In no particular order, we
present you with some excerpts from
some of the books that have meant so
much to us. . . .
second page of excerpts
The best way
I have found to follow my true desires is to pay attention to my
intuitive sense. We all have great wisdom within us, a part of
us that knows exactly what we need at every moment. We are
born with this intuitive sense, but most of us are quickly taught to
distrust and ignore it. We have to relearn something that
should come naturally. Fortunately, it's not too difficult; it
just takes some practice.
your intuition is not some lofty mystical experience. In fact,
it is simple and practical -- it is learning to trust your gut
feelings. It's important to practice with the seemingly small
things in life.
recently described this experience to me: She was working on a
writing project in her home office when she realized she was feeling
quite depressed. A friend called, and when she mentioned how
she was feeling, he asked her "What would lift your
spirits?" She instantly felt, "I'd love to get my
dog and take a walk in this gorgeous weather."
she felt guilty, knowing how much work she had to do. She
forced herself to work two more hours, but got little
accomplished. Finally she took the walk, felt much better, and
was inspired to complete the project in time.
This is a
simple and beautiful example of how, when we can trust and follow
our intuitive feelings about what we need moment by moment, things
have a way of working out smoothly. When we don't, we often
end up feeling blocked, frustrated, or depressed.
An interesting look at the concept of prosperity in our lives, and
what the term truly means to each of us. Shakti's perspective
is that prosperity is available to all of us, as long as we're
willing to shift our perspectives and change our ideas about what
prosperity means. Money, power, inner strength--she examines
the different aspects of our inner and outer wealth.
is a great definition of enlightenment: to be
immersed in and surrounded by peace.
highest self only wants you to be at peace. It does
not judge, compare, or demand that you defeat anyone, or
be better than anyone. It only wants you to be at
peace. Whenever you are about to act, ask yourself
this question: "Is what I am about to say or do
going to bring me peace?" If the answer is yes,
then go with it and you will be allowing yourself the
wisdom of your highest self. If the answer is no,
then remind yourself that it is your ego at work.
ego promotes turmoil because it wants to substantiate your
separateness from everyone, including God. It will
push you in the direction of judgment and comparison, and
cause you to insist on being right and best. You
know your highest self by listening to the voice that only
wants you to be at peace.
Manifest Your Destiny. Wayne
This book provides a fascinating perspective of the world and our
place in it. Just how much of our lives is under our own control? More than
we think, Dyer says.
Be Developed." When you see this sign you know
someone is preparing to put up a building of some kind.
It may be an improvement over what currently exists on the
site, or it may do more damage than good. We have all
seen nature destroyed in the name of development.
yourself as a site to be developed. Remember that
different sites are suited for different types of
development. What is your goal? What resources are
available, and what will best fit your site? Look
yourself over and get a feeling for your site. Ask for
help from developers and landscapers. Then begin
construction. Don't worry about what the sidewalk
supervisors think about the structure you are building.
This structure is going up on your property and you decide
what it will be, or you will find no joy in the life you
construct. It will be someone else's building and you
will be stuck in it.
under development. A white canvas or a hunk of potter's
clay. I offer metaphors to remind you that you can
change yourself and create a more fulfilling life -- if you
remember my mother's advice to make the decisions that will
make you happy. You can create and re-create. This
is not about selfishness, but about authenticity.
Prescriptions for Living.
A nice look at life from a formerly anal-retentive
doctor who shaved his head, changed his name from "Dr. Siegel" to Bernie,
and actually started caring for his patients. He learned more from the change
than they did.
much can you do with yourself? No one knows. I
know you can be happy. You can be loving. You can
take part in creation and live and work in your heart
zone. There are no limits. What will happen
then? No one knows the details, but I do know you will
have what you need, peace and joy.
One Thing Different (excerpt)
ago, several family therapists were watching a news program that
showed protestors on both sides of the abortion debate screaming
at each other across barriers. They suddenly realized that
the opposing sides were a lot like the families they were seeing
in family therapy. These families cam into therapy
polarized, usually doing a lot of yelling and very little
listening. Family therapy is, in part, the art of getting
people who are angry and alienated to sit down in the same room
and begin to relate respectfully to one another. Usually,
once that happens, we therapists can help these families solve the
problems that brought them in.
therapists decided to organize a project to bring together the
"two sides" of the abortion debate in a respectful
dialogue. What emerged was quite interesting. Once the
opponents started listening to one another, they discovered more
common ground than they thought they had. (For example, they
all wanted to keep unwanted children from being brought into the
world.) They also discovered, when they were given the
opportunity to explore and converse in a nondefensive atmosphere,
that many of them had more complex views than the either-or
positions that they first espoused. (For example, some of
the "anti-abortion, pro-life" folks reluctantly admitted
that there were circumstances in which they would support the
right to abortion and some of the "abortion rights,
pro-choice" folks admitted that there were some circumstances
in which an abortion should be denied.)
included both the possibility that the "other side"
wasn't necessarily all bad or evil and the possibility that there
weren't just two sides to the issue, they could begin to work on
possible solutions (better prenatal care and adoption and foster
care services in their area). This is an example in which
acknowledgement and inclusion helped to bring about some change in
a social context. This book, of course, is more about the
personal context than the social, but individuals who learn
to accept themselves and intimate others set the stage for similar
breakthroughs among groups, countries, and cultures.
|Do One Thing Different. Bill O'Hanlon
A lot of practical, common-sense suggestions for dealing with many aspects
of your own life, such as your own perspective, co-dependencies,
etc. Quite a few step-by-step ideas for dealing with things that may
be bringing you down. His website is at possibilitycenter.com if
you'd like to learn more about him or see his other books.
Charge by Taking Responsibility (excerpt)
coaching gymnastics at Stanford University, I walked into a
workout one day and found Jack, the team captain, lying on the
mat, stretching -- grasping one of his legs and pulling it toward
his chest. As I walked by, I saw him grimace and heard him
groan, "Oh, God, I hate this -- it hurts so much!"
I didn't know whether he was talking to me, to himself, or
complaining to God, but I felt as if I'd wandered into a Mel
Brooks movie. I wanted to ask Jack, "Who's doing it to
you? If it hurts that bad, why don't you let up a
little?" This holds true for your life as well: If
it hurts so much, why don't you let up a little?
moment we recognize the degree to which our difficulties are self-imposed,
we begin to heal them. We end self-sabotage only by taking
responsibility for the choices and actions that created it.
Only when we stop blaming our boss or government or parents or
spouse or partner or children or circumstances or fate or God can
we change our lives and say with conviction, "I chose where I
am now, and I can choose something better."
course, not every misadventure, injury, or problem is created by
your subconscious owing to low self-worth. For all we know,
certain difficulties or challenges are gifts from God or arranged
by our souls in order to test and temper our spirit. As the
old proverb says, "Take it as a blessing or take it as a
test; whatever happens, happens for the best." And as
it happens, adversities may sometimes contain their own blessings.
from Dan Millman's
"The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth," this book is a
guide to working towards being the best person you can be.
Spirit is everywhere, in everyone, and if we can allow ourselves to
see it and live it, we can reach our full potential in our
lives. The author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior and The life
You Were Meant to Live, Millman is a former world-champion athlete
and college professor whose focus is on the practical rather than
the direction of your life. Only your self-concept limits you
from achieving your fullest capacity. Since changes in
behavior generally precede changes in attitude, action directed
toward your vision will increase your sense of purpose and belief in
the possibility of success.
How can you
develop a self-concept linked to your untapped potential?
First, you can decide on the kind of life you would like to lead in
ten or fifteen years. This will give you a standard for making
decisions about current activities and will reduce the inclination
to compare yourself unfavorably to others. Learn to ask,
"How would I handle this situation were I the person I
hope to become?" And then take action in line with your
activity has no relationship to your vision, you may realize that
you don't want to choose it. Would the person that you want to
be take on those extra tasks, drive a particular automobile, engage
in particular business practices? Defining your vision will
minimize your indecision in making choices about matters unrelated
to your goals.
promise themselves that some day they are going to "let
go" and do what they want to do. Unfortunately, the day
never comes. Only when circumstances push them to a point
where they have "nothing to lose" do they do what they
have always wanted to do.
|A Strategy for Daily Living. Ari
A nice look at sort of "putting your life
in order," without being compulsive about doing so. A small, short, easy
read that helps us to see the importance of our day-to-day
||In Creating Love,
John Bradshaw provides a new way to understand our most crucial
relationships: with parents and children, with friends and
co-workers, with ourselves, and with God. He shows us how we
have been literally "entranced" by past experiences of
counterfeit love, how we can break these destructive patterns, and
how we can open ourselves to the soul-building work of real love.
John Bradshaw has touched and
changed millions of lives through his nationally televised PBS
series and his best-selling books. His previous book, Homecoming,
introduced the concept of the inner child to a vast new audience.
Now he defines the "next great stage of growth"--how we
can work to create healthy, loving relationships in every part of
Written for everyone who has
struggled with painful relationships and is seeking hope and a new
direction, Creating Love is a life-changing book.
For me one of
the most significant consequences of imaginatively embracing my
inner child was that it gave me a way to be compassionate with
myself. When I look in the mirror, even now, the old voices of
blame, comparison, and self-contempt start playing. Even after
years of hearing new voices in my friendships and community
fellowship, I can hear those old posthypnotic tapes. For years
I read books that offered techniques to help one love oneself.
I stared in the mirror and said, "I love you, John,"
over and over. It helped for a few minutes and then the voices
are basically useless until one has restored social contact and
self-acceptance. We need social support and we need to
emotionally embrace our rejected and split-off parts. The
image of ourselves as a child is the fastest and soundest way I have
ever found to embrace these parts.
I am the poster boy
for overcommitment. And I'm not particularly proud of
that. We all have our weaknesses, and if I look at my life in
the last decade, running too fast has been mine. Oh, I could
justify that it's nearly all good stuff that I run toward--I'm not the
guy blowing two hours watching trash TV or playing two rounds of golf
a week while my sons wonder why Dad never shows up for their games.
I could match my
attendance at kids' games with nearly any parent and come out on
top. I could rationalize that I've never had a nervous breakdown
or resorted to any sort of illicit drug--pop isn't illegal, is it?--to
keep myself going.
Still, I have to
face the reality that I'm far busier than I should be.
The good news is,
I'm changing; the bad news is, that's like a 400-pound man saying he's
going on a diet.
At times, my weeks
have this Houdini quality about them: I bind myself in handcuffs
and crawl into a trunk. The trunk is wrapped with chains.
Then the trunk is dropped to the bottom of the East River to see if I
can break free and swim to the surface without drowning.
Thus far, I've
gotten out of the jam every time, broken the surface of the water just
before my lungs are about to burst.
But though that
might equate to success in the world's eyes, it does not in God's
eyes. Because enslaving ourselves like that asks a price, though
we're often so desperately trying to unshackle ourselves that we don't
take time to notice.
For me, that price
has been a number of things:
A subtle, but
real, loss of patience: When you're tired, anger more easily
gains a foothold on you. It may not be a four-letter-word,
dog-kicking, fist-slamming barrage of anger, but I know it's
there. And I know it sometimes gets used against the people I
love the most.
A subtle, but
real, loss of creativity: When you're tired, you're more apt to
settle for the ordinary when, somewhere deep inside, you might find
A subtle, but
real, loss of control over the more mundane aspects of life:
checking accounts that need more consistent pruning, financial matters
that need more plowing and planting, closets and dressers that need
more consistent weeding.
But the more
serious price has come in the areas that I'm called to make my
priorities: my relationship with God and my relationship with
others, in particular my wife.
I've given time to
both, but it hasn't been the quantity, or quality, they deserve.
Again, I look good on paper: I'm an elder at our church, I teach
Sunday school, I occasionally preach a sermon, I speak to men's
groups. But I know, deep down, that God doesn't want a resume from
me; He wants a relationship with me. And when you wedge
God into your daily planner as if He were just another line on the
To-Do List, that relationship suffers.
Likewise, I could
point out trips I've taken with my wife, presents I've given her,
dinners out we've shared. But I know, deep down, that she'd
trade such things for more consistent "ordinary" time with
me, time that might be nothing more than a walk around the block but
which is given with my full attention, not as some sort of
parenthetical phrase in the midst of a more significant sentence.
I've come to learn
that you can't have it all. So you have to decide what you want
and what you're willing to give up. Some people decide what they
want more than anything is to be successful in business and thus are
willing to sacrifice their family to get there. I'm not among
them. . . .
I believe we're
called to give our best to God; our work should be done with gusto and
quality. But we're also called to lives of balance, and when we
get out of balance, our work becomes a legalistic
going-through-the-motions, not something filled with heart. Our
work becomes more important than the people who it's intended
for. Our lives are guided by our heads and not our hearts.
this collection of heartwarming, introspective stories,
you'll find Welch's examinations of the things in life that
are truly important: the people you cherish, the
dreams you share, and the talents God has given exclusively
to you. You'll be reminded of the things that make
life so special: love, friendships, and building
relationships that last a lifetime.