3 of Karen Pool’s Inspirational Favorites

In an earlier blog I highlighted three of my favorite fiction book series. Even though I read many, many of these, I also read as many or more nonfiction books that have been inspiring and expanded my thinking in new ways.

Mind Expanding

Some books expand my mind and open me to new ideas and ways of thinking. This one was suggested to me by one of my brothers. The Art of Possibility by Ben and Rosamond Zander brilliantly captures ideas and reframes concepts that help anyone extend their reach, their influence, and change their paradigm toward endless possibilities. It’s one of the most inspiring and practical books I’ve read.

The chapter titles launch you into an exciting, paradigm-shifting journey: 1 – It’s All Invented, 2 – Stepping into a Universe of Possibility, 3 – Giving an A (awesome for educators), 4 – Being a Contribution, 5 – Leading from Any Chair, 6 – Rule Number 6 (my favorite chapter), 7 – The Way Things Are, and more.

Quotes that Resonate

“When we practice Rule Number 6, we coax our calculating self to lighten up, and by doing so we break its hold on us. We portray the calculating self as a ladder with a downward progress.

“It represents the slippage that occurs when we try to control people and circumstances to give ourselves a boost. We become more hard-headed. Inevitably our relationships spiral downward. As the calculating self tumbles out of control, it intensifies its efforts to climb back up and get in charge.

“When one person peels away layers of opinion, entitlement, pride, and inflated self-description, others instantly feel the connection. As one person has the grace to practice the secret of Rule Number 6, others often follow.

“Now, with the calculating self revealed and humored, the central self shines through. Our central self is the remarkably generative, prolific, open, aware, and creative nature within us.

“Being present to the way things are is not the same as accepting things as they are in the resigned way of the cow. It simply means, being present without resistance.

“Mistakes can be like ice. If we resist them, we may keep on slipping into a posture of defeat. Instead, we can mentally raise our arms and say, “How fascinating!” and reroute our attention to the higher purpose at hand.

“Radiating possibility begins with things as they are and highlights open spaces, the pathways leading our from here. Then the obstacles are simply present conditions. This calls for an expansion of ourselves; we encompass contradictions, painful feelings, fears, and imaginings, and—without fleeing, blaming, or attempting correction—we learn to soar, like the far-seeing hawk, over the whole landscape. This allows us to alight in a place of openness, where “truth” readies us for the next step.”

Attitude Changing

Other books surprise me with insights that change my attitude or my life and help me navigate through life’s ups and downs with more grace. In Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remens suggests that we’ve lost our ability to recount stories around the kitchen table—sharing those experiences that pass on the wisdom of the ages to the next generation.

We’ve lost our ability to savor time; we’re too busy moving into the next event or project, and we’re nervous if we’re not busy to the max. We rush through meals, checking our smart phones, instead of listening for, and cataloging what we’re learning. I reread this book when I was working on slowing down and recording what I was learning in life.

Quotes that Resonate

“Wholeness lies beyond perfection. The pursuit of perfection has become a major addiction of our time. Fortunately, perfectionism is learned. No one is born a perfectionist, which is why it is possible to recover. I am a recovering perfectionist. Before I began recovering, I experienced that I and everyone else was always falling short, that who we were and what we did was never quite good enough. Perfectionism is the belief that life is broken

“Sometimes perfectionists have had a parent who is a perfectionist, someone who awarded approval on the basis of performance and achievement. Children can learn early that they are loved for what they do and not simply for who they are. The life of such children can become a constant striving to earn love. Of course, love is never earned. It is a grace we give one another. Anything we need to earn is only approval.

‘Inner peace is more a question of cultivating perspective, meaning, and wisdom even as life touches you with pain. It is more a spiritual quality than a mental ability. We are here for a single purpose: to grow in wisdom and learn to love better.”

Increase Creative Abilities

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein

Creativity and imagination have been the two favorite topics that I have explored, studied, and taught, especially to students and adults who somehow sealed in their hearts and minds that they were not creative or imaginative.

Penny Peirce, author of The Intuitive Way, wrote: “In your imagination anything is possible. It’s easy to access information from any level, rearrange a configuration of ideas and belief, plant seeds of intention that will later grow into manifested reality, or even dissolve a reality that’s interfering with the birth of a new experience.

Quotes that Resonate

“Imagination fulfilled a bridging function in your mind by helping to link your lower and upper brains. Right before an insight or message pops into the highest part of your brain, it becomes visual. So symbols are the universal language of intuition, served up to us via our imagination. Imagination determines the quality of our lives since what we can imagine is as far as we’ll let ourselves go.

“We rarely pursue something unless we can imagine it first and get a ‘felt sense’ of how it might unfold. Vivid imagination with its rich sensory input and endless variety of emotional tones, makes ideas more real for us, and thus realizable. Imagination is your friend and can flesh out your life, bringing messages from your soul about how to increase creativity, self-expression, and possibilities.”

Reading inspirational nonfiction books has given me many of my greatest aha’s—mind expanding concepts to practice, finding quotes that resonate, and discovering ideas that increase my creative abilities—these kinds of books are delightful, and keep me learning and growing.


2 replies on “3 of Karen Pool’s Inspirational Favorites”

Hi Karen, thanks for giving me something to think about : ) im a slow reader and Im in the middle of reading something right now, but I will keep this. I hope all is going well

Thanks for responding. All is going well. Let me know what you’re reading.
I think you would really enjoy The Art of Possibility. Keep checking in
with Stan about golf.

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