Hello friends! I’m sure many of you are already familiar with Sounds True. You can find books and other programs that will help you live a more authentic, loving, and meaningful life.
Through the years I’ve found some fantastic resources for personal growth and healing through their site, so I was happy to oblige when they asked me to introduce you all to nine new Sounds True authors in the spirituality and wellness space.
Justin Michael Williams, Sah D’Simone, Faith Hunter, and LaRayia Gaston bring meditation, music, dancing, and yoga to a broad audience, with a shared mission to reach underserved BIPOC and LGBTIQIA+ communities.
Ashley River Brant and Briana Saussy invite you to incorporate the sacred arts and earth wisdom into your everyday life.
Sarah Blondin and Light Watkins offer engaging and unique ways to incorporate mindfulness into your spiritual practice.
Here are a few excerpts of nine books that can inspire you and lift your spirits.
Remember that even the smallest gestures can make a big impact.
When you see someone who looks like she’s having a bad day, you can give her a smile or a kind word. You can intervene if you witness someone being bullied or mistreated. If you notice someone is being neglected, it’s possible to acknowledge them and make him feel valued. You can help someone in need by offering your assistance.
These are micro-gestures. Simple, simple things anyone can do. You just need to pay attention to the people around and make an effort to have a positive effect wherever and whenever you can. In many cases, you’ll see the difference you’ve made immediately. You’ll be able to tell by the look on someone’s face or the words of thanks they offer in return.
But even when that doesn’t happen, it’s important to keep in mind that the effort is worth it. It’s worth it for other people’s sake and it’s worth it for your own. You will always be able to look yourself in the mirror and say, “At least I tried.” Besides, we don’t always know in the moment the impact we’re having on people when we choose to give a fYou can find out more about them at ck.
Excerpted from LOVE WITHOUT REASON: The Lost Art of Giving a F*ck, by LaRayia Gaston. This sounds real, March 2021. Permission granted.
We practice rituals in our everyday life without even knowing that we’re doing so. We practice rituals every day, such as greeting loved ones by shaking hands or hugging them, going out for dinner, walking our dogs, making our morning coffee, saying goodbye to family members, and even saying “Good night” each night. However, ritual has become a routine due to the loss of the Sacred or disconnecting from our hearts.
Every morning, making coffee can become a time to think about our day. Weddings—a sacred rite and celebration of loving union between two beings—become stressful events. Take-out meals are often rushed to get from one place or another.
Mindful ritual, on the other hand, offers us the structure that we need in a sacred, healing, spiritual way. It allows our inner security and stability to flow in graceful grace, as the world changes and the seasons change before our eyes.
It’s important to remember that our bodies are not machines designed to move throughout our lives in a linear way. Multidimensional, organic energy is what we have here to create with the Universe and share the love that unites us all.
In a chaotic world filled with stresses and distractions, rituals may be able to help us remember the sacred trust between Spirit and Earth.
The ritual can be seen as spiritual nourishment. It helps us gain inner peace and perspective. It enriches our lives, fosters our own inner healer and authority, and ignites an ancient fire within: a spiritual fire that has always been there, carried forward generation after generation and lifetime after lifetime as a desire to connect to something greater—something sacred.
Excerpted from TENDING TO THE SACRED: Rituals to Connect with Earth, Spirit, and Self, by Ashley River Brant. Sounds True, June 2021. Permission granted.
Good adults are born to children who have been raised to be aware of their goodness. It has been a blessing to have met people from all walks and cultures. It is my conviction that those who see and nurture the goodness in others and ourselves far surpass the cruel, unkind and heartless.
Is there anything we can do to encourage and celebrate our children’s good qualities? Many ways exist, but I can see one theme. A red line that leads out of the maze: To see your children as they are, and not just as you would like them to be or expect them to be. It is important to see what their personalities, interests, hobbies, passions and desires are and to understand that they won’t be the same person we want them to be.
When I want to better understand and relate to my child, I look to his or her birth chart. Every star, planet, and story they tell is unique. These stories are not mine, they tell the story of the child. It is their story.
All luminous bodies are stars, moons, suns and planets. They all shine light which reveals the truth. This reveals a child who has many tales to tell. Once we can clearly see this child, there are many possibilities and then we do something that is truly great.
Excerpted from STAR CHILD: Joyful Parenting Through Astrology, by Briana Saussy. It’s True. July 20, 2021. Permission granted.
To be heart-minded we must bring our mind and heart into partnership and harmony in order to have a heart that is open to all. This can only be achieved if the mind is not afraid or closed off to the heart. Instead, the mind must learn to serve the heart and follow its desires.
In order to do this, we have to undo our mind’s association of feelings of the heart with hurt and harm. In situations that would ordinarily have us retreat or retaliate, we need to remain conscious of what’s happening and choose to soften and lean into our heart’s center.
This softening sends a different message to our minds. We are more safe and willing to practice it.
When we make a conscious effort to live in the present, it will be easier for our minds to resist feelings and tenderness. As a result, our inner world will begin becoming more open and more heart-centered.
We aren’t trying to put heart and mind on top of each other; rather, we want to bring out their strengths.
It might help to describe how I perceive their differences.
The mind is attached; the heart allows it to go.
Fear and distrust are the mind’s driving forces; faith and ease are the hearts.
The mind operates in a chaotic manner; however, the heart functions slowly and deliberately.
The mind thrives on and enjoys problem seeking and solving; the heart thrives on acceptance of all things and labels nothing as “wrong” or “right.”
Excerpted from HEART MINDED: How to Hold Yourself and Others in Love by Sarah Blondin. Sounds True, June 2020. This article was reproduced with permission.
We’re not built for the way things are today. Although modern technology has advanced at a rapid pace, our genetic makeup still shows that humans are the same creature we were thousands years ago.
The rhythms of nature still lure our bodies. Our hearts quietly plea for the village to support us through life’s rites of passage. The thought of telling stories and circling the fires around the hearth makes our spirits happy. Every part of us wants to be recognized as a unique individual in this world. But most people don’t have that opportunity. We are deprived.
We are like our ancestors and we die without any tangible connection. In an age where there are many options for growth, connection, and connection, it is clear that we still need that something intangible.
As our forefathers, we also wither without any tangible connection.
We are disconnected and unrooted from the land which is our home.
We are untethered to our ancestral line and deep human history.
It is difficult to find strong and healthy communities who support us and hold our accountable. We find ourselves searching and grasping for our truest self.
When we unsubscribe from this restless and individualist approach to life that we’ve been steeped in and instead learn to infuse our days with ancestral wisdom we gain a truer sense of who we are and, more important, a powerful sense of belonging.
Excerpted from ROOT AND RITUAL: Timeless Ways to Connect to Land, Lineage, Community, and the Self, by Becca Piastrelli. It’s True. November 2021. Permission granted.
Make sure you feel ready before you do
I can’t remember doing anything in life that I’ve felt fully prepared to do before I attempted it—
Not writing books or teaching meditation classes.
The confidence doesn’t usually come until much later—after trying the thing a few times, and
You might fall down once or twice. You will gain experience, make mistakes and feel better.
I know I’m not the only one who’s been afraid to start. And in case you’re feeling that way now, I’ll share my little “secret” with you: the final step for getting ready is to leap into action before you feel 100 percent ready. Also, forget about thinking about it. Just do it.
The most useful lessons won’t happen until after you leap and begin fumbling your way through the initial stagesYou can find out more at. And since you have no idea which mistakes you’ll make, you may as well get on with it so you can start learning from them and building your confidence in the process . . . BEFORE YOU FEELS READY
Excerpted from KNOWING WHERE TO LOOK: 108 Daily Doses of Inspiration, by Light Watkins. This sounds true, May 2021. Permission granted.
LOVE IS MY GURU; FORGIVENESS IS MY TEACHER.
After trauma, we naturally shield ourselves from future harm, and our fight-or-flight response kicks in when we’re triggered. The emotional poison can seep into your subconscious and make it difficult to love yourself fully.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you will forget. You can only forgive anger and resentment associated with trauma situations.
There’s an interesting intersection between stress, psychological health, and forgiveness. Forgiveness makes you feel more relaxed when you remember a painful situation. This can help you to reduce anxiety and stress levels. To forgive yourself is one of the most valuable gifts you can offer. Acknowledging what has happened, and then letting go shame, can open the door to self-compassion.
We are surrounded by the pull-and-pull of failure in our struggle to forgive. Our inability to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes can cause us to blaming others and even beating ourselves up for our innocence. Also, we are plagued by the illusion of safety and the feeling that we’re weak or playing the victim.
Real talk: it’s extremely challenging to forgive in the middle of pain, but when you’ve transitioned past the situation, free yourself and extend the hand of empathy. For us to shift we must first fully forgive the harm done and then forgive ourselves. After you have committed to this process, your attention can be directed to clearing the energies surrounding trauma. You will also need to take ownership for the mistakes made and communicate honestly with your spirit.
Excerpted from SPIRITUALLY FLY: Wisdom, Meditations, and Yoga to Elevate Your Soul, by Faith Hunter. It sounds true, August 2021. Permission granted.
Once you recognize your inherent amazingness and start making progress, it is time to stop running around unintentionally like a hungry animal who is always satisfied.
You will be surprised at how dependent you become on positive experiences for your happiness. “I need to hear nice things!” “I need to taste nice things!” “I need to touch nice things!” “I need to smell nice things!” “I need to see nice things!” “I need to feel nice!”
It is impossible to be content if you keep chasing after the immediate pleasures that come from your senses. This is classic suffering. We never learn how to cope with life’s unpleasant side effects if we chase after positive feelings. But unpleasantness is a natural part of life—grief, pain, despair, sadness—that requires us to meet it with awareness, not by running away.
It is normal to experience some unpleasant feelings. You become a spiritually bold warrior when you are forced to endure hardships. You are able to shine your true happiness, your incredibleness and it isn’t dependent on outside factors.
If you find yourself seeking out sense satisfaction, remember that true happiness doesn’t come from outside. A quick way to express your incredibleness is by hoping that everyone can be happy.
Excerpted from SPIRITUALLY SASSY: 8 Radical Steps to Activate Your Innate Superpowers, by Sah D’Simone. It’s True. September 2020. This article was reproduced with permission.
Numerous self-help experts will advise you to drown out your negative thoughts with positive affirmations. I don’t know about you, but that sh*t never works for me. I can only repeat “I am beautiful” so many times in the mirror before I get bored.
My belief is that we need to look towards our harmful thoughts and not try to drown them out. It may seem crazy but I am serious. There are two choices when you hear a toxic voice. You can let it berate you and become paralyzed in fear, or you can learn why you’ve held on to this voice in the first place. You don’t get rid of your toxic thoughts by sweeping them under the rug.
They can be cured by treating the root cause and taking courageous action to show them wrong. We can take control of our lives and stop being defined by what we think is true. These toxic thoughts can teach you something. These thoughts are an indicator. An indicator. The flag in the ground is a sign of your healing and growth. I know it’s not easy, but you must turn toward your toxic thoughts and listen to them with fierce self-compassion. That’s the only way they will ever stop running your life from the background.
When you notice a negative thought in your head, stop and ask yourself this question: What area of my life needs additional support or healing? This will help you to identify the areas in your life where additional effort and time is needed to overcome this harmful thought.
Excerpted from STAY WOKE: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us, by Justin Michael Williams. It’s True. February 2020. This article was reproduced with permission.
About Lori Deschene
Tiny Buddha was founded by Lori Deschene. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. A Mindfulness Kit was launched by her recently to reduce stress levels and improve our joy and peace of mind. Join the Tiny Buddha mailing list to receive daily wisdom. Tiny Buddha can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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