Saturday, May 26, 2018

A Pretty Good Book, Part 2

     Here is a delicious quote from Dan Brown's latest book, Origin: A Novel.  This is from the character of the king of Spain, speaking to his son:
'Most importantly,' he said, 'this museum must celebrate the other lesson history has taught us -- that tyranny and oppression are no match for compassion . . . that the fanatical shouts of the bullies of the world are invariably silenced by the unified voices of decency that rise up to meet them.  It is these voices - these choirs of empathy, tolerance, and compassion -- that I pray one day will sing from this mountaintop.' 
     Amen to that.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Pretty Good Book

     I recently finished reading Dan Brown's latest thriller, Origin: A Novel.  It finds expert symbolist and Harvard professor Robert Langdon enmeshed in another mystery, in this case, solving the murder of his friend, tech wunderkind Edmond Kirsch.  Kirsch was brutally killed while presenting to the world his latest finding on the topic:  Where do we come from?  Where are we going?  While being chased by mysterious forces, Langdon must avoid being killed himself while trying to reveal Kirsch's discoveries.

     It's a very good book, but not his best, I think. While he has perfected the art of creating tension and pulling you on to the next page or next chapter, I found myself thinking, This feels like The Da Vinci Code.  Offshoot Catholic sect?  Check.  Unknown bad guy pulling the strings in nefarious ways?  Check.  Wondering how on Earth the protagonists do all they do while seriously injured or without going to the bathroom?  Check.

     I also have a beef with one of the chief theses of the book -- that technology is our ultimate destiny and savior.  It would have been nice if there had been more discussion or reflection on that.  But, I tend to be a bit of a techno-avoider, so perhaps that's my bias.  I also believe that there are forces in this world that cannot be explained by a linear world-view, so that runs contrary to Brown's thesis.  Be that as it may.

     If you want a good, escapist read that features some of the best sites in Spain, grab this book.  You may find yourself arguing with the ending, but that might be a good thing.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Thought For Today

From Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States:
No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country . . . and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level -- I mean the wages of decent living.
(photo courtesy of

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Thought For Today

From A. A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh:
The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.  The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.  The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
(photo courtesy of

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Wonderful Guidebook for Empaths, Part 4

     OK, OK, I know I've been gushing perhaps too much, but I can't overemphasize the importance of Dr. Judith Orloff's book, The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.  Here are some quotes to show you why I think it is so vital to us empaths and sensitive people:
   We are in the midst of an evolution of human consciousness, and empaths are the path forgers.  A sacred responsibility comes with our sensitivities, which demand more of us than simply retreating into isolation.  It's vital we learn how to avoid feeling overwhelmed so that we can fully shine our power in the world.  Empaths and all sensitive people are pioneers on the forefront of a new way of being for humankind.
   You are part of Generation S, for Sensitivity -- those who salute compassion and loving-kindness.  You represent a vital opening for humanity to grow into more heart-centered and intuitive awareness.  You can model for others how to be sensitive and powerful.
   I love when the environmentalist David Orr says, "The planet does not need more 'successful people.'  The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds.  It needs people to live well in their places.  It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane, and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture defines it."
   Empaths are pivotal to manifesting this shift.  Sensitivity is the path to nonviolence.  We can be the healers and restorers and seers and lovers if we keep our sensitivities open and stay centered in our power.  We don't have to be afraid of who we are.  My advice to you is to do good and be good -- the rest will follow.  A commitment to this goal is critical because there is a quickening in the world now, a speeding up of time that mystics say will bring a reckoning of the light versus the dark on our planet.  We need to take a loving stand.  The more empowered you become, the more you can embody the change that the world needs.
Amen, and amen.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Wonderful Guidebook for Empaths, Part 3

    I'm still gushing about Dr. Judith Orloff's terrific and useful (even lifesaving!) book, The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.  How much grief I would have been saved if I had known about how to deal with energy vampires.  Here's how to know if you've run into one:
  • You feel suddenly tired
  • You are suddenly in a terrible mood
  • You feel sick
  • You don't feel seen or heard
  • You reach for sugar or carbs to cope
  • You start to self-doubt or criticize yourself
  • You feel suddenly anxious, angry, or negative
  • You feel shamed, controlled, or judged
     Dr. Orloff then discusses the seven types of energy vampires and how to handle each one.  She talks about the Narcissist, the Rageaholic, the Victim, the Drama Queen/King, Control Freaks and Critics, the Nonstop Talker, and Passive-Aggressive People.  I can point to past bosses who fit into at least one of those categories.  If only I'd known how to handle them!  Well, save yourself some of the grief I've experienced and buy this book.  Yes, right now.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Wonderful Guidebook for Empaths, Part 2

     Last week I was raving about the terrific book by Dr. Judith Orloff, The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People.  What a find!  I only wish I had read it years ago (but that would have necessitated time travel, since it was just published last year).

     What I found most helpful is the list of  strategies to combat toxic energy (and if you're an empath, you know exactly what I'm talking about).  Here are a few of the suggestions I found most useful:
  • Ask yourself, "Is this symptom or emotion mine or someone else's?"
  • Step away from what's disturbing you
  • Limit physical contact
  • Set limits and boundaries
  • Plan alone time to regroup
  • Spend time in nature
  • Get plenty of sleep and take power naps
  • Be fully present in your body
     If I had known how to practice those strategies years ago, I would have saved myself days of emotional overwhelm, physical symptoms such as sudden headaches or body aches, and so on.  Do you experience those issues, too?  If so, get this book.