Annual New Year’s Giveaway – Share Your 2015 Wish for the World
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Solstice tele-meditation, and for the donations that have come in so far. Whether you were able to participate or not, I hope that you can feel the ‘new start’ energy of this Solstice and new moon, and that you travel through this transformative holiday period and into the New Year with clear intention and a solid connection to the light within your being.
Now it’s on to some other year-end business – my annual gratitude book giveaway! I started this giveaway three New Years ago as a way of saying thank you to readers, clients, and students. Since books have been such a huge part of my own path, and this blog is still mostly about the written word (very 2010 of me I know!), sharing some of my favorite spiritual books each year feels like the perfect expression of gratitude.
I always try to select books that embody the themes of this blog – women’s energetics, interfaith spirituality, energy healing, chakras, etc. – and most of the time they are new books, released within the year (as is the case this year.) To be eligible to win one, you simply need to pause, take a deep breath, cultivate a heart-centered wish for the world, send it out, then put it into words in a comment here before midnight PST on New Year’s Eve. You do not need to enter your real name along with the comment, but you do need to include an email address (which does not display) so that I can reach you if you win. On New Year’s day, I write each email on a piece of paper, and my three munchkins each pull out one slip, oldest to youngest. If your email is selected, you are the winner of one of the books below (I match them up from top to bottom in the order they are drawn.) You do not get to select which book you receive (you have to trust the universe on that one) but you can select whether you’d like to receive it in Kindle or physical form. That’s it!
I really loved all three of this year’s books, and I’m particularly excited that they all feature contemporary women spiritual teachers, and are from three different spiritual traditions:
Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West, compiled by Shambhala Sun editor Andrea Miller, is a collection of essays, articles, and transcriptions of teachings offered by contemporary Western women Buddhist teachers. It includes teachers from many different Buddhist lineages, and most will be accessible to anyone, regardless of your knowledge of Buddhism. Some of the teachers included are Pema Chodron, Tsultrim Allione, Sharon Salzberg, Joanna Macy, Tenzin Palmo, Tara Brach, Karen Maezen Miller, and many more. Most of the women share personal stories, and there is so much insight and compassion shining through. If you’d like to read more about it, I reviewed this book at Bellaonline earlier this year.
Tending the Heart Fire: Living in Flow with the Pulse of Life, by yoga instructor and spiritual teacher Shiva Rea, is a guide for heart-centered spiritual practice of all types, and for living in tune with the natural cycles of each day, week, month, and season. Shiva begins with an overview of heart teachings across all spiritual traditions, and then offers meditations, rituals, and dietary advice primarily drawn from Ayurveda, hatha yoga, and vinyasa yoga. My favorite section was on the phases of the year, including the equinoxes and solstices, and how we can adapt our practice and lives to be more in tune with the energies available at each time. This book is part of what inspired me to use a candle flame during this weekend’s Solstice tele-meditation.
Walking Home: A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed, by intuitive guide Sonia Choquette, is her memoir of walking the famed Camino de Santiago, a 820 kilometer trail in the Pyreenees and Spain, revered as a Catholic pilgrimage. She felt compelled to walk the trail after the sudden deaths of both her brother and father, followed quickly after by the demise of her marriage. Feeling raw and spiritually disconnected at the start of her trip, she walks her way through many family demons and old emotional patterns, journaling as she does so. Although I don’t personally feel drawn to this particular pilgrimage trail, Sonia’s honesty and willingness to face her shadows is inspiring, and I feel this book will resonate with any seeker.
I have had to give up doing Amazon reviews this year due to my other commitments, but still so enjoy reading, so I’ll share some of my other favorite spiritual reads this year here: Karen Maezen Miller’s Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden, Jarvis Jay Masters’ That Bird Has My Wings, Tenzin Palmo’s Into the Heart of Life, Julia Cashford’s and Anne Baring’s The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image, and Dan Harris’ 10% Happier. I’d also like to send a special shout-out to three self-published offerings by friends of mine released this year, all gems: Robin King’s Joy’s Edge: Transforming Your Life Through Mindfulness, Wisdom, and Compassion, Akemi G’s Why We Are Born, and Becca Chopra’s The Chakra Energy Diet. Feel free to share any of your own suggestions in your comment, along with your wish for the world!
So there you have it: For a chance to win Buddha’s Daughters, Tending the Heart Fire, or Walking Home, please leave a comment with your wish for the world (along with sending it out as you do so) before midnight PST on New Year’s Eve, and check back by end of day on New Year’s Day for the result.
In closing, I meditated to see what wish came into my own heart for 2015, and this is what came to me:
May all of us gain the insight to see through the causes of discord, anger, and violence in our own minds and beings, looking not outward but inward. As we do so, may we see ourselves and all beings as born of light and dwelling in peace. May all beings be happy, healthy, and free of suffering.
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Namaste and everything else good!~