Monday, March 19, 2018

I've Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver

I’ve Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life. Maria Shriver. Penguin Publishing Group. February 2018. Hb. 240 pp. ISBN #: 9780525522607.

Maria Shriver is totally correct in saying we are now living in times where more is needed.  Men, women and children across this nation and world are tired of the prevailing negativity, yearning for that which makes life “good.”  No, this is not a self-help book for Pollyanna-type persons but one in which one finds inner peace, purpose, love, and even joy.

Before each meditation in this book are quotations from notable people, those who’ve made a difference in the world but not been satisfied by external accolades.  Instead they’re centered on the inner world that fuels their thoughts, words and deeds.  For example, “Who you become as a person is up to you – up to your imagination, your will, your determination, your choices…” or “What you think you become” shared by the Buddha.  Then there are sections that we have heard before like pieces on love, honesty, forgiveness, and so on.  But what about the power within each of us for “empathy,” “losing faith,” “not caring too much for what others think,” living in a “complaint-free zone” periodically, “a culture of care,” “the process of discernment,” “grieving,” and so many more topics will catch your attention and invite you to ponder each one.

One is to consider meditating on it with prayer or just letting it be in one’s consciousness until one is ready to move on to the next one.  This is not a book to be read cover to cover quickly; it’s full of wisdom and points of view that are right at different moments in life. It has thoughts and advice that one will want to repeat reading and contemplating as well as passages that will provoke and inspire at different times.  There’s no one result or goal.  The process is to just “be” with each section or passage.

Maria Shriver comes from a family of doers but this is a book about the fire and fuel behind the doing and being!  Highly recommended, inspirational nonfiction. It could just be the best book you read right now!

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