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This book has been on my list for quite some time.  I guess I am finishing up this year and this blog with the wonderment of a child!  I kinda like it!

This is the 3rd book of Wayne Dyer’s that I am blogging about, and I have YET to read one he wrote for adults!  Too funny!

Who wouldn’t want their child to feel unstoppable..like the sky’s the limit?  This book gives “10 ways to soar through life”.  I love the rhyming and the rhythm in this book.  The pictures are beautiful and bright.  It’s just a fun book to read.  And at the end of this book are little discussion questions to ask your child (or maybe even for YOU) to think about.

One of my favorite quotes in this book is “Take a breath and slow it down a hair; it’s not just the goal that brings you joy–it’s the path you take to get there.”  It reminded me of this journey and this blog.  I had no idea what the journey would be like, but I did have a very specific goal: 52 books in 52 weeks.  Of course, I assumed, they would be grown up books with grown up messages.  In my intellectual mind, I figured they would be deep and profound and oh so very serious!  And yet, here I am finishing this journey with 4 children’s books all with very deep and profound messages, but with a FUN flair!  If there’s one thing I have learned this year it has been to let go and in joy NOW!

So what are the 10 ways to soar through life?????  I guess I will share that secret with you, but you really should pick up the book and read it for yourself….since I won’t be sharing with you all the fun stuff that comes along with it!

1) You’re Great–No Matter What!

2) Persistence Pays Off!

3) Welcome the Unknown

4) You Have a Choice

5) Farewell to Worry

6) Peace Begins with You

7) Enjoy the Here-and-Now

8 ) Healthy Me!

9) Creativity is the Key!

10) What can you Give?

There you have it..now rush out to the store and pick up your own personal copy and give yourself a warm hug and smile!

Little book….Powerful read!

At the very beginning of the year, one of my friends asked a question on Facebook about the books people were reading.  One of his friends said she had read this book and it was awesome.  So I immediately put it on my list.  I had no idea what it was about, and when I went to go look for it in the book store, I found it in the business section.  Another business book?  Okay….I’ll bite!

The Go-Giver is not your ordinary dried up business how-to book.  To me, it was more like reading Dan Millman’s “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”, but for business.  You get to follow Joe on his search for success where he winds up with this teacher who, over a weeks time, introduces Joe to different people who share with him The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.  It was such a fun book to read!  As a matter of fact, it was so awesome, that I bought it for christmas presents for several people!  I just had to share this gem!

There were a couple of times in this book where I found myself crying from pure happiness.  I found what I have always believed right here between two covers of a book!  I have always been passionate about customer service, and that is what this book is all about.  But it’s so much more than that!  What you learn in this book reaches far beyond business; you can apply these lessons to your personal relationships!  It has certainly given me a refresher on my enthusiasm for service..especially since I have a new job as a cashier in the busiest lodge on Bogus Basin.

During our orientation for Bogus they talked about how we must anticipate our guests needs and smile and give them the best service.  Of course, I took that to heart.  I always do…remember, I’m passionate about customer service.  But this book took it even further.  Even though I’m “just a cashier” and taking money for things the guests have already decided they want, what more do I have to “sell” them?  Well, it’s my job to sell them on the best Bogus experience they can have…..whether its smiling from my register, making sure the dining room is clean, helping a mom with a screaming child, or just greeting them as they walk in.  It’s my job to provide them with the best and friendliest experience possible.  Will I ever see a monetary return for that?  Probably not.  I get paid what I get paid.  Sometimes someone will leave me their “change” for a tip.  Sometimes someone will actually give me a tip..just for ringing up their food.  But all in all, we don’t get /take tips and I don’t get commission.  So where is the incentive?  The incentive is in seeing their smiles and in knowing that I had some part in their fun time at Bogus.  I love that stuff!  And that is exactly what this book is about!

I also found some encouragement in this book…..to reach for my dreams and my goals.  If I follow these steps (just doing what I already do), then taking the steps to reach my goals and my dreams should be easy..or at least a bit easier. *laugh*  I feel like I am in the right place..both physically and intellectually.  I couldn’t have read this book at the beginning of the year and gotten as much out of it as I did now…everything happens perfectly.  Wow…this whole 52 in 52 journey has been mind-blowing and perfect!  This is no different!

As far as I am concerned, this book is so easy and enjoyable to read, it is a MUST READ for everyone high school age and up!!!!  Doesn’t make a difference if you are in sells, marketing, customer service, or a stay at home  mom….pick up the book and read it!!!!  You will get so much out of it!

I bought this book when it first came out (some time at the beginning of the year).  A group of my Facebook friends were going to take the class that was offered via Oprah I believe, and I was going to do it with them.  Ya.  I bought the book, but I never made it to the classes, and I didn’t read the book until now.  And as with everything else in life, there is a timing for everything and I truly believe I needed to have a few more experiences before reading the book.  It is perfect for right now!  Exactly what I need at the exactly the right time.

This book intrigued me.  As a trained storyteller, I learned a great deal about “the shadow” as it pertains to archetypes in storytelling and how to use storytelling in healing the psyche.  This book seemed like a natural fit into my life and what I have already learned; it seemed like it would be a natural extension.

C.G. Jung tells us that our shadow is the person we would rather not be.  Marianne Williamson says, “We feel if we take a deep look at ourselves, we’ll be too exposed.   We don’t want to look at our own shadow, because we’re afraid of what we might see.  But the only thing we should actually fear is not looking at it, for our denial of the shadow is exactly what fuels it.”

Debbie Ford asks the reader, “Are you ready to embark on this journey of reclaiming all of yourself, the light and the dark, your good self and your evil twin?  Are you ready to return to the love of your true, total, authentic self rather than stay trapped in the judgmental angst of a disjointed human ego?”  If so, “Your job is to learn from the shadow, to integrate it, and allow it to evolved your thinking and expand the boundaries of your self-created persona.  Your challenge is to find its value and to bring the light of forgiveness and compassion so that you can defuse its ability to dismantle your life.  Your job is to bring its complex characters out from the shadow, and to use their power and potency as sacred fuel to become who you were meant to be in this lifetime.”

Wow!  That is a pretty big challenge.  There is a reason it is called “the shadow”.  It can be a bit scary to take an honest look at what we are feeling and why.  Isn’t it easier to sit in judgment and blame someone else than to take 100% responsibility for our own thoughts and actions?  Ya, I think so too!  But I have realized in recent days,  months, years that I need to take 100% accountability for everything that happened or continues to happen in my life.   Whether it’s the abuse I endured as a child, the issues in  my marriage, or what I perceive to be happening within the roller derby league I was practicing with.  This book reiterates what I already believe and that is that “thoughts are things” and we create our own world based on our thoughts.  When I think, “Well they don’t like me and are ignoring me and leaving me out because they don’t like  me” then it sets that “wish” into motion and sure enough I get more of what I perceived to be true.  This just shows  me that I am feeling separate from others….separate from my self…separate from God/Love.  Where there is separation, there is fear.  Where there is fear, there is the shadow.  Where there is shadow, there is dis-ease, pain, sadness.

There are so many great thoughts in this book that really helped me look at things in different ways.  If you are struggling with addictions of any kind, fear of any kind, lack of success…if you feel as though something is holding you back, then pick up this book and give it a good read.  At the end of the book there is a test to see how the Shadow Effect is playing out in your life.  I am happy to say that the shadow is not controlling me completely, and yet there is room for growth :).  My eyes are opened now, and that is a good thing.

I will close this entry with this last statement from Marianne Williamson:

“Ultimately, the healing of the world will emerge not from our changing and correcting others, but from our willingness to change and correct ourselves.  Since all minds are joined, our ability to self-correct has a corrective influence on the entire universe.”

Blessings!

Poetry……beautiful words, an out pouring of the soul!  Gary Bell has done just that with his very first poetry book!

This is a very short quick little read,but don’t mistake “quick” or “short” for unimportant or inconsequential!  Words of heart-break, love, finding oneself….all of these very profound!

After reading 3 books of poetry in the last couple of weeks, I have realized that I really need to get back into my own poetry writing.  It is so good for the soul!  I have also realized that *I* can get my books published and follow my dreams just like Gary and some of the other writers whose words I have read.  Gary is courageous for sharing his soul with the public, and I am so honored to call him friend!

I think I might have read this when I was a kid, but I get confused.  Was it this book or To Kill A Mockingbird that I actually read.  I know I was supposed to read both of these books, but I was not a reader when I was a kid and Cliff’s notes are the only way I made it through English!  I will admit to not reading very many of “the classics” and I have always wanted to read many of them (not all..but many).  This was the perfect opportunity.

This book was originally published in 1930 and in the 90’s was the 2nd most frequently banned book!   I am always shocked when I hear a book has been banned, and in the 1990’s.  Really?  I am constantly reminded of just how Right Wing our country can be, and I shake my head.  This piece of literature that was written back in the 1930’s shows a very real picture of what our society was like back then.  Our country needs to remember this!  It needs a good dose of reality, especially in these times when kids are killing themselves because they are being bullied for being Gay…when same sex marriages are being banned…when the homeless rates are so high.  We need a very good reminder of where we have come from……and take a good look at where we are now!  Sometimes, it’s not so very different.  Yet, people want to ban books like this.  For what?  Because it uses the “N” word?  Now I have never used the “N” word, and I won’t (even for the sake of this blog), but it is a very real part of our history (and in some places still very much a part of our present!)  We can’t hide from hit, nor should we!  The “N” word is just as bad as the “F” word (Fag), yet people don’t see it as such.  Same sex rights are just as important NOW as the civil rights for African Americans was back then…and still is today!   And yes there are other “bad” words in this book, like the word “bastard”.  And it talks about a man with intellectual challenges in a not so politically correct way, but back then, that is the way they talked about them (especially in the poorer/lower-income classes).  This is a vital part of our history!   Seriously, folks, we need to step back and remember and then take a very good look at where we are today!  What people want to ban in this book is still happening today.  Are we banning the books to hopefully forget?  Then what?  Are we going to turn our heads to the injustices of today?

Wow.  Okay, I am supposed to be writing about the book, not its banning!  *laugh*  Let’s stay focused here!

This was a very quick read.   A little over 100 pages.  I read it on a road trip.  It’s the perfect size book for that. It fits easily into a back pack and keeps you occupied for a while and it’s completed before you get home!  It is also one I am recommending to my teenage son who is not a reader.  As a matter of fact, he just completely read a book for the first time in years!!!!  Finding books to capture his attention and make him feel like its worth while is very difficult.  I believe this book is perfect for the teenager who doesn’t like to read.  It’s short enough to read quickly and feel accomplished, and the story line is interesting enough to keep their attention.  Perfect!  Besides, it’s a classic!!!!!

I love Steinbeck’s use of words and his talent for creating just the right picture in the reader’s mind!  He is very detailed in his descriptions and I loved it!  Because the book was written in the 1930’s the language is quite different from the way authors write today, which makes this even more fun to read!  (Though it might be a bit difficult for teenagers to get the grasp of at first.)

The story itself really made me do some thinking.  Like I said before, there are some definite race/social issues in this book and it will make you think deeply about what you believe from right or wrong.  What do you believe in?  How should people be treated?  Does the punishment fit the crime?  Could things have been handled differently?  I don’t know.  Living in 2010, I think things would be handed quite differently, but back then….I don’t know.  It makes me a bit sad.  But then there are other parts of this story where I see things haven’t changed much in the last 80 years, and it’s a bit frustrating.

There is also a “dream” built into this storyline… a dream of a better place.  Better social standing.  Better living quarters/space.  Better way of living period.  How many of us have those dreams?  How many of us JUST dream and don’t follow through it with?  And how could our lives be different if we actually made the steps to make our life better?  What will happen in our future if we DON’T work to make things better?  These are things we should seriously consider.  What mark are we making on the future, on the lives of our children?

This is a great thought provoking book.  If you haven’t read it yet, check it out!  You won’t be disappointed.

I don’t know about you, but my heart broke the day Patrick Swayze died.  There were all kinds of “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” posts from my friends on Facebook.  I don’t think there is a woman in her 40’s who doesn’t know who this man is or didn’t have a crush on him!  But I found out so much more about him while reading this book; he was so much more than eye candy!  His book was deeply profound, and even though I have had it sitting on my “to read” pile for months, I have found that I am reading it at the PERFECT time!

Not sure if you (my dear reader) know that I am “Fresh Meat” for the Treasure Valley Rollergirls.  This basically means I am in training trying to get my skills up in order to draft onto a team to play in the arena against other teams from around the nation.   I was suppose to be drafting this weekend, but I injured my knee and I am on “restricted skating” duty per doctor’s orders.  I have been heartbroken for the last week.  In the last 3 days, I have read 3 books and ALL of them had something to do with my dreams……and following them.  And Patrick’s book hit home as he spoke in great detail about the MANY times he has injured his knee and how it has affected his Football dream, his Olympic gymnastic dreams, and his dream to become a principal ballet dancer!  Wow…I’m right there with  him!!!!  I had no idea about his knee issues…until now!

Ever since Patrick was in The Outsiders, I had a bit of a crush on him…let’s face it…he was a hottie!  But I had no idea  just how deep he was or what he thought on a personal level.  (Why would I?  It’s not like I knew him!)  Yet early on in this book, I got a very strong sense of who he was….”….growing up with a father who was both strong and sensitive made a huge impression on me.  It made me realize that having a gentle side didn’t  make you less of a man.  In fact, it made you a better one.”  AMEN!!!!!!!!!

He also learned early on that you can conquer fear by making it work for you.  Absolutely!  I have certainly learned that over my life, and it certainly has been a theme in several of the books I have read this year.  And over and over again, in this book, Patrick talks about facing his challenges and his fears!  Because of his knee issues, he constantly had to shift and refocus and find new dreams.  He said, “..I somehow knew instinctively that when one dream dies, you have to move on to a new one.  The unhappiest people in this world are those who can’t recover from losing a dream — whose lives cease to have meaning.  I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.  It was a revelation that would later save my life.”

While I read this book, I was amazed by how often Patrick had to re-invent his dream and his life.  I was shocked by how many other movies/shows he was in that I had no clue about.  I guess I truly was one of those people who loved him for his work in just a *couple* of movies and never really followed his career.  Then again, I don’t know anyone’s career that I follow that closely.  I don’t have time for that.  However, I LOVED reading about his life.  I loved reading about his life with Lisa!  It truly is a love story..not just the love that he and Lisa shared but the love he found for himself and the strength he found for himself.  There are moments in this book that will make you laugh and certainly there are moments in this book that will make you cry.  There are some very deeply profound spiritual moments in this book that are not to be missed!

This book was certainly not disappointing.  What I found disappointing was the fact that I could not find 3 of the movies he mentioned in his book at my local video stores.  I am totally bummed about that.  I guess I will need to hit the internet and do some searching!

Want to go on a magical adventure to find your destiny???  Then this is the book for you!!!  This is the 3rd time I have read this book, and each time I find and understand something new!  As a matter of fact, so far in this 52 books in 52 weeks journey, this book has been quoted in 2 of the books I have read this year!  That is how amazing this book is!

I bet if you asked 10 people if they have read this book, at least 1 of them..maybe even 2..have said they have…and more will say, “I have heard a lot about it!”  This is definitely a must read!

In this book you get to follow along with Santiago, a shepherd boy, who hears the call to follow a path to ancient lands to find gold..along the way he is tempted by many different things to let go of his calling and his dream and “settle”.  How many times have you had a dream in your life and have been tempted by others to “settle”?  I know I have.  Or  maybe, I have just never found my true calling.  I don’t know.  Sometimes I feel like that dog in the movie “Up” where he always gets distracted by the squirrels.  “SQUIRREL!”  Yup, sometimes I feel like that is me..I go off chasing the squirrels of life :).

The introduction to this book is amazing and insightful.  Coelho has often been asked, “What’s the secret behind such a huge success?” (meaning this book)  His response:  “I don’t know.  All I know is that we all need to be aware of our personal calling.  What is a personal calling?  It is God’s blessing, it is the path that God chose for you here on Earth.  Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend.  however, we don’t all have the courage to confront our dream.”

He says there are 4 obstacles to following our dream/destiny/legend:

1) We are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible:  “We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt.  There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible.  But it’s till there.”

2) Love: “We know what we want to do but are afraid of hurting others by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream.”

3) Fear of the defeats we will meet on the path:  “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

4) The fear of realizing the dream for which we fought all of our lives:  “The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt.  We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either.”

This was all just from the introduction.  You can only imagine what happens in the actual story, and what you will learn there!!!!!

So this begs the question:  What is your personal legend/dream/destiny?  What obstacles are you facing right now, and what do you need to do to get back on the right path?

Happy Reading!!!!!

Rules to Achieve title of Lieutenant Badass (or as I would say…to live by):

1) Go Outside

2) Quite the Internet

3) Do Something That Scares You

4) Something New

5) Tell Your Parents the Truth

6) Fix Something You Did When You Were Being a Total Douche Bag

7)  Make A Decision

These are just a few of the jewels of wisdom you will find in this book!

So if you have been reading my blog at all, you might have read that I have started Fresh Meat practices for the Treasure Valley Rollergirls (Roller Derby).  This is something I have always wanted to do, and I’m loving it.  I even have a derby name now, thanks to my fellow rollergirls.  It’s  Martha Smashington, as in Martha Washington, only replace the “W” with “Sm”.   For short, everyone calls me Smashington…well okay, not everyone, but the other Fresh Meats and one of the Vets do :).  It will catch on.  *laugh*  Anyway, since starting Derby it has pretty much taken over my brain; I have learned from Vets (and in reading this most recent book) that Derby has a way of doing this to a girl.  So when I saw this book was about Roller Derby..or a girl who gets involved with Roller Derby, it became a MUST READ!

It’s about a woman with a broken heart who is trying to figure out what to do with her marriage, and her co-worker introduces her to Roller Derby.  She becomes Fresh Meat.  There is a lot of reading about relationships, both romantically and with friendships.  There is talk about following your dreams and doing what you love instead of “what brings the money in”.  But mostly its about being true to yourself and life lessons learned through Derby.

I have to be honest, when Roller Derby was first introduced in the book, I silently cheered:  “Yaaaay!!!!!”  I was so excited to finally get to the part I really wanted to read about.  *laugh*  What can I say; it gets in your blood!  Once it got into the Derby stuff, I immediately found a kinship with our Heroine.  I’m Fresh Meat; she’s Fresh Meat.  There is even a part where she breaks her tail bone and learns one very important rule when healing from a tailbone injury:  You must not sneeze!!!  Since I too have a tail bone injury (thanks to Derby) I laughed and totally empathized.  It’s allergy season here in Idaho, and I have been sneezing up a storm…..OUCH!!!!

So I loved what our heroine found out about the Derby and the way she thought about the women who played in it.  Here are some excerpts from this part of the story that I absolutely found true and love about the Derby from my own perspective:

“These women are all different shapes and sizes, and they move like they were born with roller skates attached to their feet.”  (I love that this is  sport for all shapes and sizes of women!  I also love the fact that you can get newbie skaters out on the track right along with women who seemingly were born with skates on their feet.  I have always felt like I was born with skates on my feet….its my endurance and strength that needs the work now.)

“They take off their helmets, and I’m taken aback by the long hair that flows from their heads.  After all that brutality, that aggression, their femininity makes them seem like superheroes.” (I think if Wonder Woman was going to  play a sport, it would be roller derby!!!!)

“But, if I have to be completely honest, it looks like a lot of fun.  Part of me wishes I were brave enough to try  something like that, to be the kind of woman who could just strap on some skates, climb onto the track, and take off.  It  must feel pretty great to be able to go that fast, to slam into someone and not worry about the consequences.  To be an athlete.  To be strong and confident and fit.  I get winded from climbing the stairs to my apartment.”  (I have sooooo been there!  I have found the courage to follow one of my childhood dreams and really LIVE life to its fullest!  I’m still learning to do the slamming part, but I have been learning some blocks.  I have to be honest, it does feel great!  It does feel great to be an athlete…even if I get seriously winded and noodle legged and can’t skate with the Vets yet.  The point is, I’m DOING IT!  What have you been waiting to do?  What have you been afraid of trying?  Get out there and do it now!)

LOL, here is another great quote that sums it up, “Come on, you know it’s fun,” she continues.  “You go fast, you hit hard, and you do something most people are way too chicken**** to do.”

I know you have probably heard all of the clichés about team work and how they apply to real life, but I wanted to share with you what our heroine learns:

“Partnering is key in roller derby.  If you try to play by yourself, you pretty much end up useless.  It’s something I’ve grown to really appreciate about the sport.  You always need someone, and someone always needs you.  Even the Jammer, who looks like she’s on her own, actually has an entire pack of girls who have her back. We are all in this together.”  (Does this sound like life to you?  Can you really go about life completely alone without the help of someone else?)

The very last page of the story ends on page 309, and the last 2 paragraphs sum it all up!  But if I shared them with you, there would be no point in reading the book.  It kills me to keep my favorite part from you!  You will just have to read it for yourself.

This is an awesome book about finding yourself, grabbing on to courage and living life!  It’s one of those Girl Power books that is going to take you on a fun journey (but remember her heart is broken..so there is gonna be some of that sappy sad stuff in there too…just like in life, you gotta put up with a little bit of rain before you can enjoy the rainbow!) For all of you Rollergirls and Rollergirl wannabes….pick up this book!  I guarantee you, that you will find something in this book you can relate to!

There is even a glossary of Roller Derby Terms!!!  I learned a lot of things about the actual sport while reading this book; so its educational too!  *laugh*

But for now, I wonder if maybe I need to create a Superhero boutfit (pick up the book and turn to the glossary to find out what that is 🙂 ).