I’m a book worm. Reading is near the top of my list of fun things to do. As a mommy however, I don’t always dedicate as much time as I would like to reading. I’m working on that starting…now. If I can find time to watch brain deadening shows like America’s Next Top Model and The Bachelor, I can find time to read, right!?
What I enjoy even more than the actual reading is taking copious (possibly pointless) notes on whatever I am reading and then looking back on those notes to help me remember all of the awesomeness and inspiration learned.
The truth is, I’ve always enjoyed taking notes. I remember taking great pride in keeping a notebook for each college class and extracurricular and filling those notebooks with well-organized notes. The other truth is that I have a selective memory and while I’m inspired and awed at times by what I have immediately read, I rarely remember it (the selective part is that I’m great at remembering pointless things).
So, for me note taking is both functional and fun.
Here is my first ever, book worm Wednesday from Deepak Chopra’s book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul. How to Create a New You. Chopra can be a bit out there sometimes and I don’t always agree with everything he writes, but for the most part his books leave me feeling challenged and inspired. I like books that make me slightly uncomfortable and that challenge the norm. This one does that!
Book Worm Wednesday: Top 10
Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul. How to Create a New You
By Deepak Chopra
1.) “…identical twins, born with exactly the same DNA, look very different genetically when they grow up: certain genes have been switched on, others switched off. By age seventy, images taken of chromosomes of two twins don’t look remotely the same.”
Genes actually change and adapt as life unfolds. You’d think once identical twins, always identical twins, but that isn’t the case! That means we have a chance to impact what we are dealt.
2.) “On August 7, 1974, a French acrobat named Philippe Petit breached security at the Wrold Trade Center. He climbed onto the roof and, with the help of confederates, strung a 450-pound cable between the two towers. Petit balanced himself with a twenty-six-foot pole as he walked out onto the cable, which stretched 140 feet. Both towers were swaying; the wind was high, the drop below his feet was 104 stories, or a quarter of a mile….He made eight crossings on the wire, which was only three-quarters of an inch in diameter.”
Chopra used this story in his section discussing how the brain is flexible, ever-changing, and capable of constantly learning. He claims you can “teach an old dog new tricks.” We are all capable of amazing, we just have to unlock those possibilities. I was fascinated by this story. It left me yearning for a simplier time when a guy could get past security with a 26-foot pole and pull off an innocent (although dangerous) stunt like this. It also left me wondering, what could we all DO if we had NO fear?
3.) “Seeing is active.”
It is up to us how we choose to see other people. When you see a homeless person asking for money, do you see with fear and suspicion, which causes you to assume that person is lazy, dangerous, or just going to squander money on alcohol? OR do you see them with love and compassion, which causes you to sincerely want to share your wealth or words with them, because you see them as a brother or sister.
4.) “Being the opposite of bad doesn’t make you good. It just makes you the mirror image of bad.”
I’m reminded of the Matthew West song, Do Something, “It’s not enough to do nothing, it’s time for us to do something.”
5.) “The existence of a Saint Francis, an Einstein, or a Leonardo da Vinci indicates that human potential can reach amazing heights.”
Chopra described the above people as being at the cutting edge of evolution for their time. How fascinating that we could all be at the cutting edge of evolution for OUR time if we tried.
6.) “People expend a lot of subtle energy in pushing down thoughts they don’t want to face. Denial and repression seem appealing as short term solutions. What you don’t think about may go away. But there’s a sticky quality to bad thoughts…”
This is so true. Do you sometimes find yourselves remembering the “bad stuff” of the past? For example, I remember few things about grade school, but I will never forget being put in the “slow” reading group, the time another kid switched my perfectly colored weather mobile pieces with his shoddily colored ones and that the teach thought I was lying about it, and losing the first student council race I ran in. We easily remember the bad and push it down deep, so we don’t have to deal with the pain. Those bad thoughts totally are “sticky”!
7.) “Don’t identify with your thoughts. They aren’t you; they are passing events in the mind.”
As parents, who can’t identify with this one!? I mean, hello, mommy guilt. Have you been here too?: I yell at my kids. I feel horrible for yelling at my kids. I tell myself I’m an awful mother for yelling at my kids. Therefore, I must be an awful mother right? YIPES, time to cut the negative internal talk momma! You yelled at your kids once, but that doesn’t make you an awful mom, it makes you an awesome mom that identifies she needs to do better next time (thanks for joining me on that tour of my internal thoughts).
8.) “Don’t fixate on being right all the time. Being right is just a disguise for making other people wrong. In the shadows, you secretly fear that something is wrong with you, which is why you fight so hard to appear infallible – you think it makes you good.”
Does anyone else have any Nancy-Know-It-All’s in your lives (no offense to Aunt Nancy)? I mean, honestly, you have an opinion on THAT too? Why do you care? Well, maybe Chopra has something here. Next time I encounter a Nancy-Know-It-All, instead of giving myself a headache from all of the internal secret eye-rolling, I’m going to remember that deep down, maybe “Nancy” just doesn’t love herself as much as she should (even though it seems like she loves herself way too much).
9.) “I had posted a mental plan about having a good day, and piece by piece the things I expected didn’t come true….Expectations don’t come true, and the result is disappointment.”
Sometimes as parents, we try to plan perfect days for our kids, because we want them to have fulfilling experiences filled with learning and fun. In our obsession to make everything just so, we lose it when things don’t turn out as we had envisioned. It rains, so we have to cancel our picnic. Kids get sick, so we can’t have play dates with other kids. Kids poop right before it’s time to leave, so we are late for our appointment. We know this stuff happens, because it always HAPPENS! If we could just calm our expectations down a bit, we wouldn’t let the inevitable unexpected (oxymoron much) stuff ruin our day or mood.
10.) “I am enough”
Chopra talks extensively about the ego in this book and the ego’s vision of fulfillment. The ego is fulfilled through material things, winning, accomplishments, keeping score, and being in control even at the expense of others. The ego needs more, more, more. What if we lived with the philosophy of the soul instead, “I am enough”? Don’t take this the wrong way (don’t see it like the ego would). “I am enough” doesn’t mean you don’t need God or anyone else, it means enough with the want, want, want. Enough with the searching for fulfillment and happiness everywhere else instead of within.
Hope you enjoyed these tidbits. Happy Book Worm Wednesday!