I just finished reading, Year of No Sugar: A Memoir, by Eve Schaub which was recommended to me by a loyal blog reader based on this post. This was an easy, fast, and light read, but inspiring nonetheless. I learned a lot. For example, I had a bias against processed food and especially high fructose corn syrup (duh, that’s a no brainer, right!?), but did not acknowledging the same biological effects on the body from what I deemed “good” or at the very least, “better”, sources of sugar such as my beloved maple syrup and molasses. I highly recommend this book for anyone trying to swim upstream against the tide of sugar pushed on us from all directions. Schaub talks a lot about another book, Sweet Poison, by David Gillespie which I hope to get on the docket soon. There are also a bunch of youtube videos about this topic from Dr. Lustig who does a great job of translating the science terminology into plain English. Anyway, this is a subject near and dear to my heart so definitely wanted to pass along! Thanks for the recommendation, Emma!
On to more spiritual material, I just finished Spirit Junkie, by Gabrielle Bernstein. It’s also a light read as it’s mainly her personal story, but that can be inspiring, especially to younger folks. I especially liked her stories of synchrodestiny and her encounter with John of God. I didn’t love this book, but the one thing I took away from it was her breathing exercise. You start with 5 seconds — breath in for 5, hold for 5, out for 5, hold for 5. At one point, I’d worked my way up to 10, but now I’m back down to 6. I wouldn’t do this while driving, but it’s a quick way to get present and in the center of your head. Funny how not having oxygen is a way to get your priorities straight instantly.
I have no idea how I got through, The Case for God, by Karen Armstrong as it’s a 400+ page history of beliefs since the cave men. It was probably only due to the fact that I was listening to rather than reading it. While I found it interesting in parts, I’d only recommend it if you’re a history buff, anthropologist, or just plain highly academic. My motivation to continue was that I kept thinking I’d get to some important spiritual wisdom, but it was more just laying out the history of humans evolution on faith. I’m glad I read it, but wouldn’t feel comfortable actually giving it a recommendation.
After that academic exercise, I was in need of light read so I picked up May Cause Miracles, again by Gabrielle Bernstein. I listened to this one as well, but this book lends itself to the written format so you can flip through the different exercises. I think this book would appeal to a younger person just starting to explore their spirituality. Having said that, it could be fun to have it on your nightstand and just open it up and try whatever exercise comes up.
I read a couple of books by Mark Nepo recently, The Book of Awakening and Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. I’m not sure if it was the format or the actual books themselves, but I listened to the first one and enjoyed it, but had a physical book for the second one and just couldn’t get into it. Nepo is a poet so his writing isn’t that linear or easy to follow, for me at least, but his voice is beautiful so I enjoyed listening to his narrative. I can’t say exactly what I learned, but I truly did enjoy The Book of Awakening. Wow, how is that for inarticulate?!?! Oh well, hopefully you get my point:)…
Finally, I picked up The Seeker’s Guide, by Elizabeth Lesser. The print was really small on my version or probably more truthful is that my eyesight isn’t what it used to be, but either way, this was a tough book for me to get into. So tough in fact, I didn’t finish it even though I have a feeling it was worthy. There was one chapter, however, I really enjoyed on dying and helping people who are in the process of dying. If you find yourself in that situation, I think it was chapter three. My apologies, I get these books from the library and often have to turn them in before I get the chance to write about them.
I have a few more to review, but I’ll save them for next time… In the meantime, would love to hear what your reading and loving and learning!