see your new depth of beauty, and know that you are not alone.

The_Kids_2
The Kids

 

The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Power of Meow

The Power of MeowThis is David Michie’s  third book from HHC’s (His Holiness’ Cat) point of view, and it delivers the same wonderful style of human learning through the kitty’s experiences as both The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Art of Purring.

Meditation is the focus (!) of this book, and it is through both HHC’s inner journey and the dialogue of the people surrounding her that readers become students themselves. Being in the now meow is a powerful personal practice. The author’s gentle guidance and humorous storytelling make meditation reachable–and desirable–to anyone. It is a flowing, easy read offering deep spiritual gifts.

Familiar characters, both animal and human, are a welcome reunion with readers. Underlying storylines of people thread through all three books, and are more fully appreciated by reading them in order. If you’re drawn primarily through story, I suggest reading all three, as that will not be a deterrent to you. If, however, you have interest primarily in mediation and may feel slowed down by catching up on any backstory, then I highly encourage you to jump straight to this book.

And after you read it you are going to want to go back and read the other two! 🙂

Those with any interest at all in meditation are not to miss this book! Anyone looking to begin a personal practice will actually be immensely helped with this work of fiction. And anyone who loves animals will appreciate this story as well. I especially chuckled at the accidental Skype between HHC (the Dalai Lama’s cat) and HHD (the Pope’s dog)!

This book was gifted to me by Hay House through NetGalley, for review purposes only. Thanks and appreciation to both entities!! <3

You’re Getting Closer

You're Getting CloserYou’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends is Mollie Player’s journalistic view of her quest to both learn to “pray without ceasing” and to make true friends.  She carries on a conversation with her readers throughout her experiment, and in so discovers her own inner dialogue–which is rich in wisdom for the reader as well.

Although the book is a diary, it reads like an unfolding story. The author weaves external events and internal understanding in a beautiful pattern of growth as a confidante and not a clinician.  Reading it is as if she were your new acquaintance stopping over for a periodic lovely visit.

Focusing on the two main goals of ceaseless prayer and cultivating real friendship, the author chronicles her year of overcoming depression through internal and spiritual evolution.  This is a wonderful and seemingly unpredicted connection to the original two-pronged plan, which is embraced and appreciated while retaining focus on the main intent.  As a result, readers are free to accidentally explore their own subtle nuances while following the safety of the author’s defined goal.  Anyone interested in personal growth, regardless of the form, will enjoy this book.

In bravely sharing her journey, we see the author’s personal progression and growth.  And, dare we admit, we just might glimpse our own selves reflected somewhere along the way.

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion of it. You can learn more about her and her other works at her blog.  Her book is available for purchase on Amazon.

 

When Nothing Works, Try Doing Nothing

In Dr. Frank Kinslow’s latest book about being and becoming, When Nothing Works Try Doing Nothing, readers are encouraged to slow down in order to leap forward. Link to book on AmazonAlthough initially sounding counterproductive, the Divine does indeed operate in paradoxes (Caroline Myss).

This book is a good reminder that as we act, we are also to allow.

The concept is a good one, and it has also been described variously as a spiritual process point of gestation, incubation, gathering, and/or re-energizing.  This book focuses on “How Learning to Let Go Will Get You Where You Want To Go.”

There is support and encouragement for understanding that you are complete just as you are, and for knowing that you have everything you need already inside of you. What we learn about ourselves truly does not come from outside, and this book intends to help readers tap into themselves.

Dr. Kinslow takes universal spiritual journey concepts and renames them according to a system that he has created and calls The Kinslow System. Although self-described as in opposition to what he calls the “scientifically baseless” positive thinking and Law of Attraction “movements”, I actually see his approach as seamless with these very philosophies that he opposes. They are all aspects of universal spiritual dynamics, and I disagree with the author: they are not mutually exclusive.

As this book’s core supports spiritual growth and wisdom, anyone could benefit from reading it. Those who are looking for a specifically prescribed program with uniquely system-named steps will especially appreciate this book.  Those who are not may still find something interesting here.

The author sent me this book in exchange for my honest opinion of it; I was not financially compensated for writing this review.

Link to purchase this at Amazon