A few of my favorite reads...
Try for at least 20 minutes a day... even if you don't like to read... just do it.
Warrior of the Light - Paulo Coelho, the book is repetitious and is about this warrior and what he does in life. What I love is that each of the descriptors of the Warrior, is they can all be relate-able. The Warrior is us, you and me. It tells us what to do in life, but also how it probably feels, or what we actually want instead. For example, to be selfless but not without making sure we are putting ourselves first. Something I took away from it, was the chapter on rejoicing in overcoming. When one is sick, and recovered, we do not dwell on the sickness at all, but how great it is that we are well again. Can you imagine if we applied the same principle to everyday life? "Oh my boyfriend and I had a fight, but look how we made it through" vs. two weeks later, "ugh you won't believe what we argued about, awhile back" Or "my boss yelled at me for two hours" and then avoiding her for the next week, vs "man my boss handled me my butt, but wow did I learn some cool new stuff!" Imagine that.
Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert, this book changed my life. Fine if you saw the movie, but it is only a snippet of the awesome that is the book, so read it. It is her journey from suffering through a life of "supposed to's" to creating her very own lovely life of "get to's" (up to that point). There is discovery, and suffering, and forgiveness, and joy, and anger, and strength, weakness and love and so much more. It was eye opening for me because I never thought I would even like it. The book came to me from my amazing grandparents as an unexpected gift about two years before I was (really) free of my abusive relationship. I was on a impromptu trip, to get away with my sweet boy, in hopes I would have just one holiday without crying and pain, where he could be spoiled and enjoy himself surrounded by loved ones. The title threw me immediately, because at that point, me and prayer were not on the best of terms, to say it nicely. I will get in to religion and Faith another time, but I was sure this was not going to be a book for me. As I boarded the plane from California back to Virginia I thought, what the heck, I have some time and if I don't like it I can leave it on the plane for someone else. I laugh now, because by the time we landed, I had almost devoured the entire book, that little Voice new me better. Why that book, for me, at that time, nothing short of Divine intervention. What I took away from it... I was inspired that I had still had some control of my life, it was a spark the size of a pen point, but it was something! It taught me that forgiveness is an inside job, and how to learn from my feelings and experiences. My book is riddled with dog ears and highlights and exclamation points. And something I remind myself of still, this is your life "stop wearing your wish bone, where your back bone ought to be" thanks Richard from Texas.
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garciá Márquez, the love story, ooooh the love story. This is set in a time none of us can really ever relate to, first hand at least. 1880-1930's is just drowned in a harder way of life. Sickness, obligation, family stature, famine, financial burden were some of the many hardships that may not be far from our own lives now, but on a mass inescapable scale. Two very young, mostly lost souls, find each other, and then their worlds pull them apart, while also still intertwining them at times. I won't give away too much as this one is a (love) story, but it leaves you just wishing for happier endings. What I learned was that people, some we barely know can have a profound affect on who we become. Sometimes meeting a person and spending just minutes with them, can alter you more than someone you've know all of your life. Hold on to them, even if it is simply a place you visit only in your mind.
More to come, promise ;-) just keep reading!