Archive for the 'Books' Category

Unstable leaders

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

“Humans are the only animals who will follow unstable pack leaders.” - Cesar Millan

“There is a kind of heroism for which there are no medals because it is unmentionable. It is that of the subordinate stoically following a leader whom he knows is taking him to disaster.”
- Huntford

What do you owe the person who is paying your salary? Your best work? The quantity of work that you feel they are paying for? The quality of work you feel that they deserve?

My first formal performance review in years was more abstract than concrete. Crying the economy, there was truly no chance of any raise. With money off the table, and no chance of any promotion in a horizontally-organized small business, the review was an exercise in negotiating expectations on both sides.

My review was quite good - overall better than I expected, because management freely admits that they are never satisfied. But the one thing they want me to do is to play to the owner, to manage his view of me. I’m ruminating on that today. If I’m doing the work but the owner doesn’t think so, is there a sound? If I play to him but don’t respect him, what does that mean? We’ve got a standoff here - both of us waiting to the other to prove their worth.

Since I have to leave anyway . . . . my coach says management is “abusive and narcissistic;” my guides say I was there to learn about how people abuse their power - and that I’ve learned the lesson and can get out of there at any time. (For a long time I worked for someone who was truly abusive, a screaming, bipolar genius whom I at least respected and learned from.)

Since I have to leave anyway, do I put the effort in so they’ll be more sorry to see me leave? Where do I put my energy?

The Last Place on Earth (Modern Library Exploration)

The Red Book

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Article in NY Times about the upcoming publication of Carl Jung’s personal Liber Novus:

The Holy Grail of the Unconscious

Interesting to me as I went through therapy that concentrated on dream analysis (although not Jungian, more Kaballah), I carried my battered notebook with me to NYC once a month - pages and pages of evolving stories. Also working on a memoir that sometimes scares me.

This article quotes Jung’s advice to a woman about her own dream book:

“I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can — in some beautifully bound book,” Jung instructed. “It will seem as if you were making the visions banal — but then you need to do that — then you are freed from the power of them. . . . Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church — your cathedral — the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them — then you will lose your soul — for in that book is your soul.”

Memorial Day: Storypeople

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Nine years ago, I wandered into an Annapolis art gallery and discovered Storypeople art prints by Brian Andreas. I was still grieving, and found his slice-of-life art more comforting than more traditional expressions of sympathy. For this Memorial Day, I offer a link to his site:

There are many stories, here are a few suggestions to start:

Living Memory
Empty Spaces
Hidden Ocean
Missing Piece
Thousand Moments
Hard to Forget
One Us

Storypeople book collections:

Going Somewhere Soon: Collected Stories & Drawings

Strange Dreams - Collected Stories & Drawings

Trusting Soul : Collected Stories & Drawings

There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain & remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself.
-Words of Comfort, Brian Andreas

There are no bad dreams

Monday, May 11th, 2009

God turns clouds inside out to make fluffy beds for the dogs in Dog Heaven, and when they are tired from running and barking and eating ham-sandwich biscuits, the dogs each find a cloud for sleeping. They turn around and around in the cloud… until it feels just right, and then they curl up.. and they sleep. God watches over each one of them and there are no bad dreams.

-Cynthia Rylant, Dog Heaven

Dog Heaven

Healing with Crystals & Chakra Energies

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Incorporating crystals into your meditation is a creative (and intuitive) process. You can hold them, of course, or wear them as jewelry. There are resources that explain how to place them at certain points on or around your body for particular purposes (see the entries on chakras for more detail). I like to contemplate mine by candlelight, turning it in my hands.

Healing with Crystals and Chakra Energies by Sue and Simon Lilly offers a number of crystal-, color-, and chakra-based meditations for all levels. For example, one method promotes the flow of energy: you hold a clear quartz crystal in your non-dominant hand with the tip pointed toward you, while holding another clear quartz in your dominant hand with the tip pointing away from you.

Healing With Crystals and Chakra Energies

It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is.


New moon, new year

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Welcome to the Aries new moon, our spring solstice and natural new year. Feels like something should be done to mark the occasion, something more meditative than champagne and dancing (although I am a huge fan). For those who follow the phases of the moon, this is the important one to set the tone for the year, like a new year’s resolution.

One option is the new moon treasure map. I’ve tried this for a few years in a row, it’s basically creating a collage, a visualization of what you want. No rules. Magazines, scissors, and glue, very appealing to the inner child. I read about this first in Jan Spiller’s New Moon Astrology (see link below).

It doesn’t have to be that serious. The first year I pasted this quote from a magazine in the center of my map: “Blowing off a party to stay home in your pajamas and watch Buffy.” (Hey, it’s my map.) A range of magazines presents more creative options - travel and science magazines are just as useful, and more thought-provoking, than the typical women’s magazines.

I’ve kept four years of maps, looking at the changes - and the similarities. For some reason, every year I’ve pasted the same picture of a woman receiving a hot stone massage. (Last fall I received my first hot stone massage, guess I can finally take it off the map.)

This is a contemplative ritual, effortlessly creative, very individual. Freeing. Sometimes surprising, how you find yourself attracted to an image, a headline, or a quote, and feel the need to include it. It represents a part of you that had no words.

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.

New Moon Astrology: The Secret of Astrological Timing to Make All Your Dreams Come True

Book: Meditation for Beginners

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

There is something simple and inviting about this book. The meditation practices introduced are “insight meditation - a way to introduce stillness in the midst of activity. Then, even the most mundane, repetitive experiences - such as eating, walking, or answering the phone - can be drawn into the field of meditative awareness.”

Six meditation practices are described in the book, and the accompanying CD provides guidance: Connecting with Breath, Working with the Sensations in the Body, Working with Feelings and Emotions, Witnessing Your Thoughts, Forgiveness Meditation, and Lovingkindness Meditation. Two additional chapters discuss Eating Meditations and Walking Meditations.

For additional information, please follow the link to Amazon:

Meditation for Beginners