Vulnerability

For a few months, I left this quote on our kitchen wall as a constant reminder:

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage  ~ Lao Tzu

I believe in order to live an authentic life, we have to be vulnerable and in order to be vulnerable, we have to have courage.  To be courageous, we also need to feel safe, which is intricately connected to love  and trust.

Brené Brown has spent years doing research on vulnerability, shame, worthiness, connection and belonging. In this You tube clip she talks about moving past the critics, including the inner critic that don’t truly serve us.

Brené  quotes Theodore Roosevelt  in this talk as being pivotal  in shifting her  own perspective about critics.  The quote is poignant and sheds light on what resilience looks like and the courage it takes to keep trying.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

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Break Open The Sky

We are not trapped or locked up
in these bones.
No, no. We are free to change.
And, love changes us.
And if we can love one another,
we can break open the sky.
– Walter Mosley

Stephan Bauman, in Break Open The Sky  encourages readers to choose faith over fear in daily life. Bringing relationship with God to the forefront, as the vehicle, to transform a fearful life to one of liberation, love and risk.  He brings his personal experience of working with people from all over the world.
Difficulties and hardships due to health, finances, relationships can all be transformative when courage, indispensable faith, trust and love are put into action.  Examples from modern day challenges and stories from the Bible, together provide a perspective on how to live a life that embodies grace.
We cannot be in the past or in the future, while genuinely being in the present.  This book is a reminder to let go of fears and worries in exchange for unshakable faith.

“Peace is expensive. It requires risk taking. Its personal. It makes you vulnerable. And peace always involves action. Resistance is part of the calling.”  ~ Stephan Bauman
I received this book from blogging for books.  The book review is based on my genuine opinion.

Namaste,
Shobhna

Spring

Awaken To Spring

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Pulmonaria

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Hellebore

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Hyacinths

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Heather

After months of incessant rain, its a delight to see what is springing forth. I can’t help but marvel at how everything blooms just about the same time year after year.

 

Peace,

Shobhna

 

Book Review

 

Speaking from a pastors point of view, Andy Stanley presents examples, poses questions and reflections on how a person can live a life of purpose.  Andy Stanley provides exercises throughout the book, supporting the process of visioneering. In his introduction he says passion, motivation, direction and purpose are the four things “woven into the fabric of our daily experience.” Along with personal examples he draws upon other peoples experiences and the Bible story of Nehemiah. The story of Nehemiah is the focal point in the book highlighting  “hard work, prayer and divine intervention.”

Everyone, has a purpose in life and fulfilling that purpose is important as each persons purpose fills in a larger picture. Making decisions, renewing purpose, having faith are important to visioneering. Remaining committed to ones vision despite distractions takes sheer courage and vulnerability.

I received this book from blogging for books.com and my review of the book is genuine.   I don’t think one has to be a Christian to read this book or to complete the exercises. I believe, the reflection exercises will resonate for everyone, regardless of religion, depending on their own personal views, strengths and weaknesses, and where they are in life at the present moment.

A reflection at the beginning of the book is to identify  and meet with a person who you respect and who is living their vision.

A question presented later in the book is “In light of your strengths and weaknesses, where is the greatest potential for inconsistency”. Inconsistency here is dependent on what someone says and does in relation to their vision.

At the beginning of some chapters are quotes that too can be used to reflect upon.  One quote that I continue to sit with is from chapter 6 of the book:

If your vision is for a year, plant wheat

If your vision is for ten years, plant trees

If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people

~Chinese Proverb

Mindful living requires us to be engaged in life and so does visioneering. As such, I found that this book has practical suggestions on how to be mindfully engaged in ones life purpose.

Peace,

Shobhna

 

A Book Review: Habit Changers

Embracing mindfulness in all areas of life is a conscious lifestyle choice. M.J. Ryan in Habit Changers, affirms how goals can be realized mindfully. She affirms through several examples that habits which don’t serve us can be transformed through mindful practice of game changing mantras.

When people challenge themselves to grow personally they are likely to come across perceived or actual obstacles. M.J. Ryan addresses those attitudes and behaviors which can be changed with practice. She bases her game changing mantras as one would use slogans in Buddhism.

The book is organized in alphabetical sections starting with how to accept what is happening in ones life.  Other sections include how to get beyond anger, blame, conflict, fear while learning to prioritize, problem solve, becoming resilient and achieving work-life balance. There are 81 phrases and examples of how people successfully changed their habits.  Each phrase or game changing mantra can be practiced for as much time as one needs to move beyond a habit, attitude, feeling it takes to achieve success, happiness and peace in ones life.

Some of the phrases resonated with me more than others. For example, I am like the willow; I will not break is symbolic for me of those storms in life that turn ones world upside down, be it a life changing diagnosis, the death of a loved one, loss of a job and security.  Another one that resonated for me is “Reach for the better thought”. Once we become aware of our thoughts, we can choose to transform negative thoughts.  The shift from auto pilot negative thinking to conscious positive thoughts is akin to choosing happiness.

I received the book from Blogging For Books. I chose this book because I am curious about what books are out there that encourage mindfulness.  I enjoy reading about ways mindfulness can be integrated in all areas of life and genuinely found this to be a well written and inspiring book.

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Peace,

Shobhna