Summer Denise is a voracious reader. September to June, I am consumed by reading essays, writing lesson plans and going to bed at 8 pm… sometimes 7:15 pm. Tightly wound, but efficient as all-get-out. It’s a trade-off.
My mother bought me a copy of The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra several years ago. I put it on the bookshelf… and there it sat. During my July hiatus from, well a lot of things, the book jumped off the shelf at me. Sometimes… I think these shelves are spring-loaded. It was time to crack the spine and see what Deepak prescribes for Summer Denise.
This slim-yet-deep read did not disappoint. Here are a few of my many take-aways:
“Animals do have memory. If you kick a dog it will remember the experience and may snarl at you if it encounters you ten years later. But unlike a human being, a kicked dog won’t plan for ten years how to get even” (20).
Of course this passage spoke to the animal rescuer in me… but even more so to the part of me that is learning to let go, release, and surrender. We’ve all had those moments, going about our day and then out of nowhere that mean comment that a random classmate said to us in the 6th grade flashes through our minds… like, where was that stored in the files? Why am I holding onto that? Granted, I’m not plotting revenge, but that hurt is stored in my body. Good thing I have tons of practices at my fingertips to help release those kinds of memories!
“Awareness heals, because awareness is truly whole, and healing is fundamentally a return to wholeness” (38).
No need to comment on that sentence. Just re-read it several times and feel that tingle in your heart-space.
“Once you know who you really are, being is enough” (53).
But… how do we know who we are? Are we who we see in the mirror? Are we who other people tell us to be? Have we spent years or even decades silencing the voice inside of us, our instincts, our true selves? Exhale, dear readers. I wasn’t kidding when I called this a slim-yet-deep read.
“Most people are trapped trying to impose their viewpoint on the world. They carry around beliefs about what is right and wrong, and they hold on to these beliefs for years. “I am right” brings comfort, but not true happiness… no one has ever been made happy by proving that they are right. The only result is conflict and confrontation, because the need to be right always makes someone else wrong” (75).
Every time I catch myself writing an impassioned reply to a social media post that I initially found offensive, annoying, or “wrong,” I bring myself back to this concept. Then, 97% of the time, I deleted what I was about to reply and move on with my day. Like Marianne and Gabby teach: would you rather be right or be happy? I pick happy… and when I pick happy, I am happy.
Dear readers, it was good for me to take a few weeks break, but I did miss you and it feels good, feels right to be back with you. Cheers to another month of Summer Denise and lots of great books!