Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Archive for the ‘Dealing with Grief’ Category

The Goldfinch: #BookReview of a Miraculous Read


Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 1.34.43 PMWhat a treat to have a long (760-page) novel, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, to engage me while stuck on the beach (for a trace of a breeze) in between workshops in sizzling early summer heat! It’s taken me 3 years to open this book, but once picked up, I couldn’t put it down.

I was entranced by the characters and plot from the very beginning. Thirteen-year-old Theo is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with his single mother (a true art lover/historian), because they need to get out of a rainstorm before a meeting at his school about his possible suspension. There’s a terrorist bombing, and Theo survives while his mother does not.

Upon awakening in the rubble, Theo is called over by Welty, grandfather to a beautiful young redhead that Theo had been following around the museum. Welty dies in his arms, after giving him an antique ring with an address to bring it to, and telling him to take the painting, The Goldfinch, (that they had all been viewing prior to the terrorist attack), out of the smoking wreckage of the museum.

Theo survives, but with guilt for being alive, and PTSD that he suppresses with numerous legal and illegal drugs to the point of near obliteration. Despite his often despicable acts, it’s hard not to root for Theo, even when it seems futile, his Root and Heart Chakras seemingly closed beyond repair. We hope he will find balance in a world with no safety net for him, and that he will find love with the redhead who has also survived. We hope and hope, with little reason to.

In the end, I found this book as inspirational as many of the “spiritual” books I regularly read for this blog. It seeks to answer the large question about why some people seem destined to suffer.

Theo has a dream visitation from his mother at his darkest moment, after murder and mayhem in Amsterdam, and that is the turning point in his life and his search for a reason to live. He wonders why:

“…as cruelly as the game is stacked, that it’s possible to play it with a kind of joy?”

This fits into my view of the meaning of life — to celebrate life, beauty, love —whatever obstacles are in our way. The Goldfinch painting symbolizes all of these things for Theo, even though, like the bird, he is tethered to a chain of sorrow from which he will never be able to free himself.

Theo, through the author, refers to the beauty of art in general, and The Goldfinch, a  1654 painting by the Dutch artist Carel Fabritius (said to be the “missing link” between Rembrandt and Vermeer), in particular:

“Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair. But the painting has also taught me that we can speak to each other across time…. Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”

To me, the reader, these words refer to all things of beauty, including this beautifully written novel.

In a 2013 interview with The New York Times about the publication of this her third book, Tartt described her writing process, saying, “I was writing for a while not knowing what I was writing. That’s the way it’s been with all my books. Things will come to you and you’re not going to know exactly how they fit in. You have to trust in the way they all fit together, that your subconscious knows what you’re doing.”

As we all have to trust that our subconscious knows what we’re doing.

The Goldfinch is available on Amazon.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

The Chakra Blog

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They Serve Bagels in Heaven #BookReview and #AuthorInterview


They Serve Bagels in Heaven by Irene Weinberg Cover PhotoTHEY SERVE BAGELS IN HEAVEN is one couple’s story of Love, Eternity, and the Cosmic Importance of Everyday Life, based on the true-life story of Irene Weinberg, whose husband Saul died next to her in a tragic car accident. The amazing messages Irene received before, during and after the accident contained a Directive from Heaven, opening her to a profound Spiritual Awakening that took Irene on a healing journey from devastating loss to a renewed sense of inner strength, spiritual wisdom and passion for life.

After reading this funny, touching and inspiring eternal love story, you will gain comfort, solace and wisdom from its healing messages about love, crossing over, past lives, what heaven does about evil, soul mates, healing both in heaven and on Earth and more. You will surely both laugh out loud and weep when you read this earthy, humorous and magical story. THEY SERVE BAGELS IN HEAVEN will change your perceptions about your life today and give you hope for tomorrow.

Interview with author, Irene Weinberg:

Your book is deeply personal. What made you decide to share your story with readers?

After seventeen years of marriage, my beloved husband Saul died next to me in a tragic car accident. Before, during and after the accident, I, who did not believe in any notions of spirituality, received amazing, profound messages that contained a Directive from heaven, opening me to a profound Spiritual Awakening.

Two months after the accident, I found myself in a gallery with the medium John Edward. The incredible messages John channeled from my husband Saul to me included information that only Saul and I shared. This amazing experience inspired me to work with another medium who also channeled information from Saul to me, but this time, Saul answered questions I asked about some of his experiences in heaven, details of riveting past lives we had shared together, and gave me important insights into the cosmic importance of our everyday lives. This fascinating, exciting information prompted me to share the wisdom and insights I was learning from Saul with others, leading to my soul purpose, which was to write a book that would help people know that we do go on after death, that there is purpose to our travails while we are here on Earth – and also, as I was being pulled through the shattered window of my totaled car that night, I received the profound message to “be loving and kind to everyone.”

What would you like readers to take away from “They Serve Bagels in Heaven”?

The sudden car accident, which left my husband instantly dead next to me taught me that I have control over absolutely nothing in my life except my attitude in dealing with whatever life hands me. Before the accident, I had a lot of control issues. After the accident, I let most of them go and I’ve continued to let them go as the years pass by. As the EMT pulled me through the window of my car, I remember thinking “I will get through this somehow, because I need to be a role model for my son. He needs to know that you can get ‘hit by a grenade’ in life and keep on going.” Again, it’s all about your attitude.

Writing the book and receiving some harsh skepticism helped me to learn to hold on to “my truth” and to stop worrying about what others think. To this day, there are people in my life who are uncomfortable and skeptical about me, and my story. It is very challenging not to allow these people to intimidate me and for me, not to judge them. Now I see they are some of my best teachers, as they remind me to stay conscious, empowered and to hold on to “my truth.”

There were people in my life who were wonderful to me when I was suffering, but then turned on me when things started to get better. I realized then, that some people enjoy others’ suffering because they can feel powerful and become jealous when things start going well. So I have learned to BLESS AND RELEASE these toxic people from my life. (To be loving and kind to everyone, also includes me).

Before the accident, I usually took “the high road” due to the promptings of my gut; I now take “the high road” because I KNOW there is karma. I KNOW we go on, and I KNOW that certain people are placed in my life to help me learn certain lessons. I do not want to come back with lessons still to be learned. This knowledge motivates me to live consciously and to strive to “be clean” in my relationships. I have learned to be conscious about what I say and how I behave with people, because it may be our last interaction in this physical life. I have seen too many people distraught over their “shuddas, wuddas, and cuddas,” after their loved one is deceased.

What do you think makes your book different from others like it?

Unlike a textbook, a fantasy novel or even a guidebook, They Serve Bagels in Heaven is a love story that spans generations, filled with thoughtful words and thoughtful thoughts meant to be savored. In it the reader will find answers to questions about what heaven is like, what’s the deal with soul mates, do we each come here with a soul purpose, how does heaven handle evil and have we lived other lives besides this one we are living. All of this wisdom is woven into a love story that is a fascinating, easy read. And it is a true story!

How has your life changed since you’ve shared your story with others?

Before the accident, I usually took “the high road” due to the promptings of my gut; I now take “the high road” because I KNOW there is karma. I KNOW we go on, and I KNOW that certain people are placed in my life to help me learn certain lessons. I do not want to come back with lessons still to be learned. This knowledge motivates me to live consciously and to strive to “be clean” in my relationships!

I am no longer afraid of death because I know I will cross over and continue on. Instead I am now much more passionate about LIFE. I want to learn the lessons I came here to learn, stay detached from toxic people, and consciously be loving and kind to others and also to myself, so that I can enjoy every morsel if my life to the last drop!

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Follow your truth and write. It is your own individual journey. Stay open to the possibilities!

Readers can connect with Irene Weinberg at www.theyservebagelsinheaven.com. 

They Serve Bagels in Heaven is available in Amazon Kindle, paperback and Audible formats.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

The Chakra Blog

 

 

Walking in Grace with Grief – Review and Author Interview


WalkGrace text_Layout 1One of my best friends lost her son in an accident and I felt the terrible anguish she and her family faced. I couldn’t imagine how one could go on to grow stronger and more centered in the midst of such tremendous grief. The answers came to me in Walking in Grace with Grief: Meditations for Healing After Loss by Della Temple. She beautifully offers her personal story of the loss of her son and the path she took to release her pain and find comfort in a continuing connection to him. She also describes how others can be of help to those suffering a loss, something we all need to know.

Part memoir and part meditation guide, Temple offers powerful guided visualizations to ground yourself, release the pain, grow stronger by filling yourself with universal energy and connecting to your higher self.

Using her meditations, you too can choose a path of growth and strength and release pain and grief, whatever your own personal struggles. Temple explains how to “let go of the story, the story of what would or could have been.”

Della Temple is an author whose writings meld the worlds of the physical and the metaphysical, a teacher and an energy healer. Here, she answers my questions:

INTERVIEW WITH DELLA TEMPLE


Becca: How would you describe the term “Walking in Grace?”

Della: A few days after the unexpected death of my son, I found myself in what I refer to as a state of Grace. I don’t know how else to explain it. I didn’t feel anger or rage against God. I experienced sorrow, a deep, fathomless sadness, grief, love, acceptance, compassion, and happiness – yes happiness – all at once. I felt the Divine surrounding me, in what I call the energy of Grace, offering me comfort and support.

I lived in this protective coating of Grace for most of the first year. It went wherever I went – and it literally felt like I was walking in a bubble of Grace. I wanted to include that in the title of my book, but there was also another part of my experience that was equally important. I don’t believe we walk through grief because grief isn’t something we get over. We walk with grief for the rest of our lives. We will always feel the hole in the heart left by the death of our loved one. The pain lessens, but grief is with us always. Walking in grace with grief is a very literal description of how I felt that first year of loss.

Becca: What message would you most like readers to get from your book?

Della: Often, we are so caught up in the emotions of sorrow, sadness, grief, anger, rebellion, and outright rage that we fail to hear our loved ones’ voices. But they are here. They constantly surround us with their love and support. We just have to open ourselves up to be able to receive their messages.

I often felt my son surrounding me in love and comfort—especially during the first year after his passing. I accepted this as a natural occurrence, and our Spirit-to-Spirit talks became an integral part of my healing journey. When we talked, he exhibited some of the same personality traits as in the body, and his sense of humor and playfulness helped ease my sorrow. I treasured these conversations because, believe it or not, they kept me rooted to the earth. They confirmed my deep faith that my son Rick had just changed form – the body had died, but his soul, the being-ness of my son was very much still “alive.”

What I’ve heard from readers is that some of them don’t believe they have the ability to talk Spirit-to-Spirit with their loved ones. Some even believe that they are not worthy or intuitive enough to communicate in this way.

What I tell them is to try.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to step into meditation. Daily meditation offers us the opportunity to quiet the outside voices and tune into our inner knowingness. Often our loved ones can reach into this space of soft awareness and let us know they are watching over us.

Rick’s presence in my life – his Spirit’s presence – confirmed my deep faith in life after life. My mountain of sorrow was lessened because I knew he existed as Spirit, and that was very healing.

Becca: We all hear about immersing ourselves in the present moment. What are your tips for doing so, to not focus on what could have been?

Della: I’ve come to think that grief is two-fold. It’s the painful longing for the physical presence of our loved one, and it’s the emotional heartache we feel as we disengage from these unfulfilled dreams, the sorrows of what could have been. The stories of a life unlived.

Every time my thoughts wandered to the what-if-he-had-lived stories, I pulled myself back. I literally would not allow myself to experience those thoughts. I chose another thought. I would force myself to think of something else – to remember a time from the past when he made me laugh, or to remember his voice or his smell. Anything but a what-if-he’d-lived story. This took energy and effort, but I think it made the difference in how I healed.

I shifted the thought and experienced my sorrow in a different vibration if that makes any sense. It was a higher, cleaner vibration – a healing vibration full of love and mercy. This vibration felt full of acceptance, kindness, and gentleness. I knew that if I could stay in this vibration – if I could surround myself with thoughts and feelings that resonated there – I could heal this deep wound. I had energy tools to help me stay in this vibration, and I share those tools with the reader throughout the book, so they too can stay out of the mire of what-could-have-been.

Defusing the power of the story allows you to return to the present, the now, the current situation without the baggage of what could have been, should have been, or wasn’t meant to be. Releasing my old stories allowed me to look at Rick’s death from a new perspective. It wasn’t about what could have been. It’s about what is – right here, right now. I still felt the pain, but it was a pain of missing my loved one right here, right now. It was not about all the future things that would not be.

Becca: What helped you most during your time of grieving?

Della: What helped me most during this time of sorrow was to embrace fully the concept of life after death. I have always believed in reincarnation – that we exist as eternal Spirits and come to earth to experience certain challenges and emotions. As we make ready for our trip to earth, we call together the Spirit forms of our soon-to-be-parents, siblings, friends, and colleagues. God is there too. We gather around a big “conference table in the sky,” and we design our soon-to-be life. We think about what our main purpose will be in this lifetime, and we design a life that presents many challenges and learning opportunities. Some of us choose to deal with only one issue; others choose many. Everyone at the table agrees to be a participant in this Contract of Life. Some will choose to be our mentors and trusted friends. Others will choose the harder role of being the “mirrors,” the ones who push our buttons and cause strife and disharmony. Each will take on a role that enhances the learning opportunity of both parties.

This Contract of Life includes many variables, or different paths that a person may take once they come to earth. Some paths are straight and narrow, leading right to the person’s overarching purpose while other paths are full of curves and unexpected dips and bumps. Some life paths are long, and others are short. Every day that a person is alive, she or he chooses which path to travel. This is free will in action.

Becca: What advice do you have for first-time authors who feel they have inspiration to share?

Della: Write! Journal, doodle, scribble – it doesn’t make any difference. Just move your story out into the world. Some people I know are more comfortable doing short videos, others write poetry. Don’t worry about whether it’s “good enough” – just share. You will get feedback along the way about your writing style, and that will help you craft your message so that it resonates with your audience. Most of us (especially me!) worry about what others think of our writing. Some of the energy tools I teach in this book helped to tame my inner critic, giving me the confidence and willingness to share.

Walking in Grace with Grief is available at Amazon.com. To contact the author, go to www.DellaTemple.com.

Namaste!

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

www.theChakras.org

www.ChakraDiaries.wordpress.com

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