Posts

Showing posts from September, 2017

Excerpt from How to Get Happy and Stay That Way: Practical Techniques for Putting Joy into Your Life (Joanna Romer): Expressing Gratitude

Image
  Expressing Gratitude Chapter 7 Learning to Express Gratitude After we have identified our passionate pursuit or mission, and have begun engaging in it—hopefully every day—the next step in the happiness package is to express gratitude. By that I don’t mean just saying, “I am grateful,” once, and letting it go at that. No, for true happiness we must learn to express gratitude every single day, as often as possible. I would suggest gratitude employment every time we engage in our passionate pursuit. Let it become second nature. How do we do it? Simply say aloud, or to yourself, “I am so grateful to be enjoying this wonderful activity,” or, “Thank you God, for allowing me to enjoy (skiing, or planting fruit trees, or playing the piano, or ballroom dancing, or racing automobiles, or designing software programs).” If you choose, of course, you may leave off the word “God” and give thanks to serendipity, or good fortune, or luck. The point is that you are acknowledging your happiness.

Excerpt from The Rise and Fall of Muslim Civil Society (Dr. Omar Imady): Introduction

Image
Introduction  Various scholarly explanations have been set forth regarding why Islamic reform, a movement preoccupied with reviving Islamic civilization and resisting Western colonialism through the creation of a Muslim civil society, was superseded, in the mid-twentieth century, by Islamic fundamentalism, a movement preoccupied with creating an ‘Islamic state’ by violence if necessary Such explanations can be classified into two major categories: ‘traditional legacy’, and ‘external dynamics’.  The ‘traditional legacy’ category includes works that explain Islamic fundamentalism as a product of the traditional legacy of Islam, which makes no separation between religion and state and which promotes political violence through the emphasis it places on jihad or morally ordained struggle/resistance.Muslim religious scholars, however, strongly discouraged violent political descent. Regarding the confrontation of government authority, Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328) wrote: “What is well known regardi

Excerpt from Road Map to Power (Husain & Husain): Lessons from Children

Image
Excerpt: Lessons from Children Rule of the Road: Forge your armor out of resiliency Mile Markers : War Zone, Trauma, PTSD, Suicide, Dutch Levees, Bounce Back, Magical Thinking, Easy Temperament, Vulnerability, Consumer Nation, George Foreman, Mentoring, Open Communities, Persistence, Tree of Resiliency, Self-Evaluation, Exploitive Culture In the days and months after that game-changing ride home from Bob , I began to ponder how I might go about amending my own life to better reflect the principles first emphasized in my youth and latter reinvigorated by the example of this modest soul. As someone who had firsthand experience with poverty and minimal assets, I was surprised at how quickly I had bought into the desire to demonstrate to outsiders that here was a man who exceeded his humble beginnings. Now that I was equipped with a new self-awareness, would this knowledge translate into real and lasting change? Temptation to buy and consume in an attempt to feed the appeti

Excerpt from Forget the Goal, the Journey Counts (Stites): Foreword

Image
Foreword  For most Americans, their lives center around the job they have. Strangely, it is the job that defines most people. When two strangers meet, one of the first questions invariably asked is, “What do you do?” Most people take a job because it pays well and has strong benefits such as health coverage. Most of the time the job they have is not what they would really like to be doing. Most people are working to have enough to retire some years or decades later or are working toward a goal they have set for themselves because someone said having a goal is very beneficial. This book is about my taking the jobs that came along because I wanted to do the work, not because of anything that came with the job. I did what I wanted to do and sometimes refused jobs that had a big salary, stock options, health plan, perks of homes and travel, but were not what I would like doing. I could never see why anyone would spend two-thirds of their life essentially working to make money, not

Excerpt from Divorced! (Joanna Romer): Introduction

Image
INTRODUCTION  You’re recently divorced, and you’re having a little trouble handling it all. It’s bad enough that you’re alone and feeling almost worthless, but you can’t stop wondering what you did wrong to make your world come crashing down. How did this happen? More to the point, how did this happen to you? You’re not alone. Since the mid-1970s, the divorce rate in this country has hovered around a surprising 50% for first-time marriages. For second marriages the figure is even higher; about 60% of these end up in divorce court. While television shows and magazine articles usually focus on the court battles during divorce, the real trauma often takes place after the papers are signed, when the newly divorced person faces life alone. These singles must carry on their daily lives despite battered egos, diminished bank accounts and sometimes even the loss of friends who have “taken sides” in the battle. As a twice-divorced woman, I know about these issues and the toll they t

Book Review: How to Live from Your Heart (Nanette Hucknall)

Image
"How to Live from Your Heart  brings a wonderfully warm exploration of energy-based spirituality into real-world decision-making." So says Jeremiah Rood, reviewer from Foreword Reviews . Read the rest of the article at Foreword Reviews . How to Live from Your Heart is a Book of the Year Finalist and Best Books Award Finalist and was selected as Pinnacle Achievement Award winner and recommended by US Review of Books. Nanette Hucknall is also the co-author of The Rose and The Sword .

Excerpt from Surviving Cancer, Healing People: One Cat's Story (Sula, Parish Cat at Old Mission): I Am Not Alone

Image
Excerpt -- I Am Not Alone (photo by Kaleena Scargill) Some of the people who form a big part of my mission struggle with cancer. I do understand them—their fears, their pain, their sometimes-sadness. I feel those things, too, at least as much as a cat can feel. I know that God made humans to have even deeper feelings and a greater range of feelings, and I am glad that some of those feelings include loving animals because it is through that love that I can connect with them and bring them the message of God’s love. I have to tell you about one of my special friends, Loryn. She understands me because she had cancer, and I understand her because I had cancer—the same way Cody and I understand, support, and love each other. Maybe it is better if I am not the one to tell her story, though. Maybe she should tell her own story. I think you will find it more interesting that way. So, here is what she wrote for my book about her experience: Over seven years ago, I

Book Alert: Divorced! Survival Techniques for Singles over Forty (Romer)

Image
Divorced! Survival Techniques for Singles over 40  shares the stories of men and women just like you who have gone through the trauma of divorce, and now feel comfortable talking about it. Turning to God, to friends, family and even therapy, these adults were able to pull their lives back together again. Whether your divorce was recent or years ago, the guidelines in this book will help you put heartache aside and begin a new and fulfilling life. Read more posts about Joanna Romer and her many books HERE .

Book Alert: The Subversive Utopia

Image
The Subversive Utopia   examines the critical role of modern architects in shaping and transforming national Israeli memory with special regard to Jerusalem. Using as a background the attempts of various architects since the 19th century to construct a national Jewish style, the author focuses his analysis on Louis Kahn’s design of the Hurva synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. Th is study scrutinizes and pieces together discrepant archival documents, drawings, and accounts of intentions, interpretations, events, policies, and projects in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Th e book reveals an unrecognized crucial interplay of Kahn’s Hurvah design  with the competing traditional and national symbols of Jerusalem, such as the old Hurvah, the Western Wall, and most important, the mythical Jewish Temple and the Dome of the Rock. Th e drastic impact of Kahn’s idiosyncratic design on shaping Jerusalem and its national memory is traced through subsequent archaeologica

Excerpt from A Guide to Bliss: Transforming Your Life through Mind Expansion (Tubali):

Image
A sharing  S ., 20 years old, completely inexperienced in spiritual practices and in therapeutic processes, after her first experience expanding a positive emotion.  When I was asked, at the beginning of the process, to revive the most positive experience in my life, the first image that came into my mind was the day on which I had parachuted for the first time. I had been waiting to jump from the tiny plane; my entire body was already outside of it, and I had felt sure of myself—happy, free and limitless. I had felt that it would be much better to be up in the sky than down on the ground. When I took the leap, it was like floating, and my entire body felt fresh and alive. I was particularly excited while hovering over the sea and seeing the green areas all around. I identified the emotion as “Freedom” and located it in my heart. It felt like confidence and also, lightness, as if all my cells were opening up. The shape was a circle; the color, pink; the feeling, lighthearted

Excerpt from Blest Atheist (Mahlou): Beginning of Chapter 1 (The Church in Siberia)

Image
“Khristos voskres” (Christ is risen). One person after another greeted me with these words as I climbed the stairs of the little, wooden church in Akademgorodok, a tiny town at the end of the man-made Ob Sea, bejeweling the Siberian steppe 45 minutes south of the city of Novosibirsk . The intertwining snow-covered birch and kedr (Siberian pine) trees created an illusion of a land of fantasy, made more so in the late evenings by the moon reflecting off the naked silver-white birch bark onto the dark red-brown trunks and evergreen branches of the pines. This was not yet the taiga ; it was somewhat south for that, but nonetheless the birch and kedry stood closely side-by-side like brothers-in-arms against a hostile white and cold universe.             “V istinu voskres” (Truly, He is risen). If my words of response rang hollow, there was a reason. They came from the lips of a bona fide atheist, convinced that religious congregations were at least in part delusional. Certain

Excerpt from The Seven Wisdoms of Life: a journey into the chakras (Tubali): Male and Female Energy of Third Chakra

Image
Male and Female Energy [of the Third Chakra] The male energy of the third chakra can be symbolized by the sword: a powerful force that can break through any kind of obstacle and move persistently towards a goal. It never wavers, for it has a tremendous aspiration and the energy to follow it. We need this male energy when we have a vision that we wish to manifest in the world of time and space. The female energy of the third chakra can be symbolized by the shield. Just as we need a sword, we need a shield: the sword is needed for offense, while the shield is needed for defense. So, the female energy equips us with a protective shield, which can actually push away any kind of pressure and over stimulation. It can equip us with stillness when someone offends us, and it can equip us with persistence when we are being pressured to let go of our authenticity. The Seven Wisdoms of Life was selected as a finalist for Book of the Year Award in 2013 and the Best Books USA Award in 2

Excerpt from The Rose and the Sword: How to Balance Your Feminine and Masculine Energies (Back & Hucknall): Final Chapter, Authors' Commentary

Image
Commentary There is no ending to this story or to this book.  We could have wrapped it up like a nice neat package, but that would be totally unreal.  The underlying message of this book is that the integration of the positive masculine and feminine must begin first in each of us as individuals and then spread outward into our relationships and social structures, such as our organizations and communities and ultimately into our national and international relations.  If we look at the chaos that exists in our present world, we can only see the rising tide of conflict in the Middle East and in other corners of the planet where the social systems are still in the Dark Ages in terms of balance of the masculine and feminine.  In this country, we surely have a long way to go, but, at least, over the last century, we have seen movement.  If we look around the world, there are pockets of integration slowly emerging.      Clearly, the evolution of humanity into a futuristic world a

Excerpt from Anger Anonymous, The Big Book on Anger Addiction (Ortman):

Image
Anger, a Powerful Energy  Anger is a natural energy, like fire. Our earliest ancestors witnessed the power of fire in lightning storms and raging forest fires. They also enjoyed the light and warmth it provided in their cold, dark world. It was like a god to them. They feared and worshiped it. They observed fire closely and came to appreciate its many forms and varying intensity, from a tiny flame to a roaring firestorm. They longed to find a way to harness and use its power for their benefit. Then, one day, some unknown caveman learned fire’s secret and how to start, stop, control, and use it. Life changed dramatically. We spend a lifetime learning to manage the fire of anger that burns in each of us. Its power fascinates, seduces, and frightens us. We both love and hate it. Anger takes on different meanings for each of us. Some of us like our angry emotions because they make us feel hot and alive. They mean we possess power and control. Others hate them because  they makes us