Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley
As a mother myself, it is hard finding a balance in my life on a day-to-day basis. I have many things in my life that are important and need my attention everyday. My full-time job, my two children, my new husband, my writing, etc. So where can I find time for another important person: myself. For many years, I put my wants and needs last to everything else. At the end of the day reflecting on what I did and accomplished, I would still feel empty or like something was missing. I am learning how to incorporate time for my spirituality and myself.
A Path for Parents: What Buddhism Can Offer by Sarah Burns was better then I expected. I was thinking this would be a book of suggestions that would not be applicable to my life. Ms. Burns is a mother of two as well, has a full-time job, is a writer and Buddhist just like myself. In her book, she tells us of how she as a busy single mom makes every moment of her life spiritual. Every moment is an experience to feel and learn from. She doesn't rehash the basics of Buddhism so technically this isn't an introduction to Buddhism text. She does sprinkle Buddhist wisdom and teaching through the book to give examples and to shed light on the situations she describes. This book can be beneficial to those who have been practicing for years or someone who is curious as to how Buddhism can fit into your life.
The author's writing style is very easy to read, understand and makes you feel that you can squeeze time into your practices. Chapter six entitled "Being Alive" touched me the most. I am a planner and organizer. I love being the one that gathers ideas then make a plan to make it happen. I like being handed a mess then say, "Jeanette, organize this." This usually means I lose sight of the present and where I am right now. I focus on the future or that I have learned from the past. Buddhism has taught me to slow down and be here. To just be. Chapter 6 expands on this idea.
This book has been a joy to read. Rarely does a book make me take a step back and evaluate my life, my parenting skills, my spouse skills and how I can improve myself to be a better person for all sentient beings. I highly recommend this book for bother mothers and fathers.
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