Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Mindfulness Solution Solved

      The end of the book came with peace of mind. I will not lie nor will I pretend to be a master of being "mindful" at all times because I read this book. I will admit to being "mindful" a lot with many moments  where I experience the beauty of who I am in the moment  and for that I am filled with gratitude. 
     The book, The Mindfulness Solution, is more of a review of what I have learned and or read about from many different teachers/authors in my lifetime. I also attended a 10 day retreat that was all about being mindful. The retreat did not allow talking for 10 days so we all could learn to be with ourselves, being mindful of our body and of our thoughts and of our actions and habits. For some, the isolation experienced because of no connection through sharing of language was just too much to bare. Those souls left the retreat within the first 72 hours. Unlike a retreat of total silence like I attended which the author refers to as "formal practice" where you have one focus, this book offers many practices and many approaches to assisting one discover the best method for the reader to (hopefully) experience mindfulness as much as possible.
   I am glad to be done reading this book and done doing the practices suggested by the author (which I enjoyed) because I have my own routine that I will be relieved to return to doing like my meditations while floating in water. I am also glad to be finished with this book because I am anxious to begin reading the next book on my list! I would recommend this book for anyone who is not already well versed in meditation and who is not knowledgeable about the impact our thoughts have on our lives and also for learning some wonderful meditative and of course, mindful practices.

     Now, on to my next reading adventure.
Oh my, the title is very interesting!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Still Being Mindful


     Yes. Yes. Yes. I am STILL reading, The Mindfulness Solution ~ Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems by Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD. Today is the first of July, 2011 and I started reading this particular book awhile back. I am being very mindful as I read and I am doing every single exercise and meditation the author puts forth. It takes awhile to get through a book if you are really dedicated to not only reading the words but also dedicated to putting into practice what is recommended by the author. After all, how can one give an honest opinion of a reading experience  that is about developing mindfulness if one does not actually do the work? Today, I noted I am about to begin reading page 126 and the heading for the information that will be shared is, "Life Preservers for Rough Waters". Nice.
     Before reaching this place where the author will teach me about mindful life preservers I read about concepts that once again are not new to me. Well, heck, the concept of the whole book, mindfulness, is not new to me. I spent 10 days at a silent retreat learning to develop mindfulness several years ago and what an experience that was! The retreat of silence is a whole other story for another time but you know I am just itching to talk about it!
     Again, I am toting around in my purse a book that I take out and read at every opportunity. A book that sleeps at my bedside and that I look at just prior to falling asleep, pick up, read a few pages, then due to severe head bobbing I place the book down and succumb to sleep. Can't complain that I am keeping myself up at night worrying about stuff.

(reproduced with permission obtained from

     I project into my present moment that I have not yet fallen into that I will be the master of my thoughts and will rise above moments where by appearances "life" is testing my ability to be mindful. Perhaps by the time I reach the end of this book and by the time I have test drove each exercise outlined between the pages I will be spending a lot of mental moments at the beach.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reading Adventure # 3 ~ The Mindfulness Solution

On the 24th of May, 2011, I opened my third book in my list of 13 books that I promised myself I would read. Book number three is The Mindfulness Solution by Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD. I am not going out and buying the books on my list of 13. Nope, I don't have to buy these books because I already own them ... I just have not read them. As a re-cap my book list came about after I had a burst of energy and did some serious deep cleaning and became acutely aware of all the books I own but have not read. And I am not talking about just the 13 on my first list! The list of 13 is comprised of the books that I found next to my bed ... I have yet to make list of my unread treasury to be found in  bookshelves and other places around my home where my unread books are kept.

As I read the first paragraph in the preface of The Mindfulness Solution I  became aware of a thread of commonality in the first three books on my list. The apparent similar theme is awareness of and control over our thoughts and how we can alter our perception and experience of life with awareness/control. Or at least from my perspective and from the pages I have turned thus far that appears to be the theme :-) This thought, this concept, this idea of becoming the master of our thoughts is not a new concept and not a concept that I have never put into practice. 

I am looking forward to discovering how Ronald D. Siegel shares his experiences in applying mindfullness to his life. Maybe, I will come across a fresh, new method of Mindfulness practice? Maybe. Maybe I will become "re-inspired" to put more effort forth towards my own meditative practice?  Maybe.  Maybe, I will discover something new within the pages of The Mindfulness Solution. Maybe.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Loving/Loved Leaving The Desert Part Deux

(Photo by Maryanne Mesplé. A Course in Miracles)
Now? Now, I can stop putting things off and write. The photo above is of my original copy of A Course in Miracles and you can see how much I love the book by the front cover. The front cover of my first volume is ready to fall off and the gold lettering is almost gone from my finger tips gripping around the edges of the books pages. I read Leaving The Desert pretty much the same way I read (x 14) A Course in Miracles. Turning pages I would stop and go back a few pages because my right mind would whisper that my wrong mind had drifted off several paragraphs ago. Right mindedness being our mind where we are in line with our spiritual truths/heritage and wrong mind being in line with the bratty ego. If you treat yourself and read Leaving The Desert you will have a clear understanding of the two minds and how we always have a choice. Much like my book(s) ACIM (I have several) Pauline Edward's book did not escape my pen nor my bad habit of writing all over the margins of the pages. The underlining, the notes to self, the stars, the exclamation points, the question marks all for present mulling over and for future reference when I re-read the page, the chapter, and often the entire book. I am sure I will be turning the pages in Leaving The Desert several times a year.

(Photo by Maryanne Mesplé, ACIM well read)

There are many people who write books about ACIM. In fact, it was Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love, that really pushed me into taking A Course in Miracles seriously and apply the lessons to my life versus intellectualizing the text as a novelty in the New Age Genre. There are other authors out there also who have been successful with their books about ACIM and if you look around you will see many.  Because I am a student I try not to miss an opportunity to read about another student's journey ... always looking for that connection ... that sense of the oneness ... always looking for the aha! within the pages of well thought out sharing. Pauline Edward authored a beautiful sharing of her journey through the desert that exceeded my expectations. I am so grateful. I now have another book that I can love the writing off the cover. Another book that I can wear the pages out and write all over. I now am a lover of Pauline Edward as an author and admire her determination as a "happy student" of the course, and I find myself even more devoted to my own studies.
Five thumbs up! or is that stars? :-)

(Photo by Maryanne Mesplé, Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffin)

And yes I really did stop blogging to tend to my batch of muffins that I just had to make. As Pauline pointed out in her amazing book, and I paraphrase here, we can be very resistant to certain lessons we face within the text and workbook of ACIM. Our ego runs interference and our minds wander off and become distracted so we lose our focus, our intention and stay deeply entrenched in our experience of separateness. This resistance shows up like my muffins :-) I am reading and then the next moment I am wandering off outside in the rain gathering dandelion flower heads. Then I weed and you know the drill, one thing leads to the next to the next and soon we become lost in our resistance and or distractions .. whatever you would choose to call avoidance. I was afraid to write about Leaving The Desert. I was afraid I would not say the right thing or use the right references and the list goes on. I fell into the judgement process that we all do and that the Course teaches about. I scared myself into making muffins and adding dandelion petals and fresh lemon zest and juice and crushed pineapple and vanilla yogurt. A very yummy distraction in deed!


Loving/Loved Leaving the Desert

(Photo by Maryanne Mesplé 2011)

A desert is a desert is a desert. You can do anything you want in it, but you cannot change it from what it is. It still lacks water. This is why it is a desert. The thing to do with a desert is to leave (in Absence from Felicity, p. 236).

I opened the cover to Pauline Edward's book Leaving The Desert and was hooked. I can't swear on a stack of religious text that my enthusiasm for this book is not directly related to the fact that I am very familiar with the book, A Course in Miracles. I can say in all honesty that Pauline is a skilled wordsmith and knows how to pull her reader forward ... or is it because I am familiar with A Course in Miracles that I went oh so willingly? I can't answer that question. I can say, for me, Ms Edward found words for much of what I felt regarding my personal experience reading ACIM (ACIM is short for A Course in Miracles) and she found words for so many questions I entertained and agonized over during and after reading ACIM 14 times and beginning the 15th. Bravo Pauline!

So, now on with my experience reading this book, but first I am needing something to eat so I am going to the kitchen to whip up a batch of Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins ... I found the recipe in the back of Pauline's book. I found the recipe when I let myself be distracted from reading on page 97 and then discovered on page 114 that she makes note of said recipe at the bottom of the page! Oh, yes, I am feeling a bit of resistance in this moment and ... you'll have to read the book to understand that one!

When I was reading the book Leaving The Desert and discovered Pauline's recipe for these muffins, I did not want to help myself so I let my resistance to reading her words that were pushing at my spirit, and nudging my right mindedness take over.  I set the book down, and gave in to my meanderings. Pauline's recipe is absolutely perfect and as she mentions one can do so many different variations that all you need is a good culinary imagination ... okay so that is paraphrased but as you can see there is some yummy goodness happening in my kitchen AGAIN. For "my" fruit I soaked 2 cups of dried cranberries in the juice of one fresh orange and used the zest of one whole orange and added that to the batter too. OMG! YUM is not a big enough word!

 (photo by Maryanne Mesplé, Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins, May 21st, 2011... a bit burned!)

When I was supposed to be reading but finding myself in the kitchen I was not done with being resistant ... I put the muffins into the oven and looked at the book Leaving The Desert that I was really really enjoying and relating to and then I noted the sunny day outside calling me and then remembered that it was the 21st of May 2011, you know, the day that the world was supposed to end, so,  I abandoned my muffins in their 400 degree oven and went to my garden. I played in my garden and posed post-rapture photos of what was supposed to be me but only my empty clothes because the photo story is that I was raptured up and I was silly giddy with the idea of posting the photo on my husband's Facebook page and anyways... the muffins continued baking away whist I was playing .... so the oven did it's job and I did not do my job (being attentive to baking items in a 400 degree oven) and my muffins, on the 21st of May got a little overdone but they were excellent in texture and taste! Today's muffins will be Dandelion muffins and I shall not let them burn (I am going into the kitchen now to sit with them). Oops! I am supposed to be writing about Leaving The Desert not about Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins! I'll be back shortly.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Reading Adventure # 2, Leaving The Desert by Pauline Edward

     Next up on my must read book list of books just laying around my life waiting for my eyes is Leaving The Desert by Pauline Edward. I admit to feeling a little special here. I met Pauline via a Webinar class. Of course, in reality only our voices met first, and then we Skyped once :-) I freely admit this is one of those oh so ego moments where I can brag, "I know Pauline! We are connected on Facebook and AND Pauline did my numbers for me!" Numbers? Yes, Pauline is an excellent Numerologist, Astrologist, Life Coach, Speaker, and of course Author. Take a visit to her official web site by clicking her name -----> Pauline Edward.
     I bought this book because of my connection with Pauline and also because I am very familiar with the text A Course in Miracles which is described on the official ACIM site as; "This self-study metaphysical thought system is unique in teaching forgiveness as the road to inner peace and the remembrance of the unconditional love of God." I read ACIM the first time in 1989 and since then I have re-read ACIM 11 times. So, it is easy to see why I would be interested in Pauline's book Leaving The Desert in that she addresses her experiences and application of the principles taught within the pages of A Course in Miracles to everyday life. At least that is the drift I get from reading the back cover :-). Without further delay I am now jumping into this book with both hands, both eyeballs, and bringing my attention along and crossing my toes that this reading experience is more seductive than my last.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Loving What Is ... The Book vs Me


     Finally read the last word on the last page of Byron Katie's book, Loving What Is. It is not that big of a deal for me to take what feels like forever to read a book. I can say with certainty that when I find myself toting a book around for longer than two weeks it is because the book is more of a technical manual than a book. My experience with this book was the same experience I have with technical manuals. Is that a bad thing? No, not at all because technical reads are journeys into learning the mechanics of something so that we can understand "how to" best accomplish what the manual is giving instruction in.
     I picked up this book filled with excitement. Loving What Is held position number 1 on my list of must read books ... must read books I wrote about awhile back ... must read books that I own but never read. Anyone who lives with me or who knows me well knows I love reading and knows I have an extensive library. I nestled down with Loving What Is and without thinking I projected onto the author Ms Katie my enthusiastic hopes of discovering delicious words to pull me forward from cover to cover. I did not find delicious words. I was not pulled forward from cover to cover much less from page to page ... BUT ...  that does not mean this book should be avoided. In the end, when I turned the last page and read the last word I admit that I benefited immensely from putting effort into consuming Byron's words. I "got it". I did The Work which is a phrase used by Byron Katie to define what she does and what the book is about. I am now doing The Work and The Work is working in my life. 
     The Work is not new in its concept of self discovery. The Work is not new in facing reality and our responsibility for how we experience our lives. The Work is not new in pointing out that we create our sorrow by holding onto thoughts that cause us grief ... and we can let those thoughts go at any time. No, The Work is not new, but with this "technical manual" in hand one can master some very simple tools needed to face our thoughts and to gain control over our addiction to catering to and being too devoted to the story teller within us ... that can fib just a bit at times!

     Here is what I did not like about this book: Byron Katie's use of endearments really turned me off. Seriously turned me off.  I knew a person once in my life that used endearments all the time. This person's use of the words: sweetheart, sugar, honey, darling, baby cakes etc. always seemed so insincere and condescending to me. Each time I would hear this person refer to me as darling and so forth my skin would crawl and my teeth would ache from the sugar. This skin crawling reaction started happening while I attempted to read Loving What Is. In fact, for over a hundred pages I had my red pen in hand ready to cross out each endearment I came upon. I would scribble out the word, sweetheart in red then re-read the sentence without the sugary syrupy word. That is how I managed to get through the non-technical aspects of this book, a.k.a. the dialog. Ugh! My red pen was my only defense, my only weapon and red strike-outs worked well for me. It was not until Page 117 that I realized I was projecting an old story of mine into the words of Byron Katie.  With this big epiphany I started applying the tools presented in the book to Byron Katie's use of endearments. Although I had been doing The Work because it is required as one reads from chapter to chapter, I had not thought of using The Work on the book about The Work! Doing The Work allowed me to finally put my pen down and I no longer needed to scratch out in red all the sugar in the dialog. Proof to me that Byron's method of confronting our thoughts, and doing what she calls inquiry can be beneficial if we are willing. I let go and accepted that Byron uses endearments, that is "what is" and her way of talking is not my business and making her manner of speech my business was only causing me to suffer. So, I started out not liking Byron Katie's speech and my adverse reaction to her words created a rift between me and the pages of the book but now, I can read the book without rolling my eyes, without my skin crawling and without my teeth hurting from the word sweetheart. I am not letting rouge thoughts of mine create grief for me. When a thought arises that wants to whine about a person saying, "honey" or "sweetheart" I ask myself a question or two or three or four and shoo the thought or the entire story away and then life is just what it is.
     There were also some concepts that did not sit well with me but then that is true for a lot of books I read so that is no big tragedy. I am still mulling over these words of Byron Katie's: "I have never experienced a stressful feeling that was not caused by attaching to an untrue thought".  I am still undecided about her assertion that if I was hit or a victim when I was a child that I am responsible in some way either by complacency or active participation ..... hmmm, yeah, I am still digesting that one. Also she recommends we go to an enemy to ask them questions about ourselves because our enemy won’t try to not hurt our feelings and that enemy will be brutally honest with us, more honest than our friends who will say only good things. I am not sure if I can feel comfortable with this concept yet because in my experience I have a story inside that tells me that my enemy will take advantage and deliberately try to find ways to hurt me with their words and then I will have a compounded mess.

(google image)

     Here is just a small sample of what I did like : Ms Katie asserts that "every time we are hurt or bothered by what someone says or does we should look deep inside for the truth and why it hurts", now that is an idea that is worth exploring and putting into practice. I also believe as Ms. Byron discusses in her book that we need to be in the moment of now and not carry our past into the present nor be distracted by the future. Byron makes a point about myths and superstitions we tell ourselves and believe in by stating that "young or old, we believe concepts that through inquiry are seen to be nothing more than superstitions" ... can you argue with that? Well, okay, you can argue all you want but if you do The Work you will soon discover that a lot of our underlying beliefs are what make us feel so miserable when life does not go according to the fairytale we have scripted out for ourselves.  As I mentioned in the beginning of my blog there really is nothing new to self discovery within the pages of Byron Katie's book but what is new is that Ms Katie teaches the use of simple tools, four very basic questions and what she calls a "turn around" that facilitate our healing and acceptance of reality in the moment and of course Loving What Is.

     I would recommend this book for anyone who could use some lessons on how to give up or release or set free the thoughts that keep us pinned to suffering. I am giving this book to all my children but, BUT I am setting the stage for them and letting them know this book is not an adventure of juicy words that will keep them up late into the night reading. I will let them know from the moment I put this book into their hands that I am gifting them with a technical manual on how to love "what is" in life and how to be content within the present moment.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Loving What Is IS a Chore


     Yes I said I would be reading books from my list of must read books. I am reading or rather trying to read books that I have never cracked open or after reading a few lines put down due to distractions of life, or pure boredom with the book. I am trying, really I am. I carry with me,wherever I go, the first book on my list, Loving What Is by Byron Katie. I am reading this book but having difficulty with my interest level. I like her message of examining our thoughts and how to rid our musings of what is not healthy. I agree that we can chose to not waste our time thinking about stories that we create based on little fibs we tell ourselves. I don't have a problem with her self discovery and I don't have a problem with learning about what she learned on the floor of a half-way house she was living in. I am always eager to integrate into my own self examination processes new perspectives. I do have a problem with her use of endearments with her subjects/clients and I do have a problem reading miles and miles and miles of repetitive dialog. Well, maybe there are not miles of repetitive dialog but it sure feels like it!
     I will continue to honor my commitment to myself and I will continue to read this book. I will read and re-read because while reading I forget what I am reading because I have no interest. I cheated and flipped through the pages and discovered there are a few places in the book void of dialog sharing. I am hoping that those little oasis of words will bring me back to a more positive attitude about this book. I hope. I long for. I pray. I want. I desire. In the meantime, between my agonizing moments of making myself read this book I will liven up my life with exciting moments of creativity!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reading Adventure # 1 ... Loving What Is ~ a book by Byron Katie

Loving What Is by Byron Katie is book number 1 of 13 on my first list of  must read  books. As mentioned in my previous blog, my list of must read is comprised of books that I own but have yet to read.  Yes, I have books collecting dust and books growing old with unturned pages. I did begin reading Byron Katie's book when I first received it as a gift from a fantastic life coach ... oh okay ... my life coach and her name is Laura McReynolds and she's amazing.
I put Ms. Katie's book down, on top of my nightstand only to be distracted by another book that I just had to have and well, soon Loving What Is became the fourth book down in a pile of what I call good intention. I must eat a few words from my earlier blog ... I had stated that I bought all the books I own but in truth I  receive many books as gifts from those who know how much I love books. Not everyone knows what books I have or don't have and subsequently my husband and mother-in-love have gifted me with four copies of   The Celestine Prophecy; need a copy?

Back to Byron Katie's book, Loving What Is. I intended to begin reading the books on my list starting on the 9th of March only to fail. I failed first due to personal reasons and then on the 11th of March our world was shook up through the tragedy that fell upon Japan. I became glued to the news like a tick on a country dog. One day melted into the next with  current news always trumping the news from the day before. I became a victim by opening myself to the chaos of the world ... I could not not watch the news! I eventually realized I was beyond extremely upset, and overly emotional. I was a wreck. I was suffering from the after effects of a 9.0 earthquake with a devastating life changing tsunami and a war in Libya. Ugh! Today, my heart cannot absorb anymore commentary about people dying. I don't want to hear over and over and over the same story about nuclear reactive fallout. I am unhinged over political agendas that keep changing quicker than the direction of the winds. Now is a good time to back away from the news and put my nose in a book; seriously. But, before the earth shook and before the ocean breached her shoreline  and before the NFZ I did put Ms. Katie's book in my purse with good intention of reading. Intention of reading a lot more than I did. With Loving What Is in my purse I can steal a word, a sentence, a paragraph here and there. I would read and do read when I have a few extra moments between running errands and being a taxi cab for family members. On each page I read I make notes to not only help me absorb the information being shared but notes to jog my memory when retelling of my adventure between the pages of Loving What Is. As of today, 22nd of March, I am proud to report I have managed to make it through the introduction. At the same time that I am proud of my literary accomplishment I am also acutely aware of how much time I have wasted because of distraction and fear.  Today I also announced to my family I am on vacation from the news ... not that I don't have compassion and empathy for the suffering of my global sisters and brothers because I do. In truth I am disconnecting from the news of the outside world because I have to, I need to, I want to. I am taking a hiatus from being worldly informed because I  feel so much. I am a wreck emotionally, mentally and physically. I need to nourish my heart and soul and give myself time to soften. I need to relax, to not get carried away emotionally tangled up in  news stories I read about and supposed news stories I hear coming from the mouths of talking heads. I need to live my life and not neglect my spirit in this present moment of the here and now of where I live.

As I write this evening I am thinking, "why have I not attended to what makes me happy for so long?" I don't have an answer. What I have, in this moment is the awareness of the beautiful feeling that comes from doing what makes me happy. Reading a book makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. Working with my gourds and giving expression to my creativity makes me happy. So, in order for me to get back to Loving What Is I will close for tonight with a  quote I discovered on page vii of the introduction.

"The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is." ~ Baruch Spinoza

                                    (Image of Baruch Spinoza compliments of Google Images)

I believe in synchronicity and the fact that I am reading this particular book at this particular time for me, is one of those events. Or so I think ...


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Book List Number One, Day One ... Nightstand Collection

   As I considered the wonderful task of reading all my unread treasures I was overwhelmed with just where to begin. Do I start making my list by going through all my bookcases, or going through the books all neatly lined up on the floor in my office or? My head was just numb with too much thinking and not enough doing. I took the thought of making a list and parked it in the back of my mind and crawled into bed. That is where the proverbial light bulb went off. I reached towards my nightstand and there before me was my answer. I decided to start where the biggest display of good intentions of reading could be seen. I am starting my list of “must read books” comprised from the books on my nightstand and in my nightstand and under my nightstand. I found a tablet, grabbed a gel pen (my favorite writing tool) and thought I was going to jot down just a few books and get all motivated and then in the morning I could go on to a bookcase. I am shocked. I am truly surprised by how many books I put on my list just from the small area next to my bed. After making the list of books that I found in and on and under my nightstand I realized I have a list that will take me at least a month or more to complete.  I re-discovered 13 books! Holy Crap! This is going to be a bigger adventure than I originally thought. This particular blog may go on well into my elder years of my 70's and beyond!

Book List Number One.Nightstand Collection of books to be read:














 I am looking forward to reading these 13 books. I bought them because I want to read them and now by going public I have made a commitment beyond my own private world where I can be lazy and pile up all my good intentions like my unread books. Tomorrow I will begin in earnest, at the top of my list. I will have a reading affair with Byron Katie and share my adventure.
(I always sign off with hugs because a hug brings us together heart to heart with one another. Think about it the next time you hug another soul ... you are heart to heart and that is a beautiful action of trust and sharing of ones self)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Complex Cognitive Process of Decoding Symbols A.K.A. Reading

Complex Cognitive Process of Decoding Symbols
A.K.A. Reading

            I love books. I especially love my books. I love books so much that through the years I have amassed an extensive personal home library. My library fills two bookcases in my bedroom, two bookcases in my office, a huge bookcase in a spare bedroom and two very tall bookcases in the basement. My books overflow onto the floor where they are neatly lined up all along the walls of my office then across to the open shelves where books are two to three deep and two high. I have books under my bed, in my nightstand, under my dresser, in my car and in my clothes closet. Many of my books provided me with hours of escape into their pages and many of my books have yet to be explored … I have a lot of books I have not read … yet.
            Each time I buy a book it is with good intention of consuming the words within it and absorbing knowledge or receiving affirmations of my own beliefs or escaping into someone else’s world.  I buy books that are recommended to me. I buy books that look interesting. I buy books that are required for my continuing education course work. I buy books because a friend or a friend of a friend is the author. And, I can say I buy books because the act of buying a book brings me joy. I feel good when I receive a new book in the mail. I get excited when I am standing in a bookstore looking around at all the possibilities waiting for me. I buy books because it is one of my ways of feeling good in a world that at times does not feel so good. The written word conveys stories that otherwise would be lost and the written word transmits through symbols knowledge that I otherwise would not receive. It would be an under statement to suggest that I love to read, I love to read and re-read my books.  Books are just plain cool. 
            As I dusted my books in preparation for a gathering at our home I became overwhelmed with awareness of books I have yet to explore. As I carefully dusted the bindings and top edges of my books pages I thought about the definition of the word reading. I never looked up the meaning of the word read before because I know how to read! But, if I were to tell someone what reading was I found that I fell short in how to describe this beautiful gift we can be taught to possess.
So, I went straight to my favorite source. Using my computer I pulled up Wikipedia and typed in reading; this is what I discovered.


'Reading' is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols for the intention of constructing or deriving meaning (reading comprehension). It is the mastery of basic cognitive processes to the point where they are automatic so that attention is freed for the analysis of meaning.
Reading is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Like all language, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practices, development, and refinement.
Readers use a variety of reading strategies to assist with decoding (to translate symbols into sounds or visual representations of speech) and comprehension. Readers may use morpheme, semantics, syntax and context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words. Readers integrate the words they have read into their existing framework of knowledge or schema (schemata theory).
Other types of reading are not speech based writing systems, such as music notation or pictograms. The common link is the interpretation of symbols to extract the meaning from the visual notations.(1)

                  Well, now I can say I not only know how to read English I now truly know the meaning of the word read. And reading revealed this beautiful piece of information to me. I am in awe. Now, back to my books. As I stated I own many books that I have not even cracked open yet. I feel like I need to be on one of those crazy reality shows and my show could be all about buying books with intentions of reading them but never doing so. I have unread books because I let life and all its dramas distract me. I have let apathy replace my passion and I am so done with apathy that I am striking out that word apathy in my personal vocabulary. I decided to challenge myself. I resolved to put some fuel on my reading embers. I am choosing to fan my flames of desire and love of reading. I am making a list of every book I own that I have not read and I will blog about this adventure of mine. My book list will have no special priority or agenda. I am going to start in my bedroom and then work my way through my house (and car!) and list every title of every book I own that is in waiting. I will blog about each book I read and share with everyone my thoughts and my excitement of accomplishing what I have wanted to do for so long. Most of my books are about spirituality and there are some books that I know I bought years ago but have forgotten so I really don’t know in this moment what titles are going to be on my list. I am excited.
            Maybe, if you follow this blog you will catch the bug of inspiration and tackle something you have a passion for but have let life and its adventures distract you from doing what you love. That’s my story and I am changing it.

I also discovered that books can be more than a conveyor or thoughts. Books can be turned into works of art. 

Treat yourself and follow this link:

1I often use Wikipedia to look up information. I find the experience very enjoyable and much preferred to on-line dictionaries that are laden with ads.  Here is the link to the Wiki page I quoted from.