December 2013 Reading List, for those of you who asked me to list the books we are enjoying these days. We read a portion of each of these during the week. Our early morning routine allows time to read . We take turns reading to each other before our morning meditation. This is one of the best practices we have in our marriage. I am so glad Paul likes it, too. The following are the stack of books we choose from every day. We read a paragraph or a section, marking the place for next time.
Most of my friends know I am a “bookoholic”. I have a serious addiction to learning and books are my drug of choice. So, I will tell you today (September 6, 2013) what I am reading
Shift Happens, by Robert Holden, is a wonderful book to help you start living an inspired life right now. He has more than fifty short chapters in this little book. He said that when his waiting list reached over 100 people, he decided to write this as a way of helping people until his time permitted a private appointment. I find each chapter is a real treat, starting with chapter one–Happiness is an inner light with no off switch. My book came with a CD of one of his presentations and I have played it again and again because he is funny and very brilliant. Holden started the Happiness Project in England in the 90s. His next book (I already have it on my I-Pad) is also marvelous. It is Loveability. I am eager for his promised daily meditation guide, Holy Shift, and will buy it the minute it is on the market.
One of the best researchers on the scene today is a woman named Brene Brown, Ph.D.,LMSW. You can see and hear her on You-Tube or TED talks. She is a Social Worker who has done extensive research on the negative emotion called shame. I think she is incredibly brilliant. She is transparent, authentic, compassionate, and very connected. I recommend all her books, especially the latest one, published this year and entitled, “Daring Greatly.” Shame is one of our most pervasive, dangerous negative emotions. She has wisely suggested that the answer to shame is resilience. We study resilience in Bio-Mimicry and I learned that resilience is nature’s answer to cycles of decay and death. It is our natural tendency to try again following failure. We spring back from our defeat with new courage, unless we are caught in the spiral of shame, which is a basic self belief that we are not enough.
My love of books, stories, and good drama means that when I am in a book store or movie theatre, I am like a kid in a candy store. I remember a silent retreat several years ago at Lebh Shomea, a Christian community located near Sarita, TX. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate created a contemplative-eremitical lifestyle on this South Texas ranch, which was given as a legacy by Sarita Kenedy East. Hermitage style cabins, good food, solitude, deep silence and many places for meditation and prayer are part of the retreat….. AND they have a library that covers the entire main floor of the Big House. When Sister Marie took me to the closet where she had just opened a box of brand new books from Shambala publishers, she told me I could have them all to myself for my entire stay if I wanted. I felt that same feeling I experienced in childhood when Grandpa Kiker would walk with me down to Mr. Stroud’s corner store in Canyon, TX. I was allowed to gather several penny candies from the glass jars, all to devour for my very own. For me, all my life, learning is the sweet stuff of my existence. No wonder one of my top five Gallup strengths is “Learner.”
Paul and I have the luxury of time to study together. We spend our morning breakfast time with more than granola, berries, and yogurt, which is what we eat. Our second cup of tea or coffee is accompanied by reading aloud to each other from various books that we like. Currently, these are our books of interest, in case you want to explore them. With Internet help, you can find out about any book instantly, so enjoy looking at the reviews and descriptions of these, maybe finding one you want to dig into for yourself.