You asked if I would write about the books which have shaped and encouraged my spiritual journey…….I would be delighted to do so!
But, before I embark on that, I would like to tell you about a book that I have just read, as it follows on perfectly, from our conversation about people who experience challenging health conditions and how they have managed and coped with them, and come through them.
Perfect Health True Life Stories: Volume 1 is a collection of personal stories by people, “who have overcome adversity and heartbreak as they develop new levels of balance in their life. The stories are categorised within 10 areas of work, home, family, friends, mind, body, values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours.” There are accounts of mental health conditions, physical health conditions, and those where grief, loss, abuse and fear were experienced.
I found these stories really insightful, informative and inspirational! I resonated deeply with some of them, since I too have experienced a physical health condition which appeared seemingly out of the blue and altered the terrain of my life…….completely!
Elaine Godley one of the authors, who was given a year to live in 2015 with stage 4 cancer, writes the following in her contribution:
“ I don’t think my family is any different from most. We all know someone who experienced heart attack, stroke, mental illness, and other serious life limiting conditions. My mission and purpose in life now is to share my knowledge and experiences so that others will benefit and live a full active and happy healthy life.”
She writes too about the concept of balance in our lives and sets out nine points, which she has learned through her illnesses which she would like to pass on to others. Check out the Kindle version of the book and see what they are!
In our busy world where the pace of life is fast and furious we often find that our priorities become skewed and as we juggle a variety of roles and responsibilities we can find our lives out of balance. Finding balance enables us to maintain our health and fitness and wellbeing.
The book concludes with a number of quotes on ‘What Does Perfect Health Mean To You?’ Claire Clements, Owner of Blissful Balance & Positive Pants (www.positivepants.co.uk) responded with:
“For me, everything is about balance. Perfection is not obtainable, nor should it be. So, although I have number of chronic health issues, I have learnt to balance and align my focus so that the impact day to day is minimal. With my focus being on the good bits, the bad bits are not as negative as they used to be and I can continue to look after myself, enjoy being me……”
Here is a photo of Claire and I, at a Blue Stocking Society Brunch a while ago!
When we encounter health problems in our lives so often the question we ask is Why? Why this? and Why now?………in the long run though the question can become What? What have I discovered about myself and others? These stories show that through the dark road of adversity, there have come insights and light which was garnered and gained through the health adversity. A particularly helpful feature of this book is that at the end of each story there are references/websites which allow you to explore the condition further.
While each story is only one snapshot of the ‘condition’, it does give us an insight into it, from a personal perspective. This can help us to begin to understand those we come across with the same conditions, even though their story might differ in some respects.
I know that you have been concerned about a couple of your friends recently, you will find their conditions in this book! The stories will give you a clearer picture and some ways to support and encourage them at this time.
At the beginning of the book Jessica Prime and Elaine Godley announce that,
“the Perfect Health – True Life Stories Volume 1 book project is a proud sponsor of The Faye Knowles Chapman Foundation”
The foundation was set up in memory of Faye Knowles Chapman (her story is told in the book by a close friend) to raise awareness of cervical health issues.
Let me know when you have read the book! I look forward to discussing it with you!
Hope you are enjoying the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ (John Keats 1819) and that the season of Autumn is going well for you.
P.S. Remember ‘nature is fuel for the soul.’ If the weather allows, go for a walk in the park/countryside this W/E. If it doesn’t, go for an imaginative walk in The Vineyard!