Archive for February, 2012

Last night, I completed the book Why God is Laughing? by Deepak Chopra. The first part of his book is a fictional story about a comedian named Mickey Fellows. The story teaches Mickey about himself. Afterwards, Chopra includes a section called “The Path to Joy: Ten Principles of Spiritual Optimism.” This section explains the lessons Mickey learns along his spiritual journey and gives us a guide to discover joy and spiritual optimism. 

Four years ago, I read A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle and participated in a ten week on-line class with Oprah and Eckhart. The idea of a spiritual journey took root. I had read books on spirituality in the past; however, I really didn’t know how to utilize the information in my life.  I was in a rut and burnt out, especially with work. Many days I felt like I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown.  Interestingly, it took another year, another reading of A New Earth, a repeat of the on-line classes, and discovering Wayne Dyer’s work on spirituality to really start my journey to spiritual enlightenment. Through both spiritual teachers, I learned a great deal about EGO (edging God out) and being “present.”  EGO is responsible for fear, among many other unflattering human qualities and emotions. And, I soon discovered it had been FEAR holding me back all this time. So many times throughout my life, FEAR was the factor helping me make many of my decisions. 

While I have not totally eliminated FEAR and the EGO from my life, I have made progress at keeping them at bay. When I make decisions, I ask myself if my decisions are based on FEAR or driven by the EGO.  Currently, I’m struggling on a personal level. Frankly, I assumed all my burn out was related to work. My weight, daily routines, uncertainty about what I really want to do with my life have me stuck in another rut. Chopra’s book has explained why I’m stuck. Addiction. I’m addicted to my old self. I’m stuck on things that never bring me what I really want. Now, I have to figure out how to break the addiction. While all ten principles have valuable insights, Chopra’s sixth principle deals with inertia and getting unstuck. That’s where I’ll start. I’m optimistic I WILL eventually get out of this rut.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it./Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” ~ W.H. Murray

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Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Many Catholics use this time for fasting, repentance, prayer, and reflection. Lent is a time of improvement and a chance to regain self-control. Personally, I have never been very successful at keeping my Lenten sacrifices. In large part, it is usually because I am trying to give something up like chocolate or sweet treats. I always fail…miserably. This is also the time the Girl Scouts are delivering their cookies. Damn those Tagalongs! I acknowledge I have a problem with sugar.

Instead of giving something up during Lent, I try to do something that will benefit me in a spiritual way. I would like to be more prayerful. I’ve decided this Lent to start reading the Bible daily. I found a plan to read the Bible in one year. I discovered it on the blog Money Saving Mom. Initially, I will have to double up on days to catch up on my reading since the plan actually started the first of January. My Lenten journey begins today, and my Lenten promise is to be more prayerful by reading the Bible daily. What will you be doing during Lent?

“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the Good News.”

~ Mark 1:12-15

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Happiness is receiving a gift card to one of my favorite places to shop. I received my “happy” on Friday from the 2nd grade class I am teaching at HGS. My wonderful students gave me a $40.00 gift card to Books-A-Million for Teacher’s Appreciation Week. I decided to maximize my book bucks by shopping on-line where the prices are cheaper and shipping is free.  I also had a $10.00 on-line coupon. Woo-Hoo! This bookaholic ended up ordering three new hardcover books and one paperback for $8.59. What a deal!

My purchase includes:  The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg, The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg (14 authors constribute their stories),  Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larrson.

Oh, Happy Day!

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.” ~ Stephen King

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While looking around Pinterest this morning, I discovered a virtual bookshelf on a teacher’s blog called Shelfari. Immediately, I wanted one for my blog.  Unfortunately, after creating my Shelfari account, I realized I had no way of displaying it on MY blog. I could not figure out which widget would display it, or if I even have a widget with that capability. It was driving me crazy that I could not figure out how to add this to my blog. I WANTED a virtual bookshelf. I continued searching through my different widget options, and  finally discovered a similar widget called Goodreads.

Goodreads is an on-line site for readers. It shows what you are currently reading, what you have read, book recommendations, and so much more. I have installed the Goodreads widget to my blog. It is currently displaying the books I have read since starting my Reading Challenge. Check it out!

I love making new discoveries because they really make me happy.

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.
~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

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