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8 Inspiring Summer Reads . . . and their manifestations

by 3 July 01, 2014

  SummerReads   I've put together a list of summer reads that are filled with inspiration and are also reflected in our jewelry collections or perhaps have influenced them in some way. Hoping your summer treats you with tenderness and you take a little (or a lot) of time to recharge and be inspired.   The Pilgrimage details Paulo Coelho's journey across Spain along the legendary road of San Tiago, which pilgrims have traveled since Middle Ages. On this contemporary quest, he encounters a Chaucerian variety of mysterious guides and devilish opponents and learns to understand the nature of truth through the simplicity of life. The Pilgrimage holds an important place in Paulo Coelho's literary canon. His first book, it not only paved the way for his phenomenal novel The Alchemist , but it also fully expresses his humanist philosophy and the depth of his unique search for meaning.            

The Pilgrimage was one of the root inspirations for me to walk El Camino de Santiago in 2009 and shortly thereafter birthed The Camino Collection of meaningful jewelry. Going on any kind of pilgrimage is a great way of listening to and honoring your own journey.

Some people walk to awaken, some people walk to forget. If you've walked the Camino or are planning to, I'd love to hear from you.

Visit:  
    In The Four Agreements shamanic teacher and healer Don Miguel Ruiz exposes self-limiting beliefs and presents a simple yet effective code of personal conduct learned from his Toltec ancestors. Full of grace and simple truth, this handsomely designed book makes a lovely gift for anyone making an elementary change in life, and it reads in a voice that you would expect from an indigenous shaman.                   What greater guidelines to fill the pages of our lives than The Four Agreements? | Be Impeccable With Your Word | | Don't Take Anything Personally | | Don't Make Assumptions | | Always Do Your Best | Ruiz lays a beautiful invitation for you to curate the pages of your life.  Our Book of Life Collection started with the premise that we can playfully edit the vibration of our autobiography. Its purpose is to wear reminders of what we aspire to be or what we live in gratitude for. Currently the collection has 45 pages and counting. Every year we add a new chapter of 9 more pages from our wearer's suggestions. Visit:  
    An ideal starting point for those interested in Buddhism, Being Peace contains Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings on peace and meditation. Using real examples from his own life, as well as poems and fables, Nhat Hanh explains his key practices for living "right in the moment we are alive." These lessons are taught with fine writing and sparkling phrases that draw the reader in and make Being Peace a book that encourages multiple readings, both alone and in groups.                 My first of many of Thich Nhat Hanh's books and the inspiration for me to go on retreat to Plum Village in France where he resides with hundreds of monastics.  Although it was not the intention of my trip, by the third day of savoring noble silence the vision of the Being Peace Collection was birthed. They are created with Thich Nhat Hanh's powerful calligraphy. Our sales support the monastics and their teachings of mindfulness around the world. Visit:  
    Originally published in 1922, Herman Hesse's Siddhartha tells the story of a young Indian man's spiritual journey. After meeting the Buddha, young Siddhartha searches for the ultimate reality and meaning of life. His journey takes him from the arms of a beautiful courtesan to monastic simplicity, from being a son to having his own son, and finally to the true beginning of his life beside a river where he ultimately finds wisdom.                 Siddhartha is a must read - or even a reread. The pursuit of happiness and a life of meaning and enlightenment is always different than any text can share. I would love to hear your experiences. Siddhartha's journey inspired me to look at the little things for the mighty wonders. The Small & Mighty Collection reflects that notion. Visit:  
    After spending ten years in Burma studying as a Buddhist monk, author Alan Clements began traveling the world as a human rights activist. Instinct for Freedom is part memoir and part spiritual inquiry. He details his early years of living in silence in a Burmese monastery, offering a rare, beautiful, and nuanced account of the experience of intensive meditation and what it can offer. He goes on to illuminate a doctrine he calls World Dharma, the belief that no amount of spiritual practice or meditative training can adequately prepare one for life. One must find liberty through living firmly in the present no matter the circumstance.               The depth of Alan Clements story telling touched me wholeheartedly.  He is a prolific speaker and writer who I first heard on a CBC interview. I tuned in while he was talking on the state of the world with tremendous heart and wisdom, and finished with saying "the only way we can survive as a human race is if we all drop our dogma low enough to embrace each other." It hit a chord while I was creating the Charity Collection and inspires me still to nurture kindness in every present moment.  Visit:  
    "My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky. "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."                         Nothing resonates as high a vibration as gold and nothing is more valuable than aligning with your inner dreams. The Gold Collection is designed to inspire many generations to come. Visit:  
    A poet like David Whyte turns words into transcendent vehicles for spirit. With What to Remember When Waking, this celebrated writer and teacher reveals how our reality is created through conversation with the universe - and how we can create an identity robust enough to meet life's gifts and demands. Whyte shows us how to live at the frontier between the spiritual and physical needs of everyday life; how deeper states of attention and intention can transform our own identity; and how we become more courageous, more present to a deeper understanding of ourselves, our loved ones, and our world.

David's writing will inspire you to nurture seeds that may have never seen the light of day. His words are eloquent and his voice is soothing (an audio book is also available). If you find yourself wanting to be told a story that will hold you and take you deeper, Whyte's your author. The Seedlings Collection inspires the notion that 'within the seed lies the genius' and with each beautiful poem read aloud a tiny seed of intention is planted into your spirit.

Visit:

 
    Compassion - sympathy for the suffering of others and the desire to free them from it - is wrestled with in all spiritual traditions. Yet how does one actually become a compassionate person? What are the mechanisms by which a selfish heart is transformed into a generous heart? In this acclaimed bestseller, His Holiness the Dalai Lama writes simply and powerfully about the everyday Buddhist practice of compassion, offering a clear, practical, inspiring introduction to the Buddhist path to enlightenment.                 When I separated from my marriage I read pages of this book first thing every morning and last thing every night for a year. I simply wanted all the tough emotions we had to go through to be handled with compassion no matter what. It was both inspiring and helped me recognize judgement and see that it rarely serves us well. The Meditation Rings were inspired by the ancient Tibetan Prayer Wheels which when spun harmonize the environment and enhance compassion - encouraging a peaceful state of mind. Visit:  
  Be-here-nowBe Here Now is a classic work of 'hippie spirituality', but it can take its place as one of the standout works of spiritual transformation from any era. Dass's journey from Harvard academic to guru is told beautifully. Arranged in a centerfold style with mantras and quotes, and with wild and wonderful illustrations.               Everything about being present invites us to live in the heart place. When we authentically wish to be fully engaged in seeing deeply, there is heart. The Share A Heart Collection was inspired by the hearts we find along the journey. Visit:  
    "Inside a lover's heart there's another world, and yet another." Rumi's delightful yet profound poems have inspired countless people throughout the centuries, and Coleman Bark's exquisite renderings of the thirteenth-century Persian mystic are widely considered the definitive versions for our time. There are passionate outbursts about the torment of longing for the beloved and the sweet delight that come from union; stories of sexual adventures and of loss; poems of love and fury, sadness and joy; and quiet truths about the beauty and variety of human emotion. For Rumi, soul and body and emotion are not separate but are rather part of the great mystery of mortal life, a riddle whose solution is love. Above all else, Rumi's poetry exposes us to the delight that comes from being fully alive, urging us always to put aside our fears and take the risk of discovering our core self.     Eight years ago through the influence of Dr Masuru Emoto's scientific findings of how beneficial it is to be near positive thoughts and emotion,  we started engraving inspirations upon jewelry. As Rumi is a poet that is easy to get lost in, many of the Signature Collection pieces housed his messages. Hard to imagine this work was written almost a thousand years ago. Visit: Image   Again, have the best summer and please keep in touch ~always Gisele  



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