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.

     

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Wonderful Guidebook for Empaths

     Have you ever found a book that you wished you had read years ago?  A book that would have saved you a great deal of grief, overwhelm, and confusion?  A book that would have given you wise advice and important life strategies?  Well, I found just that book.

     It is The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, written by the psychotherapist and empath Judith Orloff.  If you are a highly sensitive person, or even an empath, this book is for you.  Let me say that more forcefully -- YOU NEED TO GET THIS BOOK.

     Far from airy-fairy, Orloff understands completely what it is to be a sensitive person or empath in the modern world.  She sprinkles various checklists throughout the book for the reader to measure where they are on the empath spectrum, whether the reader is a physical or emotional empath, coping mechanisms of the empath (including addictive behaviors), how much of an empath the reader is regarding food or relationships, whether the reader's child is an empath, and what kind of intuitive the reader is.  I found that very insightful.

     Dear Empath, if you want to do more than just cope through the day, get this book.  You won't regret it.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Couple More Quotes

     More thought-worthy quotations:
Real change never takes place from the top on down.  It always takes place from the bottom on up.  It takes place when ordinary people, by the millions, are prepared to stand up and fight for justice.  That's what the history of the trade-union movement is about.  That's what the history of the women's movement is about.  That's what the history of the civil-rights movement is about.  That's what the history of the gay-rights movement is about.  That's what the history of the environmental movement is about.  That's what any serious movement for justice is about.  (Bernie Sanders)
And:
In the final analysis, a democratic government represents the sum total of the courage and the integrity of its individuals.  It cannot be better than they are.  (Eleanor Roosevelt)

 (photo courtesy of pixabay.com) 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Couple of Quotes for Today

     Your pondering-material for today:
Principles invite us to do something about the morass of contradictions in which we function morally.  Principles invite us to clean up our act, to become intolerant of moral laxity and compromise and cowardice and the turning away from what is upsetting: that secret gnawing of the heart that tells us that what we are doing is not right.  (Susan Sontag)
And:
We must dissent from the fear, the hatred, and the mistrust.  We must dissent from a nation that buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away.  We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education, or hope.  We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership.  We must dissent, because American can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.  (Thurgood Marshall)
(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

May your joys be deep as the oceans,
Your troubles as light as its foam
And may you find  sweet peace of mind
Wherever you roam.


(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Terrific Book, as an Overview, Part 2

     Last week I mentioned enjoying Eva Wong's Taoism: An Essential Guide.  I did find one section in the book very enlightening, even moving, because it gave the background to a ceremonial practice. Let me explain.

     On a Taoist altar in certain sects, there are six rows of items.  In the back is the icon of the deity, with a sacred lamp directly in front of that.  In front of the lamp are two candles; the one on the right representing the moon, and the one of the left representing the sun.  In front of those are three cups:  the center one holding uncooked rice, the one of the left holding water, and the one on the right contains tea.  In front of these are five plates of fruit of the following colors:  black, white, yellow, red and green, going from left to right.  Finally, in the very front is an incense burner.

     And here's what I didn't know: each thing has symbolic meaning.  The sacred lamp is the light of wisdom, the original spirit.  The two candles represent both the sun and moon in nature as well as the two eyes of the human body.  The three cups, one each of rice, water and tea, have correlations in the male/female duality.  Tea represents yin, or female energy, water represents yang, or male energy.  The rice symbolizes the union of these two energies.  (Is there a Twin Soul link here?)  The five plates of fruit correlate to the five elements in Chinese cosmology:  wood (green), fire (red), earth (yellow), metal (white), and water (black).  And in the very front, the incense burner represents the fire of refinement and purification.

     So this arrangement demonstrates in material form the essential teachings of Taoism.  Progressing backwards from the incense burner, one must undergo the fire of refinement, which then nourishes  the five elements in the body (the five plates of fruit); next, the male and female energies "copulate," that is, become one, a balanced, complete whole (the plate of rice).  This wholeness will shine in the eyes as a golden light (the sun and moon candles), and finally the individual unites with the original spirit (the sacred lamp).  Cool stuff.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Terrific Book, as an Overview

     I recently finished reading Taoism: An Essential Guideby Eva Wong, which is a terrific overview of Taoism.  I appreciated the fact that the author tried to explain all the various branches of Taoism, to cover their core tenets, and to give some essential philosophy or practices.  I especially liked how at the end of each chapter she offered additional resources if you were interested in researching that area in greater detail.

     After giving a history of Taoism, with its roots in shamanic practices in China, Wong then covers the various systems of Taoism.  Included in this section are chapters on magical Taoism, divinational Taoism, ceremonial Taoism, internal-alchemical Taoism, and action and karma Taoism.  Really interesting stuff!  Lastly, she presents an overview of some Taoist practices, such as some meditation techniques, how Taoists cultivate and strengthen the body, and certain rites and ceremonies.

     I read one reader's review, a complaint really, that the book doesn't go into enough detail.  I think the author did a fine job of presenting the essences of each practice.  If she had gone into a lot of detail, I don't think I could have lifted the resulted book!  For an overview, this book works well.  Recommended.