The Newsletter of 
 
DIANA RAAB, Ph.D. 
 
October 2016



"
Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one."

 ~ Marianne Williamson

OCTOBER WRITING PROMPTS
  • Write about your favorite Halloween costume.
  • Write about a time in your life when you felt transformed
  • Write a letter to someone who changed your life for the better.

 
 
In recent years, transformation has been a popular word. I've always had an affinity for dragonflies and have learned that they're associated with transformation.
 
My book, Writing for Bliss: Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life will be released in 2017. This book was inspired by my many years writing of writing for healing and teaching others to do the same. In addition to guiding and inspiring you to write by offering writing techniques and writing prompts, I've shared some interviews, in this book I share my interviews with authors who've written memoirs as a way to heal and transform.  
 
In preparation for the book's release, can you please help me and take a short 2-minute survey?  It's anonymous. Thank you so much in advance!
 
Here's the link. Feel free to invited your friends to take the survey too!

 http://bit.ly/28NVEHV

 
READING SUGGESTIONS


The Seeker's Guide by Elizabeth Lesser.
This book may easily be called a spiritual bible for transformation or a manual for transforming your life. From a spiritual and psychological standpoint, it discusses the general quest for spirituality, and offers just about all you need to know as a seeker. The author tries to focus on the message rather than the messenger.
 
Lesser is the co-founder of The Omega Institute, which is a prestigious adult learning center focusing on wellness and spirituality. She's very aware of the pitfalls of spirituality, and advises readers to be aware of their own spiritual materialism (see Trungpa book review below).
 
One of the many strengths of this book is that it's part self-help and part memoir, which aids readers in navigating their own journey. We learn about Lesser's own transformation, which informs and guides our our own. By sharing anecdotes from her own spiritual journey, Lesser elicits confidence and accountability because she's "walked the walk." Her candor and transparency inspires us to do the same. She also does a stellar job of simplifying what can be complex philosophies and ideologies about spirituality, making them accessible to both the trade and professional markets.
 
The book opens with a section called, "My Search," and the rest of the book is sprinkled with shorter personal anecdotes to illustrate the points being discussed. This work covers essential subjects, such as the sacred self, transcendence, gender differences, stress control, faith, wholeness, mindfulness, breathing, stress, and death. It's one of those books that needs to be read slowly, with many pauses for reflection interspersed with journaling time. The Seeker's Guide is worthy of being kept on any seeker's bookshelf-to be referred to over and over again. Bravo to Lesser on so many accounts! Highly recommended!

by Chogyam Trungpa.
This work has been on my bookshelf for more than a decade after being recommended by my late friend, Thomas Steinbeck. Although I've read sections here and there, Lesser reminded me of the importance of rereading this masterpiece which advises us to be aware of spiritual messages rather than the messengers. The book is written in a question-and-answer format gathered from Trungpa's lectures from the 1960s and 1970s. His mission was to raise our awareness so we would know what is real and what is not, and to help understand the importance of training one's mind, body, and speech in a truthful manner. He said that this is what leads to understanding and wisdom, which results in a peaceful mind and universe.
 
The essence of Buddhism, which I learned from Thomas (who with Trungpa began Naropa), and from Trungpa is the spiritual way to eliminate confusion, thus exposing the awakened state of mind. When the ego gets involved, it smothers the awakened state of mind, which leads to confusion. Trungpa describes spiritual materialism in this way: "Walking the spiritual path properly is a very subtle process...there are numerous sidetracks which lead to a distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques." (p. 3)
 
This is another book to keep on your bookshelf, to be referred to when the need to "get in touch" with your spirituality arises. Highly recommended!
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS 
 
" Writing for Transformation, Part II: Memoir Writing."
Sacred Space. Summerland, California.
Saturday, October 1, 2016. 4:00-5 :30 pm.


PUBLISHED WORKS 
 
  "Ebbs of Wonder" (poem).  MockingHeart Review.  Sept 1, 2016.  

"What You Should Know about Transcending During Sex" (blog). Psychology Today. September 15, 2016. 
 
"Jeannine's Kitchen" (poem).    Halcyon Days.  September 22, 2016.  
 
"What My Grandmother's Depression Taught Me about Suicide." (blog). Huffington Post. September 25, 2016. 
 
"Why Should You Write Your Memoir?" (blog). Psychology Today. September 25, 2016. 
  

Creatively yours,
Diana 

P.S. Please send any comments to diana@dianaraab.com. 
(Subject: Newsletter) 

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