The Newsletter of 
 
DIANA RAAB, Ph. D.
 
JULY   2015


HAPPY SUMMER !

"Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains."

~Diane Ackerman
  
 
Summertime reminds me of my childhood- the smell of flowers, and catching fire flies in my backyard. School was out, camp was on the calendar, and life was all about fun, fun, fun. Growing up on the East Coast, it was also about not having to bundle up to go outside. In my mind, summer was equated with travel and a sense of freedom.

While a sense of freedom continues to be important to me, I'm blessed to work for myself, make my own schedule, and travel when it calls me.

In keeping with celebratory newsletters, I just noted that July 26th is Parents' Day. As many of my readers are in the sandwich generation of raising kids and dealing with aging parents, I thought it apt to honor summer and parents in this issue.

As a baby boomer, it's hard to believe that many of my contemporaries are already orphans. This is a tough status to swallow, but probably a tougher position to hold. I'm a half-orphan, but I suspect that within the next five years my time will come to become a full-fledged orphan. My mother is less and less ambulatory and has recently told me that her time is soon coming to an end. A part of me believes that people choose when to come into and leave the world. I do think my mother is getting ready to check out, as she has lost sight of and contact with her life's passions. She never spoke like this before, and as a psychologist, I know not to take any comments lightly. I also know there isn't much I can do to stop the process, except to offer love whenever I'm able. As Lennon said, "All you need is love."

SUGGESTED READING

 

When the Big Wind Comes (poetry) This might be Enid Osborn's first book, but from her writing and acute observational skills and turn of phrase, we sense that she has been writing poetry for quite a while. I had the pleasure of hearing this wonderful, sensitive, gentle poet read twice in California, and I feel drawn into the charm of her verse.


 

If you haven't read When the Big Wind Comes, you need to stop whatever you are doing, order it, and read it soon. You will be transported and inspired. For those who have been raised or are familiar with New Mexico, or for those who have been raised on or near farms, you will feel at home. For all others, you will fall in love as she holds your hand with her words, walking you through a poignant and almost mythic childhood in which horses became her inspiration, friends, and companions. 


 

The opening poem, Nighthawk, paints a portrait of what's to come in the poems that follow: "I am the child who ate this dirt /I am the dear daughter who was hankered for /I am the prodigal, singing my Southern hymn / I am the nighthawk, winging my way home." Osborn's words are sweet, concise, gentle, and kindhearted, like the very person she is. Highly recommended with a warm cup of tea and a favorite reading chair!



 
The Calm Center (inspirational) is Steve Taylor's eighth book and, like all of his others, should rest either on your night table for private viewing or on your coffee table to be shared with loved ones who appreciate the connection between poetry and spiritual musings. His latest book is packed with universal wisdom to ponder, reflect on, and integrate into a seeker's life. Taylor has an innate knack for articulating what we all feel but may be unable to express. Each poem needs to be read and savored like a fine piece of chocolate. Taylor's sageness, coupled with his poetic sensibilities, not only makes this an easy read, but one that needs to be read over and over, since with each reading comes a new revelation.

 

The introduction by Eckhart Tolle deftly states that many ancient scriptures were either considered poetry or on the border of poetry and prose. This book may well become one of those classics that future generations look to as the scriptures of our times. He speaks of love for self, the relationship of the self to the universe, life and death, lightness versus darkness, fearlessness, gratitude, the importance of listening to the sounds of silence, the importance of seeking in all realms of our lives, and many more essential subjects. 


 

For those who are believers in mindfulness, Taylor claims, "Attention is an alchemy that turns dullness to beauty and anxiety to ease." There is much truth in this statement. This book is highly recommended! 


 

APPEARANCES

Last month, on June 19 and 23, I gave two presentations at Eurotas in Milan. Milan was amazing! My  presentations were entitled, "Creative Transcendence: Memoir Writing for Transformation," sharing the findings of my PhD dissertation. They were well-attended and it was a thrill being in the spiritual community of Centro d'Ompio , one hour north of Milan. Both were attended by transpersonal psychologists and seekers from all over the world. If you are interested in reading my research, you can find it on ProQuest and also in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.

July 15, 2015. "Just Write: Writing for Transformation. Healing In America, Ojai, CA. 6-8 pm. To register click link.

HAVE BOOK ?

If you have just released a new book or have read a book you highly recommend, please share the title and author by emailing me. I love supporting the accomplishments and passions of my readers.  Thank you! 
JULY WRITING PROMPT

Write about your favorite summer adventure, either as a child or an adult.


Creatively yours,
Diana

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