Me in the Middle of Summer Reading

 

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First Book

This poem moved me so deeply that I followed up with a Google search and found that Dawna Markova had written a  book by the same title.  “Why are we here?” is the question she asks both herself and the reader of this wonderful book ~ I WILL NOT DIE AN UNLIVED LIFE ~.  It’s written while Dawna is on a retreat to solitude in a cabin far away from the hectic pace of modern life.  Her story travels along different paths than mine has and that’s the whole point of her book.  We’re here to follow our own passion and dreams.

“Anyone on a spiritual quest, seeking to discover their own deep wisdom, and uncover their “calling” will be enriched and energized in a powerful and gentle way……”

(Forward)

“Like the rest of the natural world, human beings go through seasons.  At one point, we are in the full bloom of summer, harvesting, committed, in abundance.  Then, naturally there is an autumnal time of falling away, disillusionment, stagnation, a shedding of what has been used up.  Then must come the fallowness and dormancy of winter, death, rest.  Eventually, as is happening right outside the window of this cabin, there is a great melting into muck and mud, which, if one can persevere, opens naturally into an abundant yellow-green time, when everything is possible and horizons open.”

~ Dawna Markova ~

“In a similar way to A Gift from the Sea, the readers of this book (I Will Not Live An Unlived Life) are invited to accompany me on a journey to come to know more intimately the value and purpose of their lives.”

~ Dawna Markova ~

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Men, Women and Happiness Cropped (2)

Ink Sketch and Watercolor by Mary Lou Q

Second Book

Gift from the Sea #3

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s bookGIFT FROM THE SEA ~ was shared with me by my mother back in the 90’s.  I packed myself a lunch and took a ride to the beach, setting up my chair in front of the ocean.  It was a restful day that I needed badly and I hoped to find nuggets of wisdom and truth from this book.  At the time it was difficult for me to concentrate on it.  I kept thinking ‘How can this wealthy woman whose life is so different than mine even relate to what I’m experiencing?’  It’s only been down through the years and coming across Anne’s various quotes from her book that I’ve decided to read it again.  Dawna Markova read it to inspire her book ‘I Will Not Live An Unlived Life’ and I decided to read them both this summer.

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The Introduction to the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of Gift from the Sea (2005)  is written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s daughter, Reeve Lindbergh:

“I read Gift from the Sea at all Seasons of the Year and of my life.  I never once had the sense that my mother’s 1955 book has lost its freshness, or that the wisdom contained within its pages has ceased to apply, whether to my own life or to what I’ve learned , overtime, about hers.”

“Above all, I think, Gift from the Sea offers its readers an unusual kind of freedom.  It is hard to recognize, or even to describe, but I think this freedom is the real reason this book continues to be so well loved and so well read after all these years.  I am talking about the freedom that comes from choosing to remain open, as my mother did, to life itself, whatever it may bring:  Joys, sorrows, triumphs, failures, suffering, comfort and, certainly, always, change.”

Thanks, Mom!  I get it!  

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A Gift from the Sea

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Third Book

Francis Friendship

Francis Mandewah is one of my Guest Bloggers

Me in the Middle introducing Guest Blogger ~ Francis

I was so inspired by what Francis wrote in his guest blog that I bought his book on Amazon Kindle and I’ve just begun reading it.  His story begins with his life as a 15 year old young man in the African country of Sierra Leone and in the heart of the African diamond zone.  His story too is a spiritual journey of trust in goodness in the world in spite of the hardships and realities that might come along.  It’s his trust in this goodness that makes it possible for Francis to be fully present when God opens a door in his life that leads him to the path of his dreams.

“As I chronicled my trials and tribulations I discovered my voice in between the lines of my story ~ a voice that was filled with faith.”

~ Francis Mandewah ~

“I suppose this dream has been the script for my life, because even as I sit, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always feel a tinge of uncertainty, as if I’m eternally looking for a flight itinerary. I have lived a life filled with the adventure of being ushered onto stage and the turmoil of being blindfolded and locked in a cage. Through my travels, my willingness to walk to and through the door, I discovered within myself a will to not just survive, but to thrive, no matter the circumstance.”

Blood Diamond ~ Sierra Leone

“There are people who are kind, and people who are not kind, among all races and cultures. It was a White man who gave me opportunity so I could realize the American dream.  Our friendship transcended race, and built a positive connection between the races. We can overcome racism through friendship and positive cross-cultural relationships.  “

 

Writing as Self-Indulgence: Is Publishing Really Necessary?

Thank you Lynette Benton! I’m grateful that you submitted this to Brevity. So many of us who love writing and have benefited in so many ways had our thoughts validated by what you wrote. This line made me laugh out loud : “In any case, my memoirs aren’t going to make me famous, unless it’s through lawsuits.” 😀

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz lynette bentonBy Lynette Benton

Many writers, perhaps most, believe that publication of their books would represent a badge of accomplishment and acceptance, an event that would bring them fame, catapult their lives into new and desirable directions, or at least validate the talent, time, and energy they invested in their manuscripts. Rejections of their work by agents and publishers can have a shattering effect upon them. I point out to them that the publishing world’s misjudgments are legion; note the many rejections of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, which went on to best sellerdom and box office success; Tinkers, by Paul Harding, the 2010 Pulitzer Prize fiction winner, which the big publishing houses declined; the 22 rejections for Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, the 12 for Harry Potter. Sometimes the letters accompanying the rejections even contained snarky comments about the writer, the manuscript, or both.

Though I sympathize with their…

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I’m a Perennial!

I’m participating in a Midlife and Beyond Series ~Midlife Share ~ #MLSTL and just had to share this post:  “And what’s even better, is that the definition of a Perennial doesn’t depend on what year you were born. This can apply to someone that’s 20, or even 80. Here, the year of our birth doesn’t put us into any specific demographic slot. It’s what is within our hearts, our desires, and our intentions in life that determines whether we’re a Perennial or not.”

Embracing Life Tribe

I’m a Perennial!

perennials

I suppose technically I’m a ‘Baby Boomer’. According to Wikipedia, “demographers and researchers typically use starting birth years ranging from the early-to-mid 1940s and ending birth years ranging from 1960 to 1964. Being a 1958 baby, that puts me right in this range.

I’m definitely not a millennial, although both of my boys fall in this demographic segment.

Per Wikipedia, “Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the generational demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years. Millennials are sometimes referred to as “echo boomers” due to a major surge in birth rates in the 1980s and 1990s, and because millennials are often the children of the baby boomers.

As much as I’ve heard about Baby…

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She Let Go

I discovered this poem and felt it was worth sharing. Letting Go is an on-going life process. It’s not a one-time done deal and it’s not just one event or experience. It’s how we learn about ourselves. No other person can tell you ‘Just let go ~ get over it’. It comes in it’s own time and it comes from within. This poem captures that.

HideaHeart's Blog

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Me in the Middle of Meditation

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Image by Pixaby

This month I’m taking a meditation class with the local Lifelong Learning Institute.  It’s all part of my renewal process for meeting the changes that come with Spring and the Easter message of re-birth.  I’ve come to cherish the symbolism and life-teaching moments of each Season.
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While visiting two of the bloggers I have been following I found that they had posted similar messages.  ~ One 3 Easy Ways to Become More Mindful and the other Let Things Flow
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The practice of being more mindful and letting things flow is becoming easier now that I’m taking the time out of my day to sit quietly and remove myself from the concerns and distractions of the day.  (Pulling the Plug on Cable sure has helped me get rid of the noise and chatter of all that’s going on in our country and world lately 😉 )
 
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I found this video on How to Train Your Monkey Mind to be very helpful.  The Buddhist monk reminds me of our meditation instructor with his gift of calming humor.
 
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Let Things Flow

springtime forest

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous
changes. Don’t resist them; that only
creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward
in whatever way they like.

source: Lao Tzu
image: Eddie’s Image Collection, Springtime Forest

 

Note:  This is an Easter Reblog from last year.  I have to admit I haven’t always stayed true to my good intentions.  I get distracted and fail to make time for meditation.  During this Easter Week I plan to take that 1/2 hour of meditation in the morning and use it to begin my day.