March 28, 2015

Choosing a good life...

Picked as the "Featured Post" for Friday Reflections - Week 4.
Every fortnight we visit our local town library to pick out new books and return the old stock. As is the case, when I am at the library, I always lose track of time. When I walk through the fiction aisles glancing away at random titles, my mind does it's background job of scouring for the perfect author and book. Most of the times, I know which author/title I am looking to read thanks to the homework beforehand. But there is always space for an extra book or two. :)

The last time, however, my routine was a little haphazard. Thanks to the kids section of the library being closed, LP and Baby Girl decided to help join me in my book search. :)

This obviously meant cutting short my detailed search operation because I didn't want an over-excited and playful toddler decorating the quietness of the library with fun-filled baby talk. :) 

As I quickly made my way through the regular aisles to come over to the checkout counter, I was drawn towards the 'New Arrivals' section. I seldom pick any book from there due to the quick returning policy. But this time I gave in.

As we readied ourselves to head out, one particular title grabbed my attention. I didn't even have the time to read the synopsis at the back so I plainly trusted my instincts and brought the book home wondering what it was about.

'Choosing a Good Life' by Ali Berman

I recently finished reading the book and boy am I glad I picked it up in the first place! :)

Around this same time, I joined the weekly link-up for bloggers called 'Friday Reflections' -  hosted by Janine and Mackenzie which is a very interesting and inspirational place to link-up posts based on weekly prompts.

One of their weekly prompts for this week was - 

"What is the most influential book you have ever read?"

The timing couldn't be better since I just completed my book last week and I am ready with the answer for this prompt. :)

For me, reading this book has been an eye opener in every sense. We all experience ups and downs in life but the real question is how do people go on living their lives normally who still battle the endless problems on an on-going basis. 

The author, Ali Berman, has  beautifully showcased real world experiences of few chosen individuals. These people have not only found a better way to tackle their problems but also figured how to effectively respond to natural situations. Something she calls - a deep sense of balance.

The reason why the author found these people ideal for this book is very well-explained. I could relate a lot of experiences from my personal life with these individuals and also got to understand how they choose to stride with ease in every instance.

As I read through the life history of every individual in the book, I would step back at regular intervals and reflect on my life to see if I could have handled a particular point or phase of my life differently with the same kind of vision as the models of the book. 

But, I guess it's better late than never ! :)

I still get amazed thinking how things worked out such that I hurriedly picked this book at the very last moment only to appreciate the simplicity and greatness of the book in the end.

Would highly recommend this book to all my fellow bloggers and I hope, in the end, you find the same happiness that I did after reading it.

Leaving you with few of my favorite lines from the book - 

"If I have to learn something, I go ahead and learn it instead of worrying about it."

"I've learned so much more to live in the present moment because that's really where the power is."

"Every individual has exactly the same right to pursue happiness and the kind of life he dreams about."

"Let me be an instrument of peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is anger, understanding;
Where there is fear, courage;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(A prayer from Saint Francis of Assisi)"

Yours' truly,
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  1. Thanks so much for joining us for Friday Reflections. This book sounds beautiful - right up my alley actually. After all, it is how we live, not how we arrive at the end, that matters.

    1. Welcome here Janine and you said it - "It is how we live that matters." :) I am glad to have stumbled across your wonderful group and look forward to blogging more and reflecting more on my life :)

  2. Thank you so much for joining us! I really enjoyed this post, I love that you included those beautiful lines from the book, it sounds amazing. #Fridayreflections

    1. Thanks Mackenzie for letting me be a part of your amazing group :) Glad you liked the lines of the book. I always look for inspirational sayings/quotes from every book I read to help me at times when I feel low.

  3. Sounds like you really picked a lovely book, EM. I also think books are designed to come to us when the time is right. You were ready and the Universe was receptive to your need. So glad for you. Loved all the messages in the end :)

    1. Thanks Shailaja and I couldn't agree more with you. Universe is totally receptive when it comes to letting us choose moments or books in our life. :) Glad you liked my post.

  4. One word comes to mind reading your post. Serendipity! the quote I like best is "I've learned so much more to live in the present moment because that's really where the power is." I think this is so true. While we can learn from the past we cannot change it and we often just become anxious about the future or forget to enjoy our present while dreaming of what might never be.

    1. Thank you for those kind words, Mary and welcome here :) About life, your words resonate the truth.