Enriched & Grateful

  • Books on My Shelf 2013

Welcome back to SunnyRoomStudio.  This week, from my shelf, I selected two books to share with you.  To say my life has been enriched by these books is an understatement.  Both authors have offered the gift of self-awareness, and I can’t think of anything more useful, profound, or comforting.

  • Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser(co-founder and senior adviser of Omega Institute, the largest adult education center in the United States focusing on health, wellness, spirituality and creativity)
  • In this book Lesser focuses on the primary choice we all face in times of challenge: Will we be broken down and defeated, or broken open and transformed?  Her book was published in 2004, and I discovered it in 2009.

I tend to discover books when I’m somehow “ready” for the message they contain.  So when I feel drawn to a book such as this, I read it with an open mind, instead of letting the conditioned mind (which we all suffer from) react or analyze.  That’s not the point of books like this.  The point is to go beyond what our minds are always telling us; the point is to tap into a higher dimension that isn’t worried about agreeing or disagreeing.

  • Could anything, i.e., the need to constantly react via yes or no, be more tedious, really?  Spiritual maturity isn’t an intellectual achievement.  It isn’t about being “right” and it certainly isn’t about the false pride, fear, and confusion that produces this kind of self-destructive perspective: I’ve got it all figured out; don’t bother me world.    

I especially liked this quote from Lesser’s book: “But had I never stumbled down the mountain of my ideals, had my ego not been humbled by loss, and my heart not broken open by pain, I would not have discovered the secret treasure that lies waiting for each one of us at the bottom of our most difficult times.”

She also points out that we are all “bozos on the bus.”  The bus called Earth.

“Imagine how freeing it would be to take a more compassionate and comedic view of the human condition — not as a way to deny our defects but as a way to welcome them as part of the standard human operating system.”

  • Living in the Light: Follow Your Inner Guidance to Create a New Life and a New World by Shakti Gawain

First published in 1986, I recently read the 25th year anniversary edition.  Quite simply, Gawain is a teacher of consciousness in that she helps people access (and trust) their intuitive inner wisdom.

What could be more important?

In this book Gawain writes about the need to integrate spirit and form (bodily form).  “It’s important to recognize that our form has its own wisdom and the spirit can learn from the form just as the reverse is true.  After all, we chose to come to this plane of existence in order to experience being human.”  She also points out: “Your inner guidance will always move you in the direction of greater balance and integration between form and spirit.”

While “truth” is always just beyond our mortal reach, books like this help us understand that searching for “it” is actually meaningless.  Truth comes in layers, some conscious, some unconscious, and exists on many different levels of reality.

Micro v. macro.  Personal v. global.  Today v.  decades ago.  And so on.

Yet, the world bickers endlessly over “truth” without true self-awareness — and without an appreciation for its inherent limitations.  As Thoreau put it: It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.

  • It will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth.  ~Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy
  • There is no truth.  There is only perception.  ~Gustave Flaubert

  Thanks for visiting SunnyRoomStudio: a creative, sunny space for kindred spirits.
Looking for book suggestions? 

 I maintain an informal list here in SRS.  See top menu or click here.

 See you again Friday, December 13th, as I continue to share the books on my shelf.

I hope you are also digging into the books on your shelves.  Dusting them off.  Opening to page “whatever.”
Sit down, read your favorite chapter.  Read the first page, the last page.

 Journal about your discoveries.  A book is just a book until you read it for the second time.

 Enjoy the journey. ~ dh

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