Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 127 or Living My Life Forwards

This week, I shook off ten years worth of dust on the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Some of you may remember that it was pretty in vogue during the late 1990's as a guide to getting the life of which you dream. I, of course, owned it. For a myriad of reasons (nice use of myriad, huh? I knew that word-a-day calendar would pay off eventually), but most prominently it was a self-help book, it was pink, and Oprah said to buy it. Because you know if Oprah says to buy it, I must.

All that said, it really is a lovely book (did I mention that it's pink?). Its message of gratitude first is one that speaks to me deeply. And it's a day-book which means that I can read it in small digestible bits of time that even I can do now with my two kiddos. But sometime ago, it joined the other dust-covered "self-help" books on my shelf (many promoted by Oprah, BTW). Please don't misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with any of these books. I have even gotten good from them but at the heart, something was missing. Me. I was missing. I was looking outside of me. I wanted the act of reading the book to magically fix me. Looking back, I'm not even sure I know what needed to be "Fixed".

So back to Simple Abundance. It's a new year which always draws me to that shelf (and the corresponding one in Barnes & Noble) and its cover (you know, the pink one) caught my eye. So I revisited her. And in reading the Foreword, I found this quote front and center:

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. -- Margaret Young


I think that is the journey I'm on right now -- being who I really am, finding what I need to do, and doing it. So I'm taking Simple Abundance off the shelf for a whirl again. I'm not looking to be "fixed". Because I'm not broken. I've just been a little lost. And when you're lost, a map and a compass are pretty useful. And whether this book (or any other, for that matter) can provide a map remains to be seen. But I know this. I have a compass. I always have. It's my heart. And right now, we're heading to True North.

10 comments:

subu.ps said...

Madam how do you manage to have atleast one article per day and most of them are quite interesting tooo. You must be spending a good amount of time thinking about what to write for the next day right?
I am now a follower, just because I'm curious to know what subject you will write the next day.

beth said...

what a fantastic piece from the book....

it holds so much truth !

happy new year !!

Sonya said...

Have you read the Purpose Driven Life? I loved that book.

Loved the quote you shared..Im at that point..trying to find out who I really am and what Im supposed to be doing..confusing really.

Mary said...

Wow! We must be traveling a similar path these days. I'll have to check out this facinating pink book with the beautiful quote.

Nancy C said...

Don't we spend our lives looking towards what we think we need instead of looking at what we have? This book looks like a good frame to help people reverse their thinking process. Good luck!

Veronica Lee said...

Beautiful quote.

Sounds like a great book to read.

Nikia, May and da kids said...

I like that you know you are NOT broken. A few weeks back I was invited by a group of ladies to lunch. These woman and I talked about everything and I clearly sounded 20 years younger to them. I think because I am still hopeful. One of the ladies said how she felt inadequate. The other 5 followed with me too and why they were inadequate. Then they looked at me who was happily shoving ice cream down my throat and asked me, do you feel inadequate too?? I wasn't aware it was a serious conversation and said "to who?"

You are ok and sometimes we have challenges.

May

chitra said...

I haven't read this book and feel I must get a copy of the same.I liked the quote.

Unknown Mami said...

You have built in GPS, baby!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

i need to check out this lovely book, Traci.
Have a great weekend!
hugs