My First Ever Online Book Club: An Invitation

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I know that we are smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, but I want to plant a bug in your ear for next year…by that, I mean, a few weeks from now! Over the years, I have enjoyed so many wonderful books and I have enjoyed so many of you that have come back again to comment on my posts. I would like a way to connect more with you, so I have decided to create an online book club so that we can spend at least part of 2015 getting to know each other better through taking a deep dive into our personal spaces.

The book I have chosen is not specifically Taoist in nature, but it does have a lot to do with creating a life that resonates with who you are. This book challenges you to look carefully at your world (through your home) and decide what fits and what doesn’t. I believe that the work of studying the Tao is about doing just that with our spirit, so to me this book is very fitting for my own personal growth. If it sounds like it might fit yours, please join us!

The book that I have chosen for this online book club is called SoulSpace:Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life — Creating a Home That Is Free of Clutter, Full of Beauty, and Inspired by You. 

For this online book club, we will be posting weekly challenges primarily through our SoulSpace Online Book Club Facebook group, but I will also sharing my own journey through this book here on my blog. Below are the details. If you are interested, please join our Facebook group. It is a private group, so anything you share will be only shared with the group. You are welcome to post blog entries in the group as well if you are sharing your progress through your blog.

 

SoulSpace Online Book Club Details

Cost: Free

Dates: Postings will be on Saturdays from January 10,2015, through March 7, 2015 in our Facebook group. Each Saturday, I will offer a suggested reading, question, challenge or exercise for you to consider for that week that relates to a phase in the book. You can post on any phase at any time, but you will get the most out of it if you follow along with the phase for that week. If you get behind, no worries. Just tell us how you are doing in the group. Tell us what made you get behind. Challenges will always come up. Share!! That is half the fun.

There are 8 weeks to the group and 8 phases to cover in the book, so we will cover one phase from the book per week.

Preparation for the Group: It would be best if you are able to read the book before we start. Or at least skim it so that you have some idea of the book’s content. There is a lot to cover in 8 short weeks and I want you to have the most time each week to focus more on the exercises than in reading the book during the book club. This will be an ACTIVE book club rather than a PASSIVE one. If you are thinking that we are just going to read and discuss the book, you may not want to do this. For this book club, we are doing stuff in our homes, clearing junk, taking photos, creating art, sharing, confessing our potentially hoarding ways and hopefully having a lot of fun!

Community: Throughout the book club, I will offer a few opportunities for us to get online at the same time so that we can “chat” on the page while we are doing the group. So watch for these. Put these times on your calendar and make time to be there and hang out with us! A big part of doing this for me is so that I can get to know some of you better. I think that this is going to be a great adventure.

What to Expect: As you review the book, you will see that there are eight phases. Each phase gives you an opportunity to look at your space – it might be your entire home, maybe a room, maybe your office or even a corner – and work on it. The eight phases are: Assessing, Releasing, Cleansing, Dreaming, Discovering, Creating, Elevating and Celebrating. We will go into much more detail with each phase, but the purpose of doing this book club is to take the ideas in this book and make them real for you. If you are a little scared, that is good! I am too! I will be doing it right along with you and believe me, no one needs this more than I do! If you want to get a closer look at the book first, go on Amazon and click on the book to “Look Inside” or drop by a bookstore and check it out if you can find it. I couldn’t find it at our bookstore, but it is easy to get on Amazon and have it shipped to you, wherever you are.

How to Sign Up: If you are on Facebook, just do a search for our group. It is called SoulSpace Online Book Club. Go to that page and click on the big green button that says “Join Group”.  From there, you will get all of the instructions each week. The postings from the group will show up on your Facebook feed, but will only be visible to those who are actually members in the group and will not be visible to your friends or family. If you post something in the group, only the members of the group will see them.

Pinterest: I have also created a Pinterest board for this book club! As you find things that fit your ideal space, pin them to the board. If you want me to invite you to this board, just add your info in the comments here and I will add you.

 

If you have any questions, please reach out to me. You can either message me on Facebook or you can add a comment to this post. Hope to see you in the group!

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 78

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 77

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 76

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 75

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

My Beef with Trader Joe’s

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Sadly, I feel that a dear friend has betrayed me.

Now, like many Americans these days, I love Trader Joe’s. They are a dear friend. I buy chocolate there and a host of other cheap and fun foods. They are fun. Most of my recycle bags are from Trader Joe’s. But I feel like I have been betrayed. I had heard some murmurings about Trader Joe’s, but had never really investigated what the story was. I loved them, after all. Nothing was going to sink my ship. But yesterday was the last straw. Yesterday, I was poking around online about GMOs and I came across this post written in 2013 about Trader Joe’s. This article discusses how Trader Joe’s, although not purchased directly by ConAgra (one of the leading fighters on the Monsanto side of the GMO food movement) buys most of their in-store label foods from a subsidiary of ConAgra, RalCorp.

This alone, was not enough to dissuade me from my dear friend. “So what?” I thought. When I went to the Trader Joe’s website, I learned that they promised that all of their in-store brands are GMO free, so it has to be true, correct? When I read (back to the original article) that Trader Joe’s does not disclose their vendors I started to get a little bit suspicious. Why would they not disclose their vendors? Still, I was not convinced that they were misleading me, but a shadow of doubt was cast.

Then I came across this site, which lists out all of the labels that are certified to be GMO free. What? Why isn’t Trader Joe’s listed here? They are all GMO Free. They should be on the list. On their website, they had this to say about that…

“We have yet to take the approach of labeling products as non-GMO because there are no clear guidelines from the US governmental agencies covering food and beverage labeling. Instead of waiting for such guidelines to be put into effect, and based upon customer feedback, we took a more holistic approach and made the no GMO ingredients position part of what the Trader Joe’s label encompasses.”

It seems to me, if having all of their foods be considered GMO Free as a huge part of their marketing plan, that it would be well worth the money to get the proper third-party certification, especially since they cast doubt on the validity of this by buying the majority of their in-house label foods from a company that is owned by ConAgra, don’t you think? (ConAgra spent over a million dollars to stop GMO food labeling in California.) Are they lying to us? I know what I think, but I will leave it to you to decide for yourself.

Scattered Life Collective: November 21st

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This post was inspired by a blogging adventure  called Scattered Life Collective by Cynthia Lee. It’s a great series and I hope that you will check out the rest of the participants and perhaps even join us!
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current time: 5:42 AM. Monday morning. I am trying to get back into the habit of blogging regularly again and mornings are my best time. My daughter will be up soon and things will get lively around here, but for now it is quiet and dark. LATER: 9:08 AM on Friday, Nov. 21st. Coming back to complete this post. It’s Friday, my favorite day of the week! My “Amy Day”. We should all have that! I was just thinking this morning what a delight it is to have this day that I don’t have to work! A day where I get to focus on things that are very important to me, like this blog and my writing of my book, my own copy of the Tao Te Ching.

on the menu:  Lighter fare. A few weeks ago, I started doing some menu planning (as I wrote about in my last “Scattered Life Collective” post). It worked great, except for the fact that the meals that we have loved over the years are very heavy meals. We used to eat heavily and now we are trying to eat lighter. So this week, I have a couple of soups on the menu. A spicy chicken soup and pea soup – one of our favorites. There are other things, too, but the soups will help us to feel a bit lighter this week.  The spicy chicken soup has lots of ginger to make it spicy. It is very light with a chicken stock broth and a few veggies. The pea soup is thick and wonderful – we make plenty as it is usually better the next day. Tonight I will be making my sister’s recipe for sugar free granola bars, where I substitute brown rice syrup for the maple syrup. They are like my candy when eating no sugar. (They are also breakfast at work many days!)

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 74

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

I Ching Hexagram #15: Humility

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At first glance, it might seem a bit disconcerting to receive “Humility” as your hexagram for today. Often times, humility comes unwillingly as a harsh reminder of not getting too much of oneself. We are forced to eat “humble pie” when our arrogance has caused us to falsely claim honors which are not ours to claim.

But there is another side to humility. Deng Ming-Dao’s interpretation from The Living I Ching offers us a different way of thinking of humility. Ming-Dao suggests that humility is only available to us when we are coming from a place of strength. Like compassion, it is a way that we are able to give to others. It is a voluntary relinquishment of your “credit” to provide the space for others to have the spotlight. In this way, our humility is a measurement of our strength.

Tao Tuesdays: Chapter 73

I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!
I got this great photo at www.hetemeel.com!

Who needs Taco Tuesdays when you can have Tao Tuesdays? I am sure that Einstein would have really loved this…

Here is How it Works

I will post a chapter of the Tao Te Ching each Tuesday.  (My version – you can see all of the chapters on my List of Chapters page if you want to work ahead!) I will put a Mr. Linky entry form with it so that you can write your OWN commentary to the chapter on your own blog and then come back here after you post and add your link! Simple! (Please add the DIRECT link to your post about that particular chapter to make it easy for our readers!)

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