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Way of the Peaceful Warrior April 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Magick & Mystery, Spirit & Ego.
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Cover of

Cover via Amazon

In this semi-autobiographical novel, Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book that Changes Lives, Dan Millman shares his spiritual journey, which commenced, oddly enough, when he met “Socrates” at an all-night service station during his junior year at  Berkeley. 

Prior to their meeting, Dan had it all, or so he thought ~  success both as a  college student and as a champion gymnast. 

Although Dan’s life was filled with external rewards, he lacked peace of mind.  Socrates opens Dan’s eyes to the illusion of achievement as a path to happiness.  Through painfully humorous lessons, Soc reveals the Way of the Peaceful Warrior ~ the spiritual path to inner strength through realization of the truths which lie within. 

Along that path, Dan meets a mysterious woman, Joy, who is destined to become his life companion.

With effort, Socrates teaches Dan that “there are no ordinary moments.”  

In time, Dan starts to view life with alert curiosity, rather than allowing his thoughts, emotions, and past experiences to dictate his re-actions to new events.  As Dan sheds his foolish pride and ego concerns, he uncovers the joy and happiness that await us all when we let go of our automatic responses and begin to live spontaneously in the here and now. 

Well told, Dan’s spiritual journey will remind readers, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  The Gift of Synchronicity * Synchronicity & Mystery *  A Beacon in the DarkAccess Your Inner WisdomWinks, Whispers, and Nudges * Are You OK Right Now? * Divine Inspiration in Unlikely Places

Simplify Your Life April 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Less IS More.
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In her wonderfully insightful book, Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter, Elaine St. James reminds us that we really need very little to be happy.

One day, while perusing her personal planner, which  bulged at the seams, Ms. St. James awoke to the realization that her life was too complicated.

Rather than stressing and whining about her “out of control” life, she decided to make some real changes.

She scheduled a weekend retreat and went off with a notebook to reflect on how she wanted her life to look.  She emerged from the weekend with a list of things that she and her husband could do to improve the quality, and decrease the complexity, of their lives.

Among other things, they got rid of all the things they didn’t use any more.  They moved across the country, so they could work where they wanted to live and do what they wanted to do.  In the process, they moved into a smaller house, simplified their eating habits, consolidated their investments, sold their boat, rethought their buying habits, and drastically reduced their reliance on goods and services.

As I read her book, I made notes of changes that I wanted to make in my life.

I also went out and bought copies of the book for everyone on my Christmas list that year.

I wanted to share with my friends and family what I viewed as true wisdom . . . Less is More.

After discussing the changes I wanted to make with my husband, we went to work to create the life that we wanted to live.

We started with simple changes, and then moved on to bigger challenges.

Among other things, we jettisoned much of the clutter that was filling our lives; we moved from the crowded suburbs of Philadelphia to a much smaller home on an island in the Chesapeake Bay (and then moved to Florida); we sold our camper and started to take time to enjoy sunsets and beauty from our own backyard; we switched from jobs that were “time hogs” to part-time positions which allowed us to live life on our terms; we traded larger paychecks for more time; and we simplified our eating habits by becoming vegetarians who “eat in” more often than we “eat out.”

Now, we spend more time enjoying the simple pleasures in life (an ice cream cone on a warm summer’s day) and less time doing things we don’t want to do (reading all the bad news in the daily newspaper).

Simplify Your Life  is a wonderful reminder to live your life.  By eliminating things that are not important to you, you find time for the things that really matter.

The secret to happiness lies not in getting more, but in wanting less . . . and in appreciating what you already possess.

And that, quite simply, is a lesson worth learning, and sharing.

No rules.  Just write!

Related post:  The Art of Simplifying (Think Simple Now) * A Not-So-Quick Quiz:  Who Are You? * Live Your Life *  Between The Wish & The Thing * You Better Stop Shopping Around * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things  (Raptitude) * Guest Post (My Light Bag)