BawB’s Raven Feathers Volumes I-V Set
I was sent an absolutely beautiful BawB’s Raven Feathers Box Set a while back to review on Self Help Daily. While I told everyone I knew about it right away, I actually put off blogging about it for awhile simply because I wanted to get a little closer to Christmas shopping. These books – whether you buy them as a set or individually for stocking stuffers or for filling in gift baskets – would make perfect gifts. They’re beautiful, timeless, inspiring, and would be cherished for years to come.
One of the things I love most about giving books for gifts is the fact they can be used and enjoyed and re-used and re-enjoyed for years and years. Want to know a beautiful little bonus? They’ll think of you each time they pick the book up!
The BawB’s Raven Feathers Box Set I was sent includes Volume I – V – the first five volumes of BawB’s Raven Feathers. Each beautiful little hard-cover book is filled with inspirational poetry that will surround you with peace and contentment as you read the words. Truth be told, they’re more like beautiful lyrics than words.
Everything about these books is perfect – from the beautiful illustrations to the equally beautiful words. The author does more than inspire readers, he causes them to reflect on their lives, their choices, and the world around them.
His words then prompt the reader to cherish the past and relish the present, while looking forward to a future that’s filled with hope.
Yes, the books are that wonderful.
From the Inside Cover of Each Volume:
Bawb’s Raven Feathers is pure and simple. It kick-starts moments of self-reflection and inner peace by drawing on nostalgia and pushing the reader to live in the present and dream of tomorrow. Alternating brief chapters of prose with perfectly rhythmic adult rhymes, and room to write down your own thoughts and inspiring ideas, this book holds appeal for the masses.
BawB’s Beautifully Inspiring Raven Feathers
Whether you buy the volumes individually or as a set and whether you buy them for yourself or as a gift – you’re going to love each moment spent with BawB and his Raven Feathers.
The clouds will always be up in the sky,
with nothing to portray.
How you choose to look at them
is what determines your day. – BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume II, Page 31
About the Author:
Robert (BawB) Chomany is the author of the BawB’s Raven Feathers series, pure and simple inspirational books. He was born in Calgary, Alberta, with a clear view of the mountains to the west. These mountains eventually drew Bob in, and he spent many years living in the company of nature, exploring his spiritual side. Bob pursues his many interests with passion. You are just as likely to find him twisting a wrench, or riding his motorcycle, as you are to find him holding a pen, writing. Bob still lives in Calgary, where he finds happiness by simply living with a smile and sharing his words of wisdom with others.
The books are available individually, as well. Below is a link to each volume for more information.
- BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume I
- Bawb’s Raven Feathers Volume II
- Bawb’s Raven Feathers Volume III
- BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume IV
- BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume V
There’s also a BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume VI which I don’t have yet… but plan on getting.
Everywhere you walk today,
every step and every mile,
choose to see something that stays with you
and attach it to a smile. – BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume V, Page 36
Find Balance in Your Life and Stand Firm when Storms Come
Most people are searching for something, whether they even realize it or not. Some seek money, fancy cars, and expensive wardrobes. Others seek better health and the ever elusive Fountain of Youth. A small contingent simply seek days filled with laughter, their family, bottomless pitchers of tea, and as many cats as they can find.
But enough about me.
Lumbie Mlambo, magazine editor and stroke survivor puts a wonderful spin on searching for a better life in the article below. She speaks of finding “balance” in our lives.
To me, balance has always meant staying “grounded” and “level-headed.” Being balanced means never getting too high or too low. It’s the single best way to stay grounded. The more balanced you are, the less apt you are to become rattled or unglued.
Why is being balanced and grounded SO important? Because balance gives us roots. The deeper our balance, the deeper the roots. We should strive to have our “roots” run so deep that after even the worst of storms, we’ll be like a large, old tree….. still standing.
3 Reasons A Balanced Life Is A Better Life
Life sometimes can seem off kilter as responsibilities mount and people plow all their physical and mental resources into what seems to be the most pressing crisis of the moment.
But Lumbie Mlambo says that’s a good time to take a step back. Everyone has the potential to shine in life’s darkest moments, but the key to achieving goals and an overall better existence is to maintain a balance so that one aspect of your life isn’t consumed by another.
While some people might say balance in life is an impossible goal, she disagrees and says when each of us find our equilibrium, we become more productive and a greater asset to our communities.
“There’s balance in everything we do, be it walking, talking, eating, sleeping, working or spending time with family,” says Mlambo, editor of Equanimity Magazine (www.equanimitymag.com), an online publication that features inspiring stories of life and success.
“For example, look at how we try to deal with our work-life situation. We balance our workload so that we can still make room for other activities, to spend more time with our spouses or our children. We do that because we understand how important it is.”
She offers these reasons for why living a balanced life is essential:
• The health factor. Staying balanced is a key to a healthier and successful life. Both mental health and physical health benefit, and as a result, so do our overall lives. When we’re healthy, we’re able to care for ourselves and others in our community,” Mlambo says.
• The empathy factor. “When we find balance in life, we can better understand the importance of helping the underprivileged,” says Mlambo, who grew up in a rural area in Zimbabwe. You begin to realize that someday you could be in their situation, which makes you a more empathetic person. “Your economic situation is like your health,” she says. “Nothing is guaranteed.”
• The role-model factor. Sharing our stories – whether it’s a tale of success or even a tale of failure – is important because others can learn from us or be inspired by us as they too strive for a balanced life. “When you tell your story, it empowers, motivates and encourages people to not give up on their dreams and goals,” Mlambo says. “Maybe you think your story is just not that interesting or important. But for someone out there, it may be the spark that ignites them to great things.”
Mlambo always strove to find balance in her life. But she became even more passionate about it after she suffered a stroke in 2001 that left her partially paralyzed. She since has recovered, but says the event had a profound impact on her and she will always consider herself a stroke patient.
“Before the stroke, I thought my life was balanced in a way,” she says. “I mean, I ate healthy foods. I exercised seven days a week. But it was not balanced in the way I wanted. I had been too focused on myself. I realized that life was not just about me, but about others.”
Finding balance in life isn’t just a feel-good concept, Mlambo says. As people achieve balance, they realize they have the potential to rise above their circumstances. They can become more productive in their communities and that is good for everyone.
“Staying proactive and shifting the way we think can even help the economy to grow and can help create more jobs,” she says.
Certainly, maintaining a balanced life may be tougher than ever because technology allows work – emails, text messages, telephone calls – to intrude on people’s “off” hours. But that’s just all the more reason to make a concerted effort to strive for balance, Mlambo says.
She says it’s become popular in some circles to argue that a balanced life is a myth and can’t be achieved. But regardless of their views, she says, most people seem to be trying to bring balance to their lives, even if they don’t think of it that way.
“We eat healthy to stay balanced, we get enough sleep or rest to avoid stress, we juggle our daily activities to stay balanced,” Mlambo says. “To be successful in anything we do, we must have some sort of balance.”
About Lumbie Mlambo
Lumbie Mlambo is editor of Equanimity Magazine (www.equanimitymag.com), a lifestyle publication that shares the stories of “real people and their search to lead better lives.” She also has a background in project management, computer/software engineering and business analysis. She holds an associate degree in computer science from Indiana University South Bend; and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Texas Woman’s University. She is multilingual, speaking English, Zulu, Ndebele and French.
This past week, alone, I’ve witnessed the following:
- An e-mail from a Christian newsletter publisher talking about treating joint pain.
- A department store with a bank, clinic, and tax prep booth – all where better shoe, books, and clothing selections once were.
- A bar-b-que restaurant serving fried fish. BAD fried fish.
- Another e-mail newsletter (“specializing” in health) talking about relationships.
And it’s just Wednesday!
Is it just me, or are people trying to DO too many different things and BE too many different people these days?
Fast food restaurants may be the worst. There’s even one clown who seems to think he’s Starbucks. Stick to the fries and burgers, buddy. Oddly enough, people seem shocked that this restaurant is falling in profits and popularity. That happens when you stop trying to “perfect” what you’re supposed to be doing.
There’s a beauty salon I drive by frequently and it seems that each time something new has joined the lineup: manicures, pedis, botox, fillers, and other things I can’t even pronounce. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to drive by today and see, “Now doing open heart surgery! Get your nails done before you even come to!”
Even my own much, much beloved coffee shops are branching out further and further. Pastries, sandwiches, smoothies, candy, nuts, etc…
Trying to do everything doesn’t perfect anything.
Take the flip side. Think of Chick-Fil-A, Cracker Barrel, NBA Players, and Waffle House.
- Chick-Fil-A sticks with chicken. They concentrate solely on what’s on the sign out front and you will not find better chicken in any fast food restaurant.
- Cracker Barrel doesn’t try to be anything they’re not. They serve great home-style cooking and leave the rest to… well, they leave the rest to the rest.
- NBA and WNBA Players Defy Logic. Ever think of how incredibly difficult it would be to get a small ball into a hole that’s hanging so far away? All while there are 5 athletes, your size or bigger, giving their all to defeat your purpose?! But these men and women commit themselves to the game and they are just mind-boggling to watch. They specialize in perfecting their game and their conditioning. They do things we can’t even begin to imagine doing because they work at that one thing – basketball.
- Waffle House? Breakfast food all day, all night. Can you imagine how ludicrous it’d be to see “Now serving lasagna” on the sign out front? A lot of the scenarios we see everyday are just as ludicrous, we’ve just gotten used to them.
Now let’s bring it home to where we live. Do we ever fall into the same traps to the ones above? Of course we do. It’s human nature, I suppose to think, “More = Better.” Wal-Mart’s reasoning is that if they create essentially a “small city” inside each store, more people will shop there. They think, “Let’s give them a bank, a clinic, a beauty salon, a pharmacy, an Optometrist, a place to do their taxes…”
None of which, of course, makes them a better department store. Ironically, it makes them LESS valuable as a department store because all the other clicks and whistles are squeezing out the LAST things they should be squeezing out. I can remember when Wal-Mart had the cutest, most affordable shoes in town. This was about 10 years ago and their selections have gone downhill since. I guess they just don’t have room for things like that anymore.
Mark my words, Sam Walton would not be a happy man. Can you imagine what he’d said the first time someone said, “Hey, Mr. Walton, I have a great idea. Let’s put a clinic inside each store!”
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud ambition but, like they say, “Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land.” And since NO ONE knows everything, that stands to reason that a lot of people are treading water they never should have jumped into in the first place.
What happens when an individual tries to do too many things, wear too many hats, and tries to walk on too many different paths? Well, for one thing, they look like a darn fool.
On a more serious level, though, he or she suffers in three key areas:
- The MORE they do and try to do, the LESS happy they will be. They find themselves so BUSY trying to do all things and be all things that they’re left with no time to simply enjoy life. Life is passing them by and they never actually even look up long enough to see it. Stress is a particularly ugly monster and he prefers people who have too many hats. They’re like some kind of signal to him – he thinks, “Easy prey!” How can you tell if stress is sneaking up on you or already has you in his clutches? I think the easiest way is to ask yourself how your RESPOND to situations and people. Do relatively small things set you off? Do things that once wouldn’t even measure a blip on your radar now cause your heart rate to speed up, your neck muscles to tense up, and an angry disposition to show up. Sure signs of stress…. and since stress leads NOWHERE good, deal with it today.
- The GO! GO! GO! mentality creates physical problems that can be deadly. Heart disease, hypertension, and even gastrointestinal problems can, and are, directly linked to this type of hyper lifestyle and mindset. Have you ever seem someone in the throes of thinking they had to do a million and one different things? I swear, sometimes they even forget to breath.
- Relationships Suffer. While this is the last one in the list, it certainly is not the least. Moms and dads who think they HAVE to work extra long hours at the expense of actually spending time with their children are making one of the biggest mistakes known to man or womankind. It’s also one of the mistakes they’ll, one day, regret the most. The same can be said for husbands and wives who become so wrapped up in “making money,” “having more,” and “getting caught up…” when every topic of conversation revolves around these subjects, the stage is set for misery.
Life isn’t something we’re going to be able to get out and enjoy for hundreds of years, you know. If you’ve become so busy that work or money are all you ever think or talk about and you’re forever looking for your next hat – do yourself (and everyone in your life) a favor…
- slow down
- live in the moment
- enjoy life
Your level of happiness will rise with each hat you cast aside. Life is to be enjoyed, not rushed through.
My husband and I recently took a canoe trip on one of Kentucky’s many beautiful lakes. For most people, this would simply be another beautiful adventure in the great outdoors. But for someone, like me, who has a “nearly” paralyzing fear of bodies of water larger than a bathtub and a “totally” paralyzing fear of snakes, it was like riding a roller-coaster at an old abandoned amusement park… a roller-coaster without seat belts in an old abandoned amusement park.
A roller-coaster without seat belts in an old abandoned amusement park being operated by a clown with an evil laugh.
OK. You get the idea.
When we set off from the safety of the land (I really, really love land) and the canoe started swaying “too far” that way, then overcompensated by swaying “too far” in the other direction, my mind went full on “fight or flight mode.” It started coming up with scenarios that could get my feet right back on the nice safe land. I thought, “I could say I forgot something…” then, when my husband said, “What?” I could say, “I forgot to stay in the car.”
Then, I thought, “I could say I’m sick… and it won’t be that much of a stretch…”
By the time I was deciding on one approach, I realized we’d gotten too far away from precious land. Frankly, I didn’t have any intention of ruining the husband’s day by making him step in my chicken &$!^.
Just as my brain tried to console itself by thinking, “At least we haven’t seen a s-n-a-k-e yet…” guess what slithered by the canoe with its head held up high, trying to get away from us as fast as possible.
That’s right. A s-n-a-k-e. My brain spells it out… makes them seem less real.
Here’s the kicker. I thought he (she??? – how in the heck would you know??) was downright cute. The whole head up above the water while the body tried frantically to get it to safety made me feel both a kinship and a pity for it.
It was cute. There I said it.
I even somehow managed to raise the camera I was holding in a death-clutch and tried to take a picture of him (her). It was too fast, its fight or flight speed left mine in the dust.
It wasn’t long before I had actually relaxed enough to actually speak. I managed to tell Michael that I was going to need lots and lots of chocolate when we got off that lake.
Chocolate is my adult pacifier.
By the time we’d seen beavers, an epic beaver lodge, herons, eagles, ospreys, geese, and deer (in the distance… they weren’t swimming out there, now THAT would have freaked me out), I was having the time of my life. As the sun began to set, I realized that our canoe trip was nearly over and I actually felt a sense of regret.
Then I remembered the chocolate and all was well.
What I took away from the entire situation was this: Sometimes we tell ourselves SO OFTEN that we’re afraid of this, or we’re afraid of that that we cause the fear to seem larger than it actually is. We make it a huge monstrous two-headed beast when it’s actually usually much smaller, not that monstrous, and has just the one head.
When we allow fear to dominate us, we’re actually giving it too much credit and ourselves not nearly enough.
One thing that helped me fairly early in the canoe trip was a certain little “mental checklist” I did. I asked myself what was the worst case scenario and what I would do if it came to pass.
I determined that if the canoe flipped and I found myself in deep water approached by a s-n-a-k-e, intent on using my soaked body as a buffet, I would club it with my oar. My brain also reminded me that I could always climb back into the canoe and that, after all, I was wearing a life jacket.
After I saw the you-know-what fleeing the scene, it also occurred to me that a clubbing wouldn’t even be necessary. I’d have to chase it to do so and I have no intention of doing that.
Ironically, I was ITS huge monstrous two-headed beast.
During the canoe trip, I also got a live, up close look at what irrational fear looks like. In a canoe near us, a “football player size” teenage boy nearly turned the canoe he and his girlfriend were in completely over. Seriously, they were inches from landing in the water.
He caused such a commotion, their canoe swayed like Gilligan’s ship in the opening credits and I still have no idea how it kept from wrecking.
Come to find out… he did all of that because he saw a spider. I’m not even kidding you. As I was laughing at the big ole boy afraid of a tiny little spider, my over-stimulated and shot out mind asked me, “What are YOU laughing at, snake charmer?”
The day was as enlightening as it was entertaining. My irrational fear came thisclose to ruining it for both me and my husband and I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that I chose “fight” instead of “flight.”
It’s not an overstatement to say that it made me stronger. Winning battles does that – especially when you’re your own opponent.
Our minds are utterly fascinating and utterly powerful. While this may seem like a reach, It’s one I’m willing to risk: Our minds determine the world in which we live.
We pretty much create the world we live in all between our ears. If we want something to be beautiful, it will be beautiful.
If we want to find fault in a person or a situation, we will be able to find as many as we’d like.
If we want to make a situation fearful, we won’t have to break a sweat, we can make it horror-story quality.
I’m sure you’re asking the same thing I am… why would we want to create anything negative? Why would we desire to create anything frightening or ugly?
Unless we’re as crazy as crazy has a right to be, we want our world to be beautiful, peaceful, and infinitely happy. Right? Well, the good news is we have the power to set it on the right track.
This power is our mind.
Next time your mind tells you something is scary, ugly, or even hideous, don’t just take its word for it (especially if it spells it out). Step back from the situation, take a deep breath, and create the world in which you truly want to live.
Your Turn: What are your own personal phobias or fears and what have you done to overcome them? Anyone else “highly cautious” around snakes?!