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review 2018-04-17 18:29
How to awaken the heart: an instruction manual
How to Love the Empty Air - Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

My pals over at Wunderkind PR sent me a copy of today's book and asked that I give an honest review. Spoiler alert: I said yes. :-)

 

How to Love the Empty Air by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz is a collection of poetry which primarily focuses on her relationship with her mother (also a writer) and the grief she experienced after her death. Please don't think it's all doom and gloom and buckets of tears (although there is that too) because she also delves into the pockets of happiness that can be found amidst the overwhelming sadness of losing someone so dear. Cristin speaks to that part of the heart that is attuned to the people in our lives who get us so completely that even the idea that they might not be there pulls the air from one's lungs. From her poem "O Laughter" comes this gem: Sometimes the pain bursts out of me like a flock of starlings. Perfection! If I had to express this book in graph form it would be a steep incline immediately followed by a steep decline and finished off with a steady incline that disappears off the side of the page. Simply put, this is an absolutely lovely little book with beautiful prose and if it doesn't stir your heart I wonder if you even have one. 10/10

 

PS I'd also like to note that 1. I loved the finish on this book. It's like that velvety feeling that some books have and it was an absolute treat to hold it. 2. I enjoyed Cristin's book so much that I'm actively looking to read her other works (including a nonfiction book).

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-04-09 18:31
Starting National Poetry Month with a bang
Citizen: An American Lyric - Claudia Rankine

I'm cognizant of the fact that I don't read enough books by women of color and that I read very few works of poetry. I decided to kill two birds with one stone by reading Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric. (Also, it's National Poetry Month so it was a no-brainer.) This book is especially relevant right now with the state of our world being what it is: a shambles. Citizen is essentially Claudia's exploration of what it is to be a black woman living in America as told through poetic verse. It is beautiful, tender, terrible, tragic, and real. She doesn't shy away from such topics as police brutality or the prevalence of feeling like an outsider. This book is a personal revelation and a public admonishment all rolled into one neat package Coupled with her verses are historical quotes and pencil drawn (I think?) artwork. What better way to begin your foray into poetry than by reading a book that challenges the status quo and speaks from the heart? If you'd like to maybe see the world through a different set of eyes Citizen is your golden ticket with many stops along the way. 9/10

 

I made a note of this quote on page 89 to give you an idea of just how powerful her words are:

 

Those years of and before me and my brothers, the years of passage, plantation, migration, of Jim Crow segregation, of poverty, inner cities, profiling, of one in three, two jobs, boy, hey boy, each a felony, accumulate into the hours inside our lives where we are all caught hanging, the rope inside us, the tree inside us, its roots our limbs, a throat sliced through and where we open our mouth to speak, blossoms, o blossoms, no place coming out, brother, dear brother, that kind of blue.

 

What's Up Next: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2018-04-07 16:27
NaPoWriMo Update

We're a week into April (and it just got cold and snowy again where I live: April is the cruelest month), which means I'm a week into National/Global Poetry Writing Month, and it's time for an update.

 

I've successfully drafted a poem each day: hooray! I made a note to myself early on that I would suppress my perfectionism and edit after this whole month is done. Yesterday was the first day when I really felt the poem was crap, but I already have thoughts on how to at least make it okay. Other than that, it hasn't been much of a challenge to write every day. On the one hand, that's great; on the other, it shows me how lazy I tend to be otherwise!

 

I also vowed to post about poetry I'm reading. Since I was unfamiliar with U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith's work, I found some online, read a poem evoking David Bowie (I'm a big fan), and promptly ordered two books, Wade in the Water (just released) and Life on Mars, which won the Pulitzer.

 

Here is a link to the poem I read, from Life on Mars.

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url 2018-04-07 15:36
All 9 Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Books Free today! Spiritual fiction, Personal Development, Symbols 2018-04-07 {WW}
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A Guide to Mindful Eating - Nataša Pantović Nuit,Mirjana Musulin

All 9 Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Books Free today! Spiritual fiction, Personal Development, Symbols 2018-04-07 {WW} #Kindle #freebie #freebooks #amazonbooks

 

We have just launched the 24 hours of FREE downloads for all of our Mindfulness Training Books on the 7th April 2018. Download and enjoy any of our 9 books! Explore and do let us know your thoughts. I would love to read your reviews.

The Mindfulness Training Series of 9 fiction and non-fiction books by 7 authors focusing on spiritual growth, creativity and mindfulness. A series of many genre's, including poetry, personal development, true story novel, historical fiction, the world of ''Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training'' explores numerous self development themes. 

The titles of the Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Series include:

 

Art of 4 Elements

1. Art of 4 Elements: Discover Alchemy through Poetry, Spiritual Poetry Book, Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training #1, Year: 2014, by Nataša Nuit Pantović, Jason Lu, Christine Cutajar, Jeni Caruana, Publisher: Artof4Elements. Size: 266 pages. 10"x10". The spiritual poetry and art book with 120 poems written by Nuit. These acted as an inspiration for the work of 3 other artists. The book explores alchemy and 4 elements, 4 stages of life, 4 magic directions ISBN: 978-9995754006

Mindful Eating: Mindful Eating Exercises with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes

2. Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes, Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training #3, Year: 2015, by Nataša Pantović Nuit and Olivera Rosic, Publisher: Artof4elements. Size: 120 pages.6"x9". Mindful Eating book is designed with the best Alchemy of Love Mindful Eating Exercises and a collection of Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes. Mindful Eating Exercises help with over-eating, eating too often, eating too little, eating junk food, food allergies, etc. Vegan cooking book. ISBN: 978-9995754020

Mindful Being

3. Mindful Being towards Mindful Living Course, Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training #4, Year: 2015, by Nataša Pantović Nuit, Publisher: Artof4elements. Size: 192 pages.: 8"x10". Mindful Being is a 12 Modules Course full of self-development and mindfulness exercises that combine meditation, mindful living exercises, soul’s diary, spiritual diary, relationship contracts, and many other daily spiritual transformation tools to help the reader live the highest potential. The Mindful Being examines: Nutrition, Core Beliefs, Emotions, Mind Power offering 100s of self-development tools to increase Mindfulness, Creative Thinking, Joy and Love. ISBN: 978-9995754037

Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents

4. Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents by Nataša Pantović Nuit with a consultant Ivana Milosavljevic, Year: 2016, Publisher: Artof4elements. Size: 226 pages. 8"x10". Conscious Parenting Course is a Mindful Living Training designed for parents with mindfulness exercises and various creativity tools. Inspired by Waldorf educational model, Finland educational system with personal-development tools to look into parenting goals, dreams and priorities. In a video interview Nataša Pantović Nuit explains how Conscious Parenting differs from other types of parenting ISBN: 978-9995754044

Chanting Mantras with Best Chords

5. Chanting Mantas with Best Chords by Nataša Pantović Nuit, Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training #6, Year: 2016, Publisher: Artof4elements. Size: 8"x10" 77 pages. This guide is a chanting mantras manual designed to help within the mantras meditation journey. With more than 50 mantras from all around the world, their spiritual meanings, lyrics and chords, it explores: Hindu Sacred Mantras; Buddhist Mantras; Sufi Chants; New-Consciousness Mantras in English. ISBN: 978-9995754150 At the moment AVAILABLE for FREE

Tree of Life: with Spiritual Poetry

7. Tree of Life with Spiritual Poetry by Nataša Pantović Nuit, Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training #9, Year: 2017, Publisher: Artof4elements. Size: 265 pages. 6"x9". Tree of Life in various interpretations, within myths, and as a mystical concept represents the interconnections of all life on our beautiful planet. The book starts with an invitation to a Tantric Ball within the Field of Dreams. It is a journey of many true life stories interwoven into a question: What is our soul’s yearning, and do we live it authentically living our Highest Potential as Human Beings? We journey through Scotland, and visit Findhorn, a spiritual group that during the last 40 years experiments with more enlightened community living. We travel from Serbia to Cambridge to Maltese temples, from Nairobi to Addis Abeba in Ethiopia. Visit Lamu in Kenya that full of rich drug addicts, and find out why Nuit chose to define the humanity’s strongest limiting belief as: “We need suffering to grow.” What happens when your country collapses, when you stay without your soul-mate and when your soul’s quest is against your life path! How to listen to inner messages that at times feel completely irrational? The Tree of Life is a true story of a woman, a poet, a yogi, a spiritual researcher following an inner voice discovering the true goals, and entering the path of parenting, as a single mum adopting two kids from Ethiopia. ISBN: 978-9995754136

A-Ma Alchemy of Love

8. A-Ma Alchemy of Love Spiritual Novel by Nataša Pantović Nuit, Year: 2017, Publisher: Artof4Elements. Size: 244 pages 6"x9". A-Ma is a historical spiritual fiction book set in the 17th century Macao, China. The main protagonist is Ama, an African alchemist, Goddess, a guru, a lover, a story-teller that inspires and gathers artists, preachers, priests, philosophers from all around the world within the magic settings of her coffee house. ISBN-13: 978-9995754198

Source: www.amazon.com/Nataša-Nuit-Pantović/e/B00TUA1528
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text 2018-04-01 19:40
NaPoWriMo

So November (I think?) is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I've just learned about and decided to participate in National (or Global) Poetry Writing Month (April is national poetry month in the U.S.) where the aim is to write a poem a day. Wish me luck! I am generally undisciplined and not very prolific as a poet. I figure even if I don't end up writing one for every day, I'll still write a bunch. It will be more new poems than I had on March 31st. I already wrote one today.

 

But how about also making it National Poem Reading Month? I try to always be reading poetry regularly, but most folks don't. I'm still reading Szymborska's collected and last poems. I'd be psyched to know others were reading a poem a day!

 

I'll do my best to post some lines from what I'm reading. If there's a national poetry month where you live, I'd welcome similar posts whenever that is.

 

Also, here is a link to an NPR interview with the current American Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith (whose poems I am excited to read for the first time this month), who discusses the value of poetry, especially in our rough global times.

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