Vilma Reynoso

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November Book Review:  I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are the most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” These are the words of Malala Yousafzai, spoken in 2014 in Oslo, Norway, as the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Yousafzai, a Pashtun Pakistani, is a courageous, compassionate, exemplary and determined young woman on a mission to bring education to every girl and boy in every town, province, city, and country in the world.  Her memoir, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, is a rich, beautifully-written, compassionate and inspiring story that explains her past, her passion, and her life mission.

i-am-malala

Yousafzai begins her memoir with anecdotes about growing up in Mingora, in the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, a lush, mountain region full of breathtaking rivers, waterfalls and gorgeous valleys. She describes life as a Sunni Muslim, her love of Allah, and the customs in Mingora. Her book explains the poverty she and her family endured – no running water, no stove, no heat, very little food at times, for example. She explains how poverty and tradition in the midst of paradise kept most girls from attending school. Her own mother could not read or write, for example. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, her hero and inspiration, is a fierce advocate for girls’ education, and after political opposition and financial problems, founded an all-girls school in Mingora where Malala attended.

In the second half of this memoir, Malala explains the fundamentalist beliefs of the Taliban and the extreme damage and fear they exhibited in her country. She writes stories about beheadings and public lynchings, suicide bombers, the bombing and destruction of hundreds of schools, general politics in Pakistan, the horrific damage and tyranny and eventual ruin of Mingora caused by the Taliban, and more.  As outspoken advocates of education for girls (which the Taliban was against), Malala and her father eventually became targets. Malala was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban and survived. Her recovery is nothing less than remarkable. Her story has garnered worldwide attention, which has caused a nonstop collaboration of many individuals and countries for the fight of education for all girls everywhere.

I highly recommend I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai to anyone who is curious about Pakistani life and customs, about Islam, or about the Taliban and the damage they have inflicted in Pakistan. I especially recommend this memoir to human and women’s rights activists. It is an incredible story that left me speechless, in awe, and at times, in tears!

Malin_Fezehai-HUMAN_for_Malala_Fund_182.jpg

Opening Malala Yousafzai’s All-Girls School near the Syrian border in 2015.

A bit about the author, Malala Yousafzai:

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley of northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school.

Malala has received many awards. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured Malala as one of “the 100 most influential people in the world“. She was the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and the recipient of the 2013 Sakharov Prize. In July that year, she spoke at the headquarters of the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education. In 2014, she was nominated for the World Children’s Prize in Sweden, and in May of the same year, Malala was granted an honorary doctorate by the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Later in 2014, Malala was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Kailash Satyarthi, for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.  Today, Malala is founder of the Malala Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates at the local, national and international levels for resources and policy changes needed to ensure all girls, worldwide, have the right to twelve years of schooling.

To learn more about Malala Yousafzai and her work, visit: Malala.org.

To purchase I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, visit: Amazon.

© 2017, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com. Musings and Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being 

 

 

2016 Election


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Conventional Wisdom Yields Convention

As election day approaches, some of us might still be struggling with who to vote for and how to come to that conclusion. I am honored to pass on this blog by blogger and author, Peter B. Roth, that captures, exactly, what I have been feeling during this election year. I could not have written a better article that explains why it is imperative that we vote for what we value and not for “the lessor of two evils.” Enjoy!

I woke up today and checked Facebook like I often do and to my dismay, I was disgusted by people gloating over voting for Hillary. It was quite obvious to me that they had not done their homework a…

Source: Conventional Wisdom Yields Convention


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August Book Review: The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World by don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

don Miguel Ruiz Jr.We live in our minds. We all do. Most of the time, we do not see that what we believe about ourselves or about the world is influenced by our attachments –  thoughts and beliefs that we cling onto and have said, “yes” to that have a tendency to distort our perceptions.  Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. in The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World discusses what these are and why we choose to live this way. He explains the five levels of attachments in great detail:  authentic self, preference, identification, internalization and fanaticism.  He also summarizes how our beliefs are tied to our identity and how that identity is created based on the opinions and judgements of others.  Ruiz helps us understand how we create our own superstitions and become fanatics of our own attachments and more.  In conclusion, he offers solutions to help us identify our attachments, where we are stuck in our thinking, how we can alter our attachments, and how to change our beliefs and become unhindered by judgement and free to live our true life’s calling.

I found don Miguel Ruiz Jr.’s Five Levels of Attachment fascinating, challenging and inspirational. It is a book I want to keep on my shelf and refer to often.  It has helped me realize my own attachments and how they do and have influenced my beliefs and actions. Ruiz Jr. has made me realize that I have work to do in releasing some of my own current attachments that hinder my beliefs. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a way to live a more authentic, loving, open and joyful life. It will help you see your own setbacks in your thinking and beliefs and help you move to a more healthy and loving nature.

A bit about the author, don Miguel Ruiz Jr.: don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

At the age of fourteen, don Miguel Ruiz Jr. apprenticed to his father, don Miguel Sr. and his grandmother, Madre Sarita. From that early age, he was called upon to translate Madre Sarita’s prayers, lectures and workshops from Spanish to English. Through this experience, he saw first-hand how she manifested her intent to heal people both physically and spiritually. He then discovered his own attachments and a journey of healing began. Don Miguel Jr.’s apprenticeship lasted ten years. In his mid-twenties, his father intensified his training.

Today, don Miguel Jr. is married and has two young children. As a Nagual, he has become ready to pass along the wisdom and the tools of his family’s traditions in helping others to achieve their own personal freedom and optimal physical and spiritual health. The wisdom of his grandmother and of his father, don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, continues to be his greatest influence and catalyst for conscious healing and change. Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. is also the author of Living a Life of Awareness and The Mastery of Self.

To learn more about don Miguel Ruiz Jr. visit MiguelRuizJr.com. To purchase of The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World, visit: MiguelRuizJr.com/store.

© 2016, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comMusings and Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being 

Dan Millman


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June Book Review: The Laws of Spirit: A Tale of Transformation-Powerful Truths For Making Life Work by Dan Millman

Laws of Spirit

“The universe does not judge us; it only provides consequences, lessons and opportunities to balance and learn though the law of cause and effect. Compassion is the recognition that we are each doing the best we can within the limits of our current beliefs and capacities.” – Dan Millman

No matter what you believe about the universe, about god, or about what makes everything jive, Dan Millman’s The Laws of Spirit: A Tale of Transformation-Powerful Truths for Making Life Work will help you to navigate through life’s ups and downs, or its beauty and exhilaration, with grace and patience. Millman believes the universe operates within certain “laws of spirit,” and if we align ourselves with these spiritual laws, we will positively transform and live happier lives. The book is a parable – a fictional tale of the author meeting a sage in the mountains who explains to him the twelve laws of spirit: balance, choices, process, presence, compassion, faith, expectation, integrity, action, cycles, surrender, and unity. Each chapter is a conversation with the sage and a learning experience for those looking for a deeper perspective on life and all that it is and is not.

This short book can be read all at once, or it can be experienced by reading one chapter a week, a day, or even one a month. Each chapter is rich with spiritual insight. I have to admit that when I first started reading it, I found myself wanting to slow down and thoroughly ponder what was presented. I recommend this rich book to anyone who is looking for a spiritual perspective on life and a transformation of the self.  It will demonstrate to you how to free the love trapped within you, so you could expand that love to the world in joyous service for the common good.   

A bit about the author, Dan Millman: Dan Millman

Dan Millman is a former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor. After an intensive, twenty-year spiritual quest, Dan decided to write sixteen books (so far), conduct workshops & seminars, and lecture influencing men and women from all walks of life including leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, politics, sports, entertainment, and the arts. Dan’s thirteen books, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior, have inspired millions of readers in twenty-nine languages worldwide. The feature film, “Peaceful Warrior,” starring Nick Nolte, was adapted from Dan’s first book, based upon incidents from his life. Dan and his wife Joy live in northern California. They have three grown daughters and two grandsons so far. His work continues to evolve over time to meet the needs of a changing world.

To learn more about Dan Millman or to order The Laws of Spirit: A Tale of Transformation-Powerful Truths for Making Life Work, visit: PeacefulWarrior.com.

© 2016, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comMusings and Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being 

 

 


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May Book Review: The Big Tiny: A Build-it-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams

Big tiny In the last decade, the Tiny House Movement has grown tremendously. More and more people are downsizing and embracing the simple yet rich life of minimalist living. Building their very own tiny house on their own land or in Tiny House communities, people of all ages are finding unexpected gifts and freedom from living in these very small spaces.  According to psychologists, the motivation behind the Tiny House Movement is the result of the ideals of environmental consciousness, self-sufficiency and the desire for an adventurous life (all of which I can relate to). Dee Williams, author of The Big Tiny: A Build-it-Myself Memoir, is one of the pioneers of this movement. “I found a certain bigness in my small house – a sense of largeness, freedom and happiness that comes from when you realize there is no place else you’d rather be,” writes Williams.

In The Big Tiny: A Build-it-Myself Memoir, Williams details how she went from living in a three-bedroom bungalow with a detached garage, a fireplace and gas heat to making the decision to build, sustain and live in an 84 square foot (yes, 84 square feet!) miniscule house! The experience and the results of her endeavor are nothing less than exhilarating, frightening, completely jaw-dropping and inspiring. Dee details her plans, explains her frustrations and fears at times, and takes the reader on her courageous journey in this very personal memoir. I enjoyed her poignant, honest and sometimes, hilarious prose; furthermore,  an environmentalist myself, I was encouraged to look at my own carbon footprint and consider tiny house living myself.

Having recently visited the Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs, a three-day exhibition of tiny houses and information with the mission of motivating the public to live their passions through simplifying their lives and discovering what truly matters, I was amazed and inspired by the various types of tiny houses available for purchase at any level of the building process. Below is a picture of a “bigger” tiny house that I took at the jamboree. Tiny houses come in all sizes, shapes and styles to fit any taste or budget. Truly, they are very functional and beautiful!

Tiny House Living

I highly recommend The Big Tiny: A Build-it-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams to anyone who even has a tiny interest or curiosity of what the Tiny House Movement is, and what it would be like to build and live in your own little house.  Her story and writing is very inspirational.

A bit about the author, Dee Williams:

Dee Williams Dee Williams is a builder, teacher, author, occasional rabble-rouser. She is the founder of Portland Alternative Dwellings, a company centered on the principle that everyone can build the life they dream. In addition to helping people make the conscious decision to simplify their lives with Tiny House living, Dee has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the NBC Evening News, the New York Times, NPR, MSNBC, and Time Magazine. Dee lives in Olympia, Washington, in her 84-sq. ft. tiny house, the magical place she calls, “home.”

To learn more about Dee Williams and the Tiny House Movement, or to purchase The Big Tiny: A Build-it-Myself Memoir, visit: PADtinyhouses.com.

© 2016, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comMusings and Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being

 


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March Book Review: Finding Quiet: Four Simple Steps to Peace and Contentment-Without Spending the Rest of Your Life on a Mountaintop by Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson, Vilma ReynosoFor many years, I believed meditation was only for people in India, those who were more spiritual or those who have nothing to do with their lives. As embarrassing as this is to admit, I now know better! I found Paul Wilson’s Finding Quiet: Four Simple Steps to Peace and Contentment-Without Spending the Rest of Your Life on a Mountaintop very helpful and extremely inspiring. I am not a meditation expert by any stretch of the word; however, after reading this book, I feel that I have the tools and knowledge not only to begin with confidence, but also to continue without ceasing.

Paul Wilson divides Finding Quiet into two sections – the first is for beginners of meditation and the second for experienced meditators who want to go deeper. I was especially thankful for the structure of this book because as a product of a western, go-getter and always-busy culture, I was a bit intimidated when I stumbled up on this reading. However, after immersing myself in this book, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that meditation is not difficult and is essential for our ultimate health, happiness and well-being.

Within Finding Quiet, you will discover what Wilson calls the “underlying quiet” and how to find it and experience it. He unveils why meditation is essential, (especially if you feel that you do not have time to meditate) and clearly demonstrates what meditation is as well as what he believes are the most important, three quiet practices: deep, directed and aware. The author explains how meditation enhances peace of mind, clarity of thought, emotional stability, creativity, general calm and physical well-being. I am excited about incorporating meditation into my life!

I highly recommend Finding Quiet: Four Simple Steps to Peace and Contentment-Without Spending the Rest of Your Life on a Mountaintop by Paul Wilson to those who are curious about what meditation is and how its daily practice can greatly improve your life. This wonderful book will also inspire experienced meditators.

A bit about the author, Paul Wilson:

Paul Wilson, Vilma Reynoso

Paul Wilson is known around the world as “The Guru of Calm.” He has taught meditation for almost thirty years, is a businessman, lecturer and renowned author of two novels and nineteen self-help books. Wilson began his meditation training in the Buddhist and Yoga traditions, experimented with Transcendental Meditation in London in the late 1960s, then synthesized what he learned from these and other meditation traditions and created a simple, secular meditation approach which he coined “The Calm Technique.” His meditation methods are taught and practiced throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia. Learn about Paul’s mission to spread peace and quiet.

To learn more about Paul Wilson or to purchase Finding Quiet: Four Simple Steps to Peace and Contentment-Without Spending the Rest of Your Life on a Mountaintop, visit: calmcentre.com.

© 2016, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comMusings and Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being 

 


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January Book Review: you2: A High-velocity Format for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps by Price Pritchett

Price PritchettA short, concise and very inspiring book (easily carried in a briefcase or small purse), you2: A High-velocity Format for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps by Price Pritchett encouraged me to go after my dreams and omit the excuses! More importantly, the book helped me to realize that my dreams are in reach. And, yours are too!

you2 (squared) promotes an unconventional strategy for achieving breakthrough performance in everything you want to achieve. Pritchett presents this powerful method in eighteen key components and explains how these build massive success with expending less effort and bypassing the gradual and conventional methods. His books showed me how to “quit trying harder,” to think beyond what common sense would allow, and how to make a move towards my dreams before I feel ready.

Price Pritchett

I recommend this short book (which can be read in less than an hour) to anyone who needs inspiration, motivation and encouragement to take a leap towards their dream. If you want to be challenged and learn that you can attain your goals, read this book! If you find yourself living a dull life because you have settled for the “status quo” and have no idea how you will ever create a life of abundance, Pritchett’s book will inspire you to move and take action with faith and belief. It will show you how to take what he calls a quantum leap.

A bit about the author, Price Pritchett:

Price Pritchett

Price Pritchett is CEO of Pritchett, LP, a Dallas-based consulting and training firm with offices in numerous other cities and countries. Specializing in change management, corporate culture and merger integration, he holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is recognized worldwide as an expert on personal and organizational change. He has been featured on CNN, CNBC and other major television channels. Pritchett has sold over 20 million copies of his books and is one of the world’s best-selling business authors.

To learn more about Price Pritchett or to purchase a copy of you2: A High-velocity Format for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps, visit his website: pritchettnet.com.

© 2016, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Musings and Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being