The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters

I have endured long-term suffering, and I have straggled out the other side. At first, for many years, I thought I was damaged by it. Now, I see the pain reshaped me and my resolve so I can live my best life.

Under great trauma, one can either decide to cave under its weight, or to keep going. I chose to keep going, and to find meaning in the agony. It’s not about “meant to be” or “destiny.” It, for me, was about finding a way to improve, to learn a lesson, to take what good I could from it. I believe nothing is 100% bad or 100% good. Life is shades of grey.

That’s why this book spoke to me. I was in tears after the first few pages. “Eventually, all the love, suffering, and humility we go through wear away our walls of resistance until Spirit shines from within us like an inner sun. This is how Spirit is revealed on Earth – when the coverings we carry are worn away by life, so the light we carry can pour into the world,” writes Mark Nepo in The Book of Soul, offered to readers as a powerful guide to inhabiting an authentic and wholehearted life.

For years, my trauma has defined who I am. What I do, how I think, the choices I make: all because I’m striving to overcome. Recently, though, enough time has passed that I’ve found grace, and in that grace finally comes gratitude for the pain, because the pain still defines me, but I’m a better me. Pain expands the heart and in the expansion, if you let it, you can find more love, compassion, agape.

Nepo, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, posits that after we are physically born, we must be spiritually born a second time, a process that takes place through the labor of a lifetime as we develop into more fully realized beings. The Book of Soul delves into the spiritual alchemy of that transformation in all its mystery, difficulty, and inevitability. “Forget the hours of suffering, but not what they have taught you,” he reminds.

The book is divided into four sections that mark the passages we all face: enduring our Walk in the World, until we discover Our True Inheritance, which allows us to live in the open by Widening Our Circle, as we Help Each Other Stay Awake. The Book of Soul can be a tool to lead us into the process of transformation.

St. Martin’s Essentials
St. Martin’s Publishing Group
On Sale: 05/05/2020
ISBN: 9781250262967

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Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

Diane Ako has 274 posts and counting. See all posts by Diane Ako

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