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Happy New Year!!!  

"Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don't want it."
                    ~  Lucinda Williams


The new year always fills me with hope and anticipation. As Einstein once said: "Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow." 

Often, it is the unknown which can excite and inspire us, and stepping into the new year offers us this opportunity. Interestingly enough, three of December's magazines featured articles on "Letting Go." This is indicative of where many of us may be at. The start of 2015 is the perfect time for letting go of what might be holding us back, keeping us stuck in our tracks, or making roadblocks preventing us from moving forward.  

Whatever your goals and plans for 2015, remember that sometimes the best part about the future is that it's not always predictable. To forge forward, we need to be the writers of our own stories, and initiate the positive actions that are right for us. 


While reading Brain PickingsI got the idea of making New Years' Resolutions backwards. Let's face it, New Years' Resolutions are often meant to be broken, so why not choose a more realistic resolution, like reading all the great books published in 2014?


Here are some current offerings from Brain Pickings:


The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman

Letters of Note by Shaun Usher

Werner Herzog - A Guide for the Perplexed by Paul Cronin

My Favorite Things by Maira Kalman

The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness by Rebecca Solnit

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
The Human Age by Diane Ackerman
The Sense of Style
by Steven Pinker

How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson


More books to read:


Here are some offerings from the staff at Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG), which I snatched from their newsletter,  Work in Progress. Okay, let me brag for a minute. My son-in-law, Daniel del Valle, is responsible for that website and newsletter and I am so very proud!

This list includes staff picks and are not necessarily books published in 2014, but favorite books of the staff. The list was extensive. Click link above for additional books.


Department of Speculation by Jenny Offil

Khirbet Khizeh by S. Yizmar

Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World by Donald Antrim

The Brewers Tale by William Bostwick

Internal Medicine by Terrance Holt

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Submergence by J. M. Ledgard

There Goes Gravity by Lisa Robinson

Dream Songs by John Berryman

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O'Neill





Author Elizabeth Gilbert started what she coined the "Happiness Jar Project." Years ago, she made a vow to herself that every night, she'd write down the happiest moments of her day and save it. For a long time she would jot these moments down on scraps of paper and put them into a jar. 


What to do: Get a Mason jar and decorate it in a compelling way that resonates with you. Each morning or night, write down what made you happy that day or on the day before. This is a beautiful way to preserve all the wonders in your life. It's akin to keeping a gratitude journal, but probably somewhat less time-consuming.


Early last month, I attended the "Open Your Heart in Paradise" retreat in Maui. The retreat facilitators were Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield,  Trudy Goodman, Mirabai Bush, Krishna Das, and friends. The discussions centered on how love and power intertwine and the importance of reminding your heart who you are, even in the midst of chaos. No matter who we are, where we live or what are our circumstances, we are all hungry for love. 


There is no such thing as giving or receiving too much love. We are all born knowing love and how to love. We are love. As Jack Kornfield stated: "It's not about improving yourself; it's about coming back to who you are."


Read more here:  "The Empowerment Diary"





February 2015 (workshop/ book signing) -- The Sacred Space  Summerland, CA. "Writing Lust" Check above link for details and times. TBA.


April 11, 2015 (workshop) -- "Writing With Lust: Personal Writing for          Transformation and Empowerment." The Open Center
 NYC, NY. Check the link for time. TBA.



If there are any subjects you would like me to write about, or special interests you'd like to see discussed, please send me an email. 





If you had a happiness jar, make a list of the notes that you might put inside. Just sayin' !

Love, peace and lust,


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