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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_%28process%29