As you know, I’m a huge fan of books (which is why I do so many book reviews). I love to read them, touch them, smell them, and generally befriend them. Sometimes, while in a bookstore, I’ll pick up books that I have absolutely NO intention of reading, simply to see what makes them tick. I found myself reading the inside jacket once of a Military Warships book just to see what they had going on. They made it seem so fascinating I nearly bought the book!
Truth be told, sometimes I read books that I don’t agree with whatsoever, simply to see someone else’s point of view.
The only thing that makes me shut a book and toss it (a couple of times in the trash) is if the author is derogatory, disrespectful, or malicious about (or toward) anyone – especially God. Other people can agree or disagree with me on this but they’ll never make me change my approach. When you sit down with a book, it’s as though you’re letting the author into your home and you’re sitting with him/her having a visit. Frankly, I’d never want hate or intolerance in my presence, so, yeah, I’ve been known to slam the door in the face of a few authors.
However, I do read a lot of books that I don’t completely “get” or agree with because I think it’s a fantastic mental challenge. Also, when you see where other people are “coming from,” it strengthens your own appreciation for and understanding of where you’re “coming from.”
I recently read a book that was sent for me to review, Expand This Moment: Focused Meditations to Quiet Your Mind, Brighten Your Mood, and Set Yourself Free, that was sort of in this category. I understand where the author’s going, but our steps aren’t exactly side by side. It’s as though I see his footsteps along the dirt path – and appreciate where he has been and where he’s heading – but my steps go in another direction.
That’s the great thing about books though and the beautiful thing about the visits we have with authors – disagreeing is perfectly fine! What’s more, 20 of us could read this same book and only 2 of us see our footprints in a different direction.
This book is a perfect example of my enjoyment for books that bring the reader out of their own familiar territory. Most of us aren’t that familiar with chakras or “merging” with our source, and the concept of waking up our solar plexus is way beyond us. Most of us never knew it was napping.
However, after reading the entire book, I have to say this – the author is certainly right, we do need to find a way to live more in the moment. I’ve always been about embracing each moment and refusing to live in moments past or moments yet to come. In fact, on my mental fitness blog, Out of Bounds, I’ve almost always sign each entry with the words, “Make each moment count double.” It’s just my way of reminding everyone to embrace the moment we’re in and squeeze all the enjoyment and goodness out of it. If we’re keeping company with ghosts from the past or walking with worries about tomorrow we aren’t embracing the moment and we certainly aren’t making it count double.
In Expand This Moment: Focused Meditations to Quiet Your Mind, Brighten Your Mood, and Set Yourself Free, John Selby offers up a series of FOCUS PHRASES to us to help you “expand” moments. My favorite one is, “I choose to enjoy this moment.” I think it’s a great way to remind yourself to stay within the moment and keep negative thoughts at bay.
I enjoyed reading a book that “expanded” my thoughts. Reading books that are “on par” with your thought processes are wonderful experiences but sometimes books that are “off par” with your thought processes are just the sort of jolt you need to challenge your way of thinking and open up new paths. I also love the approach the author has for quietening the mind. There’s something profoundly healing and healthy about quiet. My oldest daughter, Emily, came through the back door last night and practically froze in her tracks. She smiled and said, “Awww, it’s so quiet.” She seemed to let the quietness sink in and release the day’s tensions as it erased the noise and chaos of a day working with school children!
The quietness that fills our home during the day is something my cat, Alexa, and I take for granted. Generally, the loudest noises within these walls from 7 am to 5 pm are a coffee pot in the kitchen, the sound of my fingers on the keyboard, and the low hum of a dryer from the back of the house. Quietness is a beautiful thing, and quietening the mind brings about the same type of peace and, as far as I’m concerned, healing. Ironically, John Selby has another book entitled Quiet Your Mind: An Easy-to-Use Guide to Ending Chronic Worry and Negative Thoughts and Living a Calmer LifeSelf-Help Books). I haven’t read this book yet but I’d very much like to.
His newest book, Expand This Moment, reaffirmed my love of the MOMENT and has encouraged me to start signing off each post on Self Help Daily with the same salutation I use on Out of Bounds. And with that said…
Make each moment count double!