La Luz Light Newsletter June 2017: Books That Inspire

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BOOKS THAT INSPIRE: Empowering Yourself 

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. - Francis Bacon, Essays (1625), "Of Studies".

This statement by Sir Frances Bacon sums up very well how I read my books and honestly, how others should to. Let me explain.  There are books that are page turners and keep you fascinated, hooked, obsessed until the very last word.  These are books that tell a story in which answers will eventually be revealed and keeping your anxiety cranked to high. Whether the climax is to your liking or not, it kept you riveted nonetheless. You may ponder over the plot, and the characters over a short while or remember bits and pieces, which held the most emotion for you, for a lifetime,

Then there are those books which you struggle through because they are intended to impart knowledge, evoke deep or unresolved emotions, or force you to make a change. That was the reason you picked it up in the first place, n’est ce pas?  These books need to be read slowly, steadily, and yes very attentively.  There is no rush to the end because, really, there is no end.  In many instances, there is a beginning at the end. You still with me?  If you keep putting these types of books down to pick up at a later time, you may be feeling uncomfortable, or fearful of what it is revealing about you, and that changes are necessary if you wish to live differently. You wanted to go there, so why not go there?? And herein lies your probable struggle with making the necessary changes you feel you need to make and somehow are not totally committed.

Your center for empowerment and self esteem, the solar plexus, when balanced and energized promises to support your efforts to finding your power. Knowing what triggers your emotions and working through them is in itself extremely powerful in your evolution. You get the knowing, for the most part from reading texts that trigger a reaction you didn’t think possible: and voilĂ , a knowing you didn’t have earlier, and thus a little more empowerment has grown inside of you that could potentially cause a shift in the right direction. Placing yourself in, as they say ‘outside the box’ or believing that indeed ‘life begins outside your comfort zone’ change happens. It’s not bad change, it’s the change you want – consciously or unconsciously.

My choices this month include the following eye-opening, heart-stopping, and awe-inspiring reads that will leave you changed in one way or another. 

The Power of the Subconscious Mind, by Dr. Joseph Murphy is a book that has been on my bookshelf since early 2000. That is 17 years ago and honestly, it is a book I continue to pick up, and randomly open a page when I am in need of reminders that the power, and freedom, and resolve to live a life I choose is in me, not outside of me. Although this book has gone through a few revisions and cover designs since 1963, I chose to display here the one that I own.  I wondered if the choice of using bright yellow letters was a random decision, as it is also the color of the solar plexus, haha!  

Dr. Murphy’s first chapter entitled “The Treasure House Within You” is the perfect start to this book as it clearly places the reader in a place of ownership, and empowerment. What an incredible place to launch your desires for making positive changes in your life.

Choose Them Wisely – Thoughts Become Things, by Mike Dooley is a book that reads like a journal.  There are no endless chapters on the how’s and why’s of the power of your thoughts in your life, but a series of poems and random thoughts that you can open randomly on any page, and get what you need. Published in 2009, and his 10th publication, Mike Dooley, formerly an international tax consultant turned philosopher-entrepreneur has been making a huge splash since he entered the stage in 1998. When Rhonda Byrne wrote the infamous “The Secret” she called on him to share his thoughts on how powerful our minds can be and how you can harness that same power to achieve your goals and deepest desires. I love his sense of humour and how he can turn something as serious as working on becoming the you, you imagine, and make it light, easy to understand, and most importantly, easy to put into action.

The Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm is a book that sat on my older brother’s book case for many years. When he left to fine-tune his culinary skills with exciting and innovative chefs from the Quebec Laurentians to Bermuda, he kept his bookcases at home. Yay! It was from him, that I gained a love for reading, and the sometimes-arduous work of building my own library. First published in 1956, Fromm attempts to impart that love isn’t “a pleasant sensation, which to experience is a matter of chance, or something ‘one falls into’ if one is lucky” but is, indeed an art form which “requires knowledge and effort”.

He wrote in the Foreword to this 1956 book, "The reading of this book would be a disappointing experience for anyone who expects easy instruction in the art of loving. This book, on the contrary, wants to show that love is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone, regardless of the level of maturity reached by him. It wants to convince the reader that all his attempts for love are bound to fail, unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation..." (Pg. vii).

A word of caution when reading: Fromm was a psychologist who shared thoughts and musings from a mid 20th century perspective which may conflict with current social mores, not only by what he writes, but by what he omits. At the very least, it will offer a perspective that may resonate with you for better or worse.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing
- Benjamin Franklin