Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Recent Nonfiction that I have read

Here are three nonfiction books that I have read recently. Two I highly recommend, the other not so much!

First is Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter. I really liked this book and took a lot away from it.

This book is basically about learning how to identify and overcome trigger points in our lives.  I wish that I had read it thirty years ago when I was beginning my career.  It would have been very helpful in dealing with co-workers and staff. What I especially took away from the book was in Part Two. In this part of the book, the author talks about altering our own behavior, not the behavior of others.  And how that can change everything! The first chapter was 'The Power of Active Questions'.  The next chapter was 'The Engaging Questions'.  This chapter settled on six questions that one was to answer for themselves at the end of each day.  I incorporated some of these questions, along with other questions more pertinent to me, into my daily journal, where I track them each day (with just a check mark).  I have found this to be quite powerful for me, and very helpful to encourage changes for me. I've recommended this book to several people and I recommend it to those reading this!

In my spiritual reading, I have completed two books, both by Parker J. Palmer.  Mr. Palmer is a teacher and a Quaker. In Let Your Life Speak, subtitled Listening for the Voice of Vocation, Mr. Parker shared the story of how listening to his inner voice led him to his passion/vocation of teaching. He also shared his experience of dealing with depression. As he explained vocation:

"Today I understand vocation quite differently-not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received."

"It comes from a voice 'in there' calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God."
The last chapter of the book is "There is a season", which probably spoke to me the most.  He used the metaphor of the seasons as we take the journey from dark to light in our lives. I struggle with experiencing the seasons of fall and winter, and his words helped explain much to me:

"Autumn is a season of great beauty, but it is also a season of decline: the days grow shorter, the light is suffused, and summer's abundance decays toward winter's death. Faced with this inevitable inter, what does nature do in autumn? It scatters the seeds that will bring new growth in the spring-and scatters them with amazing abandon."
I don't know why, after almost 67 years on this earth, that this spoke to me and helped me appreciate fall, but it speaks of hope instead of death and that changes everything!

I really enjoyed studying this book and it had a very strong and positive impact on me. 

So then I decided to read Mr. Palmer's book A Hidden Wholeness. I struggled greatly with this book, mostly because I was not interested in the 'circle of trust', which the book seemed to be training one for experiencing.  I just wasn't into it.

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