Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Archive for the ‘Creative Writing’ Category

A Tribute to Mothers’ Love and Wisdom


BookFrom My Mama’s Kitchen by Johnny Tan is about the power of unconditional love, offered to him along with a heavy dose of wisdom, by both his adopted mother in Malaysia, and the 8 other women with whom he bonded in America where he came to attend college. Through their motherly love and recipes for living, they made a positive difference in his life. They also offer a model of how mothers can be effective teachers, coaches and counselors for their children. The book offers a wealth of wisdom for good parenting skills and effective communication.

Some of the motivational words of wisdom from his moms which helped Johnny overcome the challenges of everyday living include:

  • Have faith that the right things will come along at the right time and in the right way;
  • You can accomplish anything if you focus mind, body and spirit on it;
  • Be present in the moment for what we do today will determine what happens tomorrow;
  • Trust that all things will work out for the greatest good;
  • Be a good listener;
  • Never stop learning; and
  • Successful people always visualize their successes before they actually attain them.

I found this wisdom to be very close to my own philosophy and I am a big fan of guided visualizations, as I offer a free chakra balancing meditation on my website.

The book pays tribute to all moms, using the kitchen as a wonderful backdrop where Johnny and his moms enjoyed their many conversations. At the end of the book, Johnny incorporates nine of his favorite recipes made by his moms. Give this book to your mom for Mother’s Day or any day – it includes a blank dedication page for readers to inscribe their own loved one’s name, and a space where readers can record their own recipes for living.

Johnny TanAbout Johnny Tan

Johnny Tan’s journey began when he started college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Adopted at birth by his Malaysian mom, he realized the rich spiritual connections that resulted from meeting his foster mom in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and 7 other women who would play important roles in his life. Guided by his business achievements and his 9 moms, Johnny experienced the passion to compose From My Mamaʼs Kitchen to honor his moms and mothers everywhere. Released with the endorsement of the National Association of Mothers’ Centers, the book has won five awards and made the Amazon Best Seller List in several categories.

The bookʼs success led Johnny to launch his consulting and speaking career to teach strategies on how to use the power of unconditional love to attain harmony. Here, he answers my questions:

What inspired you to write the book?

Johnny: First and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day to you and thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and celebrate Mother’s Day with your followers.

In late 1999, I decided to write a book to preserve food recipes from my moms. I wanted to create a keepsake for myself. However, seven years went by without inspiration. For one reason or another I could not launch it. I felt there was something missing. In retrospect, I knew that the timing of its undertaking was not right.

Finally, in January of 2007, my then 90-year old Italian foster mom called me, and asked, “Johnny, when are you planning to start on the book? I hope you will finish it before I die.” That turned out to be the wake up call I needed. That April, I started scheduling a couple of hours each evening to write. I would meditate and write whatever came to mind. As the project developed, a theme emerged from the drafts. I realized that Unconditional Motherly Love was the common thread that connected these wonderful women to me.

Over the years, my mom, in her many trips to visit me from Malaysia, had met these ladies and was glad and thankful that they were in my life to take care of her son. She offered to take care of their children if they were ever in Malaysia.

Everything was coming to me crystal clear, and I started writing about the timeless recipes for living rather than food recipes. I was spiritually guided, and I finished the book in 9 months. I used this title because the kitchen is the heart of every home, and it was where my moms and I enjoyed our many conversations. I remember the late evening telephone conversations I had with my moms while cooking dinner, asking for advice about what I was cooking and discussing the latest developments in my life. The timing was especially perfect from my Malaysian mom because we were 13 hours apart. I was home cooking at 8 pm and she was just beginning her day at 9 am.

What “one special idea” do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Johnny: The book gives the readers a chance to recall those magical loving moments they shared with their mothers. It is this unconditional motherly love that makes us who we are. The book speaks from the heart with solutions, skills and wisdom to assist the readers to become better teachers, coaches and counselors to their loved ones. It will inspire and motivate them. It is my hope that readers realize when love is given without regard to conditions it provides us with the empowerment that drives our ambition to succeed.

Where do you find your inspiration to write?

Johnny: The inspiration to write comes from my life’s journey, The experiences I have encountered, good or bad form the basis of my understanding and appreciation for the power of relationships, the nature of love and the meaning of life.

Many of the “recipes for living” from your Moms are akin to the principles of the world’s great philosophies. How would you advise others to meet and recognize such wise women?

Johnny:  The secret to meeting and recognizing such wise women starts from a sincere desire to build lasting relationships. Engaging those kind of special people and building relationships demands a thorough understanding of the mechanics involved in establishing such a connection. These three ingredients: authenticity, humility and speaking from the heart, are vital in the building process. A relationship built on mutual respect and admiration results in harmony.

You can get more info on From My Mama’s Kitchen at http://www.johnnytan.com/buy-my-book/.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life

www.thechakras.org

Sacred Sexuality and the Divine Feminine


Sacred SexualitySacred Sexuality – Reclaiming the Divine Feminine by A’ra Blair is a memoir/self-help book for any and all women (and men who want to know more about the heart and soul of women too). A’ra is brutally honest in recounting her own journey into embracing the Divine Feminine within herself, and she offers thoughtful journaling suggestions and exercises at the end of each chapter to help the reader do the same. Whether you need to overcome abuse, trauma, depression, or are just feeling less than “Divine,” this book will spring you forward into new realms of possibility in loving yourself, your partner and your life.

A’ra Blair is an accomplished Spiritual Life Coach and Counselor. Her 25 years of study and transformative work in spirituality, meditation, energy work, yoga, trauma resolution, quantum physics, relationship enhancement, and personal growth have prepared A’ra to live the qualities of the Divine Feminine in service to Humanity’s Wholeness.

1) What is the underlying message of your book?

A’ra: If I had to narrow it down to one sentence, I’d say it’s to find that deep self-love and self-acceptance that allows the full expression of who we are. Reclaiming the Divine Feminine is really about reclaiming who we are in our fullness, a union of our masculine and feminine essence. Both are needed to bring balance and connection into our lives at a deep level. Many of us have struggled with our sexuality in one sense or another and often shun, deny, or push into the shadows those parts of us with whom we feel ashamed or confused.

We have a hard time facing what it means to be sexual beings with Divine urges. We really haven’t had a model that holds our sexuality sacred. Yet Sacred Sexuality is our most intimate communion with the Divine. It’s a state that takes us beyond the physical realm of sex and orgasm to a connection with the deepest part of our being, our creative Source and life sustaining energy. In this depth lies a wholeness and love that transcends any transgression, doubt, or absurdity that exists in our human experience. This sacred union with Source heals and transforms our mind, body, and emotions. It releases the past and opens us to a supreme understanding of oneness, truth, and beauty.

Through intimacy with this inner Presence, transcendence occurs and life becomes a vehicle for the soul’s growth. When we reach this depth of understanding, everything in our experience becomes part of the sacred path of enlightenment. Everything! I guess you could say that’s the biggest message. Every part of our lives and our experiences are part of our sacred path, and we need to reclaim it all as holy.

A'ra Blair2) What inspired you to write the book?

A’ra: I’ve been on a spiritual path for many years and have studied many traditions. I had a rich, deep spiritual sense of my place in the world and the universe, but so much had happened to me around my sexuality, that even with that deep spiritual connection, I struggled facing parts of my experiences that weren’t so pleasant. When I started including the feminine in my exploration of the Divine I had a difficult time because I was raised with God as a man. I tried rephrasing all the masculine names and pronouns in order to really grasp that God was both masculine and feminine. However, it wasn’t until I actually called on the Goddess aspect of the Divine to show me what it means to know Spirit as both feminine and masculine that I got it. Something moved within me. It was like I was in the womb of the Goddess being birthed anew.

As I emerged, I felt this incredible sense of courage and commitment to do what it takes to live the qualities of the Divine Feminine in service to humanity’s wholeness. Right around that time I was invited to give a talk for Sacred Sisters, a woman’s support group. I’d been toying with the idea of creating a workshop around the Divine Feminine as an aspect of our Sacred Sexuality, so I threw it out to the Minister who ran the group. She loved it. The development and presentation of the workshop flowed. When I presented the first time, I felt like I was in the zone. I watched as women healed on so many different levels in so many different arenas. After I presented the workshop, these women wanted more. Longer, more in-depth workshops. While developing those, the book started writing itself through me. I went with the flow. When I Reclaimed the Divine Feminine, I fell madly and passionately in love with me.
3) What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

A’ra: I have three goals for what readers will take away:
First, The courage and confidence to fully express your beauty, your sensuality, your poise, your gifts and talents, and your power.
Second, The ability to embrace all of who you are as an authentic and unique expression of the Divine, even the not-so-pleasant choices, experiences, and traumas you may have had
Third, That you fall so deeply in unconditional love with yourself that no matter what anybody says to you or about you, no matter what anyone does to you, no matter how anyone shows up in relationship with you, you come so fully from self-love that you’re able to transform every experience into a loving experience.
4) Where do you find your inspiration to write?

A’ra: The practical sense is that it’s all around me. I read books and take classes on the topics I want to write about. I’ve been an avid journaler since my teen years. I love the feel of a pen in my hand, so writing is like walking to me. A song could inspire me or a life event, something in a speaker’s message, or an observation of someone having an extraordinary breakthrough. Most of my weekly blogs are on life events or circumstances, especially if it’s something that affects the collective. I also take classes on writing and use the tools that I’ve learned in my trade to do little writing assignments to get the juices running. That’s the practical side.

The metaphysical answer is that most of my inspiration comes from that still small voice. It’s not uncommon for the Divine to wake me up in the middle of the night with ideas that have to be written down or I’m not going to sleep or function. Since writing the book, my connection is even deeper, so the ideas and inspiration are constant. It’s hard to keep up. But I don’t have to. When I’m ready to write, I sit down and simply say on the page, “Okay, what do you want to write about?” I might pose some ideas to “wake inspiration up” so to speak, but then it flows. Oh and what a joy to watch this process unfold through me.

5) Was it hard or helpful to remember and recount the hardships you faced in your life?

A’ra: Both to the umpteenth degree. But, well worth it. It was difficult to face many of those experiences, knowing I was getting ready to put them out into the world. But if my story helps one person face her life and love it fully into wholeness, it was worth it. The best part of it is the catharsis it is. I feel so free and open to receive. I see now what a blessing every aspect of my life has been. What a wild and crazy ride, this thing called life. Even the most painful parts have now had an opportunity to leave my mind and body. To sit with me like a wounded friend, and I’ve been able to heal it all. This is my wish, hope, and dream for my readers. This type of cathartic experience into deep self-love.
6) Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share?

A’ra: Just start writing without any expectation that it has to become something. Write for you first. You are your best audience. Don’t be concerned with getting it perfect the first time. There are no great writers, only great re-writers. If you have a story to tell, with over seven billion people on the planet, I guarantee you that you have an audience that needs and wants to hear it. Writing is a gift and a curse. It’s an incredible experience to write a piece of inspiration and have that sense of “Wow, I wrote that!” But in the same breath, we writerly types tend to put our writing at the bottom of the priority list. We have so many other things we need to do and then it’s time for bed. We’re filled with ways to procrastinate. It’s part of being a writer. You have to step up your game and commit to writing on a weekly basis. And you can’t beat yourself up when you miss the mark. And don’t kid yourself. It’s not easy. But it is worth it! In a nutshell, never give up!

You can purchase A’ra Blair’s book at http://sacredsexualitybooks.com/ and read her blog at http://pureawarenesspathways.com/blog/.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life

www.thechakras.org

 

A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO HEAL


A Beautiful Med cover, large (1)A Beautiful Medicine by David Mercier illuminates how our individual minds and bodies are profoundly linked to the Whole, essential for understanding health, healing, and medicine. Of course, you would think that all holistic medicine would look at the whole, but Dr. Mercier takes us one step further, to see that creating the best life possible for ourselves is creating the best world possible.

The author draws on great philosophers and poets to help him show us the beauty of life, that which we are all seeking. And he takes us on a journey through the book that is transformational… from the biological puzzle of painful symptoms to health portrayed not only as a vibrant body, but also a life full of meaning and purpose, and at harmony with one’s spiritual nature.

If the reader gets nothing else from this book, I hope it is the appreciation and gratitude for the symptom’s role in our lives, as a roadmap from the problem to the cure. Never again will I see a back pain as simply a back pain, but maybe an expression of tension caused by anger, boredom or fear, an amplifier for the voice of prisoners in the subconscious self, as Mercier so beautiful puts it.

“The impulse of unresolved emotions takes advantage of perforations in the armor of our anatomy and physiology, seeking the spots that then become physical speaker systems for blaring the message,” he explains…”for the benevolent purpose of helping us heal and integrate.” This becomes transformational as we overcome the obstacles in our path, like on the hero’s journey, and transcend them with courage.

Mercier is so eloquent, I would do best by quoting him over and over. I am a huge proponent of whole foods, but am now even more so having read that “When we eat whole foods, we ingest the fertility of the universe and reinforce our primordial bond with the earth’s imagination and dreams.” The author explains how carrots and cauliflower are not objects, but information that our cells can understand and utilize. Whereas, if we ingest processed food like chips or candy bars, we might as well be chewing plastic because it will offer our bodies similarly garbled data. The idea that food is a message is another profound insight in this book, one of many.

Whether or not you’re facing illness, look to this book for motivation to cultivate a lush, fertile, healthy terrain in your body with diet, exercise, relaxation, and a soul at peace.

Reading this book, Mercier’s optimism about the potential of medicine is contagious. I hope every health practitioner reads this book to see the possibility of a beautiful medicine that is aligned with the patient’s grandest hopes and welcomes the human soul into the practice of hard science. And I hope every person who picks up this book (I sincerely recommend that you do) uses what they learn about the healing journey to help them along on the search for actualization, wholeness, and love.

David Mercier

David Mercier, M.S., L.Ac., is a speaker, seminar leader, coach and acupuncturist.  Download a bonus Discovery Guide at www.DavidMercier.com. Here, he answers my questions:

1) What is the underlying message of your book?

The key message is that our bodies are instruments expressing the wisdom of a conscious, evolving universe. By listening to the messages hidden in our discomfort and pain, whether physical or psychological, we get excellent guidance for our physical, emotional, and spiritual development.

2) What inspired you to write the book?

I realized that for years, I had been giving guidance to my patients in bits and pieces during their sessions with me—there was just too much information to give all at once. So I thought that consolidating all that guidance in one place would be a contribution to my patients and anyone else who might read it. I also feel that conventional medicine and even a good part of integrative medicine these days have lost sight of the soul behind the human experience. I wanted to express the need to remember that what lies behind health, healing, and medicine is the soul of humanity.

3) What do you hope readers will take away from your book? What changes do you hope they’ll make?

I hope they will see that any discomfort or pain they experience is not a “problem,” but encouragement from the wisdom of the world, the anima mundi, to keep evolving. Whether the need is for more calcium or more forgiveness, our discomfort is only here to help. This wisdom is fierce in its demands that we lead a life, just as our spiritual traditions have always insisted, of love, compassion, and connectedness with others.

4) Where do you find your inspiration to write?

While I was writing the book, I found inspiration from a variety of sources. One was to go to museums to stand before the work of the great artists. It was a non-verbal but potent reminder of the greatness that humanity is capable of, and always inspired me. But I also found inspiration from my memories of the poor that I encountered in developing countries. Thinking of the enormous suffering I saw first-hand informs many of the major decisions in my life, and encourages me to do what I can to make a difference. And the third source was knowing that I wanted to leave something behind that will continue to help people long after I’m gone.


5) Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share?

Just do it, and do it now. Drop all excuses, and get started tonight. It might be easy, or it might be incredibly hard, but always let yourself be called by the world’s deep hunger to make the difference you long to make. You’ll change, you’ll grow, and you’ll always feel a sense of satisfaction from having made a contribution to the world.
Thank you David, both for your book and your inspiration! Readers, don’t miss A Beautiful Medicine, available in both Kindle and paperback.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets, The Chakra Diaries and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life

www.thechakras.org

Crafting the Life of your Dreams


The Skills of PleasureIn The Skills of Pleasure, Stewart Blackburn reminds us that life is a Great Adventure and teaches us how to fully jump on board. He helps us explore who we are by exploring our greatest pleasures: what makes us excited, happy and joyful.

First, the author helps us “Lay the Foundation for Pleasure” by explaining what may be holding us back. Then, he teaches us seven skills, from Awareness, Permission and Savoring, to Developing a Pleasure Strategy.

In each chapter, Stewart offers wonderful exercises and meditations that help lead you to who you are, and show you what brings you joy and what doesn’t. For instance, he takes you on a guided visualization into your inner garden, a meditation you can use over and over again whenever you want your outer life to match your inner desires.

The result? You learn to keep the focus on where the pleasure is, an unerring way to lead you to what you really want in life, and the recipe for bliss.

Stewart Blackburn is currently finishing up a Doctoral Degree in Consciousness Studies, and uses pleasure as his primary healing tool, having helped hundreds of people with his teachings. He credits three primary influences on his practice: Tantra, Shamanism, and Chocolate. He teaches classes in Huna, a form of Hawaiian shamanism, and other courses related to pleasure and self-empowerment. The Pleasure Journal is a free monthly newsletter he offers at www.stewartblackburn.com.

Here, Stewart answers my questions about his writing…

1) What is the underlying message of your book? A) that our own happiness is not something to be found, but something that we can create, b) that by paying attention to our pleasures, of all kinds, and practicing the skills involved with pleasure, we can develop increasing levels of life mastery, and c) that it really isn’t that hard to become gloriously happy if we understand the nature and power of pleasure.

2) What inspired you to write the book? Once I started to become aware of the incredible power of the mind, I kept noticing that most of the people I encountered were not only not happy, but they were unhappy primarily because they didn’t understand how they were making themselves miserable. I was motivated to dig deeper and see what I could possibly do to change that. Developing and teaching The Skills of Pleasure is my way of contributing to the well-being of the world.

3) What do you hope readers will take away from your book? A profound sense of empowerment, that they now have effective tools and skills to use for increasing their own levels of joy and pleasure.

4) Where do you find your inspiration?  I play in my garden because it brings me great joy. I connect with people, both friends and strangers, because it’s fun. I meditate for the sheer pleasure of it. And I cook and eat great food because the sensuous creativity is both delicious and sacred.

5)  Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share? I am reminded of one of the things that Sir Francis Chichester said after becoming the first person to sail single-handedly around the world along the Clipper Route when asked why he did it.”One does these things because one has a certain nature. One cannot get away from fate. If a person does not fulfill his nature, he will lead a frustrated life and be unhappy. If it involves him in fear, he will just have to put up with it.”

I feel that writing inspirational works is an important expression of who I am, and that for all of us just by being who we are, without reservation or timidity, is the real inspiration we have to offer.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life

www.thechakras.org

Learn The Skills of Pleasure


The Skills of PleasureIn The Skills of Pleasure, Stewart Blackburn reminds us that life is a Great Adventure and teaches us how to fully jump on board. He helps us explore who we are by exploring our greatest pleasures: what makes us excited, happy and joyful.

First, the author helps us “Lay the Foundation for Pleasure” by explaining what may be holding us back. Then, he teaches us seven skills, from Awareness, Permission and Savoring, to Developing a Pleasure Strategy.

In each chapter, Stewart offers wonderful exercises and meditations that help lead you to who you are, and show you what brings you joy and what doesn’t. For instance, he takes you on a guided visualization into your inner garden, a meditation you can use over and over again whenever you want your outer life to match your inner desires.

The result? You learn to keep the focus on where the pleasure is, an unerring way to lead you to what you really want in life, and the recipe for bliss.

StewartStewart Blackburn is currently finishing up a Doctoral Degree in Consciousness Studies, and uses pleasure as his primary healing tool, having helped hundreds of people with his teachings. He credits three primary influences on his practice: Tantra, Shamanism, and Chocolate. He teaches classes in Huna, a form of Hawaiian shamanism, and other courses related to pleasure and self-empowerment. The Pleasure Journal is a free monthly newsletter he offers at www.stewartblackburn.com.

Here, Stewart answers my questions about his writing…

1) What is the underlying message of your book? A) that our own happiness is not something to be found, but something that we can create, b) that by paying attention to our pleasures, of all kinds, and practicing the skills involved with pleasure, we can develop increasing levels of life mastery, and c) that it really isn’t that hard to become gloriously happy if we understand the nature and power of pleasure.

2) What inspired you to write the book? Once I started to become aware of the incredible power of the mind, I kept noticing that most of the people I encountered were not only not happy, but they were unhappy primarily because they didn’t understand how they were making themselves miserable. I was motivated to dig deeper and see what I could possibly do to change that. Developing and teaching The Skills of Pleasure is my way of contributing to the well-being of the world.

3) What do you hope readers will take away from your book? A profound sense of empowerment, that they now have effective tools and skills to use for increasing their own levels of joy and pleasure.

4) Where do you find your inspiration?  I play in my garden because it brings me great joy. I connect with people, both friends and strangers, because it’s fun. I meditate for the sheer pleasure of it. And I cook and eat great food because the sensuous creativity is both delicious and sacred.

5)  Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share? I am reminded of one of the things that Sir Francis Chichester said after becoming the first person to sail single-handedly around the world along the Clipper Route when asked why he did it.”One does these things because one has a certain nature. One cannot get away from fate. If a person does not fulfill his nature, he will lead a frustrated life and be unhappy. If it involves him in fear, he will just have to put up with it.”

I feel that writing inspirational works is an important expression of who I am, and that for all of us just by being who we are, without reservation or timidity, is the real inspiration we have to offer.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life

www.thechakras.org

Love is the Answer


The Word is LoveThe Word Is Love by Allyson Clayton is a beautifully written memoir in which the author turns life’s tragedies into a wake-up call to see every moment as a gift, and to start a love affair with life, herself and what makes her happy. Lucky for us readers, this includes writing. It’s not easy to get a diagnosis of lupus, experience the pain associated with it and with fibromyalgia, to lose one’s self-esteem when it is based on a beautiful exterior and career success. But it’s not easy even for those without a disabling illness to feel self-acceptance and self-love. That Allyson achieves that and offers us her wise guidance is truly a gift we should gratefully accept. Oh yes, the author also covers the healing power of gratitude and forgiveness, all an expression of LOVE.

Losing her father, Allyson realized that “We have a finite amount of time to make our dent in the universe.” With this book, she has definitely made a dent in helping us all realize that every moment counts, and inspires all her readers to move beyond fear and reach for their dreams.

When talking of her journey, Allyson is exceptionally eloquent when she realizes she still has the chance to make a difference in the world. “As long as there is breath in you, never stop breathing. Never stop hoping. Never stop wishing.” What more can I say, but buy this book and live its message.

AllysonAfter nearly fifteen years living with autoimmune disease, a decade in the corporate world and enduring the loss of a parent, an assessment of her life led Allyson Clayton to her dream career: writing. With the loving support of her family behind her, she left her job, focused aggressively on her health, and began to write about her struggles and experiences. The beginning of this journey quickly gave her a sense of purpose, a belief in what is possible, and a realization of what is important. To connect with Allyson, and for an extension of her work, visit www.loveyourdash.com.

Here, Allyson answers the following five questions:

1. What is the underlying message of your book? 

With the right perspective, the things that challenge us — illness, fear, unhealthy relationships, grief, career uncertainty, pain, disappointment — can deliver us to a place of love, peace, acceptance and gratitude. They can put us on the path to realizing our greatest dreams and the life we imagine. We just need to love ourselves, be open to the lessons and trust the journey. 

2. What inspired you to write the book? 

I had a passion for writing at a very early age, and that passion never left me. I dreamed of writing books, but as I got older my confidence was shaken. I didn’t think I had anything important to say.  My father’s death changed everything. At that point I had been living with compromised health, lupus specifically, for twelve years.  Those two things together served as my catalyst. I didn’t want to spend another moment feeling broken, and sharing my story was the answer. 

3. What do you hope readers take away from your book? 

If we have meaning in our lives, it will get us through those challenging, scary, unhappy times. What is meaningful? It can be your family, a cause you believe in and fight for, finally pursuing your dream vocation, or making time for the activities you enjoy. Meaning cultivates that sense of love and purpose we all deserve. Meaning brings us closer to knowing our worth. And meaning ultimately brings us closer to the things in this life that matter.

4. Where do you find inspiration? 

When I am feeling particularly lost or challenged, I turn to nature. That is where I feel love from God. I carefully study a flower or a tree, an ocean wave or a handful of sand as it slips through my fingers; things so wondrous that they cannot be created by human hands but instead by something so much bigger than us. I then know, absolutely, that I am here for a reason and I have something to offer this world.

5. Any advice to others who feel they have inspiration to share?  

What I want everyone to know is this: don’t think for a second that you don’t have something important to say. You are a unique, worthy and beautiful child of the universe; your challenges, your triumphs, everything about you has the potential to inspire. There are countless people out there just waiting to be graced by the wisdom of your experiences. Aim for truth.  You will never fail.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra

www.thechakras.org

 

 

FIGHTING BACK AGAINST ABUSE


Living on Three Spoons book coverHow do you keep your spirit alive when your environment is inbred with drug addiction and abuse? Susan Torres grips the readers in her beautifully and entertainingly written memoir, Living on Three Spoons, a tale of growing up in the most dysfunctional household possible, while holding on to her “true self.” The life lessons she learned to survive and thrive are ones we can all benefit from – standing up for what you believe to be good and true in your heart, and that the only way to truly fulfill the need for love is by loving ourselves.

Yes, Susan made some of the same mistakes as her mother – her first husband a drug addict, her second husband violent and controlling – until she disengaged from being one of those “dysfunctional women whose family histories creeps into the present, replaying their childhood experiences.” When her mother lay dying from AIDS, Susan forgave her and ceased the years of judging and condemning her. This gave her the freedom to live her own life, on her own terms, without hatred or regret. “Somehow I stumbled upon a healing process for myself,” writes Susan, “I learned to accept (my mother’s) failed life and understood clearly that I was separate from her, completely separate.”

Susan’s acceptance that life was and always would be imperfect – imperfect people living in an imperfect world – allowed her to forgive and to grow emotionally into the kind of mother for her own four children that she had always wanted. Taking this journey with the author leaves you truly believing that no matter how many times you are knocked down, you can keep getting back up and succeeding.

Susan TorresAuthor Susan Torres is a native New Yorker who currently teaches high school English near her home in the suburbs of New Jersey. An article written about her in the New York Times in 2007, “Single Mother – Creator of Miracles,” prompted her to author this book.

Here, Susan Torres answers my questions about writing and inspiring others:

Q. What is the underlying message of your book?

Susan: Life is about choices. So choose, and be a change agent in your own life.

Q. What inspired you to write your memoir?

Susan: I was inspired by my single parenting struggles. By examining my life through writing I learned that I could reach a higher ground with more emotional power for the next round. I wanted my children to know my travels through life with all of its man-made mistakes. I recognized that I failed as much as I succeeded. And at the end of the day, I was inspired by my own life events.

Q. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

Susan: People ought to grant themselves a great life and reinvent, if necessary, when life falls apart at the seams.

Q. Where do you find your inspiration?

Susan: People inspire me. From the new people that I meet, to people that I read about, to my good friends, and of course, my children. Not a day goes by that someone hasn’t inspired me.

Q. What is the best thing anyone has said about your book?

Susan: “Not only does it reveal in all their gritty detail the kind of terribly disadvantaged beginnings that some people can have, but it also shows that faith, courage, and a little bit of pragmatic intelligence can go an incredibly long way in helping one to rise well above them.”

The above quote about my story insinuates that people are capable of climbing out of a ditch, one shovel at a time, if they believe they can.

Q. Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share?

Susan: Your life experiences are valuable, so offer your stories, the ones you are most proud of and those you would rather keep under cover.

Susan Torres is available for select readings and lectures, and can be reached at storres.lots@gmail.com, or see www.livingonthreespoons.com.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, and Balance your Chakras, Balance your Life

www.thechakras.org

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