Friday, February 4, 2011
Books have been a dear part of my life for as long as I can remember. They have always been my constant companions and I treasure their company immensely. I remember the secret thrill of receiving my first library card. That laminated little white card that offered me the privilege of borrowing books-what an exuberating feeling! Although my reading was supported by both my parents, buying books was considered somewhat frivolous for a family of recent immigrant status. One of my earliest memories was when I was a little girl and I would go to the Woolworth’s store with my mother. I would sit myself down on the floor of the toy and book section of the store to read a book that caught my interest. When we were due to leave the store, I would fold over the page and place the book behind some obscure toy that no one would ever look at, only to return to the book and continue reading on the next shopping expedition. I had finished many books sitting on that Woolworth’s floor and today I admire the inventiveness of the little girl that simply just wanted to read.
These days, books can be found in every room of my home. I am often astounded how such a seemingly simple invention as black lettered words on a white page can pierce my heart, make me sigh, offer me encouragement, introduce me to characters that become friends and take me to places I can only visit in my imagination. Recently, someone asked me to identify a book that has opened my mind to viewing life through a different lens. I found it challenging to select just one. I also admit that the titles change depending on where I am in my life. The following is a list of a few of my favorites. Enjoy!
Circle of Stones by Judith Duerk- a wise, gem of a book for women that explores the sacred connections and intuitive bonds that women have with each other. It writes to support the ancient rituals of women’s’ circles and the celebration of feminine life passages.
The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron- as the back page of the book says: “…an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life”. It’s a read that gets creative energy flowing in all aspects of living. It offers chockfull of interesting exercises that work to unblock your true, creative, playful nature.
Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana- this wonderful book reveals the myths, realities, and amazing benefits of meditation and mindfulness. As the title states, it is written in simple, clear, plain English that is easy to comprehend. I have not found a book about meditation that is easier to understand than this one.
Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron- a brilliant author and American Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron describes the idea of ‘shenpa’, also understood as the hook that repeatedly gets us stuck in negative response patterns. She shows us how to identify our ‘shenpas’ and the qualities we need to cultivate in order to overcome them.
The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele- explores yoga’s ethical practice by reviewing each yama and niyama and offering practical questions and personal practices that can help us weave these ancient philosophical guidelines into our modern lives.
Holistic Anatomy by Pip Waller- this book describes anatomy in a holistic way by connecting the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of our existence. It incorporates western and eastern thoughts about how our body functions. The author states in his introduction that this book is his way of …”introducing adults to the miracle of the body”. Do you want to know how your body works? This is the book to read!
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- this is a classic that I return to again and again. This amazing book has taught me about integrity, friendship, acceptance, education, and courage. I have been honored to name Atticus Finch and his daughter Scout as dear friends and I learn something more about them and about me every time I pick up this book.
So tell me, what are some books or characters that have inspired you in your life? Do share!
With love, Linda
photo credit: flickr.com