Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Since I discovered easy access to audiobooks, I've listened to a lot of books. Downloadable audiobooks, online access from my local library, it can't get much better than this. As a postal mail carrier, I spend most of my work days riding around. If I'm not listening to music, I'm engaged with an audiobook.

The titles aren't as plentiful as I would like, but I grab this and that. It's a wonderful way to experience new authors and various genres. When I saw "The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty," I actually skipped over it a few times. When I finally read the description, I decided to give it a try.

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. 

Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive...

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she's an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband's secret. 

My thoughts went to the obvious. Of course, the letter was about his infidelity, maybe even with her best friend, right? Wrong. The deep dark secret within this letter was not about her husband cheating. It's much, much worse.  The story took a grand twist away from what I was expecting and continued to tumble and turn all the way to the end.

Turns out, I'm a year late getting to this book. It released last year. But, if you haven't read this yet, I suggest you give it a read. It hit the best sellers list, and I can understand why. If you like a story with a twist, intriguing characters, and a nice bow at the end, this may be the perfect summer read for you.

Here's a link - Amazon.

I'd love to hear from those who have read this book or other books by this author. Let's talk about it. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mandala Meditation - Release Your Inner Child

What is a Mandala? The definition in World English Dictionary is this:
mandala  (ˈmændələ, mænˈdɑːlə)
— n
1.    Hindu & Buddhist art  any of various designs symbolizing the universe, usually circular
2.    psychol  such a symbol expressing a person's striving for unity of the self
[Sanskrit: circle]

I first heard about the use of mandalas for meditation a while back. I attempted to create my own more than once. They say it doesn't matter the outcome, only the process. But, *smile*, my results were hideous. I had a thought the other day about using graph paper to solve my issues, but haven't attempted this yet.

A few weeks ago, I had an Energy Reading done by Elaine Lockard. The experience was a wonderful one. She read my chakra energies and gave suggestions on cleaning up and unblocking my issue areas. One of her suggestions was to Meditate through Mandala Coloring. So, I got to looking and there are many available for downloading and printing.

These artwork pieces offer visual, creative, and spiritual outlets in many ways. You may wish to focus on a piece of artwork already created, draw your own, or color a mandala. The important thing is to relax, be quiet, and listen. And it's fun. Think of all those hours coloring as a child. What better way to bring your inner child out to play than to go back in time and do something fun?

Okay, you are probably wondering why this is appearing here on my Author's blog and not on my Tarot-Guidance blog. Well, the simple answer is, this is an exercise for your Muse. Give him/her some playtime, and I guarantee you'll find her a little more available for the work time. Release your inner child, relax, and play a little.

Also, if other meditation practices seem out of your reach, this one may be for you. To begin, simply find a comfortable seat. Have your supplies within reach: Mandala, coloring pencils, crayons, markers, whatever you wish. You can even shade it in with a pencil. The tools don't matter, just the process of letting go.

You should begin with a short breathing session - Breath in long breaths and slowly let them out. Doing this four to five times should be sufficient. After this, start coloring. Don't stress over what colors to use, how well you stay in the lines, or the results. This is about quieting the chatter box and allowing your mind to flow freely.

Hint: Keep a small notebook nearby. This little play session can cause you Muse to start talking, singing, and definitely smiling. You don't want to miss any of her insight during these play dates.

Here are a few options to help you get started:

There are video Mandala Meditations available. Here's one - Mandala Meditation by Meditation Oasis.

Here is a video which will walk you through the process of creating your own - How to Grow a Mandala.

There are many places to find printable Mandala designs. Here are a couple: Print Mandala, Coloring Castle.

I colored the Mandala you see below during the Father's Day weekend. I had originally planned to write up this post then, but as I played, my mind drifted to my Dad. In the end, I felt a small tribute to him was a better alternative for the post for that day. And, it gave me a little time to be with my Mandala before sharing it.  

There are many ways to meditate, to let your inner child out to play, and to free up your Muse for the work day. Do you have an alternative method? Do you color, crochet, garden? What is your play time like for your Muse?

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