September 11, 2009

What you read is what you get…

Posted in Between Us column, Relationships, Spirituality at 4:24 am by dinaheng

Whenever anyone asks me, “What are you reading these days?,” I have to stop and think. My habit is to read several books at once, jumping from one to another as the spirit moves me.

I love reading spiritual books, science fiction, mysteries, romance novels, children’s books, and inspirational business books, which pretty much tells you my personality in a nutshell. I love adventurous tales that touch the heart and deepen the spirit.dinah-eng-21

I’ve been on a James Rollins (“Map of  Bones,” “Amazonia”) kick lately, following the adventures of flawed heroes who must save the world from the worst of ourselves. If we only saw everyone as the heroes we are, there wouldn’t be any villains… and probably  fewer adventures to enjoy.

I ascribe to the thought that we always have the problems we want in our lives. On some level, our soul chooses the challenges we face, presenting our human selves the opportunity to learn important lessons.

Debbie Ford’s new book “The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse… A Breakthrough Program for Connecting with Your Soul’s Deepest Purpose” (Harper One, $24.99) shares some practical tips on how to release destructive behaviors and thoughts from the past, examine where we are in the present, and create the future we want for ourselves.

In many ways, we procrastinate actions that would create our highest good. As Ford writes, “There is no insurance policy big enough to calm your ego’s fears that its needs will not be met. So you will have to choose: Are you going to trust the path that you’ve known, the path that has limited you in some way? Or are you going to roll the dice and bet all your resources on a power greater than yourself…”

Getting in touch with that greater power is what we must do if we are to find our soul’s purpose. In a time of economic uncertainty, when people are losing once “secure” jobs, more  of us are asking, “Who am I really?  What is my true worth in the world?”

One way to discover our own worth is to help others in need, for as we help to strengthen others, we are lifting ourselves up as well.  Susan Skog has written for many years about humanitarians and their projects, and her latest book is a call-to-action for volunteers to change the world, wherever we are.

In “The Give-Back Solution: Create A Better World with Your Time, Talents and Travel (Whether You Have $10 or $10,000)” (Sourcebooks, Inc. $14.99), Skog shares inspirational stories and a practical guide to opportunities that make a difference in people’s lives. As she writes, giving back is a passport to greater joy.

“Helping others reach for a new day rejuvenates us in ways that another margarita-soaked vacation, more stuff, a fatter resume, or a supersized house can’t begin to,” Skog writes. “We want to feel useful. We want to find meaning. We want to know we matter. We want to feel alive and on fire with possibility.”

A dear friend of mine who is turning 70 next month told me that her life is happy and full, with family, friends and many interesting hobbies. “I don’t have many new ambitions,” she said, “ just to be at peace and to serve. Maybe I’ll join the Peace Corps down the road.”

To be at peace and to serve. Sounds like a good book to me.


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