Books That Changed My Life #5

QThis book did for me “The Asperkid’s Secret Book of Social Rules” did, only it took it up a notch.

Asperkid’s showed me that I was different, just like many others.

This Book “Q. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”, began to show me how I could make peace with my differences.

In the commentaries before the book began, Adam S. McHugh, author of “Introverts” had this to say – “I think that many introverts will discover that, even though they don’t know it, they have been waiting for this book all their lives.” I found his statement to be empirically true.

I picked it up “By accident” while out of town, waiting for an event to begin. This “accident” went a long way towards the healing of my fragmented heart. Feelings of despair and disconnectedness were about to be faced head on with truth, and put to  rest.

Our entire lives, we are told to be bold, and gregarious and outgoing. This is the gold standard. As a child, I tried and tried to be that. What made other children popular, only manged to get me in trouble. Then whenever I was caught “Daydreaming” or “Doodling”, I was quickly encouraged to “Join in the group” or “Get with the program”. Which, as I mentioned before, got me into trouble. I was reprimanded for seemingly doing as I was told.

What I really had, all those years, without knowing it, was the ability to access some deeper parts of my being than when I was running around TRYING to be an extrovert. The deepness of my heart also caused me to feel the pain of that disconnection to a deeper level. So learning that I was indeed normal; born that way; wired differently, was a great joy to me.

Perhaps the biggest thing I learned from this book was this; Trying to be someone that I wasn’t, for years, had made not only sad and disconnected, but also tired and cranky. Always being what someone else wanted me to be was exhausting to me. Susan Cain gave me vocabulary for that. It wasn’t that I was shy, or didn’t like people. Far from it. I only needed to “Recharge my batteries” after a time.

These days we call it “Self care” or “Time, life balance”. I didn’t know to care for myself, or much less, how to balance anything. Learning that keeping my social circle smaller as opposed to larger, was of great value to me.

Small talk is annoying to me. If that is all there is, I’d rather not speak. That may sound rude, it did to me too, until I realized that it falls under the “Self care” title. One on one, deep conversation actually has the opposite effect, and truly energizes me. Leaving me with far more energy for the people and things that mean the most to me. Saving that energy for them is important for myself and those I come in contact with.

I am a huge proponent of having a place in my day for quiet. Quiescence. Down time. And now I know why. I read this book in 2012. I have been using it’s content ever since.

I could go on and on about this book, but, as Lavar Burton said on Reading Rainbow – “You don’t have to take my word for it.” Read for yourself. There is so much richness here. For me anyway, it’s impact was life changing!

Psalm 139:13-18 (ESV)
13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.
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This Weeks 5 for 5 Brain Dump Challenge #4

What Does It Mean to Be Alive?

To be alive. To be able to speak into the lives of others.To live not only for your own purposes, but to serve others.

Being alive. Walking in the likeness of Christ. Considering His attributes, and placing them into my own life. Sharing the joy and peace that I receive from that relationship, with others.

Being alive – Being the change you want to see all around you.

Being joyful and peaceful, no matter what is trying to mess you up.

(I write it here. I work on it daily. It’s definitely an INSIDE JOB.)

This Weeks 5 for 5 Brain Dump Challenge Day #3

What Does  It Mean to Be Alive?

Although I was not all that pleased with this entry, it IS part of the process, so I put it here any way.

Another way you can know you are alive is more emotional than with your senses.

What is your response when you hear the news of hurricanes and fires and flooding? Do you get all teary? Do you have the urge to reach out and help someone? Are you driven to your knees in prayer?

Or are you flat?

Do you feel anything?

Are you alive?

There are times when you may feel nothing just because you are overwhelmed. The emotion is stuck in there. You don’t even know how to express it.

Being alive would be seeking to find the best way for you to handle it.

You are alive either way.

 

( This all seemed inconclusive and disconnected today. Too distracted? Part of the learning curve I guess. Ideas or thoughts you may have? Please share.)

 

 

 

This Week’s 5 for 5 Brain Dump Challenge Day 2

The beauty of the 5 for 5? No need to edit as you go. Just free flow writing. So sometimes it’s a mess, and it’s OK.

Go here to find out how it’s done: 5for5braindump.weebly.com

Being alive. Do I notice the sun’s rays in the morning? Do I see and feel the dew on the grass? Do I smell the fresh morning air, before the traffic begins to move? Do I quiess in the silent moments when it seems only the birds are awake?

These are the morning senses. The ones I used to sleep through. Now, they are the ones I can’t wait to experience, the ones I can’t stand to miss.

Part of being alive? Yes. I believe so. It helps me to come alive with a better understanding of who God is. How BIG He is. My mind cannot comprehend.

Just a taste of His glory, for all the world to see, if we will only look for it.

The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory.

Psalms 97:6 KJV

 

 

This Weeks 5 for 5 Brain Dump Challenge

If you don’t know what a Brain Dump is – You can go Here to Find Out.

This weeks challenge/Prompt is this question …..

 

What does it mean to be alive?

We will write about this prompt each day this week.

When we do this, each day seems to get a little deeper.

When I do this I tend to find out out things I didn’t even know I thought.

So join me, won’t you?

 

Day #1. We are to consider this question each day of the week. It is a multi-layered question, and I don’t know how to answer it – but here goes.

To be alive to some, I am sure, is simply about breathing in air, taking up space. To others, just to wake up, to not have their life taken in their sleep.

I want my life to be more than that. I want it to be about noticing what others miss. In my mind. With my eyes. Using all my senses, breathing in the air whether it is new or stale, musty or fresh like spring. Air that either assaults my senses, or soothes them.

 

That’s it. 5 minutes already?

Until next time.

 

Books That Changed My Life #4

I stumbled upon this book while looking at research on Asperger Syndrome. The name caught my attention, as I was looking for ways to understand and connect with my grandchild, who has the syndrome. Asperkid

I did not want to do anything that would make their situation worse, so a full understanding of what their life was like was in order. Little did I know just how well suited I was to understand!

As I was reading, I began to see a little familiarity. Some of the things listed in this book, I understood all too well. As the author first states in the first pages of the book ; ” Where was this book when I, like, needed it?”

Growing up, I always felt like the square peg in the round hole. The one who was always a bit too loud, a bit too kinetic, a bit too spacey, a bit too dreamy. These were the nice things I was called. I was constantly breaking many social rules that I never knew existed.

Now, more than ever I needed to be able to understand my grand child, by doing so, would also understand myself as well. After all these years. Years of ruminating over the smallest inflections of disapproval from other people, the lights began to brighten.

I was not defective. I was wired differently. My curvy way of thinking didn’t mesh well with the linear, stand in a straight line kind of thinking of organized school, and now I knew why. Indeed I was a square peg, but it was OK.

Enter Psalm 139: 1-4, 13-16, 23-24 (ESV). It reads as follows;

Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart

139 Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts![c]
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting![d]

 

He knew me all along, and created me just the way I was supposed to be!

 

 

Books That Changed My Life #3

         Eucharisteo. Thankfulness. Live Eucharisteo.

Philippians 4:11-12 (RSV)

11 Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. (Thankful) 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.

one thousand gifts

I never ever thought to be thankful. I was too busy guarding myself from the pain of what I didn’t have.

Through her book, Ann taught me that it is indeed “Holy work” to list what we are thankful for.

Name those things. When you name them, the things you think you lack, cannot haunt you anymore.

Some of the things you may lists, seem inconsequential. Too small to even note. Note them anyway. One to One Thousand. Some will seem larger and more important than others, list them all, you will see, they will add up. The more they add up, the freer you become!

Begin with a pen, or a crayon, or a marker. Use your voice. Use the shutter on your camera. Every word of thanks is a sacred act.

I consider myself a woman of prayer, but Ann showed me that the only way to really BE that, is to be a woman of thanks. I had no chip for that, so it took a while. One gratitude at a time.

And now, I am most grateful for every day. Every breath. Every thing that goes well, and even for every aggravation. Why? Because it gives opportunity to practice EVEN MORE thankfulness.

What are you thankful for? Coffee in your cup? Nuzzling soft baby hair against your cheek? A quiet sunrise? Shoes on your feet? The ability to take a breath or the very fact the you even woke up this morning? ………………………………………

I could go on and on, but it’s your turn. Care to share?