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Finding Your Way In A Wild New World: Four steps to fulfilling your true calling (English Edition)
 
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Finding Your Way In A Wild New World: Four steps to fulfilling your true calling (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Martha Beck

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

INTRODUCTION: MEET YOUR RHINOCEROS, HEAL YOUR LIFE

The imminent possibility of being killed by a rhinoceros isn’t bothering me nearly as much as I would have expected. True, my heart fluttered when I first saw her, but from awe, not fear.

Well, maybe a little from fear.

Until this exact second, my friend Koelle Simpson (her first name sounds like “Noelle,” but with a K) has been so focused on the rhino’s footprints that she forgot to look up—a common mistake for people who, like both of us, are just learning to track. By the time Koelle raises her eyes and leaps backward six inches, nearly bumping into me, we’re within about twenty feet of the rhinoceros.

Trust me on this: observing an animal in a zoo, particularly an animal the size of a Subaru Forester, is very different from encountering it on foot in its own neck of the woods. I can be startled into a cardiac emergency by a reasonably robust spider, so realizing that I’m close enough to spit on a mountainous animal who has two enormous pointy horns is . . . disconcerting. I open my mouth to yip like a wounded poodle. But then the awe kicks in, and I simply stare.

The rhino, half hidden behind a thorn bush, cocks her primordial-looking head—which is roughly the size of a grocery cart—and swivels her satellite-dish ears toward us. She seems edgy. I soon realize why. A rustle in the brush reveals the presence of a second animal, her calf. He’s tiny in rhinoceros terms, no bigger than, say, Shaquille O’Neal. He appears to be circling around behind me, putting all four of us humans between himself and his loving mother. I’m no woodsman, but I suspect this means Mamacita will soon have not only the means and the opportunity, but also the motive, to commence goring and stomping.

And I feel just great about that.

It’s like waking up in Ionesco’s absurdist play Rhinoceros; instead of panicking, I find the possibility of death by skewering in the African wilderness weirdly pleasing. I mean, how many middle-aged moms from Phoenix get to go out that way?

The mother rhino paws nervously, and I feel the impact tremor in the ground beneath my own feet. She is huge. She is nervous. She could kill me as easily as I clip my fingernails. But my mind is filled only with wonder, distilled into two basic questions.

Question 1: How the hell did I get here?

Question 2: What the hell should I do now?

Both issues seem equally mysterious. Oh sure, I could follow the breadcrumb trail of choices that brought me on this jaunt into the African wilderness. But how did I even stumble into the opportunities to make such choices? I defer answering this first question in favor of the second, which seems more pressing: How, exactly, does one extricate oneself from the close proximity of an alarmed rhinoceros? I hope my African friends have at least a two-pronged plan for such emergencies, seeing as how the rhino is tossing her own two prongs repeatedly in our direction, like a placekicker warming up for a field goal.

As if reading my mind, my friend Boyd Varty, who grew up here in the African bush, outlines Escape Plan Prong One. “Breathe,” he whispers.

Oh. Right. After an initial gasp, I’ve been holding my breath, a typical fight-or-flight reaction that’s spiking my adrenaline and heart rate. Technically I know better than that, but I forgot. Most of my knowledge, after all, is secondhand. I’ve spent the past few years interviewing all sorts of experts on human consciousness, from neurologists to psychologists to monks to medicine women, and prosaic as it sounds, they all agree that deep breathing is a profoundly powerful act, the cornerstone of everything from longevity to enlightenment. This is especially true when dealing, up close and personal, with a wild animal that outweighs your entire family.

Breathe. Just one long exhale will transform my whole body: change my brain, my hormone balance, my intuitive abilities, and my effect on other creatures. I know this intellectually. My friends know it viscerally. Koelle might look like a fitness model, but thousands of hours as a real-life “horse whisperer” have made her super-cool when dealing with large, nervous animals. Boyd is so tuned in to the wilderness he’s practically a wild African animal himself. The fourth and final member of our party, Solly Mhlongo, is a Shangaan tracker of legendary skill and courage. He once sprinted across a river to drag Boyd from the jaws of a crocodile who was gnawing his leg like a drumstick until Boyd, thinking fast, shoved his foot down its throat, opening the membrane that keeps water out of its lungs (the so-called gular flap or pouch), setting Boyd free and inspiring the song “Kick Him in the Gular Pouch,” which is sung by Boyd’s entire family on festive occasions involving alcohol, and would make an excellent hip-hop number.

But that is not my point.

My point is that, of the four people in our little expedition, I am definitely the weakest link. Nevertheless I’m feeling as bubbly and joyous as a four-dollar box of sparkling wine. I give Boyd a clumsy thumb’s up, and he flashes me his movie-star smile. (It seems unfair enough that these people are brave and smart—do they also have to be good-looking?) As the rhino mother squares up with us, snorting, and her baby continues to mosey toward our rear flanks, Boyd silently launches Prong Two of our escape plan, which is to edge sideways into a thorn bush. We place our feet carefully to avoid rocks, animal burrows, and snakes. The thorns rip at my clothes and hair and skin. I’m well aware that any misstep could result in exceptionally stimulating consequences. I can’t stop smiling.

How the hell did I get here? What the hell should I do now?

It occurs to me, as I tiptoe, that I’ve been asking these questions all my life, certainly by school age, when I began to suspect I’d disembarked from the universe’s light-rail system onto the wrong planet. Slowly evading the rhinoceros, I flash back several decades, to other moments when my hair was full of sticks, my arms covered with scratches, and my attention fully invested in some animal—a bird, a squirrel, a feral kitten—for whose friendship I would gladly have risked death.
HOW I GOT HERE

At age four, when most of my memory begins, I still half-believed my favorite books: fairy tales with talking mice and deer; Arthur, the Once and Future King, whom Merlin could change into any beast; Tarzan and Mowgli, who were raised by animals. When people asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” I said, “An archer,” not because I wanted to shoot things with arrows, but because I thought that that job title would qualify me to live like Robin Hood, hanging out in a forest with a bunch of idealistic friends.

This felt not only like a normal life ambition, but like the one, inevitable occupation of my core being, my “true nature.” I thought it up myself. No one ever told me to think that way, to learn the names of several hundred mammalian species or to spend hours outside watching birds and munching random plants to see what happened. No one even urged me to read—but I did, obsessively, because how else could I travel to distant wildernesses, have great adventures, learn about animals I could never hope to see in real life? The great gift I got from my family, as the seventh of eight children, was the absolute freedom to read what I wanted, dive into any patch of wilderness I could find, and assume that I’d keep doing it my whole life. Unlike thousands of clients I’ve counseled in adult life, no one ever tried to stop me from following my true nature. Until I was five, anyway.

Perplexingly, once I started school I found that my first teachers were not convinced I’d grow up to learn animal languages and live in the woods. After a few quizzical, critical responses from adults, I realized that none of my literary heroes or their sylvan lifestyles was real. Chasing stray cats around empty lots wasn’t going to get me anywhere in polite society; to succeed I had to focus completely on my education. Which I did. In fact, I focused long and intensely enough to grind my way through three Harvard degrees. By my late twenties I was well on my way to being a professor of sociology or social psychology or organizational behavior or sociobehavioral organopsychology or whatthehellever.

There was one tiny fly in my career ointment: the thought of spending my life writing for academic journals and attending faculty meetings made me want to beat myself to death with my own shoes. So in my early thirties I went back to that five-year-old self, the one with dirty fingernails and a passion for field biology, and asked her what she’d like to do. Within reason, of course. She said that she wanted to write hopeful thoughts for other people who felt imprisoned by offices, bureaucracies, or family pressures. She wanted to write books that made people feel free, the way Tarzan and The Jungle Book made her feel free. She wanted to tell readers they could create their own rules.

This sounded marginally acceptable to my schooled self. I pictured myself living The Writing Life in the country, wearing a billowy blouse, churning out prose, and collecting checks from a quaint, rustic-looking mailbox down by the front gate. By the time I realized I’d joined the entertainment industry, it was sort of too late. But as writers go, I was lucky. I ended up on a kind of endless book tour, traveling constantly to give luncheon speeches, conference addresses, and TV appearances. Then the Internet arrived. Information was being spread in fabulous new ways. Now, in addition to writing, speaking, and doing media interviews, people told me I had to blog, tweet, and post on Facebook. I di...

Présentation de l'éditeur

Many people wonder how they got where they are and what they should do now. They feel called to help others and change the world but they just don't know how. Too often, they end up stuck in careers and relationships that don't fit. Now, in Finding Your Way In A Wild New World, popular life coach Martha Beck shows readers how to find their true selves and extend healing to everyone and everything around them. She identifies this growing body of people as wayfinders.

Drawing on her coaching expertise and her extraordinary experiences in the South African bush, Martha leads her readers through four magical and practical steps to awaken them to a new way of living in the 21st century.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1167 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 320 pages
  • Editeur : Piatkus (19 janvier 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B006CQQQJ0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  132 commentaires
177 internautes sur 180 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Powerful tools for living the wayfinder's life 27 décembre 2011
Par Elizabeth H. Cottrell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" is a truth that will manifest itself over and over as this exciting new book is read and shared and read again. The number of markers and underlines and margin notes in my preview copy are testaments to the fact I was ready. I devoured it and now am going back to start practicing the many exercises. The book's purpose is to help you more clearly identify "what you should be doing with your one wild and precious life."

The author, Martha Beck, has outstanding educational and life experience credentials for writing this book. It is both a sharing of her own life journey as well as a manifesto for anyone ready to embrace their own best life. With a B.A. in East Asian Studies and master's and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Harvard University, Beck is a trained observer and analyst. Her coaching specialty is helping people design satisfying and meaningful life experiences. She first got on my radar screen as a columnist for Oprah Magazine, where I am regularly impressed with her no-nonsense, delightfully humorous approach to issues about life's questions, fears, and psychological roadblocks.

I recently read Beck's bestselling book EXPECTING ADAM, the story of her 1987-88 pregnancy and giving birth to a Downs syndrome child (new edition in 2011). Its subtitle is "A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic." The unabashed revelation of her own fears, neuroses, and personal/professional challenges at the time was both heart-wrenching and inspiring. Martha has known and overcome tragedy, sadness, and self-limiting thoughts. She is an excellent guide for empowering others to overcome their own life issues. FINDING YOUR WAY IN A WILD NEW WORLD is her ultimate guidebook, the best of her teaching and philosophy in one zinger of a book.

FINDING YOUR WAY IN A WILD NEW WORLD is not going to resonate with everyone. Some will dismiss it as just another pop cultural self-help book. Others will use terms like "woo-woo" and "New Age nonsense." They'd be selling it short. I am a devout Christian with an insatiable curiosity and open mind about spirituality and human potential. This book was filled with research-based findings on the power of our connectedness with each other and with all living things in nature (flora and fauna), and I believe people of any faith will find it enriches, rather than contradicts, their core beliefs.

Beck includes many practical exercises for each section of her book, all designed to exercise the parts of our brain that we don't use enough, to train ourselves to focus our attention, and to tap into the energy that is mostly likely to allow us to find and cultivate our own best selves. They're designed to get us out of our mental ruts!

Here are some hints that this book might be perfect for you right now:
* If you feel a yearning that you can't identify or suppress.
* If you feel the need for clarity and purpose in your life.
* If you're afraid to do things that you think you'd love to do.
* If wild success and abysmal failure both scare you.
* If you feel fragmented with no clear focus in your life.
* If your wild fantasies seem impossible but won't let you go.
* If you feel you're about to explode with possibilities and potential but can't grab on to that one thing that feels just right.
* If you suspect your self-talk is holding you back.
* If you feel like you're bumping your head against one obstacle after another but you're certain there's something better on the other side.
* If you feel the world is changing so fast you can't keep up.
* If you feel stuck and unproductive.
* If you feel in need of emotional healing before you can move on to your real purpose of healing others.
* If you desperately want to make a difference with the rest of your life but don't know what on earth you that might "look like."

If any one of these rings true, you owe it to yourself to read this book. There is a generous excerpt available for free on Amazon. If it doesn't grab you by the time you finish reading those pages, either the book is not for you or the timing is not right in your life.

If the timing is right for you, you'll gain clarity, focus, and powerful tools for living abundantly in the best sense of the word.
287 internautes sur 306 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 If you haven't yet read a Martha Beck book, don't choose this one as your first (or second) 19 mars 2012
Par Primrose Hill - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I read my first Martha Beck book about 13 years ago, and instantly admired her sense of humour, writing skill, down-to-earth personality, intelligence and academic achievements, and concern for other people. The more I've read by her, seen her on tv, etc., the more highly I've thought of her.

I haven't read all her books, skipping the one about her son Adam, the one about dieting, of course the Mormon-focussed one she wrote a long time ago with her (now-"out", now-ex) husband about overcoming addictions (including how to overcome being gay) (and now Martha is "out" as well, having lived with a female partner for many years, although I just learned about that side of her life last year, and I saw a 2011 interview of Beck by Oprah Winfrey during which Oprah learned about Martha's being gay, and Oprah was also quite shocked she had not known about this before, since they have worked together for many years).

I especially recommend her book _Finding Your Own North Star_. The follow-up _Steering By Starlight_ is okay, but kind of dips into the "woo-woo factor" more than most people are probably comfortable with (although I was fine with it myself).

Martha's writing can make me laugh, cry, marvel, and groan, often within the same few paragraphs.

[By the way, you can find a generous amount of her material for free on her personal website, and I think all of her monthly columns from the O Magazine archives are available at Oprah's website - many of them are well worth spending a few minutes on, if her writing style floats your boat.]

Therefore, I was looking forward to reading this, her latest book. I am disappointed in it. Not only because I expect so much from her, but because it's so... circular and woolly. The subject matter is by definition hard to describe in words, but she is a better communicator than this. To me it felt like an early draft, filled with too many stories and metaphors and words, which normally gets whittled down into a tight, well-flowing, easy-to-follow manuscript before it is published.

Some of the negatives, in my opinion:

-Text was too long, didn't flow very well.

-There were too many stories of her experiences on the game preserve in South Africa.

-There was too much about animals (and willing them to appear in front of her). Too much about far-flung, expensive travels. I know she deeply enjoys both and that both are integral to her lifestyle and recent discoveries about the universe, but the repetitiveness marred the book for me.

-It felt like half-autobiography, half-self-help-guide, and the two parts didn't join together as smoothly, for me, as she obviously meant them to.

-The "practical" steps about how to be a healer/"wayfinder"/"mender"/etc. were scattered too much around the book, and the example tales that were meant to illuminate the practical steps were often so long and involved that I forgot what their purpose was.

-Sometimes, she assumes that readers have some prior scientific or esoteric knowledge they may not have, while at other times she explains things a bit too simply.

-She makes up some terms for some of her concepts, which makes sense because the typical terms in English do have a lot of preconceptions and emotion attached to them, but she then uses too many new terms for the same concept, and most of her new terms were just a shade too "cutesy" or something for me. The capitalization of various words, like Team and Imagine, began to grate on me too.

-She keeps saying, "my friend Noelle" or "my friend (whoever)", and there is a certain point when any reader is going to know that Noelle (or whoever) is, yes indeed, that same friend with the unusual name whom Martha has already mentioned 25 times. Are the people she refers to by-name-only not her friends? It felt a bit "adolescent".

-She is a bit obsessed with having slept in the same bed as Mandela, in the same resort as Mandela, having walked the same pathways in the game preserve as Mandela. It is interesting of course, and mentioning it once is fine, but after that, it's kind of pointless. [I used to work in the room Chopin died in, so slap me with a blue plaque. ;-)]

-She tells a few of the same life stories that she has told in other books, which most self-help authors do and it's no problem, but it occurred to me that each time that I've read several of these stories, new aspects have been unveiled (which she had been aware of from the start). I wish that, the first time I'd read her telling of her stories, I would have learned all about them, at least all the relevant information. I realize that she's been playing a delicate game, trying to write books that would appeal to and give comfort to (and not freak out) the public while she's been negotiating a complex and fraught emotional journey in her own life (leaving her religion, accusing her dad of abusing her as a child, being cut off by her family, getting divorced, drinking the mystical kool-aid so-to-speak, etc. etc.) But I do feel a bit misled, because I had thought that the original telling of the stories would have contained all the pertinent details. However, I know this is too much to ask of an autobiographical writer, especially one who doesn't want to push the public's boundaries so far that she isn't given a chance to express herself.

-It is interesting to see that about three different times in the book, she is quite critical about "New Age" people and she even mentions the film of "The Secret" (in all but title) in a disparaging way, even though I recall that she was a guest in at least one hour-long Oprah tv show which mainly lauded that film. I agree with her criticisms of certain magical thinking, and certain "New Age" topics, but then she turns around and keeps quoting Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, and that _Eat Pray Love_ woman as experts and guides for her way of thinking, as if they themselves weren't deeply New-Agey (and as if they were not all annoying and much less profound -- in my opinion, anyway! -- than the American public seems to find them). [I lost some respect for Martha when I realized she holds these people up as the ultimate sages -- but that's just me.]

-A reviewer on the Amazon UK site says that Beck doesn't veer into "law of attraction" stuff, but that IS precisely what she is talking about with her 4 steps. She doesn't call it "law of attraction". But it's pretty similar to it. Some of her steps remind me of steps from Chopra's book on it from about 8 or 10 years ago.

-She assumes that almost everyone reading the book is going to be a "healer" type of person, and does not go into any other archetypes or destinies (whatever you want to call it). She also assumes that every "healer's" life goal should be helping other people find joy. I don't have an opinion on it, but I wonder if it's that simple for every single person who determines that she/he has a "healer" personality.

-Although she said she's spent years researching magic, medicine men/women, shamen, ancient tribes, healers across the ages; and mentions many ideas, experiments, historical events, locations, and people, there are very few references in the book. The only references are to YouTube videos of antelopes jumping and that kind of thing. It's obviously not a textbook or a scientific journal article, but some selected references would have been welcome. Also, of course she mentions her sociology PhD, but historically and in modern times there has been a lot of study of these topics by countless anthropologists, folklorists, and even medical doctors (like Larry Dossey), which I'm not sure she mentioned at all in the book. I know this isn't meant to be an exhaustive review of the "magical" in human experience, but I found it to be a bit waffly and breezy.

-In her promotion of "magic", communing with animal spirits, opening right up to the universe, etc., I know that she is very well-meaning and feels that she knows all the ins and outs -- and she does give a few weak caveats about this throwing oneself wide open to all and sundry, such as beaming comforting, calming vibes to angry and hostile people and imagining a light surrounding you that will supposedly dissolve any bad vibes coming at you -- but it is my impression that she seriously downplays the potentially negative aspects of this sort of individual, amateur, unprotected dabbling. She does mention several times that the ancient tribal healers that she has studied went through decades and decades of training, mentorship, and so on before they were put in charge of this role for their social group -- yet she pulls out some of their "technologies", describes them in a woolly, convoluted way, and encourages her mainly-American, mainly-middle-class, mainly-untrained-in-this-realm readers to rush into these practices on their own with no personal backups in place in case something odd happens, with no broad understanding or training, with no previous experience with the "field". It's too simplistic, too rosy. I think it's not safe enough, spiritually, as described here.

-The subject of mystical, healing drugs (like the one she had, at least at one point, decided to take in a magic ritual led by a South American shaman, and ended up being affected by -- even though she didn't, apparently, ingest it) is complicated and I hardly know anything about it, but she seems to indicate that it's safe, brave, and normal to do this kind of thing without much preparation, and I am not sure that it ought to be that simple or that easy, nor that it is without any danger of side effects/lasting problems. [A fellow student from my university days took something like this and was injured physically and mentally and his life rapidly fell apart, never to be the same. But one can't extrapolate from just one example.] Serious, methodical, logical, educated, open-minded researchers like Dr. Andrew Weil (in his younger days) have researched deeply into this kind of thing, and of course this sort of hallucinatory drug use is engaged in by many folks around the world. However, I think it's only responsible to mention how to learn about the risks, the chemistry, the methods, the legality, the "spiritual" history, etc., if you are going to casually suggest doing this sort of thing for personal growth.

I think that Martha Beck is well-meaning and kind. She's brave, hard-working, and intelligent. She is usually a very good writer. She has an uncommon gift of making readers feel more normal, less alone, happier, calmer. But this book was a disappointment to me, and is my least favorite of her works that I've read.
66 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Koren Motekaitis 27 décembre 2011
Par Koren Motekaitis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I was excited to read Martha's new book Finding Your Way in a Wild New World until I found out that it was about MAGIC. Oh no I thought would this be too woo woo? Would my clients now think I was crazy since I trained with Martha Beck and am one of her coaches? Would my radio listeners turn the dial and look for something else that really applied to their life?

Then I read the book. WOW! I invite you to go beyond the language that Martha uses in her book. Maybe you do not understand what Wordlessness means right now. But when you read the book and practice her tools you will experience and understand Wordlessness. Don't let the ideas or what you think MAGIC, WORDLESSNESS, or some of her other words Martha uses to stop you from at least exploring Martha's latest book. When I read this book I let go of my resistance to the language in her book and Martha opened up information and powerful experiences for me. Her book makes so much sense and her tools can help you.

And like all of Martha's other works she encourages you to test it out for yourself and see if it works. Don't just take her word for it since she is a best selling author and columnist in O, the Oprah magazine.

Unlike other self-help books where you ask yourself, "how can I REALLY apply this to my life?" Martha gives you tools that you can do while living your life in her latest book Finding Your Way In A Wild New World.

I rarely write book reviews eventhough I have used the reviews for 1,000s of books/items for years as a buyer and this time I decided to write a review, because maybe you are skeptical like I was and I wanted you to know that once I let go of my resistance, Martha's book gave me more insight and tools to help myself as well as my clients and listeners on my show.
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Can You Really Make Money Following Your Bliss? 28 décembre 2011
Par Gina Clowes - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Did you ever hear one of those interviews when someone says "I feel SO lucky because I get up everyday and I get to do what I love and get paid for it!" ?

Finding Your Way in a Wild New World is a guidebook to enable you to do just that!

After serendipitously being introduced to "Expecting Adam" several years ago, I became huge fan of Martha Beck's writing: intelligent and insightful, yet self-deprecating and silly.

You're having so much fun reading that you hardly realize how much you are learning and that she has equipped you with tools that can change your life.

Don't be fooled by the simplicity of some the exercises in the book. Do them and you're on an expedition that will help you dust off your unique talents, combine them with the lessons you've learned in life (aka bumps in the road) and put them to "work" (play!) in a way that no one else can.
45 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Way, way too out there for me 20 février 2012
Par A reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I consider myself a somewhat new-agey person. I believe in things I am far too embarrassed to admit to my agnostic brother, my Catholic best friend, and basically anyone who I've heard mock any metaphysical stuff, ever. I have an open-mind and love the quote, "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
And I've been a very strong fan of Martha Beck through the years. I loved Finding your North Star, the Joy Diet, and the Four-Day Win.

But this book was way too far out there for me. Bending spoons and "being one" with objects and things...sorry, I'm not buying it. At times it did seem like an ad for her uber-expensive Africa coaching sessions. I really love her O magazine articles, but I strongly suspect the editors there (wisely) keep her more woo-woo ideas out of them. If you want her advice, Finding Your North Star is far and away her best book.

The problem, I realize, might be *me*-that I'm just not open-minded or metaphysical enough-but I think most Americans will find this book too out there.
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What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make enough plans. &quote;
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