Experiencing Spirituality, Finding Meaning Through Storytelling

Book cover imageFifteen-some years ago I picked up a copy of “The Spirituality of Imperfection.” Co-authored by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham, it has been a favorite of mine ever since, a book I return to often for guidance and insight. This new offering, Experiencing Spirituality, Finding Meaning Through Storytelling, by the same team, has now joined the first on my shelf of favorite spiritual reads.

In this book, in some ways similar to the first, they address spirituality, not directly by talking about it, but through a collection of wisdom stories sewn together with commentary to create a work that communicates the experience of spirituality. The author’s have divided the book into fifteen sections. Each section examines a single idea, such as community, forgiveness, memory, confusion, recovery and so much more.

This is the kind of book that you can pick up and open to any page for something to contemplate at that moment, or go to a specific topic that you wish to explore. The commentary is masterful and enlightening, while allowing the stories to tell the story.

Five stars and highly recommended reading.

Review: How To Have Fun in Recovery

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Title: How To Have Fun in Recovery, by Lisa M. Hann

I have to admit I was skeptical about the author’s topic before I began reading. I know from speaking to people in early recovery that the questions of boredom and fun come up more often than not, and I’ve always taken the stance that those things will work themselves out after the person has established a solid base of recovery. Lisa has not only put together a strong message of hope and encouragement for those just beginning to live sober, she has convinced me to change the way address those questions in the future.

This is a short piece, easily read in one sitting. I recommend it for anyone out there who are wondering, “What am I going to do for fun now that I don’t drink?”

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Title: 365 Ways to Have Fun Sober, by Lisa M. Hann

It’s companion book is a day-to-day compendium of a year’s worth of suggested things to do for fun without drinking.  Some as mundane as “Sing in the shower,” some as involved as take a day trip to a city you’ve never visited. I have to say I had intended to read 10% the entries for this review, but became so engrossed at the variety and scope of the list that I ended up reading cover to cover. No one is going to find every suggestion helpful, of course, but anyone, in recovery or not, will find a lot of things to do that they would never have thought of. Highly recommended.

Review: Why You Drink and How To Stop: Journey To Freedom

Cover Art “I do believe that instead of getting lost in the ‘why’ you are an alcoholic, it’s far more important to figure out what you are going to do about it.” – Veronica Valli, Why you drink and How to stop: Journey to freedom

Addictions therapist and recovered alcoholic Veronica Valli has written, in words from the heart, a solid, practical resource not only for those who have or think they might have a drinking problem, but also for those who have a friend or loved one who may. I know a few addiction counselors who would be better for reading it, too.

Well organized and easy to read, she covers a great deal of ground, from alcoholic behaviors, denial and unmanageability to finding help, self-discovery, relationships and co-dependance, and much more. The section on overcoming the possible roadblocks of past spiritual and religious beliefs is as direct and to the point as it is sensitive and enlightened. Not an easy feat considering that topic.

The three main sections of the book are:

  1. ALCOHOLISM – What it is (and isn’t).
  2. THE PROBLEM – Veronica nails the problem, including what she believes and I agree is “The World’s Best Kept Secret” concerning recovery. (Sorry, my lips are sealed. :))
  3. THE SOLUTION – An in-depth discussion from beginning the journey to eventually living your authentic self.

The book is sprinkled throughout with illustrative narratives from other recovered alcoholics and case studies from her counseling practice. It should prove an inspiration to anyone affected by alcoholism or other addiction. I wholeheartedly recommend it.