Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Struggles Dealing With Stress

It has been several days since I’ve had the inclination, energy, desire, ability, or brainpower to write after my workday. Nearly one month after they flipped the switch on the integration for my department at the merged company, the gifts of transition keep giving.  Are they necessarily bad? Not at all! But change is stressful even in the most positive circumstances. I can see that I will like my new role. However, the challenges of morphing into the new structure are palpable.  So it was no surprise that my dentist recommended I use a mouth-guard at night to prevent my grinding my pearly whites to nubs before I retire.

I’ve already bitten through and destroyed 2 custom mouth guards. I am not willing to undergo the process of having a third created nor do I relish the financial output not covered by my dental insurance to have a 3rd custom product designed. So, I’ve decided to use an over-the-counter product at $30 a shot to see if I get a bigger bang for my buck. Time will tell.

Since yoga and gardening alone are not relieving my tension, I decided to focus on the characteristics I want to cultivate to thrive in my new environment. One of the tools I learned during my years in Al Anon was to consider something for which I feel gratefulness using every letter of the Alphabet. So, today while in Shivasana during my yoga practice I concentrated on what I want to cultivate in my life:

A-    Acceptance
B-    Beauty
C-    Confidence
D-   Delight
E-    Empathy
F-    Fairness
G-    Gratitude
H-   Happiness
I-     Independence
J-     Joy
K-   Kindness
L-    Love
M-  Mindfulness
N-   Namaste
O-   Open Mindedness
P-    Peace
Q-   Quiet
R-    Resourcefulness
S-    Serenity
T-    Tranquility
U-   Understanding
V-    Vivaciousness
W-  Wonder
Z – Zestiness

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Secret Language of Stones A Daughters of La Lune Novel by M.J. Rose ~ A Book Review

One of the delightful benefits of my membership with Bookbrowse.com is the occasional privilege of reading a galley of a soon to be published book in exchange for an honest review.

This evening I completed reading The Secret Language of Stones. This is not a book I ordinarily would have purchased if I’d seen it on Amazon.com.  While I love historical fiction, strong women characters and intrigue, this novel also includes elements of mysticism, the occult and witchery, which I enjoyed during the 1990’s when Ann Rice wrote The Witching Hour novels, but have long since abandoned.

But I found myself intrigued and completely engrossed in The Secret Language of Stones and plan to read more novels by M.J. Rose. This story centers on Opaline, the descendent of La Lune, a 16th Century courtesan and witch who passed her powers and spells to select females in the line.  Opaline has the gift or curse, depending upon one’s perspective.

The story takes place in Paris during World War I. Opaline is working as a jewelry apprentice to Russian √©migr√©’s who have escaped the Bolshevik Revolution. She decides to use her burgeoning gifts to create amulets or talismans using stones, gold and the hair or bits of keepsakes from dead soldiers who give her one last message to give some sense of peace to the loved ones of those who fought for France.

It did take me several chapters to engage with the story, but I ultimately found myself drawn into the story and unable to put the book down.  The writing is beautifully descriptive and almost lyrical. I could imagine myself living in Paris 1916 hiding in bomb shelters when the Germans attacked and then defiantly going into the streets to live life.

This book, which will be published in July 2016, is charmingly evocative of early 20th Century Paris mixed with Russian expatriate angst about the fate of the Tsar and his family and hereditary magic. Really enjoyed it!