Saturday, January 2, 2010

Becoming a better me, one day at a time...

Once or twice a year I'll scan the titles of books I've scavenged, added to my mounting collection of treasure un libre and select a few to donate to the used book sale at my local library (my home away from home - or is it the other way around?). Torrid romances I was sure I'd find the time to secretly indulge in. Treasured novels that are good to have on hand to pass off to a reader in need. Books to consider for future discussions - it's always handy to have my own copies of those. And of course, those books I mean to read, and know that somewhere along the way I'll grab the chance to do so.

But there's one book on my shelf that will always have a place. This book will never make it into the book sale donation box, although when I work the book sale each year I'm astounded at the number of copies - casted off, no longer a fad - that make it to the sale tables. The book I'm speaking of is Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

Years ago Oprah put her million dollar stamp of approval on this precious book. Blessed with the success her power of suggestion guarantees, those wishing for Oprah's promised "something more, road map to authenticity and a better you" flocked to the book stores for a copy. And for millions what started out as a true wish, a bonafide plan, and honest intention, quickly became a fad.

Each year at the book sale we find at least a half a dozen "no longer needed" copies in the donation boxes. This never fails to leave me feeling just a little bit saddened. I can't help but wonder, did this book help someone? Did she find the treasure, did she get it? Knowing I'd be busy once more with the sale last October, my daughter asked me to grab her a copy when I came across one, knowing that I always do. Like me, Stephanie realizes the treasure that is this book. She wanted a copy for her sister-in-law. I keep extra copies of Simple Abundance for just the same reason, with the wish that those I give it to will realize its value. Praying that the copies I share will find their way to a friend's heart, not a table at the used book sale. And I can't help but wonder, did Oprah keep her copy? I'll bet it's even signed by Sarah herself!

I've left Simple Abundance idle, sitting on my book shelf for far too long. I miss it. I need it. For me, this new year has me longing to become a better me. I know that Sarah's book offers the perfect plan. Chapters that inspire, quotes that find their way to index cards which rest on my desk at work or are taped above my coffee maker or my fridge.

This book is a befitting way to begin my blogging year. Sarah's path, her set of instructions, is where I'll look to find inspiration as I work to get to where I long to be. A better me. Authentic. Peaceful. Healthy. Creative. Many have used books as a source of inspiration and challenge in blogging, the most recent and wildly popular Julie and Julia providing an example. For me, this year I'll be spending it with Sarah. For the next 363 days, her wise words and wit will be my guide in creating a life that is an expression of my authentic self. I picked my book up in early December and have been reading along for the past few weeks. Call it coincidence, kismet, or whatever, but the timing couldn't have been better for me to find my way back to this book.

As the December days wound their way down, within the final pages of Simple Abundance I came across one of my favorite quotations, this one being spoken by Henry David Thoreau. I have this quote everywhere - my planner, my journal - it speaks directly to my soul. I'll end by sharing it with you. And I pray that this year you will find your way to the "you" that lies in wait deep inside, your authentic self - longing to live life as only you were meant to live.

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of (her) dreams, and endeavors to live the life which (she) has imagined, (she) will meet with a success unexpected in the common hours."

Care to share the journey?

1 comment:

  1. My bags are packed and I'm ready to go! 2010 here we come! How things work out - I have recently found this book as well. My how the man upstairs guides us to where we are meant to be...