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Earthships


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April Book Review: A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential by Michael E. Reynolds

Earthships, WizardsThere is a magical, enchanting and beautiful plot of land on this planet that has inspired many to change their lives and follow their dreams. This spot is about 20 miles west of Taos, New Mexico, and is the inspiration for one man, Michael E. Reynolds, who is on course to change the world. An ahead-of-his-time visionary and entrepreneur, architect, author, environmentalist and inspirational warrior, Reynolds is nothing less than brilliant. His book, A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential, is written to explain his method of thinking behind his revolutionary “Earthship,” a beautiful, fully sustainable structure made mostly from garbage (cans, tires, bottles, and dirt for starters) and recycled materials for off-the-grid living.

Do not let the title fool you! A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential is a unique text in that it covers the author’s history and personal story and his thoughts and views on world ecology, architecture, spirituality and physics. It also includes Reynolds’ poetry throughout. This book is very engaging and thorough. The author shares many diagrams to explain his concepts and also pictures of his Earthship structures in New Mexico from the simple to the more complex. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a more sustainable way to live, those who are environmentally conscious or those interested in radically changing society for the better.

Part one explains the author’s state of mind, the human condition and the basic way of thinking required for humans to reach their innate potential. In part two and three of this book, Michael Reynolds presents the “wizard Information”(essentially, divine or innate wisdom that can only be attained with a proper and open state of mind) along with a real and practical way of applying it in our lives. He then explains the wisdom gained that enabled him to begin his architectural work and then expand it, and the type of thinking required to manifest such a reality. Thus, this book is about finding and moving toward our human potential and learning to work with and not against planet Earth. In his own words, “the way to ride the energy to its full potential is to know the nature of the energy, so that it doesn’t control or harm us, and to also realize we cannot control it. We are talking about an alignment or a union, or a merging with energy. This is the way of the wizard. Control is the way of the ego.”

I had the pleasure of touring some Earthships recently on a trip I took to New Mexico. I also had the opportunity to not only view the Earthships, but also to spend a few nights in two different, beautiful ones! It was an experience I will never forget, and one of my goals now is to eventually live in an Earthship myself. Below, are some photographs from my visit:

Earthships

Earthships

Earthships

A bit about the author, Michael E. Reynolds:

Mike Reynolds, Earthships

Michael Reynolds is a world famous architect who has spent the last forty plus years evolving the concept of “ home.” His vision is for the home to care for its inhabitants and not vice versa. With this logical goal in mind, he set out to design, build, refine and master the Earthship, which is now an affordable reality and can be built easily.  Designed with concepts that any person can adopt, these self-sustaining buildings can provide housing for all people on any place on the planet. To learn more about Michael E. Reynolds and his Earthships, visit: Earthship.com or GarbageWarrior.com. To purchase a copy of A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential, visit: Earthship.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

 


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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?

Vilma Reynoso, The Rocks

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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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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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

Julia Butterfly Hill, Luna, VIlma ReynosoThere 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 nature and indescribable beauty. I wanted nothing more than to stay there forever. That day left a mark on my heart and soul that I will never forget.

Back to Julia Butterfly Hill…

Redwood Forest, Vilma Reynoso

In the Redwood Forest in 1992 (best I could do with a scanned photograph!).

It was the following words written by Hill, when she first stepped foot into the Redwood forest, that caught my attention and enthusiasm because she expressed exactly what I had felt when I experienced it:

“For the first time, I really felt what it was like to be alive, to feel the connection of a life and its inherent truth – not the truth that is taught to us by so-called scientists or politicians or other human beings, but truth that exists within creation. . . . Gripped by the spirit of the forest, I dropped to my knees and started to sob. I sank my fingers into the layers of duff that smelled so sweet and so rich and so full of layers of life, then lay my face down and breathed it in. . . .  I could feel my whole being bursting forth into new life in this majestic cathedral. I sat and cried for a long time.”

The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods by Julia Butterfly Hill, published in 2000, is a story of courage, love and unrelenting faith and determination in fighting for what one believes. It is the story of how this incredible woman saved a two-thousand year-old redwood tree named “Luna” from being cut down and destroyed by the Pacific Lumber Company. The book explains the relationship we have with nature and how its destruction creates our own destruction and demise, physically and spiritually. It demonstrates, via the author’s experiences living in 180-foot Luna for 738 days, how we, as created beings, are all related. Hill’s spiritual growth is extraordinary and poignant. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a lover and protector of nature, is an activist working to save our precious forests and land, is curious about the relationship we have with nature and all living beings (including thousand plus-year-old trees), or is looking for undeniable inspiration.

Julia Butterfly Hill

A bit about the author, Julia Butterfly Hill:

Julia Butterfly Hill is a writer, poet, and activist. She helped found the Circle of Life Foundation to promote the sustainability, restoration and preservation of life. She has been the recipient of many honors and awards and speaks at environmental conferences worldwide. To learn more about Julia, visit: juliabutterly.com.

To purchase The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods, visit: The-Legacy-Luna-Struggle-Redwoods. I bought a used copy that was printed on recycled paper.

The book is also available as a PDF for free

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

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso


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The Bench

I recently took a long walk through my neighborhood and beyond not only to smell the summer flowers, but because I am currently without a vehicle. I live in a small suburb of a large city with the feel of the country but with all the city’s amenities. There is literally everything an American could possibly need (and perhaps want) close to the center of the town in which I live. If I desired, I could stumble into a Starbucks, visit Home Depot, buy used books, hang out at the local bar, watch a local rendition of the play, Oklahoma, or visit the farmer’s market all in one afternoon with ease.  All of this is about four miles from where I live via a beautiful, paved and clean biking/walking path filled with the sounds of the birds chiming and the deer hiding behind the trees. As a cyclist and runner, I had never actually just WALKED the path to downtown until now.  What a surprise!

Once I reached the downtown stores and shops, I ran a few errands, ate delicious Chinese food, mailed a package, and then finally relaxed at my favorite coffee shop.  During my trek through town, however, I could not help but notice all the benches – everywhere. They were at the park, on the path, near the restaurants, close to the coffee shop, across from the day care center, in front of the law office, across from the Italian restaurant in the old, Victorian house – everywhere. I had been to downtown many times but never, until now, noticed the benches.  I was in awe. How in the world did I miss these benches when I rode my bike or drove through town on so many other occasions? How? As I walked, I began to appreciate each and every bench as I came across them. I noticed what was around and beyond them, and I became more grateful for them!

Glancing at one bench after another, I asked myself, “What else am I missing that if I were to slow down, I would enjoy, love, or even cherish? What is life trying to teach me when I slow down? What do I need to stop and absorb deeper? Or, what do I not see that is right in front of my eyes? What have I missed throughout my years of life because I was in a hurry?” I pondered these questions as I walked and walked and noticed more and more benches downtown.

I think most of us want to see only what we want to see. And, I believe we do not always see what we need to see. We also do not notice what life is trying to teach us when we are so focused on the destination (or the goal). Benches are snippets of our journey through life. They are markers that help make the walk through our lives more pleasant. They are there to remind us to take a break, enjoy the scenery, and take a load off. They are there to remind us to pay attention to the details, because it is in the details that beauty happens. They are on our path to remind us to SLOW DOWN. They are there to remind us of what is most important in life – peace, joy, creative expression, compassion, and love. The benches are markers and reminders of what we might be missing, what we might be hurrying through, what we need to stop and think about, or what we need to “see” that we are refusing to see. They remind us that life is always about the journey and not just about the destination. They are visual reminders for us to stop, breathe, feel, think, and just be.

I will undoubtedly walk the four miles to and from my house again this summer. And, this time, I will be walking with greater appreciation, greater ease, and greater expectation of not only every single bench on the path, but also of what life is trying to teach me. And, I might just sit on one and ponder. You can too!

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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April Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

For those who are looking for a spiritually rich, entertaining, personal and intelligently written memoir, look no further! Eat, Pray, Love is the story of one woman’s search for healing and spiritual connection.  Elizabeth brilliantly captures her experiences and life lessons as she travels to three very different parts of the world – Italy, India, and Indonesia – after a devastating divorce and leaves behind a successful career in New York City. Gilbert’s writing style, poignant humor and rich metaphorical prose is nothing less than brilliant. Warning: you will be up all night reading!

In addition to her New York Times Best Seller, Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth has written several other books:

Stern Men

Pilgrims

The Last American Man

A Home on the Range

Committed: A Love Story

A Signature of all Things is Elizabeth’s newest written work which will be available in fall, 2013.

To hear Elizabeth speak about Eat, Pray, Love and about the writer’s or artist’s creative process, listen to her presentation on TEDtalks:  Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius.

To learn more about Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love, or her other books, visit her website, http://www.elizabethgilbert.com

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso