Monday, February 27, 2017

Unexpected Paths




Image by Free Artistic Photos
 I love it when a book sets off a chain reaction; one book leading to another, which leads to another. Often when I discover an author I like, I want to read everything they’ve written. I’m sure we all do that. But I love when a book leads us in unexpected directions. (After reading The Fault in Our Stars, how many of us would have read An Imperial Affliction if it had been a real book?)

I just finished Liane Moriarty’s The Hypnotist’s Love Story. I’ve never been particularly interested in the subject of hypnosis, but while reading, I was intrigued by the way the MC spoke vivid images into her clients’ consciousness.I ended up at the library yesterday searching visualization techniques and guided imagery.


Image by Free Artistic Photos
I often experience anxiety in social situations, and in unfamiliar surroundings. When I traveled to New York City several years ago for Book Expo America, I Xeroxed pages from my daily spiritual reading and pulled them from my purse whenever I began to feel panicky. But I’m a visual learner. While I homeschooled my children, I was always drawing diagrams and making charts to help reinforce a concept (if not for them, for myself.) I love the idea of self healing with imagined images. So with that thought, I’ll leave you with some gorgeous photos (not mine) that help me feel relaxed and grounded.

Image by Free Artistic Photos
Image by Free Artistic Photos






What unexpected paths has reading led you down?

28 comments:

  1. Ruth, while I would never get hypnotized, I like to visualize calming images as you do. When I close my eyes and think of such, it's usually the English countryside. And I also like to read everything an author wrote -- and in order! I've learned the disadvantage of reading living authors is that one can whip through that list and then have to *wait* for their next one! :-)

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    1. I recently discovered Louise Penny's mystery novels. After reading the first, I was delighted to learn there was a whole series. Sometimes coming late to the party isn't so bad. Got to whip right through them then.

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  2. Unexpected paths... Hmm... I love to buy books based on the cover art or the title alone. Some of my favourite literary discoveries have come from this. I have the most diverse collection of authors on my shelves because of this.

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    1. I agree, Annalisa. I'm a sucker for a good cover!

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  3. I started reading SF in my late teens when I finally figured out that all romance novels were basically the same. I so loved my first few SF novels that I bought more and more. I read all the greats: Asimov, Heinlein, Card, LeGuin, Herbert, etc. To this day, even though I'm a thriller writer, my favorite author is a British SF novelist, Peter F. Hamilton.

    Great idea for you to take items that calm you when you might panic. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Being in a critique group has been another great path of discovery, leading me to read genres I don't usually gravitate towards. Interesting that you mostly read SF but write thrillers. It takes us a while sometimes to figure out what we're "meant" to be writing.

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  4. We learn the ways of self-soothing, and in the best cases (such as your imaging) they are healthful ways. Anxiety seems a fallback state for many more people than you'd ever think, especially if you feel you are alone in it.

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    1. I think you said it just right. Anxiety is a fallback state and we have to work at staying ahead of it.

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  5. You went to BEA?? I am so jealous. Yes, I love those kinds of book trails. It's always a disappointment when they die.

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    1. Yes, my daughter and I went to BEA a few years ago. Feels like it might be about time to think about going again.

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  6. Yes, that's awesome you went to BEA. When I used to read spiritual books, they would take me in a new direction. Mostly reading stories is like being with a good friend.

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    1. Absolutely, Natalie. I think a good story can be calming, too. Who needs hypnosis, right? ;)

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  7. I remember when you were going to the BEA. I think bringing some soothing words and visuals with you was and is a great idea. I have some people in my life who are very close to me who suffer from severe anxiety and I plan to recommend the idea to them. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Yes, words and visuals, and MUSIC. Music is my number one!

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  8. We never know what rabbit trails we might end up on, do we? They are often good ones, I think. :) I'm with you, when I find an author I like, I want to read all their books.

    I'm currently reading Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf - she deals with how the brain can actually be rewired to deal with fear and other similar things. She's a Christian and has worked in cognitive neuroscience since 1985. Although she gets a bit technical, she outlines how renewing our minds in the Biblical manner can really change us, and offers help in moving beyond stumbling blocks that try to hold us captive. She supplies a summary at chapter's end to cut through the technical parts (which is helpful). It's very interesting! I'm hopeful that it will help with some challenges I've faced for a number of years. All that to say, I've been meditating on the importance of renewing my mind for some time, and that led me in the direction of finally reading this book. My husband had purchased it a while back and I ignored it for the longest time. :)

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    1. Funny (not really) how we tend to ignore the things we really need sometimes. Glad you finally picked up that book, Karen. And thanks for telling me about it here. I've just added it to my list and will be requesting it from the library.

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  9. I am naturally awkward in new situations too. I try to remind myself that very often, the moments that make me nervous hardly ever matter in the long run. (And that in the end, only God can judge me, so even if the world thinks I'm a goof, if He's okay with me, then I'm okay.)

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    1. I hear you, Elizabeth. That's the inner dialogue of my life ;)

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  10. Hi Ruth - I deal with uncomfortable/panic-inducing situations by the Word of God and prayer. II Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 26:3, and other verses have special meaning for me.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the verses, Susan. Phillipians 4:13 is one I often find strength in.

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  11. I was hypnotized once for relaxation purposes. It worked so well that I floated out of the office, as rested as if I had been on vacation...An hour later, I realized that I had forgotten to pay, and returned.

    Photos of tulips or owls or dogs work almost as well for me. :-)

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    1. Too funny, Barbara! I'm glad the hypnosis worked. Even happier to know the pictures have the same effect. I think I will stick with the photos!

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  12. While I think novels should be about plot first and foremost, I'm all for learning something new from the subject matter a book covers. It's nice to be surprised!

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    1. Yes! When one book leads me to another it's a pleasant bonus.

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  13. I get anxiety in unfamiliar settings, too. That's one of the reasons I've never been to BEA!!! The images are a great idea. I may need to do that.

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  14. I'm always surprised where I find inspiration. Images are big for me too. That first photo you have here is fantastic. :)

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