Words from a Wanderer

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March 2017 Book of the Month

Words from a Wanderer, version two, is a timeless and beautiful collection of #anote2self affirmations. This book of gems was first published in 2013 as a collection of notes and love poems. For the three year anniversary, WFAW has been redesigned, re-edited and rereleased. It is now a book of 62 #anote2self daily affirmations that readers can carry with them easily. This edition can serve as a resource for daily meditation, mantra guidance, and encouragement to its reader. Author, Alexandra Elle, created this book to shed light on the fact that indeed not all who wander are lost; some are simply still finding their way.

www.alexelle.com

Sacred Contracts

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January 2017 Book of the Month

New York Times bestselling author and medical intuitive Caroline Myss has found that when people don’t understand their purpose in life the result can be depression, anxiety, fatigue, and eventually physical illness—in short, a spiritual malaise of epidemic proportions. Myss’s experience of working with people led her to develop an insightful and ingenious process for deciphering your own Sacred Contract—or higher purpose—using a new theory of archetypes that builds on the works of Jung, Plato, and many other contemporary thinkers.

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The Invention of Wings

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December 2016 Book of the Month

It’s winter break! Thought we’d pick an old favorite novel of ours to dive into…

The Invention of Wings, a powerful and sweeping historical novel by Sue Monk Kidd, begins, fittingly, with an image of flight: Hetty “Handful”, who has grown up as a slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, recalls the night her mother told her that her ancestors in Africa could fly over trees and clouds. That day, Handful’s mother, Charlotte, gave her daughter the gift of hope— the possibility that someday she might regain her wings and fly to freedom.  Throughout Kidd’s exquisitely written story, Handful struggles, sometimes with quiet dissidence, sometimes with open rebellion, to cultivate a belief in the invincibility of her spirit and in the sacred truth that one does not need actual wings in order to rise.”

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The Essential Rumi

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August 2015 Book of the Month

It’s that time of year again, and you may not want to dip into a novel right now. This should be a time of reflection and getting ready for the semester ahead. So we thought you might enjoy a book of poems by Rumi.

Our favorite method of reading a book of poems is to just pick it up and open to any page. The poem below is what we opened up to today. Sure seems fitting!

A Cleared Site
The presence rolling through again
clears the shelves and shuts down shops.

Friend of the soul, enemy of the soul,
why do you want mine?

Bring tribute from the village.
But the village is gone in your flood.

That cleared site is what I want.
Live in the opening where there is no door
to hide behind. Be your absence.
In that state everything is essential.

The rest of this must be said in silence
because of the enormous difference
between light and the words
that try to say light.

The Universe is a Green Dragon by Brian Swimme

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June 2015 Book of the Month

Presented as a classical dialogue between a young man and a wise elder, cosmologist Brian Swimme’s unique book, The Universe is a Green Dragon encourages readers of all ages to engage their imaginations when considering traditional models of scientific understanding. Reminding readers that curiosity, mystery and inspiration remain the underpinning of science, Swimme unfolds big ideas in bite size pieces of a larger narrative.

Swimme connects the human experience to cosmic reality both through scientific evidence and mystical thought. Integrating science and mysticism grounds his story in both inspiration and possibility. Importantly, Swimme empowers the reader to reimagine the role of personal existence and the expansion of the universe. According to Swimme, the awakening of the earth has a direct relationship to the growth and expansion of the human mind. “The Earth awakens through the human mind. You have to understand this from two different points of view. We have a humanity that awakens to its planetary dimension, to its planetary responsibility, and thus begins to provide the earth with a heart and mind. From the other perspective, we can see how the planet as a whole awakens through self-reflexive mind, which happens to unfurl through humanity (34-35).”

The Universe is a Green Dragon is a little book filled with BIG ideas. If you’re looking for a love story this summer, this book might be for you. While it’s not a traditional beach book, it certainly offers romance of the most cosmic kind!

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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August 2014 Book of the Month

While in Block Island, Chelsea and I enjoyed a mini-book club together. Our book of choice: Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Admittedly, Wild is more of a Chelsea kind of book. Not only am I not much of an outdoors woman myself, the idea of “finding oneself” while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail struck me as a bold and somewhat outlandish goal. Finding “truth” via physical suffering has always struck me as a misguided effort. And while I am a lover of nature, I don’t need to get super up close and personal with bears, snakes and snowy ice caps to appreciate their existence. Despite my initial misgivings, Cheryl’s story proved to be completely captivating. Not only was I riveted by her physical bravery, I found her emotional honesty to be profoundly compelling.

The strength of Strayed’s story lies in her natural curiosity to understand the meaning of her life. From her first steps on the trail, it is clear Cheryl is on a mission. A mission to beat back her personal demons, come to terms with her grief and eventually restart her life on more solid ground. The PCT quickly becomes a metaphorical backdrop as Cheryl recounts the details of her first 25 years of living. And while it is clear she has been touched by love and kindness, there is no doubt she has suffered much along the way. The humbling experience of walking the trail – mostly in isolation – provides Cheryl the solace she craved along with a deepening appreciate for her own internal strength and knowingness.

While I am still pretty sure I don’t want to hike the PCT, the vicarious joy of suffering through it with Cheryl will remain an inspiring memory. Chelsea and I shared a box a tissues while muscling our way through this one. Gave us lots to discuss, share and reflect on while enjoying our own mini-adventure together.

Happy Reading!

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

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October 2013 Book of the Month

This could be fun! I’m only 15 pages into this book and it’s already hard to put down.

If your looking for a philosophical dive into a grasping narrative then (so far) this is the book to open.

Join us…

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

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September 2013 Book of the Month

I read The Celestine Prophecy during the first couple weeks of school in my first year at the College for Creative Studies. I had just moved to Detroit and I was enrolled in a Sociology class taught by Molly Beauregard. This is when Molly and I met for the first time (in this life).

I’ll never forget the way she smiled with her hand resting on my book saying, “This is a very good book, one of my favorites.”

This was actually the very first book I read on my not so declared at the time but ever present “spiritual quest”. And with that, I’ll leave you to the wild, wonderful and supremely suspenseful book that is, The Celestine Prophesy…might this be a coincidence?

Now, I know we haven’t posted a book of the month since April, and what excuse do we have?? So here are four books I read this summer that I think you’ll enjoy. I’m not going to spend much time on them as they were just real good summer reads. They’re not for everyone, but each of these held a very special place in my heart over the summer: The Red Tent, The Secret Life of PlantsLight on Pranayama, and Water for Elephants.

Chelsea Richer

 

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