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HOW TO BE ALIVE: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps The World ~Colin Beavan – Author of No Impact Man

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

“Colin’s work is about asking us to think about what makes us truly happy and what’s really important in our lives.” – Arianna Huffington

I was expecting a self-help book when I agreed to review HOW TO BE ALIVE for TLC Book Tours.  And yes, it is a self-help book and also one, which challenges the reader to know that as you help yourself you will also help others – you can change the world with one small step and repeat one small step strategies.  The author says: “That’s what this book is about – the quest for a joyous and meaningful life while living in a frightening, confusing world that needs our help.”

It is good to start this kind of living journey by knowing who you are and what is your life purpose.  The book is also a beginning workbook to assess those parts of your life and how they manifest.  Beavan also offers a free workbook one can download off his website – no lie, this is good stuff found here.  You probably will not be abandoning your cubicle after the first chapter but rather you will be writing down on paper the lists of happy moment in your life and remembering just how fabulous they felt.  How good you felt in various situations and experiences, which assist in your definition of self and how you could live a values driven life.

Early on in my life I embraced Voluntary Simplicity and a Green Lifestyle.  Our family uses bicycles and lived with only one car.  We walked the 50 minutes to school with the children and also to tennis lessons and soccer.  We grew lots of our food, shopped the farmer’s market and the free-trade store.  We worked at the food coop and did very little shopping. Our home had solar panels, and nothing toxic in the building materials.   I learned a great deal from HOW TO BE ALIVE even though I left the traditional work role early on and embraced alternative work early in life.   Actually, we live in a community that has a giant alternative life-style membership; lots of green living folks, and I still found more to learn and discuss from reading and working with this book.   Beavan also opened up my thinking about alternative folks in New York City and even in Texas – yes!  They do indeed exist.

Right in the middle of the book I discovered a quote from Kim Woodbridge, who is a blogging/Facebook friend from Philadelphia!   Delightful!

“Lifequester = Someone who tries to under stand her True Nature and uses that understanding to make a better life for herself and others.” (author)

There are lots of quotes from Religious leaders, political leaders, and famous souls and the writing is gently informative laced with great stories and examples.  There are good references and referrals to other projects and individual’s work.  I could have spent a month on this book alone; what a dynamic way to start the New Year without making resolutions and feeling better about one’s self with each section perused.  I would highly recommend this book to everyone, especially if one wishes to find more happiness and even more happiness for the whole world.  It will resonant and activate lots of tiny steps to leave the world a better place for all.

Colin Beavan
Colin Beavan Facebook

From the book, About the Author:
Writer and social change activist COLIN BEAVAN attracted international attention for his yearlong lifestyle-redesign project and the wildly popular book, No Impact Man, and the Sundance-selected documentary film that it inspired.  He has appeared on Nightline, Good Morning America, The Colbert Report, The Montel Williams Show and NPR, and his story has been featured in news outlets from Time Magazine to the New York Times.  A sought after speaker, he also consults with businesses on improving eco-friendly and human-centered practices.  He is the founder of the No Impact Project and a dharma teacher in Kwan Um School of Zen.  He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

“This is the book where self-help turns into helping the world – and then turns back into helping yourself find a better life. Fascinating and timely!” –Bill McKibben

Related:
Healing and Prevention Through Nutrition
Eat To Live
The Pocket Guide To Manifesting
Code To Joy

THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE: Jesus’ Sensible Way To Be Happy ~John Kuypers

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Matthew 7:5 “First take the plank out of you own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”


Today in western society there are a tremendous number of people who are not happy.  The pursuit of HAPPINESS is high on the list of the Human Agenda!  It is even a part of the US Constitution.  THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE is a handy ebook – pocket guide to sure fire ways to get to your point of inner happiness in a very direct route.

THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE is a very similar practice to a children’s problem – solving/ conflict – resolution tool which I learned at the University of Washington and taught at Elementary schools in the region. SIGEP is a very simple way to defuse any situation and move forward.  Kuypers has put the Biblical words ascribed to Jesus to take people through the same steps towards resolution.

S   Stop is the first step of making a change.  What you are doing right now is not making you happy
Kuypers says:  “First get neutral about outcomes and then you will see clearly what to do.”

I  Identify the problem.  This is the hardest step of all.  Easy for a child and masked by adults. Sometimes it takes going back 7 to 10 levels in order to see that past experiences are not what the present moment is all about.  Seek back into your expectations and identify what is the result and outcome which you expected; it might even be a childhood painful moment – not the present one.

Kuypers says:  This is the taking the LOG out of your own eye before you remove the speck from others.    This is the hard work of staying in the present, not worrying about the past or the future and not covering up the work which we need to accomplish.  “What we are failing to see is that other people have the right to make mistakes, even when those mistakes hurt us.”

G  Generate new ideas. This often takes a lot of pushing and sometimes laughter because we like to do what we know – and yet when we do push and pull some new ideas we are more satisfied and happy about doing NEW things than staying in the old ruts.

Kuypers says:  This sometimes takes study and assistance, because we are not always aware of our behaviors and cleaning up the old past analysis and using our old ideas to wish for future outcomes is not being in the present, but is a habit that we call forth quickly.  Once again, it is important to be in the present and not be “constantly chewing on the future relentlessly while analyzing the past.”

E  Evaluate the ideas generated.  This too might take a bit of new learning.  We like our old judgments to work with ease for us in the present tense.

Kuypers says:  In Jesus’ words, “Judge not lest you be judged”.  When you are judging others you are not working from your center or towards your inner peace.  To be peaceful with ourselves we need to be “accepting of others when they have differing religious beliefs.”

P  Plan of action and usually a few notes will keep us moving towards our present goal and release us from our expectations of what we cannot control.

Kuypers says:  “We are seeking to gain control over our inner experience by purposely exposing those aspects of our mind and heart that become upset when things do not go our way. In reality, we are digging up our past so that we can stop it from biasing our present moment reactions.”

The 68 pages in my PDF unproofed copy of THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE was a nice reminder for me about looking to myself and discovering my strengths of discernment and dropping judgments which are blocking my happiness.  I like knowing I can carry this ebook with me and look at it again when I find myself angry and frustrated about what is happening in my life.  I am not very happy in response to all the “CHRISTIANS” in my community and in my government who are making judgments about my future; which involve a great deal of name-calling and dangerous outcomes.  They just do not need to affect my inner peace.  I wish those “others” would read this book!

This book was sent to me by John Kuypers the author, and it was an enjoyable read and a great reinforcement of my own beliefs about change, communication skills and finding peace within one’s self.  Thank you for the opportunity to read THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE.

John Kuypers on You Tube
John Kuypers on Twitter 
John Kuypers on Facebook
John Kuypers Website

“John Kuypers is an inner peace leadership coach, writer and speaker.  He is the author of five books and is currently writing a memoir of his inner peace journey.  He has appeared on television, radio and print numerous times over the years.”

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.

Related:
My Country Tis of Thee
The Pocket Guide to Manifesting
The Most Important Day of Your Life 
Daring Greatly

ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR ~Jason Harvey

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Be inspired daily to live your dreams and accomplish your goals

ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR is just the kind of book I love to start my day with and think about all day long.   ACHIEVE is a BOOK OF DAYS and an INSPIRATION, and a CHANGE ARTIST’s greatest support.  I think I could read this book several years in a row and still be inspired.  I believe it is all in the twist of humor which just catches your eye and brings on a smile.

These days I slowly get out of bed in the mornings, my luxury.  I check my emails, Facebook, and then other sites.  I do not write or respond, but rather get an over view of my day.  Zip and I then lift ourselves up and head for the window to get a glimpse of the weather  and clothing requirements for the day; ready to venture forth we set the stage by reading from a Book of Days or a poem/song;   heading out for our hour of walking and contemplation which becomes a moving meditation.  ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR truly set an interesting pace to our days.  These words gave us momentum and I can honestly say that one minute a day has made quite a difference in my whole outlook.

The book’s format is terrific.  Each day begins with a quote, that is relevant and success promoting. The quote is followed by a short essay and then an easy exercise, such as making a list of 5 things or giving a worthwhile compliment to someone you encounter.  The essays are centered on various themes which enable change; for 5 days I read about how to improve my listening skills and then followed through with an exercise.  I did do all the small assignments in my notebook and that took about 3-5 minutes on most days; reading the DAY was about 1 minute as noted by my Kindle.  One of the most delightful changes I have made is to stop doing “one more thing” before I sit down to write.  I have found sitting down and even just answering an email gets the writing juices flowing and when I hit the wall, well then I get up and cut the carrots, or put in a load of laundry.  Second little change is that I stop reading every hour and do my arm exercises and stretching, I thought I would lose track of the story and instead my productivity has soared. My Kindle tells me my reading pace and after a week of this change, took 2 hours off the reading time of a book and increased retention of themes and ideas.  I no longer had a stiff neck and my eyes were not as tired.

These changes took place during the 55 days I read the 365 page book (The book has an introduction and conclusion page also).  I only had 60 days before the review needed to be published and I will admit I randomly moved to the end to get a better sense of the whole and be able to share with you my thoughts.   I liked this Book of Days and will return to Day 56 and keep going.  I feel energized and not so often discouraged.  I feel successful at this very moment as I type and I want to continue feeling this way – when something works for a person they generally keep doing it.

I gave my partner a copy of ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR as he begins figuring out his retirement goals.  I believe doing a little step every day will give him momentum towards enjoying his new lifestyle to the max.

ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR is a great and simple habit and I can highly recommend it to you.

Jason Harvey is an International Bestselling Author and Life Coach and “founder of the Limitless Institute, a non-profit organization that funds research into human motivation and personal development.” He runs Marathons, is mastering piano and lives on the East Coast of Canada.  Jason Harvey sent me a Kindle Copy of his book to review and if you have PRIME on Amazon and a Kindle App. It is free to read!     ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR just makes me smile and brings me a sense of joy.   I was happy to have this book to read and enjoy – Thank you.

The book will assist you to discover dreams and goals – some maybe forgotten or set aside and many brand new.

Jason Harvey’s Web page
Jason Harvey on Facebook

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed. Thank you!

Recommended Reading:
Daring Greatly 
Shiny Objects
Code to Joy 
Emotional Chaos to Clarity

HALF AS HAPPY: STORIES ~Gregory Spatz

Monday, April 22nd, 2013


HALF AS HAPPY: STORIES  is just about that, you know those moments in life when you could feel contented and happy and you just cannot let go of something that worries or concerns you and accept the full feeling mode.  Eight intense stories of how folks assume they should feel or how they place “old stories” upon themselves and cannot release them to fully partake of the present tense.

This book came to me as a “squeeze in” and I did not have the time to read it twice.  I had to make every page count.   I do so enjoy a short story and just capturing that moment in a character’s living which needs to tell a whole story and be complete.   THE BOWMAKER’S CATS  just left me feeling like I was breathing the gypsy air of mystery and music, that is so apart of my expectation and one often does not think co-exists in the current time zone.  The twists of a short story meshed with a traditional irony and how easily the reader “sees” and the character needs assistance and contemplation to figure it out.

The mothers and fathers of these folks do not fare well under Spatz words.  Then we are a society which blames with ease and then holds on to something as the answer; often loath to question.  His words expose a countryside which is harsher and not so readily fogged in or misty and as a result his descriptions mark the intense feelings that are being held inside and go unrevealed.

Half As Happy: Stories startled my imagination into high gear.  It made me wish I was the Counselor assigned to the characters to assist with finding relief and moving forward with their lives.  I dove deep into my feelings over the daughters killed by drunk drivers.   I have little patience myself with folks who think gambling is the way to find happy, especially when they are cruising through some of the greatest landscape in the known world,  but then what do I know?  An identical twin trying to be “his own self”, and not being able to understand that their biology already made them separate; unique and reoccurring theme.

I like to keep a collection of short stories with me at all times.  I am sure I will read this collection again in the next few months.   This is very masculine thinking exposed with an intensity that feels very much like a sporting contest.  The segments about music and instruments allowed an opening for breathing and exhaling. The writing is excellent.  You are going to like Half As Happy: Stories

tlclogoTour list

I am so happy that TLC book tours asked me to be on this tour and that I can offer a giveaway from Engine Books, publishers.  I would have missed a delightful read if left to my own devises on this one, because It was not apparent that this was about Eastern Washington State and written by a local author/ writing professor.

Gregory Spatz Page

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading you might enjoy:
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Highest Tide
Poser
The Love Ceiling