Lil Lemon Drop

Lil Lemon Drop
Happy Clothes for Happy Kids
posts in category manifestations

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Reading Choose Love by Stormie Omartian and other books




Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash


I am down to the bottom of my book stack, although I have multiple ebooks awaiting me. I am currently reading Choose Love, by Stormie Omartian.
Note: This blog post contains affiliate links.




Choose Love


I feel like this book is for someone with little to no understanding of God, self, and their place in this world. It begins with helping the reader to see their value in God's eyes and the how loved we are by God. Then it goes through the whole conversion spiel, followed by what  it looks like to love God. Most importantly, it stresses the importance of reading scripture and tucking it away in our heart.

It's not a bad book. It just isn't quite what I am looking for at this time. It is an old story, and I dream of a new story. However, in no way is it a bad story. The book is fairly well written and I enjoyed the bits of bible text-though I was raised on King James Version and this new clear language doesn't feel very spiritual to me. What frustrated me is the gushing language. I am not a huge fan of gushing and her language was gushy. I feel like she would have held the book Redeeming Love close to her heart, tears in her eyes, and told her friends what a great book it was (it wasn't).



What I am struggling with


I realize I feel a bit antagonistic towards this book, especially since it wasn't the weakest book I have read in the past month by far. If you are looking for a traditional Christian book about living, this book will fit the bill. I think what is bothering me, is how she starts off the book with feeling unloved and feeling guilt. I just don't feel those very much anymore. Maybe in my 20s and early 30s, but for the most part, it is very clear I have been fortunate and loved. I can't relate to the need to be broken in order to become more with God. That doesn't mean I HAVEN'T been there. It means I am not there now. I want something deeper. This is a book for new Christian recruits, I felt.


So the funniest thing just happened. I was typing the previous paragraph, and the floor lamp beside me, flickered and went off for about 3-4 seconds, then came back on, as I was trying to decide what to do. Nope. Not creepy at all.

Signs


Signs, signs, everywhere signs. Except not. The book I read a few weeks ago  E cubed




suggested you could play with the Universe (aka, God) to get signs to let you know you are not alone. The Universe would be happy to oblige. The audiobook I was listening to, Signs,  suggested more of the same.




Except that it didn't work. So I have a few theories on why all these people are gushing over signs, and the boys woke me up at four a.m., so I might as well share. First, maybe it is just a big load of bull, and hopeful people are seeing what they want to see. Or maybe, the "signs" aren't really God or a loved one, but something more sinister (you can take girl out of church, but you can't take early church teaching out of the girl). Or on the same vein, maybe God is protecting me from seeing "signs", because it is unnecessary, perhaps sinister, and not how I should be using my time.

I don't know. All I know is I didn't get my signs. Well, lemons, but lemons are a thing lately, so not too meaningful.

I am rambling a lot. I got less than 4 hours of sleep and of course, it is the busiest day of my week coming up.


Monday, May 11, 2020

How Using a Mantra Helps Me

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash



Why a mantra?


Do you have a mantra? I have been using them pretty often this year to direct my thoughts and calm my spirit.
When I first heard the term "mantra" years ago, it seemed like this weird, new-agey thing, that you just had to be Californian, named Chloe or Zoe, and sit around in long flowy dresses, or yoga pants being zen. Not me, for sure. But I still used them over the years, from time to time, and since last fall have been using them much more frequently.

What is a mantra?
man·tra
/ˈmantrə/
noun
  1. 1.
    (originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
  2. 2.
    a statement or slogan repeated frequently.
    "the environmental mantra that energy has for too long been too cheap"
~From Oxford






Now, to me, of course the first one would be used in meditation. I have been known to use those occasionally, because the mind loves to wander. But in this case, I am talking about the second. I use mantras to calm my spirit when I feel it bubbling over (in a not-so-positive way). For example, "All is Well," is very helpful when I feel anxiety starting to build. "God is in control," is another simple phrase which helps me regulate anxiety. 

I have a headful of dreams I want to accomplish and often feel I am spinning my wheels and never getting there. Since I put hours and hours of work into my business and blog, I find it frustrating to not be getting where I want to be. Most of my reading suggests I need to just lay off a bit with the stress and worry. "Ask and ye shall receive." "Let the Universe know what you want, and then sit back and listen." These are the ideas floating around which I hear often. 

Now, there are conflicted opinions on what this means. Some people say to be very specific  about what you want, then sit back and watch and wait. Others say, "Well, God didn't just make this whole Universe so he can hand you a fancy mansion." Okay, they probably do, I made up that particular awkward sentence. So I think the truth lies somewhere in between. You need to be communicating with God in order to get the guidance to go where you need to go. Once you have talked to God, poured your heart out, let you wishes be known, then you can sit back and watch the events unfold. The thing is, they don't always unfold exactly the way you want them to. Perhaps you are praying for a fancy sports car. You may find yourself placed in a situation where that does indeed happen for you. Alternately, you may find your own self and heart being changed by a chain of events which makes that sports car no longer so very desirable. It's okay to want and expect things, but one needs to be open to growth and possibilities which were never imagained. 

What this leads me to, when I am feeling so frustrated with my lack of worldly success (although, goodness knows I have plenty and more! I have been very blessed), when I feel I am losing focus, and wonder why I keep spinning my wheels and sharing these thoughts, which are so embarrassing to share, I find the simple morning mantra, "Show me the way," to be helpful and calming.

"Show me the way," acknowledges there is a plan, there is a path, which leads to greater things and fulfilling destinies. It acknowledges I want guidance from God to get to get there. These simple words acknowledge my strong desire to do and create more in a powerful way. And they help me to feel peace and trust that help is coming.

For me, choosing a daily mantra, is like choosing an ongoing prayer in a sentence which I want to communicate it with God. Sometimes it is a simple affirmation to soothe my nerves, but often is a prayer, asking for guidance. When I feel confusion or anxiety or concern rising, I can simple take to prayer with my simple phrase, "Show me the way."

And once I let go out of the desire for a specific outcome, and realize this help may lead me down paths I never imagined, I can go forth with peace and joy that God will guide my heart towards the highest path of growth.

Finding your Mantra


If you are interesting in find your own mantra, a simple web search should lead you to a variety of sites with advice.

This one on Oprah.com explains how to choose  a mantra which is personally meaningful to you. 


What is Your Personal Mantra is a site which has a fun quiz. Although the pictures are no longer the working, the quiz still does-you will just have to read the explanation below where the picture should have been to read the "advice."

If you are trying to choose a mantra to supplement your yoga practice here are some ideas:








Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What I have been reading...

Having all this time is both a blessing and a curse, isn't? Those of us who are lucky enough to work and home aren't feeling the financial strain as badly, but there are still conflicting emotions to work through and face each day.

I will tell you this blog contains affiliate links from Amazon.

Sometimes I feel like this is just an extended weekend, and other times I feel like I have been living this forever.

First and foremost, getting paid to stay home with my family is my dream come true. However, it isn't quite like I had planned it. First of all, I do have at least a couple hours of paperwork, grading, and phone calls to do every day. As a special education high school teacher my grading load might be lighter, but IEP and evaluations still have to be completed one way or another, if possible. And it's all good. I love being home. What surprises me though, is how little energy I have left for my family. Someone told my husband, he was lucky, his wife was a teacher, as if teaching my own would somehow be easy. And the answer is, "Nope." If my first grader doesn't want to practice reading (and he is learning slowly) he will throw a pillow across the room, do a karate chop kick jump, while screaming, "No." My fourth grader lives to learn-but only what he wants to learn. Science facts and experiments. Anything else is a struggle. Which sucks, because he is going to need those math skills to advance far in science. Throw in a three-year-old (and folks, my kids have ENERGY, fire and vim (wonder where they get that)), and it makes for a long day.
So yes, I have everything I want temporarily, and no, it isn't quite as I had imagined.

But between working on work stuff, blog stuff, business stuff, and family stuff, I have been trying to read as much as possible. So here are my recents reads, affiliate links, and opinions!




The Career Code This book is subtitled Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish,and Self-Made Career, and includes 27 Life Hacks Every Woman Should Master!

Combining fashion and career advice, this book would be perfect for the new graduate just starting her career! I love fashion advice, and the career advice would have been useful to me years ago, before I made a bazillion mistakes, not understanding the cardinal rule, it's who you know, not what you know. Actually, I sort of suspected that, but couldn't figure how to get to know who you needed to know, you know? Introvert failings and all. It still was a fun book to read, and I highly recommend it to the 20-something gal.

In answer to that question how you get to know who you need to know, this next book just sort of has it.

Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities that Make Us Influential

It is so good. It really takes all the stuff your gut kind of knows, throws a little research behind it, and throws it back in your face in a palatable way.







This Kindle book is just fantastic. I am only about halfway through and I have learned so much. From explaining stereotypes and how they affect us all (it helps to be white, male, and attractive), to giving real advice on how to feel and exude more power, I am treasuring this book. This book acknowledges that some people have an advantage, but (so far) I am appreciative of the helpful advice that is given to those who aren't from a most privileged spot. The main idea of this book is that influence comes from both strength and warmth. It is important to have the right balance of strength (power to get things done) and warmth (overall likeability). This balance differs depending on who you are. Men can get away with exuding more strength, but women who show too much strength run the risk of being labelled a bitch and disregarded. Too much warmth though will have you disregarded as sweet, but ineffectual. It addresses how to get the balance right in order to  boost your level of influence.

Back in the fluff department I am flipping through

Parisian Chic Look Book: What Should I Wear Today?






I got this book from the library, but it is a book which simply BEGS to be owned. With its gold foild color and its fabulous color photos of classic pieces of clothing and how to put the pieces together for certain occasions including the ubiquitous "From Office to NightClub" all the way to "At the Courthouse for my Divorce,"  it will become a classic on your fashion/self help shelf for sure!

Now we get into my latest interest, Manifestation and The Law of Attraction. This is a whole new can of worms, which I plan to do more posts on, both bookwise and discuss my passions and conflicts with the light movement, but I have just worked through these books, so I wanted to add them here.

The Magic Path of Intuition




A quick and simple read, you will find yourself refreshed and hopeful after completing this read. The stories are simple and straightforward, and it makes for a nice read sitting in the backyard watching the kids play in the sunshine.

Liquid Luck: The Good Fortune Handbook



This kindle edition is fairly short, positive, and upbeat. It is all about recognizing with gratitude the abundance which already surrounds you. I am only about halfway through. Although I haven't found anything that can't be found elsewhere, if you want an introduction or referesher into abundant living, this book would be fun to read.


The Tapping Solution for Manifesting Your Greatest Self




So here is what I have discovered. At this point, tapping is not for me. Now I can throw my hands up, thumbs pointed toward myself with Gabby Bernstein on Youtube, but I can't quite bring myself to tap through my anxiety. It's NOT a BAD idea. In fact, I think for many people it might be a fantastic way to get control of anxiety so they can move from the shadow to the light. But my anxiety is highly caffeine driven and sitting still tapping my body isn't my thing right now. I will keep it in mind for when I become a little more peaceful and still.The OTHER information in the book is absolutely useful.


Fiction

Now on to fiction. I have managed to get a little fiction reading in!

In the Dark, Dark Wood

Now I read this book on the kindle app on myphone, but I think fiction is best tasted with paper.




At first I felt a bit of embarrassement reading this. I guess I am a bit of a book snob, and nothing here was calling out literary genius. But I got hooked on the book anyway, pulled in by average characters who just seemed kind of cool and trying to figure out whodunnit. I do think it was predictable, but just seeing how it all unfolded made for a lot of fun. I couldn't put it down!

In An Instant




This young adult book was not what I thought! I guess I didn't carefully read the summary first, but it took a turn fast, and I was along for the ride watching it all unfold. There were characters who angered me: those who were selfish, and those who were judgemental of the selfish people. I felt Mo's character was just a bit too perfect and idealized, but overall, the book had me caring about a tidy ending and truly loving the character Chloe. It was fun to watch this family, whose real balance lay in a strong mother, fight and struggle as they grieved and learned to love again.


If you are going Corono-Crazy or just want to try something outside your comfort zone, I recommend these books. Time is a blessing and let's make the most of it.

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