The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

     I adore this book, even though it falls in the “self-help” category.  A few years back I swore I would never read another such book again, because to me, they always talked about the perfect life I could achieve if only I meditated more, or if only I would live my life without ever feeling a negative emotion ever again.  All those type of books left me feeling inadequate because whenever I couldn’t achieve the perfection they told me I could find in 20 minutes a day, I felt like a failure.  I can’t meditate, it just is not for me.  And sometimes I get angry, sad or afraid.  What’s the problem with that?  I finally decided that people aren’t perfect, and trying to be that sets you up for 0062515845 disappointment in yourself every time.  So, along came this book, The Invitation, which I had avoided for a while because the author’s name Oriah Mountain Dreamer just sounded too far out there, even for me.  But eventually, I had the chance to actually see the front cover of the book, which has the beginning of her Invitation poem printed on it.  Her words really spoke to me because she seemed to be saying what I had been feeling: that it is okay to not be perfect, it is okay to be real. 

     The Invitation is divided into chapters based on sections from the poem, that she then elaborates on.  She addresses human realities, and even allows negative ones to be there, such as longing, fear, sorrow, joy, betrayal, beauty, failure, and commitment.  You don’t have to read the book from cover to cover, you can just open it to the experience you are having at the time and read. It will give you a different perspective than your average “self-help” book. 

(Heidi Schachtschneider Cary, Information Services)

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