my Journal

Need to Breathe.

Aniston here…

If you didn’t already know, my mom is an avid reader/audiobook listener. In fact, on some days, she totally ignores us, leaves us to draw (mostly on the couch), and she sits and gets lost in her next book.  Mom has ventured out of the box recently, reading on spirituality (more on that later), philosophy, evolution, classic poetry, etc.  There is a TON of irony here, considering she HATED everything about college and being forced to read the aforementioned stuff. Like, she spent decent money on Cliffs Notes.

Something changed after she had a quick hello with the grim reaper, who turned out to be a pretty sarcastic dude. Mom said she can’t “un-know” this stuff now, and that’s both a blessing and a curse.

Anyway, this year long (really decade long) “journey,” so to speak, has led to some VERY interesting revelations and commonalities among these authors.

  1. Universal connection is repeated throughout history.
  2. Love/compassion and empathy are common themes in ALL areas of literature.
  3. People SCREW up majorly when it comes to interpretation. DO NOT get mom started on organized religion.
  4. Courage in life is necessary.

Kelly Acs Photography Books

And a sad fact, just for fun, something like 5% of the US population buys and reads 90% of the books sold. That NEEDS to change.

Recently she picked up “The Descent of Man,” by Mr. Charles Darwin himself. Unfortunately, he wasn’t around in the era of Audible, so mom had to go old school.  Plus, she ONLY likes it when the author actually narrates their own books (seriously, it makes a HUGE difference).

Did you know the “survival of the fittest,” that FAMOUS term coined by Darwin was only actually used TWICE in the book? Two times. And did you know that the word “love” was used 95 times? So why the hell are we so caught up in being the best, strongest, smartest and quoting “survival of the fittest,” in the meantime? That’s not what he said. He said we were able to empathize, which gave human beings the ability to HELP one another. Love. Compassion. Inclusion.  What exactly gives humans MORE of a right to live on the planet than a flamingo, cow, lizard or parasite?

So yea, I’m starting to not take society or conventional education very seriously these days. So pick up a book maybe…and have the courage to not let others think for YOU…we’ve seen where THAT gets us.

Here are a list of mom’s top 10 book obsessions, if anyone is looking for new reads:

  1. The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer (the IS the book that brought mom and apu together, resulting in yours truly).
  2. The Way to Love, by Anthony de Mello. This book is the size of an iPhone, so it’s totally easy to carry around and reread!
  3. The Impersonal Life, Joseph Brenner.
  4. It’s Never Crowded Along the Extra Mile, by Wayne Dyer (I think I’ve read 30 out of his 45 books…and they are ALL incredible.)
  5. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
  6. Left to Tell, by Immaculee Illibagiza.
  7. Self-Reliance, by Ralph Waldo Emmerson.
  8. Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl.
  9. Dying to Be Me, Anita Moorjani.
  10. Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown.

Ha. Just looking at this list makes me laugh because every single one of these books is about JUST that. Love, being yourself, listening to your intuition and the challenge us to question everything. EVERYTHING.

My FAVORITE quote of all time by Wayne Dyer sums this up pretty well…”When you follow the herd, you’ll end up stepping in shit.”  And mom likes her French shoes too much to do that.

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