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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

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The Work of Everyday

Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Ladybug on Flower

Ladybug on Flower

I do not very often overtly write about LOVE.  When other bloggers ask me to write about LOVE I most often decline.  This is because LOVE and its astounding facets and angles is the basic core of why I believe we were put here on earth.   It is the work of everyday – every moment.  I love the diversity of each individual’s pursuit of this journey and the vast array of definitions.

Zeenat at Positive Provocations just shared this amazing group of blogger’s thoughts about Love.  I invite you to pause and read what has been said and shared.

We begin to understand our work on this earth by loving our own selves.  It is hoped that our parents had this lesson in tow and assisted us in our first feelings of love of self.  I am not naïve and know that this is not always the case, but have also learned that these sad circumstances can be remedied once an individual learns about the idea and work of LOVE.

I have found when we know better and understand we are a species that is capable to do better and may become response – enabled.

We have all these wonder full lessons along the way.  Lessons that provoke us to learn something new, explore, get distracted, hyper-focus, experience dissatisfaction, discover new emotions, test us and celebrate our very core values.  Sometimes we have to teach ourselves new strategies to accommodate the lessons learned or to accelerate those lessons to their conclusion.  I know that when I get stuck, I need to ask for help to get over the hurtles or rocky hard points.

I often get frustrated when my journey does not turn out to be the correct direction for me. I was just certain I was doing the right thing.  I usually find out I was not listening well enough and something else dazzled and bejeweled my path finding.  Time for a course correction.

There is nothing more amazing to me than the memory of having my newborn placed into my arms and the rush of loving spirit that came as I breathed this new person into me.  That experience was only so I would know what I needed to strive for in all the moments of my day – just a lesson in teaching me to recognize True Love.

Lust and sexual feelings are some of the greatest and worst lessons of living a loving life too.  I wonder if I will ever lust to dust?

Perfectionism is about control and is another life lesson that inhibits self love and loving every moment.   One is judging themselves on a scale that is only in the mind’s eye and the ego.  Only you can recognize your own perfect love.  You are your Soul Mate.

So my goal is to write every word with loving intention.  My meditation and prayer are always about opening to the loving expression of my day and tasks.  I believe that LOVE is what we came here for and it is our sole/solo purpose in life.

Writing this due to circumstances that happened on Valentine’s Day 2011, it caused me to ponder sharing these words and reminded me of this 1970’s song by Elton John.  I wish to share the song with you.

Love Song  ~ Elton John

The words I have to say
May well be simple but they’re true
Until you give your love
There’s nothing more that we can do

Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen

You say it’s very hard
To leave behind the life we knew
But there’s no other way
And now it’s really up to you
Love is the key we must turn
Truth is the flame we must burn
Freedom the lesson we must learn

Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen
Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen…

Vocals: Elton John and Lesley Duncan
Acoustic guitar and backing vocals: Lesley Duncan

© 1969 Blue Seas Music, Inc./Jac Music Co., Inc,. ASCAP

I am looking forward to you amazing and appreciated ideas about this heartfelt sharing?  I want to know what you think and feel about the journey here on earth.

Related Reading:
Increasing Your Emotional IQ
The Gifts of Imperfection
The Wisdom to Know the Difference