Reviewer Bani Sodermark. Bani has a Ph.D in mathematical physics and has been a teacher of physics and mathematics at the university level in both India and Sweden. For the last decade, her interests have been spirituality, healthy living and self-development. She has written a number of reviews on http://amazon.com. Bani is a mother to two children.
Author: Kathleen O’Dwyer
Author: Kathleen O’Dwyer
Reinventing the Self
These days, many of us are being prompted to rediscover our inner truths. Our unutilized talents have been beckoning to us all our lives, yet we get trapped in the glitch of daily routines, while our souls go off wandering on their own. And then suddenly, the job, the relationship, the facade that we cling to, mistaking it as a definition of our identity, is ripped apart in the fabric of reality. Facing up to these altered circumstances is usually a long-winded and exciting story as we learn to integrate shadow aspects of ourselves that we previously knew nothing about. This is what happened to Kathleen O’ Dwyer, the story of which she recounts in Breathing Blue.
Kathleen O’ Dwyer had been a smart well paid executive in a Chicago firm. She had all the trappings of success that she could aspire to. Yet she yearned for more. Following this yearning, she takes courses in self-development for six years, while also practising Reiki. The same yearning takes her to a retreat in Aravaipa Canyon Ranch, Arizona. There she experiences powerful insights as to her guides and she decides to explore an alternative lifestyle, where she would live in the same ranch, use her planning expertise to help at the retreats conducted there and use the rest of her free time to write. As if on cue, she gets laid off from her corporate job, but gets a caretaker job at the same ranch, so she could follow the promptings of her soul and live a life close to Nature.
In the beginning all goes well. Her neighbours are friendly, very concerned for her well-being and helpful. She acquires a kitten (or, as she says, the kitten claimed her) and a dog as well, but she also has many memorable an interesting encounters with the wild animals in the surrounding areas, some of them being, skunks, javelinas and coatimundis. She learns to cultivate vegetable organically, how to protect the produce from wild animals, pets and other marauding invaders like tomato worms and javelinas, and sell the same at the local market. She learns to stock up food when it rained heavily as the creek would be flooded and difficult to cross. She also learns that all retreat managers are not equally considerate with the ranch personnel and could make very unreasonable demands on them.
Somewhere along the way, she finds herself short of money. She also finds herself longing for the company of the opposite sex. There is a short interlude when she realizes that she has entered a state of spiritual limbo, where she was working too hard at the cost of her writing and meditation. But this story has a happy ending, as, within a year, she sorts out her frustrations, economic or otherwise, as she meets and recognizes the one she was meant to live with, as ordained by Great Spirit.
This book has been a joy to read. The text is divided into short chapters, each describing an involving experience. The writing is delicately underplayed and geared to recreate for the reader, a sense of the ambience of what transpired at that particular event. Interspersed within the text are poems written by the author that enhance the reading experience. The author shares unstintingly of herself and her encounters with her readers.
This is a book you might like to read again. I did so and gained a clearer understanding of the mystical import of Kathleen O’ Dwyer’s journey as related to my own.