Over my years of studying voice, piano and guitar, these are books I continually refer to for technique and inspiration with my music students.
Way Of The Peaceful Warrior is based on Dan’s Millman's real life. While pushing his limits at college and gymnastics, he came to a deeper understanding of life as he got to know a “teacher” he called Socrates, who worked as a mechanic at a gas station. Through mystical experiences and puzzling conversations, a relationship and learning develop. Eventually we find out that this Socrates seems to be a direct descendant of a native warrior tribe. My imagination sparked from a vivid description of landscape as Socrates leads Dan through a hidden path to an ancient burial site.
The book reinforced a lot of my approach to life and inspired some new practices. One simple “take away” is my more consistent habit now of starting each day with some fresh fruit. A handful of blueberries or a few grapes gives me a bright start. New appreciation for a balanced, peaceful approach to life keeps the calm in difficult times. Afternoon tea is another easy way to get centered and transition to the next part of the day.
Going from the beginning to the middle of the book I got quite frustrated with Socrates, just as Dan felt. Sometimes it takes being beaten down to ground zero before we can rebuild fresh. Towards the end I finally understood some hard to grasp life lessons. Here are my favorite quotes. They come towards the end and sum up what was most important to me.
“Act happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love and do what you will.”
“Remain ordinary, and you can be useful others.”
I absolutely loved reading Sally Field’s new memoir, In Pieces. She’s as fine a writer, as she is an actor. For my friends in and from the Valley, you’ll know every street she grew up on from Studio City to Tarzana. She was the girl next door to all of us. Her book is stunning, raw, real and beautiful. I recommend it to young women. Her determination to fully develop herself in spite of constant uphill battles is inspirational. Through her experiences, it’s so clear that immersion in artistic pursuits is emotionally healing and necessary for personal growth.