Vilma Reynoso

Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.


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July Book Review: Woe to the Women the Bible Tells Me So: The Bible, Female Sexuality & the Law by Annie Laurie Gaylor

“It is the contempt that the [biblical] canon and civil law alike express for women that has multiplied their hardships and intensified for man’s desire to hold them in subjection.”  – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Woe to the Woman, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Vilma Reynoso

I never really considered myself a feminist: a person who advocates or supports the rights and equality of women, until the moment I heard my father tell my mother in a demeaning tone that I would never graduate from college. The belief that my father held bothered me for decades and influenced my (sometimes disastrous) decisions I made as a woman. Over the years, I have realized that he was wrong, not only about me, but about women in general. I have come to believe that I am capable and have the right, as a woman and a human being, to live my life as I choose. I chose to graduate from college; not only did I graduate, but I graduated summa cum laude. Now, as a writer and as a somewhat prolific reader, here is a short summary of my latest read:

Woe to the Women the Bible Tells Me So: The Bible, Female Sexuality & the Law by Annie Laurie Gaylor is a compilation of the many biblical references and stories portraying women, as the author states, “as either superfluous or as diabolical.” In the bible, women are deemed the “cause of all sin that entered the world” and are instruments and instigators of evil. Gaylor argues that the bible is a handbook for the subjugation of women. The first part of this book summarizes the different areas of oppression of women in the bible, and the second part is a thorough compilation of biblical scriptures to support her assertions that the bible denigrates and subjects women to men.

Woe to the Women the Bible Tells Me So: The Bible, Female Sexuality & the Law examines biblical teachings about women’s “nature,” prostitution, sexual assault and incest, so-called “uncleanliness,” motherhood, divorce, adultery, grooming, abortion and more. Annie Laurie Gaylor makes apparent the biblical stories of women who are bought and sold, used as commodities, made to become wives with no rights, who are raped, mutilated, stoned to death, and makes apparent the story of a woman who was later chopped into pieces after she had died from enduring a gang-rape all night long. (Yes, this is all in the bible.)

As a product of a religious Catholic and Christian upbringing, this book was rather shocking for me to read. I had never been thoroughly exposed to the undeniable violence towards women in the bible, and to the contemptuous belief that women are instruments of evil whose very existence is to be subject to men, until I was exposed to Annie Laurie Gaylor’s book. There is no possible way to misinterpret the atrocities that are explicit in the bible as shown by Gaylor that deny human dignity to women. My conclusion is that the only way to do so would be to deny what is explicit in scripture, and I cannot do that. My view of the bible, therefore, has forever changed.

A bit about the author, Annie Laurie Gaylor:

Annie Laurie Gaylor

Annie Laurie Gaylor, along with her mother, is founder of Freedom from Religion Foundation, the largest national association of free-thinkers working to protect the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. She is editor of Freethought Today, the foundation’s newspaper, and has a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Gaylor is also the recipient of the 2010 Humanist Heroine award by the American Humanist Association. To learn more about Annie Laurie Gaylor, please visit Freedom from Religion Foundation.

To purchase a copy of Woe to the Women the Bible Tells Me So: The Bible, Female Sexuality& the Law by Annie Laurie Gaylor, visit: Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso


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June Book Review: The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness by Gary Zukav and Linda Francis

June Book Review, Linda Francis

“Your emotions will tell you what your soul wants to know.” – Linda Francis

Published in 2001, The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness by successful authors Gary Zukav and Linda Francis, is still a wealth of knowledge that will inspire you to look at your emotions as undeniable aides in your growth and healing. Gary and Linda explain how our understanding of our emotions as they relate to the body’s seven emotional centers (also known as the seven chakras) gives us power to live authentically and joyfully. In this book, Zukav and Francis explain how emotional awareness can enhance, change and redirect our daily lives.

June 2014, Book Review

I happened to stumble upon this treasure one day when I was briefly browsing books in a used book store. It was not my intention to purchase a book that day, but my intuition told me buy The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness. I recently discovered it in my collection of reading material and decided to delve into it. I was pleasantly surprised by how informative and easy it was to read and assimilate. I like to write or underline concepts in books, and I found myself underlining a lot in this one! Most importantly, I humbly realized where I need to improve and change to live more authentically.

The first part of the book specifically explains the relationship our emotions have with our energy patterns, what emotions are and how we gain power and authenticity in our lives by acknowledging them as they are. The second part of this book demonstrates how we run away from feeling our emotions through addictions and escape mechanisms. The book summarizes how we are able to live joyfully when we learn to live in love and not in fear.

June Book Review, Gary Zukav

A bit about the authors, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis:

Gary Zukav is the best-selling author of The Seat of the Soul and has written other books, including The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. Gary is a Harvard Graduate with a degree in International Relations, a World Business Academy Fellow, on the advisory board of the Human Kindness Foundation, is an inspirational teacher and writer, and much more.

Linda Francis, along with Gary Zukav, is founder of Genesis: The Foundation for the Universal Human, an organization whose mission is to assist people across the world to create meaning, creativity, purpose, health, joy and love, which, in their view, is authentic power, the alignment of personality with the soul. Linda has been in the healing profession for three decades as a registered nurse and a doctor of Chiropractic. She now teaches the Authentic Power Program with Gary Zukav. Both Gary and Linda can be reached at www.zukav.com

A copy of The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness can be purchased from www.zukav.com.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso

 


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May Book Review: Peaceful Pregnancy Peaceful World by Marcella J. Lively

Peaceful Pregnancy Peaceful World

“The incoming soul can make enormous progress if is consciously aided by parents intent upon providing it the vibratory space in which to do its work.” – Dawson Church, Ph.D.

Dedicated to all generations to come, Peaceful Pregnancy Peaceful World by Marcella J.Lively reveals the spiritual and emotional journey of the unborn child. It explains the many things that expectant parents can do to create a loving womb experience and support their child’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Included are practical steps for forming a love-bond with the unborn child, supporting optimal brain development, and protecting spiritual integrity. Peaceful Pregnancy Peaceful World demonstrates how babies are imprinted for happy, peaceful, and successful lives when prebirth experiences are loving and luminous. Children truly are the future, and this book shows how conscious pregnancy and untroubled births can open the door to the higher possibilities of what humanity can become. Marcella believes (and I agree with her) that a global shift in human consciousness is achievable when children are brought into the world without harm or fear but with peaceful hearts and spiritual radiance.

I could not help but reflect on what my own womb experience must have been after reading and thoroughly enjoying this book, and I realized how that experience contributed to who I am today and who I was decades ago. I also wished that I had this book in my hands (although it was not written yet) while I was pregnant myself to enable my baby to have gotten the best prebirth experience possible. I highly recommend this book if you are an expectant parent, a midwife, an obstetrician, a therapist, or if you are interested in examining your own early patterning. It will demonstrate to you how important the prebirth relationship is to who you are today and who you can become.

Peaceful Pregnancy Peaceful World, Marcella J. Lively

A bit about the author, Marcella J. Lively:

Marcella J. Lively holds a Master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling and is trained in hypnotherapeutic age regression. She is a member of the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) and teaches classes in prebirth parenting and feminine spirituality. She lives near Boulder, Colorado. To connect with Marcella, please email her at sacredfemininewisdom@gmail.com.

A copy of Peaceful World Peaceful Pregnancy can be purchased on Amazon or Fishpond.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso


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The Rocks


The Rocks, Vilma Reynoso

I like to work in my yard. I love to clear the path for the new growth that occurs every spring by cleaning out the dead leaves and debris. This season is no different. But, this time, while in the midst of the crumbled leaves, the dead pine needles, and even the blown-in pieces of trash, I learned something.

There are four beautiful pine bushes growing in my front lawn with a boat-load of rocks – large, medium, small and tiny – placed all around them (too many, really). This was something set up by the prior home owners years ago, so when I moved in, I left it as I found it. This spring, it was time to clean out the underlying earth stuff that was now morphed into and beneath all the rocks. I made the decision to transform it. The slow process of removing every rock and cleaning underneath was sometimes laborious and time-consuming.

I have to admit that I loved grabbing and pulling out the muck with my hands in between and underneath the rocks!  What a rush! I find the smell of wet leaves and dirt and the spring sun warming my back comforting and life-giving. There was something about it that made me feel like I was doing the bushes (and the earth) a service: I was removing the dead stuff stifling their growth; I was making them look better; and, in the process of eliminating what had been mounting on top of their roots for probably years, I was allowing them to breathe easier. I was contributing to their health and vitality.

As I moved each rock to see what was underneath, I thought about my life throughout the decades, and I asked myself what did I need to remove for me to breathe easier, and what have I already removed. As I cleaned up the surface-level trash and the old leaves, I realized that this was the easy part. The removal of what everyone sees on the outside (what everyone will see from the curb or from the street, in this case) can be “cleaned up” pretty easily: we are courteous in public, we groom ourselves, we brush our teeth, we add make up, we cut, clean, and color our hair, we shave, we wear clean clothes, and we present our outer selves (our surface-level selves) to others pretty well. This is okay, and it is a reflection of who we are. We want to present ourselves as acceptable and want others to like us, but how many of us really like what is underneath? How many of us present a different picture when we are alone? I asked myself how I treat myself when I DO NOT have to “clean up” for others. I began to ponder…

As I finished the surface-level cleanup on the top of the rocks, I started to move each and every one of them to see what was underneath. There I found even more dead leaves, trash, compost, and some weed roots that needed to be removed. Wow. This entailed a lot more work than I had expected! As I moved each rock, pulling up the debris and the roots of weeds with my hands, I pondered what I have “underneath my rocks,” or deep within, that has not been pulled or cleaned up. That was a sobering thought. What am I hiding beneath my rocks? What do we hide about ourselves that if brought to light, would dramatically improve our lives for the better and allow the sun, the water, the air, the universe or God to give us more life or heal us? What needs to be removed?

The Rocks, Vilma Reynoso

I then moved even more rocks. I realized the roots of the weeds that I discovered in between and under several layers of rocks were deeply embedded; I realized they were there for years and years, and no one ever bothered to remove them. I knew they really did not belong there. They crowded and suffocated the roots of the bushes, which needed room to breathe so they could grow and flourish. The weed-roots had to be removed.

I pulled and pulled with all my might to no avail. I could not completely remove all of the weeds. I had to leave them there for the time being with the intent of completely removing them step by step with patience and diligence. But I was now aware that they were there: they were not going anywhere and they were strong and deeply rooted. How many of us have self-destructive behaviors or thoughts that are so deeply rooted? I pondered mine…

What began as a difficult task ended up being a great lesson in my life: the surface level cleanup is not enough – move the rocks and clean up what is underneath, and do all you can, Vilma, to get to the roots and remove them, no matter how deeply rooted. Abundant life requires clean up. It requires not only surface-level clean up, but also deep, root-removal. Ignoring untrue or destructive thoughts will lead to destructive emotions; destructive emotions will lead to destructive behaviors; and, destructive behaviors lead to a destructive character. The more I “clean” and am aware of my “deep-seeded roots,” the more I can pull them out or change my thoughts, emotions and behavior to allow more life into my being. This, I believe, is the true meaning of the phrase, “life rocks.”

Now, go look underneath your rocks.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso


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March Book Review: The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods by Julia Butterfly Hill

Vilma Reynoso:

Today is Earth Day, and I feel it is appropriate to re-blog this book review again. Author and activist, Julia Butterfly Hill, who lived in a tree for two years to save the CA Redwoods, is one of my heroes. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Vilma Reynoso:

Julia Butterfly Hill, Luna, VIlma Reynoso There is a moment in our lives when we truly come to  know and understand the relationship we have with creation and nature. Nothing is ever the same again. I, as well as this courageous activist and author, Julia Butterfly Hill in The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods , in one life-changing, delicate moment in the Redwoods, understood this.

My only visit to the Redwoods was in 1992. I spent about twenty minutes hiking in and around the tallest and most beautiful living beings I had ever seen! My heart thumped, my eyes and ears opened wide, and my spirit became ALIVE. I felt a connection with all that lived in and around the trees. All my senses became alert. It was that moment in the Redwood forest that taught me the power of stillness and appreciation of…

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April Book Review: A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson

 

A Year by the Sea, Vilma Reynoso, Joan Anderson

“We cannot write in water; we cannot carve in water. Water’s nature is to flow and that is how we should treat life. Emotion – negative or positive – do not deny it, but always let it flow through and then away.” – Anonymous

A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson is the story of the author’s search for direction and self-discovery after finding herself in a stagnant relationship with her husband of many years. Separated from her life-long husband, Joan spends a year by the sea in their cottage on Cape Cod (by herself). Feeling unfulfilled and with no possibilities, she discovers new life and spends time taking the steps to transform her life. Joan discovers that she is always a work in progress and it is okay to be “unfinished” like the shoreline. There is (of course) an inspiring surprise at the end of the book!

The ebb and flow of the prose in this book is fabulous! Joan uses water-related, rich metaphors in this narrative non-fiction memoir to illuminate her feelings and her transformation easily and beautifully in each chapter. This is a perfect book for a lover of the sea or the oceans (as I am) or for someone who is a student and lover of metaphorical prose (as I also am). I could smell and feel the ocean when I read this! I recommended this book especially if you are a woman who has devoted her life to her husband and children, and in the process, have forgotten to nourish yourself. Anderson’s book is a wonderfully-written, very personal story that will encourage you and help you realize that it is never too late to live a life full of opportunities at whatever age you find yourself.

A bit about the author, Joan Anderson:

Joan Anderson is the author of numerous children’s novels and author of Breaking the TV Habit. A year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman is her first narrative non-fiction piece, and it has now been produced into a movie! She has also written The Second Journey and A Walk on the Beach and A Weekend to Change your Life (I have not read these books). She lives in Cape Cod and conducts her popular workshops by the sea.

To learn more about Joan Anderson and to purchase A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman, visit: joanandersononline.com.

Joan Anderson, Vilma Reynoso

“I am unfinished as the shoreline along the beach, meant to transcend myself again and again.” – Joan Anderson

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso

 


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Expression Lives

Spring, Vilma Reynoso

I have learned that oppression is the opposite of expression, and those who oppress (in any form), live in constant fear. Oppression is the stifling of man and nature’s creative and exploratory need. The best way to stop oppression is to live in the opposite way: be the person who recognizes oppression and stands against it; be the person with an open and not brainwashed mind; be the person who loves expression, because expression is why we are here; be the person who sees and recognizes the creative source in all human beings; be the person who honors and loves all beings; be the person who encourages expression and not oppression.

Today is the first day of spring. All nature wants to be expressive. If you can, take a walk outside today and honor the life force that seeks to express itself and bloom every spring. Watch the plants, grasses and flowers begin their process of becoming. Just like plant life seeks to express itself, we seek and need to “bloom,” too. It is natural and innate. Be a person who helps the world BLOOM, in your own special way.

Wishing you all an expressive and creative Thursday, March 20th, 2014, the first day of the spring equinox!

Express!

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso

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