Reminder: Enter the Contest, Two Must Have/Must Reads & Mini-Meditations

I am reading another inspiring book by the author of the book that changed my life by putting me in touch with my life's purpose:  Life's Companion: Journal Writing As A Spiritual Quest.  I can't recommend this book highly enough to anyone who wants to enter the adventure of self-discovery and spiritual insights that is journal writing as Christina Baldwin outlines it.  She learned what her life's purpose was as she wrote this book, and I felt we shared an epiphany.

If you don't journal, start with the exercises in this book.  They are not stupid, silly, superficial or time-wasters like so many journaling prompts you will find on the Internet and in books.  You will get to revelations that normally take years with a spiritual counselor or therapist, and I've compared both.

The more recent book of hers that I am currently reading is Seven Whispers.  (This extraordinary book can be had used for $2.69 today, and Life's Companion for $5. something.)

It's an illuminating book I'm sure.  The subtitle is "A Spiritual Practice for Times Like These."

It really is for times like these too.  I have a problem meditating because of my ADD and distractible monkey mind.  I started the day off badly by skipping over morning journaling for the most part, giving a big "Later" to prayer and meditation and going right to the computer.

My hacker, Dave,  was ready for me and stopped pretty much every action I tried to initiate until I felt like I might  tear my hair out at the very least.  I wanted the peace of mind I normally enjoy in the morning.   I picked up this book remembering an exercise that I had found peace from before.

Since it's not a murder mystery I'll go ahead and tell you what the seven whispers are.   She calls them "seven directions" that came into her mind over a period of months.  She writes, "They are short, memorable phrases that can be recited as prayer and remembered in moments of need.  I think of them as whispers of spiritual connection."

Because Christina Baldwin has already proven herself to me as someone intuitive, spiritually advanced, always growing and intellectually as well as emotionally brilliant, I trust that there will be much wisdom to come in the seven whispers.  They are listed as:

Maintain peace of mind.
Move at the pace of guidance.
Practice certainty of purpose.
Surrender to surprise.
Ask for what you need and offer what you can.
Love the folks in front of you.
Return to the world.

I am anxious to see what is revealed about each.  I am only up to the second one.  Back to my new mini-meditation for "times like these."   I was all jingled-jangled with frayed nerves after hassling for several hours with Dave,  and then I remembered something that helped me in this book.  She wrote about the simple teaching of the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh.   Here it is, my new borrowed idea of a mini-meditation for those who can't sit still and don't focus too well:

Take one breath to let go, one breath to be here,  and one breath to ask now what?

I really did feel myself letting go, being present and ready to ask now what without reservation.  Try it and let me know how it works for you.  Do it now.  You can do it wherever you are. 

The post I wrote about this blog's first contest in was so long I expect no one will ever read it.  I will make that a New Year's resolution:  To write blog posts that are shorter.  I will really work on this, but it may take some getting used to for me.  Let me know when they're still too long.

Let me recap the contest for those who couldn't wade through all that verbiage.

It's a contest about giving up being cool for the sake of becoming authentic as many of us have done.  It is a welcome relief to no longer feel obliged to keep up with the latest music, styles and trends in favor of that old time religion of comfort, genuineness, things that last and have lasting meaning, friendships that go deep and are lasting,  not being ashamed to enjoy the square things in life that we used to be too hip to be seen doing like playing Bingo, rink roller skating, and going dumpster diving for goods like books, clothes and household stuff (I'm working my way up to food).  Maybe that last part is a bit too real for some of you, but I bet you do things too like go to Swamp-A-Rama on Sunday mornings and I hope it's not to pick up eight-tracks or Monkey posters, but, hey, if it is, we want your submission in this contest.  

My brother-in-law who has always had the latest and best music as long as I've known him (45 years) recently confessed that he recently stopped  listening to music because he wasn't getting as much out of it as before.  Reminded me of how pot gave me up by making me paranoid long before I gave it up because I was in a recovery program for alcohol and drugs.  You get older and things change.  I don't wear makeup anymore.  I'm not out to impress anyone and Lord knows I'm not into flirting with another old fart my same age.  It would seem like some sort of weird incest I think.  You  know who you are and you know who that other person is.  There's no mystery, no allure.  How can there be romance. Okay, sisters, start writing me your comments.  My e-mail address is posted on the top of this blog.

Send in a page or two about how that change took place--gradually, radically; how it affected the significant others in your life; what new interests and hobbies came with it; do old friends believe it's still you in there building model airplanes on a Saturday night?  Give plenty of  specific examples of how you have or haven't changed.  If you are a legitimately born and bred cool dude (that's both sexes) like Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, Lou Reed,  Patti Smith, Cyndi Lauper or the like then tell us about how that is today,  and you might still win a prize.  If you want to know what the prizes are go back and look at that blog issue please so this post will remain short on logorrhea as promised.


Anonymous said...

Outstanding challenge! We've long been seeking topics exactly as intriguing as these. Awaiting your next publish.

MsRefusenik said...

Can always count on you, Anonymous. Now where is your entry? If you were really authentic you'd use your name. Let's have it on your submission.