Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Something More Excavating Your Authentic Self , by Sarah Ban Breathnach: Book Review


Ever get one of those self improvement books and think to yourself—gosh, I'll never read that!  Rather than ignoring the idea of possibly getting some insight and instruction on how you may live your life more fully, try wading into the self improvement genre slowly, with books on tape. Listen to the CD while doing something you really enjoy.  It may surprise you that a self improvement book can actually heighten the practice of your activity.

I first listened to Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self on audio CD while hiking my favorite trail. I enjoy nature and hiking is something that can bring out the Henry David Thoreau in even the most cynical.

I shared my favorite trail with gutsy wild turkeys, skittish deer and even a pack of wolf pups bounded toward me one day. As the pups scurried back into the scrub, I ached to pick up the smallest one. She tried to hide herself in a culvert, the other pups leaving her behind. I saw myself in that pup, hiding herself—in full-on survival mode, and scared. 

While I identified with that pup, I began to appreciate that my nature walk was connecting me to myself. And listening to Something More, at that particular moment, encouraged me to explore my thoughts. Sarah’s words elevated the nature walk into a deep contemplation: I realized what trouble my thinking had gotten into; apparently, quite a bit of trouble. Yet, despite my negative mental meanderings, Sarah’s suggestions, inspiring stories and transformative insights filled me with faith and grace.

When my mind took a turn, I followed it up the tree-lined hill: “What? I didn't have to be a drone the rest of my life? I could reinvent my scratch-and-dent self? Failure is a good thing because it forces me to find out my ‘authentic needs and passionate yearnings?’ I can create a life I love? Yes, I must."