Need Some Inspiration?

Since I’ve stepped away from social media I’ve been getting my book recommendations from the monthly/weekly magazines I subscribe to. Recently I came across Maria Shriver’s latest, I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life, and while I’m not into organized religion I have begun meditating. I got online and requested it from my local library and because I live in what is quaintly known as “The Bible Belt” the wait list was fairly long even though Shriver until recently was a die-hard Democrat.

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About a week ago it was my turn. I picked it up, along with several other books, not really that excited about it. Finally started reading it Saturday evening and much to my surprise, I completely devoured it, finishing it less than 24 hours later. It’s not a very long book, only 225 pages, but it’s a book you want to savor.

Shriver acknowledges in the introduction that not everyone worships the same God and that’s ok. She wrote the book not to convert people but to share what has helped her navigate all her personal life challenges. Each chapter begins with an inspirational quote, then the essay, and finally a short prayer, which I skipped. While she does talk about her faith and how important it is in her life, she never comes across as “preachy.”

Because I read so much I seldom ever buy books, relying on my local library, my neighborhood Little Free Library or Kindle Unlimited. But as soon as I finished I’ve Been Thinking…, I got on Amazon and ordered a copy of my own. This is the kind of book I want to be able to read whenever I need a bit of encouragement. I want to be able to underline certain passages. I want to stop, take my time and appreciate her words of peace, inspiration and love.

No matter what your struggles, fears or worries; no matter what physical, mental or emotional trauma you may be experiencing, or perhaps you’re simply searching and questioning the next chapter in your life, give this book a try. Shriver doesn’t preach, she doesn’t spout old worn-out platitudes. As a member of a prominent family that over the years has suffered more than its fair share of public tragedies, Shriver simply talks about what has helped her survive.

I sincerely hope you give I’ve Been Thinking… a try. And if you do, I’d love to know your thoughts. Please leave your opinion in the comment section below.

 

 

 

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Forgive Yourself

Bianca Sparacino has written some of the most deeply moving and BAM, in your face, wake up and live your life! words I have ever read. The following is a passage which has profoundly affected me and I read it every morning before getting out of bed. Some days it simply helps to reassure me that I’m on the right track and other days it reminds me to accept my past, accept the fact I did the best I could at the time, and forgive myself.

“I hope you have the courage to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, from anything that fails to inspire your mind. I hope you have the courage to grow, to change, to do things differently than what is expected of you, to step back and seek out the kinds of things that ignite passion and excitement within your very bones. But most of all, I hope you have the courage to forgive yourself, for all of the times you did not have the courage to believe that you deserved more than the kind of life you were settling for.”