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Category Archives: Review

Oh, To Be Understood {If Just By Yourself!}

I’ve always been an information junkie — I like to take in as much information as I can about a particular subject so I can feel that a decision made is well-informed, a subject to be understood is well-researched. The same is true in regards to knowledge of myself and how I relate to other people. I like to learn more about what influences the way I, and others with differing personality types, think and behave. As Anne Bogel states in her new book, Reading People, “I don’t feel boxed in by my personality; instead, understanding myself has taught me how to open the box and step out of it.” It is often easier to navigate the circumstances and events of life when you know what will make you tick or where your strengths lie.

 

Just knowing that I’m an introvert, allows me to be aware that when I’m spending time with an extroverted friend, I might tire out sooner than that person, or that I might need to alert my friend that it might take me a bit more time to make a decision about something, when they are nearly immediately ready to get going on whatever jumps to their attention first. I’m less likely to butt heads with them when I’m aware of these fundamental differences in our personalities.

I live in a household of Highly Sensitive People {or HSPs} of varying degrees, and in different ways, of sensitivity.

“HSPs can be intense. They are passionate by nature, and can make others feel their passion too.”
~ Anne Bogel, Reading People

This, of course, can be a real treat when everyone is over-stimulated! However, knowing this about ourselves is extremely helpful, because when the tell-tale signs of reaching a breaking point begin to rear their ugly heads, we have developed methods of tiptoeing away from the sleeping bear so as not to awaken him. If we did not know this about each other, we would be more likely to fall into the negative attributes that we can tend towards when we become overwhelmed.

These are just a few of the ways that knowing a bit about personality types have been beneficial for me and those I relate to.

I had the privilege recently of reading an advance copy of Anne Bogel’s Reading People, set to release September 19th, which goes into these typing sets and many more. I’ve enjoyed reviewing some of which I’m already familiar with and getting to know about a few more. She gives an excellent overview of each one, recommendations on where to learn more and identify your own of each kind, as well as some great tools for when you get stuck attempting to figure out in which camp you fall within a certain framework. {After misidentifying myself as an INTJ for many years, I’m actually leaning towards INFP/J. Still trying to work this out, but Anne’s tips have me going in the right direction after feeling quite stuck.}

 

I’ve heard some say that these personality frameworks simply allow people to justify their negative behavior. I have known certain individuals to do this, but that is a misuse of them. When used properly as a tool to understand yourself and others better, they can, truly, help you become a better version of you and provide tools for improving your relationship with others, be that with friends, family members, or work colleagues. They are not meant to pigeonhole but rather be tools for formation and growth.

 

Reading People is a great introduction for those unfamiliar with personality typing, as well as for those who would like to dig deeper into them. I guarantee that, with an inquisitive mind, you’ll get to know a bit more about yourself {and maybe even those around you} as you make your way through this book. And it will likely have you thirsting for more!

Grab a pre-order before September 19th and there are some excellent bonuses which you can pick up through the Reading People website with your order number.

 

Disclaimer: I was provided an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Never Gets Old {Music Review}

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program of #write31days to bring you a short PSA {that should have been included with yesterday’s post but wasn’t}. #life


 

What do Andrea Bocelli and Disney possibly have in common? Well, besides platinum music albums, neither of them produce music that ever gets old. The timeless lilting of Bocelli’s soothing voice, the ageless jives of the Disney soundtracks–we just never tire of them. And one more commonality? They both have albums releasing this month!

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Andrea Bocelli has long been a favorite of mine. They say that those who are missing the benefit of one of their senses seem to make up for it by being especially strong in another. I firmly believe that Bocelli’s lack of sight enhanced his ability to hear and, subsequently, to match pitch with the greatest precision. His singing is so lovely to listen to as he gently glides from one note to the next. He effortlessly enchants crowds as we saw with his performance for Pope Francis last month.

I recently had the opportunity to preview his latest album where he proves his talents once again. His album “Cinema”, which hit stores last week, is a great collection of some of the most beloved showcased tunes from the movies. {And if you’re into watching him perform live, you can catch him the day after Thanksgiving, November 27th, on PBS’ “Fall Arts Festival” where his performance of the songs from the album will be aired.}

Although my comprehension of the lyrics is lacking, my favorites of his remain those he sings in his native language of Italian and the closely related language of Spanish. Among my favorites from the album are E Piu’ Ti Penso, a wonderful duet with Ariana Grande, Mi Mancherai from ‘Il Postino’, and the ever-epic ballad of No Llores Por Mi Argentina {Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina} from ‘Evita’. He makes those notes soar.

The recording of this album was, apparently, a long-time dream of Bocelli’s, as the creative license in movie soundtracks is much more vast than your average songs. I think he has done an excellent job doing justice to these beautiful songs. Give it a listen! On iTunes and Amazon.

I participated in the Andrea Bocelli “Cinema” album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own. 

 

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Disney songs are on constant repeat in my head. It doesn’t matter how long since I’ve seen the movie, I can still remember every word to the catchy song. But I don’t mind too much. These songs seem to become part of the soundtrack of our life. Many childhood memories are associated with the songs of Disney films. {I can usually deduce when the film came out based on what I associate with the songs from that movie.}

And what could be better than hearing your old favorites over and over again? Hearing a new voice sing them with their own, fun spin! Disney is releasing an album of all their oldies-but-goodies, We Love Disney, sung by current pop stars, like Gwen Stefani, Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy, and Rascal Flatts, this Thursday, October 30th {just in time for your Disney-themed Haloween party or while getting your little Buzz Lightyear dressed for trick or treatin’!}. Jazzy tunes like Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat and Zero to Hero, sweet renditions of Part of Your World and A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, jumping swing songs like Friend Like Me and Wanna Be Like You. You just can’t resist jumping out of your seat and dancing along. {At least we couldn’t.}

And don’t worry, even the youngest in your household will be enthralled–they didn’t forget Let It Go. And I just might like this version the best. Give it a spin on iTunes or Amazon!

I participated in the We Love Disney album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

The Ancient Path {A Book Review}

The Ancient Path

I’ve dabbled a bit in reading the works of the Church Fathers {or Patristics, as it is commonly called}, but my familiarity with it certainly falls short. This became quite apparent after reading John Michael Talbot’s latest work, The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today.

To be honest, I picked up this book because I love his music and several dear people in my life have a love for the Christian Eastern spirituality {where knowledge of the Fathers is much more prevalent} and I wanted to know better why. I didn’t know quite what to expect. And I got much more than I bargained for in reading it through.

Talbot introduces us to his great love for the Fathers’ works by recounting his journey with them through his conversion, his establishment of a monastic lay community, and beyond. I never heard his full story {and I won’t spoil it here} but it is an inspiring one of honest struggle with the truth of God and how He calls us to live out our lives.

The Church Fathers guided Talbot on the path to Catholicism. Throughout the first half of the book, He shows where they affirm and confirm how Scripture finds its source and measure in the Church, uphold the doctrine of the Eucharist, defend the Church against heresies concerning Christ’s humanity and divinity {still alive and well today in slight variations}, show how Apostolic authority is handed down, and demonstrate the development of doctrine.

The second half of the book, he turns to Catholics reminding them of the importance of the Church “breathing with two lungs” as Pope John Paul II called it. He invites Westerners to delve more deeply into the Fathers so can come to appreciate and welcome more easily what the East has maintained and shares with us in their Liturgy and customs today.

I had heard of the Jesus Prayer {Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner} before but this simple prayer became all the more rich and beautiful after his explanation of it. {Note: Found out he’s written an entire book on it.}

That simple formula includes elements of adoration, contrition, and supplication. It confesses Jesus’s divinity and our own sinfulness. It’s as hard as a diamond, but it rises lightly as a breath. It has sustained the inner life of ascetics and ordinary folk in the Eastern churches for well over a millennium. . . .

The Fathers teach us to unite the Jesus Prayer with our breathing, and breathing takes place in two motions. We inhale, and we exhale. . . . With the intake, we say, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God”; and then with the outflow, we say, “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”

As we inhale, we fill our lungs up, and so symbolically we fill our spirit–with Jesus, the Lord and Christ!

Then, as we exhale, we’re letting go. We’re separating ourselves from sin by our confession that we are sinners and our plea for mercy.

We would do well to adopt this prayer.

Be warned: this book just might add more reading to your shelf. My first purchase after finishing this book was Jimmy Akin’s The Fathers Know Best.

Time to fall more deeply in love with all that the Church has handed on to us.

 

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.

Inspiring Magazine for Young Women – Radiant Awakening {Giveaway!-CLOSED}

Radiant Awakening Email Cover

Growing up there were very few magazines that truly left me inspired, particularly ones geared towards the teen and young adult set. Most articles had something to do with crushing on the latest celebrity, how to gossip well, or the secrets to catching that guy’s attention with sexy (and skimpy) attire. Sorry, editors, but there was a little more to my life than these frivolous matters.

Fortunately, there are better things on the market today, most notably, Radianta magazine for the young, Catholic woman. 

It features a beautiful spread covering a variety of topics related to living out the Faith in one’s daily life.

Real stories of faith-filled, young women praising and honoring Jesus through their every day lives. A glimpse at hip, modern fashion that puts an element of fun in modesty. Delicious recipes to wow your friends and family with your culinary skills. How-tos in boosting particular virtues in your life that seem rather elusive. Opportunities for bringing God’s love and Good News to others.

This year they are publishing a single issue — Radiant Awakening — which will be coming out in mid-April. And I have a free copy to giveaway! (courtesy of the editor)

To be entered to win, simply comment on this post with why you would like to receive a copy. Giveaway will end April 14th, 9pm PST.

 

You can also head here to purchase your copy. 

 

**Anne Marie Barr — you are the winner of the giveaway! Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you shortly to get shipping information.**

 

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