Rarely do I share book reviews here, and yet this book prompted me to do so.
If you are in need of a curriculum for a young person or a jumpstart at retirement, this book is that. If you are looking for fresh ideas to lift your creative practice or deepen your capacity to enjoy the simple things in life, this book is that. Randomly opening to any page is how I use the book. There are many things/suggestions/ideas there that I’ve used my whole life and that I teach others. AND there are new ideas, fresh challenges and reminders that I find essential to my own capacity to stay on track with my intentions.
The Table of Contents, alone, provides a set of inspiring prompts to invite change or deepen an already excellent practice. People who live a wholehearted life generally do so without writing their processes down – they live them and model them for others. Susyn Reeve has provided a real service here by compiling authentic, tried practices that generate wellness, happiness, contentment, deeper joy and a sense of success and ease. It’s a textbook for living fully with ever expanding capacity. This book can be used over the year, as it is presented or with “intentional randomness.” Any way a reader uses this volume will underscore and highlight the best practices of your life and lay down paths to more rewarding ways of thinking and being that you, perhaps, have yet to discover.
from LEAN FORWARD INTO YOUR LIFE (2007 Conari Press, Mary Anne Radmacher, author) “Know When To Leave”
It was time for me to leave. What I was leaving was so delicious in its appearance. The opportunity to be a part-time hero is reasonable appealing. I chose to be hero to myself. I chose to not disappoint myself. In so choosing, disappointed others. Such is just one consequence of knowing when to leave.’’
Acting on an impulse to protect my environment, I accidentally became a national activist. That was not my objective. My objective was far more self-focused. I was thriving as a body boarder and planned to learn to surf. That the government was planning on issuing leases for oil drilling off our shore was quite disturbing. So much so that a fellow “water baby” and I began an energy conservation program campaign that still thrives in my former community. We led what became a two state petition effort involving hundreds of people. We traveled and testified before committees and elected officials. A moratorium was issued. Ten year delay.
On the heals of that success several agencies had other “issues” they wanted me to champion. They were all important. Yet, none of them were passionately important to me. “But you are so GOOD at this,“ they crooned. “The State needs people like you.”
Being wanted and needed and courted – wow, they are heady drugs! I knew the chunk of soul and time and health that one effort took out of me. My soul calls me to make a difference. And I do that through generosity, poetry, art and teaching. I am not a born
activist. I fight for what I am passionate about. It’s the passion that drives me, not the fight.
I said no. I’ve been grateful for knowing to leave those opportunities so many times. A yes would have fulfilled the
expectations that others held of me. My NO honored my calling, my craft and my health. From that I learned and have often said,
“My NO becomes the opportunity for someone else’s YES.”
mary anne radmacher