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

Sunshine blogger Award

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“The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who  inspire and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and fellow bloggers.”

Thank you to Reema for nominating me for the Sunshine blogger award! Rema has a gardening blog and has some wonderful gardening tips and pictures too. Check out her blog https://reemasgarden.wordpress.com/

The Rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you
  • Answer the questions from the person that nominated you
  • Nominate some other bloggers for this award
  • Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated

 

Questions from Reema: 

  1. Which are your Favorite Books?

Here’s 3 of my favorite books

By Tara Brach: True Refuge

By Tova Martin: Tasha Tudors Garden

By Mary Pipher: Another Country

2.   How has blogging helped you ?

I have met many people who I might not have ever met and learned a ton from them.

3. What are the 3 things you really believe in?

The spirit of love, prayer and meditation

4. What additional features do you expect from WordPress which are   currently unavailable?

I honestly had not thought about this before. Maybe drawing and coloring pages.

5. How Important are nominations (for awards like these) to you?

I am neutral to awards like these. I appreciate having to think about the questions put forth.

6.What does happiness mean?

A feeling of joy that comes forth from within, rooted in love.

7.Which movies inspire you?

Documentaries, empowerment based, movies in which where there is gowth in the characters, and comedies.

8.Which are your most favorite dishes?

I love Indian and Thai food. I also enjoy salads and soups. A favorite salad is roasted beats with pear, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and arugula. A potato leek soup with fennel is a favorite.

9 Which are your most favorite Holiday destinations?

Don’t have a favorite. Being outdoors in nature is what calls to me.

10  How would you like to contribute towards sustainable living?

I think of gardening and not using chemicals as part of sustainable living.  Reducing waste in all areas of life is another way. Donating, re-using, fixing and repurposing items.

11. What are the posts you expect from me?

That which is inspiring to you.

 

I  nominate:

Send Sunshine

Beth

Aishwarya

Val Boyko

Suzy Barker

Dilkash Shayari

Mind Without Walls

 

My Questions to you:

Who are the people in your life that inspire you?

What 1 change would you like to see in the world?

What brought you to the world of blogging?

What is a favorite quote of yours?

Which is your favorite season and what do you like about it?

If you could cure a disease in the world, which 1 would it be?

Do you write goals for yourself?

What do you like about traveling?

Do you speak a language other than English?Which one/s?

What type of music do you listen to?

Whats a favorite tradition of yours?

 

Thanks,

Shobhna