Occupy Blogoshpere 8 – My Inspirations

A couple of weeks ago, on her blog All That Matters, the author, Katy, wrote a post entitled ‘Just Start’. In it she referred to something that I’d written, over on my other blog, Tao of Scrumble, about how The Artist and I are now living the life of our dreams. At the time I missed her post – I’m not sure why. I thought WordPress would automatically inform me but, clearly, I was mistaken. She also added a link to it, in a comment on Soul Dipper’s ‘Occupy Blogosphere Thusday’, last week (March 17) – and I didn’t pick that up either.

No matter, I got there in the end, at the right time, (as I was obviously meant to do!). I’m humbled by Katy’s decision to use my story as a ‘good’ example of how to attract your desires, and apologise for the delay in responding. Thank you, Katy.

‘Just Start’ is centred around Katy’s thoughts on a motivational speaker, who’s video she had just watched. She wondered whether I had been inspired to follow a cyber-guru. And that set me thinking…..

My life has not been straightforward (has anybody’s?) – but that’s several other stories, some of which will never be told. Suffice to say that there have been dark times. What helped me through the mire?

My lowest point was in the early 1990’s – before The Artist came along. Technology was in it’s infancy, so my first life-line was a book someone lent me – ‘Women Who Love Too Much’, by Robin Norwood. I read it one Sunday morning – turning page after page, shouting ‘Yes!’ Of the 10 or 12 questions she posed to determine whether this was the right book for me, I answered at least nine in the affirmative – it was. That well-thumbed paperback led me to a local support group, which I attended for a number of years. Thank you Robin

From there, I worked my way through many other self-help manuals – ‘The Road Less Travelled’, by M Scott Peck, being particularly memorable. One afternoon, after struggling to get to grips with his message, (my head, in those days was constantly spinning,) I decided to take my dog for a walk.

Trudging around a nearby park, mental cogs whirring incessantly, my attention was suddenly arrested by the sight of a beautiful tree. It was autumn, the leaves had turned crimson and – backlit by the setting sun – it appeared to be on fire. As a turbulent wind whirled around me, I remember opening my arms wide and surrendering to the power of nature.

On the way home, I dared to imagine a different life – one where I wasn’t alone, where I had a human companion, a man who would love me, unconditionally. Not a particularly spiritual desire, I agree – but within 24 hours a casual acquaintance asked me out for a friendly drink. His sense of humour broke down my defences and, seventeen years on we’re still together. Thank you M Scott.

Searching for more of M Scott Peck’s work, in an independent bookshop, Shakti Gawain’s ‘Living in the Light, caught my attention. Her simple words and meditations guided me from my place of darkness, until I emerged into the sunshine. Thank you Shakti.

It was around this time that my daughter sent me a voucher for Mothers’ Day, which I spent on some bath products, the names of which were ‘Chi/Qui’ and ‘Damn Sexy’. There was a website address on the label, which opened a door to the world of The Barefoot Doctor, Stephen Russell.

At my favourite indie bookstore I found a copy of his, ‘Handbook for the Urban Warrior: Spiritual Survival Guide’, and was introduced to ‘Wayward Taoism’. I was instantly attracted to The Doc’s quirky style, bought the book and started practising his Chi Gong exercises, which made me feel better – physically and mentally.

I now own several of his other books but these haven’t replaced the original ‘Urban Warrior’. I lent it out and when it didn’t come back, bought another – that’s how helpful I found it. I subscribe to receive emails from The Barefoot sites, ‘Like’ him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. Love and CHI, Steph.

Over the years I’ve read many other spiritual self-help books, some of which are well known – for example Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, Susan Jeffers’ ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ and ‘Families And How To Survive Them’, by Dr. Robin Skynner and John Cleese. All have provided valuable insights but there’s one other, from which I learned an important message.

Sharon Duvall, the author, is a very good friend. Entitled ‘Look Inside and Find The Gift’, her slim, self-published volume urges the reader to find joy in simple things. Following her advice, The Artist and I try not to use the words ‘want’ and ‘need’, substituting wish or require instead. This subtle shift made a surprising difference to our attitudes and subsequently to our lives. Thank you, Sharon.

Well, I’ve gone a long way round for a short-cut, (The Road Less Travelled, perhaps?) But the answer to Katy’s question – whether an Internet Life Coach has influenced me – has to be ‘No’. I’m not casting doubt on their sincerity or success but – when I required an outside perspective – they didn’t exist, the Internet barely existed.

I learn best from other authors. I prefer to interpret the words that they write, at my own pace -flicking back and forth through the pages, when there’s something I don’t understand. Call me old-fashioned but don’t knock it – it’s worked well for me.

And now there’s a whole Blogosphere for me to tap into – beautiful and inspiring poetry, photographs and prose. I feel extremely fortunate to belong to such a creative on-line community of bloggers.

Thank you All! 🙂

This is my contribution for ‘Occupy Blogosphere Thursday’, this week. For more information, to join in and comment, please visit Soul Dipper’s Blog


10 thoughts on “Occupy Blogoshpere 8 – My Inspirations

  1. I love knowing the books that have impacted someone else’s life. There is power and healing in the written word and you have shared some wonderful ones here. Kudos to you for growing, and reaching and changing your life. Walk in beauty, my friend.

    1. Thank you, Joss – I’ve been going through a major growth spurt this weekend, as it happens. I’m learning all the time, with or without books to guide me, with friends like you by my side. 🙂 It’s truly awe-inspiring!

  2. Thanks for sharing your inspirations, Jacqueline. There may be folk who smile politely when I say that I am a writer and have a blog, but I accept they have no idea the community available to us. We can make it as big or small as we like, can contribute as much as we have, and can zero in on whatever field is our passion or preference.

    I’m so glad you have joined our world! Except for The Barefoot Doctor, I have shared your shoes!

    1. Thank you for welcoming me into the Blogosphere, Amy – I agree that many have no concept of how rich and far-reaching it is. I get that condescending smile too – from people who don’t understand.

      Some books I’ve read then given away, others I keep referring back to, like those of Barefoot Doctor – his quirky, very English approach to spirituality appeals to my rebellious nature! It’s been interesting to observe how he retains his authenticity, whilst becoming more well-known.

      The tide is definitely turning 🙂

  3. wonderfully real!
    now ihave to go find your books I have only one ShaktiGawain, I have several of hers, but I liked the feel of the titles of the other ones…
    Thank you for sharing

    1. I read a couple more of Shakti’s books too, then passed them on to others. I’ve only kept my Barefoot Doctor ones, as these have Chi Gong exercises in and I revisit from time to times to practice again. Enjoy reading, Mary Rose 🙂

      1. I will, and I am curious about the ChiGong..after reading your blog I looked it up and got lost in it for over an hour..it felt good?
        Thank you for bringing it to my awareness!

  4. I really enjoy learning what has made a person who they are now. Thanks for sharing these titles with us all. The “Urban Warrior” sounds like something I might very much enjoy so I will try to find a copy of it. I never thought about substituting those two words, but I can see how it would definitely change a person’s attitudes toward both. 🙂 Thank you again for this post.

    1. Barefoot Doctor rocks! After I’d read the earlier books and figured out why I was in such a state, the exercises he suggests we’re the next step on my healing journey. And choosing how I voice my thoughts these days makes me feel so much better than moaning about fate! Thank you, Dragonket, I trust you have a good trip! 🙂

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