Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Review - What It Is by Lynda Barry

This is the strangest, weirdest, coolest, most inspirational book I've read in quite some time.  

I heard an interview with Lynda Barry on NPR and her comments intrigued me so much that I ordered the book based on no other recommendation.  I had no idea how hugely therapeutic it would be for me.

I thought it would tweak my writing skill, which it verily did; what I didn't expect was how it would persuade me to quit judging myself and allow my creativity to flow freely without criticism.  She did this by very candidly exposing her own demons, making fun of them and putting them into perspective, to all of which I freely related.  

My first impression of the book, was reticence at best.  I couldn't believe she'd managed to get it published based on a cursory look.  Before long I was captivated!  To actually read it I found myself turning the book sideways and upside down so as not to miss a single thing.  Sweetie thought it all looked so silly. In doing so I had to abandon so many of my own hangups and I guess that was the whole idea.

As we grow older in our society we give up on so much of what blesses our childhood with delight, joy and creativity.  Ms Barry has changed all that.  Not only am I writing more and more freely, I am also drawing, dancing and singing!  She let me believe again, that I am an artist, dancer, singer, story teller.  I am beginning again to be who I really am in a most childlike way.  How amusing!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Book Review - Being Enough by Chieko N. Okazaki

I thought Lighten Up! was an outstanding book, and it certainly did win me over to the wonderful philosophy and counsel of Chieko Okazaki, but this one really blew me away.

Growing up and even now, living in a culture that seems to be never satisfied, this book practically opened the prison doors for me.  I filled it with so many Book Darts that I could hardly hold it up to read!

Because of all the highlighted treats its going to be tough to select a few to share with you  but here goes:

So the way to have the most possible time is to live each moment as fully as we can, being completely present.
It doesn't matter that we come to sacrament meeting every week as imperfect people who have done wrong things for which we are seeking forgiveness.  We don't have to be perfect to stretch out our mortal and unclean hands for the small piece of bread and the tiny cup of water.  We only need to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  We only need to be honest with God about what we have done wrong and sincere in our desire to repent and do better.  The sacrament ins't for perfect people; it's for imperfect people trying to move in the direction of perfection.  It's for us! 
As long as we're human, we will make mistakes.  Count on it.  Get used to it.  And get over it. 
If you have been hesitating about doing anything, because you can't do everything to fix the situation, now is the time to act.  You're not called to fix things or save him or her.  You're called to listen, to pray for this person, and to be with him or her.  Sometimes that's all we can do.  Most of the time, if you've noticed, that's what the Savior does for us.
Well, hopefully this little taste has whet your appetite because a marvelous feast of heart felt, honest, compassionate hope is in store for you if you'll take the time to read it.  I even have a couple of extra copies if you'd like to borrow one!

Sister Okazaki has helped me get past my feeling of inadequacy by teaching me to start evaluating myself in terms of what I've been given, instead of measuring it by what I lack.  Widow who offered her mite, lacked a husband and money, but Jesus measured her by her generosity, faith and humble determination and found her to be abundantly worthy.  We are enough, just as we are, with no more than what we've got.
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