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About the Book

A Book Like No Other – Book Reviews

A Book Like No Other – Book Reviews

For a writer, book reviews can open doors to new and bigger audiences; writers know it, readers know it, publishers know it. What people are saying about your book can be a huge factor in its success.

Book reviews make books a known quantity, they save readers time, prepare them for what they will find and offer them a greater chance of connecting with a particular book, even before they read the first page! They also make their authors very happy.

I am grateful for all the curious souls out there who were brave enough to pick up my book, read it and a special thanks to those who took the time to write me a book review. Thank you to Robert, Louis, Floyd, Rahki, Saania, and Catherine for taking the time to read my book and post their book reviews. For those who have not yet picked it up, there is no better time than today to go an epic adventure with me acting as your tour guide; I will take you on a journey through time, across many continents, oceans, mountains, all the way to space and back home to the depth of you own heart.

I am always interested to find out how people react to my book and which section of the book resonates with them in particular. It is my pleasure to share with you some recent reviews that came my way.

Join me on this Epic Journey

Empowering Book – Catherine Germier – Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations – 20 June 2020

“This empowering book will embark you on an exciting and inspiring journey which will challenge or even change the perspective you have on your life and its purpose. In these times of uncertainty, this is the guide we need”.

A historical, philosophical journey through life – Saania Saxena – High School Student – 15 June 2020

This book is truly insightful. Personally, history is a subject I found genuinely boring at school. I was never interested in anything my teachers taught me about the world history. Whereas philosophy is something I enjoyed immensely. This book, This Is Your Quest is the perfect combination of both.

When the author talks about Jessica Watson, I instantly felt a connection and I felt something resonate with me deeply. Not only because I am sixteen too, but because I always want to challenge myself. I have always wanted to inspire people. And through her words of what she explained during the interview for the Los Angeles Times, it’s like she voiced my thoughts. I have always been judged for doing something big because “I’m so young” and “I don’t know much about life”. But age is simply a number. I am writing my own book at the age of sixteen because I feel like I can. So, I heartily agree and loved the statement about the fact that grit and determination can help one achieve their dream.

Or when the author talks about time being the most valuable commodity each one of us have. We are all given the exact same amount of time, it is what we choose to do with it that makes one more successful, satisfied, content and happier than the other. Specially as a teenager, I see time as one of the most salient things in my day to day life. Every time wasted costs me. Writing a book during quarantine has enabled me to utilise my time wisely, at the same time doing something that I love.

What Santiago learned in Tangier, Morocco, with the crystal merchant about fear is also something I felt. As we go through our lives, one of the most important things we learn about the world is how life begins at the end of our comfort zones. Each time I have moved to a different country or a different city, I was thrown into the world of unknowns. I was intimidated by the people who were a part of it, the things I wasn’t ready for, and I didn’t know which direction was the safest. As humans, we tend to like stability and we feel comfortable with familiarity. But it is when we head towards the unknown, that we fight our fears and conquer the real world.

All in all, I enjoyed the order, structure, style, and the language of the book. It’s an easy-read which is very good because young readers like me can feel accommodated too. Not only that, I think it actually should be read by young minds because we are the ones who are raring to take on the world! I want to read this book over and over again to stick to and remember these highly crucial and important life lessons.

In a Category of itself – Floyd Williams- Author of ‘The Book of Self-A Thesis on Energy and How it Interrelates – 11 June 2020

This Is Your Quest is book that is in a category by itself. It is not like the average self-help or motivational book. “This Is Your Quest” is a tangible epiphany of man’s deepest longing of liberation, journey, joy and the pulse of life. The pulse of life that is man’s intuition, which is all too often unfortunately suppressed by man to be fit to scaled to societies norms. Joanne Reed is the author, but when you read the book you feel like you are the one who is writing it (hence the title of the book which really does it justice;) for it truly captures and reflects man’s inner longing. As I read it, I felt like a child with an imagination being expanded.

The examples of history from the past to current events used in this book are very poignant masterfully establishing connection to the reader’s own potential and unveiling of. That is where the power lies in this book.

This Is Your Quest is no mystical self-help book, it is pregnant with information ranging from monetary system, history, mythology, health, vaccination, and symbology, designed to aid the reader in giving birth to whatever their mind can conceive.”

A Unique Book – Rakhi – 10 June 2020

This is Your Quest is the first book written by Joanne Reed and I was just amazed by reading such detailed research on so many subjects, whilst highlighting really interesting snapshots of history and forgotten wisdom; all of this is expressed in an eloquent manner, easy to read and very informative.

The author has shown remarkable work with her research by writing such an epic self-development story. The book also contains topics such as political, social behavior, and psychology which will no doubt help the reader understand human nature in a more holistic way. The pursuit of happiness is the centerpiece of the book and all the stories, fables, wisdom, and quotes you will find in this book will gently guide you to find your own path towards that very special place everyone is seeking that is called ‘Happiness.’

The highlight of the book is the way the author explains everything with a creative description, that caught my attention from the very beginning. The book has a smooth flow to it and will really make you think and go deeper than you have ever been before. If you are not a fan of History, you may become one after reading this book. Joanne Reed demonstrates in her book, how knowing history is important in order to understand our present, and what we do in the present will affect our future. Overall a unique book. ‘This Is Your Quest’ is like no other books you have read before. So if you are a keen reader or even if you are not, this book is for you it will open your eyes and make you see things differently. To all the curious souls out there, I would recommend that you pick this one, it has the potential to change your life.

A Compass to Move Forward – Louis – 20 April 2020

Dear Joanne. The Companion that I have been throughout the reading of your book This Is Your Quest, says to you quite simply and sincerely: Thank you! A compass to move forward in the pursuit of our well-being and treasure chest to signify that there are hidden treasures to be discovered on our life’s path… these two pictures on the cover of your book faithfully translate the words, the story and the message you wanted to and knew how to convey. As you remind us so well, we cannot understand the present without knowing the past and what we do in the present will determine our future… You are right, wisdom teaches is not to ignore what has happened in our lives, but to learn from it. Let us learn from our experiences. Let us understand our mistakes, our failures, but also our successes. Let us know how to invent new perspectives and create the ideal conditions to advance with serenity on the path of our life. It is up to us to stay the course and to not let go. Between knowing and not knowing there is: learning. Between being able and not being able there is: trying. Between loving and not loving there is: tasting. So let’s taste the joy of reading and or re-reading your book … and let’s be ready for our Quest to Find Happiness Along the Way!”

Beautiful Trove of Ideas – Robert Gregory – Author of Down, But Never Out – 16 January 2020

“This book drew me in from the start. The amount of information that’s been seamlessly strung together into a bountiful trove of ideas is staggering. I especially like the chapter on symbols and the fact about how they can be and have been deceptively used. The author, Joanne Reed, by evidenced in the text, absolutely loves to research. As a writer myself, this text will be a go-to reference for future projects.”



If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
Self-Help

Quotes to Think About – What the World Needs

Quotes to Think About

The World needs able men and women, people who can do things that are thoroughly worthwhile; people who can think great thoughts and transform such thoughts into great deeds.”
Christian D. Larson

What do authors do? They think great thoughts then turn those thoughts into words to inspire others

Christian D. Larson knew how to use the power of words to remind people to be optimistic, to be strong, to grow, and to be true to themselves. His poem ‘Promise Yourself‘ is copied below and contains plenty of quotes to think about, please read it slowly and carefully.

Promise Yourself by Christian D. Larson

“Promise yourself to be so strong

That nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
 
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything
And make your optimism come true.

To think only the best to work only for the best,
And to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
As you are about your own.

To forget the mistake of the past
And press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
And give every creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
That you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear
And too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
Not in loud words but great deeds.

To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
So long as you are true to the best that is in you.”

What the World Needs is People Who Can Think Great Thoughts

Christian D Larson. (1866-1955) was an American New Thought Leader and Teacher, as well as a prolific author. Larson believed that people have a tremendous latent power within them, which could be harnessed with the right mind and proper attitude for great deeds. His vision was to have science and theology work together for the benefit of mankind.

The New Thought Movement is a movement which developed in the United States in the 19th Century.  Its fundamental teaching is that spirit is extremely powerful and the mind has the power to heal the body. The emphasis is on spiritual and mental healing without rejection of modern medicine. New Thoughts believe that Infinite Intelligence, or God, is everywhere, that all people are spiritual beings, and the power of our thoughts can help us manifest our desire in daily living.

Where do your thoughts come from? The way people are thinking and operating in their daily lives is a reflection of their upbringing, their environment, their education, the books they read, the people they connect with, the experiences they have, the religion they practice. Each of these factors will shape and sculpt each one of us into the person that we are.

Books are critical in helping people having great thoughts. Words have tremendous energy and power, they have the ability to educate, to help, to heal, to illuminate the minds.  Other book quotes to think about are from James Baldwin who said “Books are a way to change one’s destiny, ” and Neil Gaiman, who said “Books are the way that we communicate with the dead, the way we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, it is the way humanity has built itself and progresses.”

Critical thinking is an art, it requires being able to operate with a rational mind, and it also requires being able to stay clear of conventional wisdom and socially accepted beliefs and moral standards.  Being able to think critically requires that we are also able to really listen to someone, this is an art that needs to be cultivated.  In the first few years of life, we are all taught to speak, which is an important development milestone, a sign that the child is developing normally.  But more emphasis should be placed on the art of listening. Another quote to think about is the one from the Dalai Lama who said: “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” And remember what Aristotle said: “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

What the World needs is People Who can Transform Thoughts into Great Deeds

Once you have trained yourself to think great thoughts, those thoughts need turning into great deeds, “knowing without doing it is like not knowing at all.

From Japan, we can learn valuable lessons from the Samurai about how we turn great thoughts into great deeds.  Samurais were strong, fearless warriors who lived in medieval Japan. Their code of conduct was, “no fear – no surprise – no hesitation – no doubt.

  • No fear: face your fears head-on and defeat them. Fear stops people from achieving their goal.
  • No surprise. Life is changing all the time, be aware of this and you will never be surprised.
  • No hesitation: weigh up the odds and then get on with it. If you hang back, the opportunity will pass.
  • No doubt: once you have made up your mind about something, relax and go for it. Be confident. Be committed. Turn those thoughts into good deeds.
Tom Cruise in “The Last Samurai”

Part of the Samurai training was to become acquainted and to practice the 7 virtues that would guide them both in battle and in everyday life.

Rectitude – The Samurai were trained in the art of listening and were able to consider all the points of view expressed before making a decision.  They had a high sense of personal accountability and displayed great integrity on the battlefield and in their personal lives.

Respect – The Samurai were respected members of Japanese society held in high esteem, but this was not a one-way street, they were very respectful of others as well.  They aspired to be kind and courteous even to their enemies. They were not cruel or deceptive. They were strong yet gentle, they valued quality over quantity and looked for what was best for all who were involved in any situation.

Courage – The Samurai warrior epitomized courage at its best, to the point of giving their lives for a cause if they believed it was the right thing to do. They were confident and took risks because they knew that was the only way that true growth was possible. They stood up for what they believed in and did what they felt was right.

Honor – The Samurai warrior lived and died with honor. They looked within and embodied self-improvement. They did not seek judgment or validation from others. Rather they were their own person and held themselves accountable for their actions.

Benevolence or Mercy– The Samurai worked hard and endured intense training that made them both physically and mentally strong. As a warrior, the Samurai had the power to kill. However, benevolence was about making sure that they had the ability to exercise mercy when required. Despite being warriors, Samurai were also known for showing great compassion and for volunteering to help their fellow man at every opportunity.

Honesty – Honesty was essential. They did not deceive or made empty promises. Samurai valued trust and would rather die than break that trust, they knew the power of a word.

Duty and Loyalty – The Samurai held themselves responsible for all their actions and the consequences of all their actions. They were immensely loyal to everyone who relied on them. They knew the power that their words and action had, and they were careful not to misuse that power.

Interestingly, the duties of the Samurai also applied to women as well as men; women samurai warriors were forces to be reckoned with in their own right showcasing enough skill and deadly force to match their fellow male samurai. They were known as ‘Onna-bugeisha‘. They mastered the art of archery, horseback riding as well as mastery of the katana, the samurai sword.

Photo of Tomoe Gozen – A female Samurai known for her exceptional beauty and bravery on the battlefield

“What the World needs is able men and women, people who can do things that are thoroughly worthwhile; people who can think great thoughts and transform such thoughts into great deeds”

And This, my dear friend, is your Quest!


If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
Learn to Love

8 Types of Love – Which One Are You?

8 Types of Love – Which One Are You?

Let’s Talk About The Different Types of Love

Falling in or out of love is one of the strongest emotions that people can experience. Love can be kind. Love can be cruel. Love is everything. Love has been called “one of the most studied and least understood areas in psychology.” Everyone has experienced feelings of love to some extent or another. There are those who found love then lost it, those who found it and kept it and those who are seeking it in odd places. There are also those who don’t know they have it, not realizing it is closer than they think. Let’s talk about love!

8 types of love

The ancient Greeks were sophisticated in the way they talked about love and would be shocked by our modern crudeness in using a single word both to whisper, “I love you” over a romantic candlelight meal and to casually sign an email, “lots of love.

Romantic love, the love that perhaps most naturally springs to mind, has been the inspiration for countless ballads, stories and pieces of art and has captured the imagination of singers, artist, and poets throughout history. However, there are many “flavors of love“, from brotherly love, family love, the love of God and self-love. In English, as with other languages, it has been difficult to distinguish the separate meanings of these words without carefully considering the context in which the words are used.

The question “what is love?” generates a host of issues; some have sought to analyze them; others have preferred to leave them in the realm of the ineffable.  This article, ‘Let’s Talk About Love‘, is my attempt to shed some light on this subject.

1.  Types of Love: Eros or Erotic Love

Eros was the Greek God of Love and fertility, born of Ares (God of War) and Aphrodite (Goddess of Beauty and Eternal Youth). Eros is said to have been the one who blessed the union of Gaia and Uranus after which the Universe came into existence. Gaia was a Greek Goddess; she symbolized the Earth and was the mother of everything. Uranus symbolized the sky. Eros represents the idea of sexual passion and desire.

Eros

The ancient Greeks considered Eros to be dangerous and frightening as it involves a ‘loss of control’ through the primal impulse to procreate. Eros is a passionate and intense form of love that arouses romantic and sexual feelings. Eros is a primal and powerful fire that burns out quickly. Eros is usually depicted as a young boy, with his bow and arrows, ready to either shoot into the hearts of gods or mortals to rouse them to desire. His arrows came in two types; golden with dove feathers to arouse love, or leaden arrows with owl feathers to cause indifference. Eros is known as being bitter-sweet and cruel to his victims. Unscrupulous, and a danger to those around him, Eros would make as much mischief as he could by wounding hearts of all. Without warning, he would select his targets and forcefully strike at their hearts, making them fall in love.

2.  Types of Love: Philia or Affectionate Love or Friendship

The ancient Greeks valued philia far above Eros because it was considered a love between equals. Plato felt that physical attraction was not a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word ‘platonic’ to mean ‘without physical attraction.’

Amongst the different types of love, Philia is a love that is felt among friends who have endured hard times together. Aristotle defined philia as a ‘dispassionate virtuous love’ that is free from the intensity of sexual attraction. Philia often involves the feelings of loyalty among friends, camaraderie among teammates, and a sense of sacrifice for your pack. It is about loyalty and sacrifice for your friends and the sharing of emotions with them.

Philia

Aristotle thought deeply about the concept of human well-being and the virtues necessary to live well; he wrote his findings and conclusions in ‘Ethics.’ Aristotle concluded that to live well, is a proper appreciation of the way in which friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor and wealth fit together as a whole.

3.  Types of Love: Storge or Familial Love

Storge’ closely resembles philia in that it is a love without physical attraction, however, Storge is primarily to do with kinship and family. Storge is the natural form of affection that flows between parents and their children, and children for their parents.

Storge is the bond that a mother develops with her child as it forms inside her womb as the miracle of life is happening. Once born this bond will continue to strengthen as the mother and baby get to know each other through the nurturing and breastfeeding process.

Storge, the bond between dog owners and their dogs

Storge’ can also be found in the unconditional love that dog owners gain from their dog. Dogs are the only species who, like a child, run to their owner when they are frightened, anxious or just pleased to see them. Dogs have a very special capacity to demonstrate unconditional love that is quite refreshing. Studies have shown that being in contact with animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses can lead to lower blood pressure and can combat stress and ease anxiety disorder and depression. Pets can provide friendship to those who are lonely, sick or depressed.

4.  Types of Love: Ludus or Playful Love

Ludus’ has a touch of the erotic Eros in it but is different in that the Greeks thought of Ludus as a playful form of love; the affection between young lovers. Ludus is that feeling we have in the early stages of falling in love, the fluttering heart, flirting, teasing and feelings of euphoria. Playfulness in love is an essential ingredient that is often lost in long-term relationships. Yet, playfulness is one of the secrets to keeping the childlike innocence of your love alive, interesting, and exciting

Ludus, playful love

Aristotle frequently emphasized the importance of pleasure to human life and stated that a happy life must include pleasure. For Aristotle, pleasure is not a process but an unimpeded activity of a natural state. It follows from his conception of pleasure that every instance of pleasure must be good to some extent; how could an unimpeded activity of a natural state be bad?

Aristotle did not mean that every pleasure should be chosen. Simply put, although some pleasures may be good, they are not worth choosing when they interfere with superior activities. We must choose our pleasures by determining which ones are better. The standard we should use in making comparisons between rival options is virtuous activity because virtuous activity has been shown to be identical to happiness.

5.  Types of Love: Mania or obsessive love

Mania,’ or obsessive love, is a type of love that leads a partner into a kind of madness and obsessiveness. To those who experience mania, love itself is a means of rescuing themselves; a reinforcement of their own value, as they suffer from poor self-esteem. Because of this, they can become possessive and jealous lovers, feeling as though they desperately “need” their partners.

Henry VIII – George IV – Louis XV, Examples of Mania Love

6.  Types of Love: Pragma or enduring love

Pragma’ is an enduring love that has aged, matured and developed. Pragma is beyond the physical, it has transcended casual love, and has formed a unique harmony over time. You can find pragma in couples who have been together for a long time, or in friendships that have endured for decades.

Unfortunately, pragma is a type of love that is not easily found as we often spend so much time and energy trying to find love but so little time in learning how to maintain it. Pragma is the result of effort on both sides. It is the love between people who have learned to make compromises, who have demonstrated patience, and tolerance to make their relationship work.

Pragma or Enduring Love

7.  Types of Love: Philautia or self-Love

Philautia,’ or self-love, is about caring for ourselves. The Greeks understood that self-care is necessary before we can care for others. Philautia is not unhealthy vanity nor self-obsession focused on personal fame, gain and fortune as is the case with narcissism. Instead, Philautia is self-love in its healthiest form. It shares the Buddhist philosophy of “self-compassion” which is the deep understanding that only once you have the strength to love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin that you will be able to care and demonstrate love for others.

Aristotle described “all friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.” You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to truly be happy is to find unconditional love for yourself.

Philautia, or Self Love

Buddhism also promotes self-love as vital for health and happiness. Buddha, “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Loving ourselves unconditionally in exactly the same way we love our children and pets is what we are striving for. Instead, we love ourselves with conditions. We only expect to be happy with ourselves when we get the job we want, or after losing weight. Then and only then do we feel worthy of self-compassion.

Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable; they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals.

Self-compassion requires taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. Balance requires putting ourselves through a process of relating personal experiences to experiences of others who are also suffering, thus putting our own situation into a larger perspective. Balance also stems from a willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity.

8.  Types of Love: Agape

Agape,‘ or selfless love, is the highest and most radical type of love according to the Greeks. Agape is what some call spiritual love, it is an unconditional love, bigger than ourselves, a boundless compassion, an infinite empathy. Agape is the purest form of love, free from desires and expectations is given regardless of the flaws and shortcomings in others. Agape love is altruistic love, love that is given for its own sake, without expecting anything in return.

Agape, Divine Love

Agape is the love that is felt for that which we intuitively know something as being the divine truth; a love that accepts forgives and believes for our greater good. Aristotle makes the point in several of his works that the happiest human life resembles the life of a divine being.

8 Different Types of Love

We are often hankering over romantic love, but the message from the Greeks is that there are many types of love. A better understanding of love and a larger vocabulary helps. It helps to recognize how we feel, and it helps to recognize feelings being bestowed upon us.

We are all students of love and can thank the Ancient Greeks as our esteemed teachers. We have learned that there are many types of love, that it’s good to talk about love, and when loving:

  • Stay away from ‘Mania.’
  • Don’t just seek ‘Eros’ – it usually ends badly.
  • Cultivate ‘Philia’ by spending more time with your friends, family.
  • Add some frivolity into your life from time to time with ‘Ludic’ activities.
  • Seek ‘Pragma’ for a long-lasting relationship.
  • Indulge in ‘Storge,’ let your maternal and paternal instincts out. For any lonely souls, get yourself a dog!
  • Practice ‘Philautia’ to stay away from stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • And for the most advanced students, seek ‘Agape.’

And this, my dear companion, is your Quest.


If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
Self-Help

Why Things Are Not Always What They Seem

“Why things are not always what they seem; first appearance deceive many, the intelligence of a few perceive what has been carefully hidden
Phaedrus, c. 444 – 393 BC

The mind is strange in the way that it picks and chooses what it wants to see. The way people let their emotions, conditions, and state of mind guide their perspective ultimately decides who they are as a person “
Maya Reed, 2002 – present

Phaedrus, whose name translates to ‘bright‘ or ‘radiant‘ was an ancient Athenian aristocrat who enjoyed the company of philosophers. Remembered as an especially attractive young man, details in Plato’s writing point to Phaedrus’ interests in mythology, science, and the nature of ‘reality;’ do we see things how they are or only how they seem to us? Is seeing believing? Can we trust our senses? How do we know how something really is?

Mother and Daughter Double Act

Last year, my eldest daughter, Maya, asked herself these questions in a paper she wrote for her AP Seminar (Advanced Placement) class. I published her essay in my book because Maya captured in a very eloquent and poetic manner the notion that ‘Why things are not always what they seem’ better than I could have myself.

The view from my window – by Maya Reed.

No matter a person’s race, gender, status, or health, everyone has a window that acts as their unique glimpse into the world. However, this window varies greatly from person to person, and any aspect about someone can determine what he or she sees out of it. The view from these windows are in a constant state of change and can be altered by something as substantial as how we are raised or our lifestyle, to something as trivial as how we are feeling on a particular day. When looking out of this figurative window, things such as the time of day can reflect a specific state of mind.

In times of happiness, the beauty of the world hits me like a truck. This is when I look out my window and see a bright sunrise marking the dawn of a new day. As the sun makes it steady ascent, it brings the excitement of new possibilities with it. Light bursts forth from the horizon in an onslaught of colors, forcing the darkness into a hasty retreat. In these moments, everything is picture perfect and it only magnifies with the growing light – the world radiates alacrity.

The sky is painted in stunning streaks of red, pink, purple, and blue, and the birds sing their delight to the heavens. With sunlight already streaming through the window, my eyes turn to a world blanketed in tranquility. Leaves dances in the wind, taking my mind with them. People amble down the street, content clear on their faces. I see a couple as they walk by my window. They stroll hand in hand, simply appreciating each other’s touch. Birds soar through the sky with effortless grace, trees sway gently in the wind, and everything is infinitely beautiful.

I can see all the wonder the world has to offer. Somewhere, in the distance, a newborn takes its first breath. Elsewhere, jobs are being offered, vows are taken, homes are found, love is declared, sickness is overcome, and countless more bring a smile to my face. It is as if the sun’s rays illuminate anything and everything worthwhile and lifts them up on a shining pedestal. In this merry state of mind, negativity is easily overpowered, but the light that ensures this sanctuary is not constant.

Light brings wonder to people’s lives, but it is not possible for light to exist without the darkness. I once again find myself taking a moment to properly look out my window. However, after a long and strenuous day, the sunset is upon me, and as I watch, the sun is slowly but surely beat back under the horizon. My eyes scan what’s below me and a vague familiarity resides beneath the layers of dense darkness, but my optimism died with the sun.

The light is gone, and with it, the happiness it brought. Now, all the wrongs the light refused to expose become painfully clear. In my mind’s somber restlessness, the shadows jump out with murderous intent, and the darkness is suffocating. The same couple walks past my window, but this time I notice the strange tightness in which he grips her hand, and her refusal to look him in the eye. The amblers’ steps are reduced to depressed plodding, and even the breeze seems to whisper threats. It soon becomes achingly clear that the songbirds fled long ago, and the silence they leave behind is defeating .

The glass is the only thing that separates me from the world where evil lurks around every corner, but the darkness threatens to break the seal. In an instant the darkness thickens, and every shadowed window hides a depressed, overworked child. It is far too easy to notice that every second, a driver’s mistake becomes a death sentence, tears run like rivers, blood taints the soil, someone takes the fatal jump, maledictions are hurled at one another, lives are shattered, and the savage reality of this world cracks down like a whip. In the same way the light blinded me to anything I didn’t’ want to see, the darkness is enough to suppress everything worth seeing.

The mind is strange in the way that it picks and chooses what it wants to see in the world. Some days it will go through the terrifying, disheartening, and even confusing process of freezing to gawk at the shadows. Other days it will inexplicably decide to turn its back to what lies in the darkness and instead ogle at the brilliance of the sun. In fact, the true nature of the world is rarely seen. Constantly fluctuating emotions act as lenses for our window. They can taint, brighten, dull, enhance, blind, illuminate and change the view of different surroundings. The way people let their emotions, conditions, and state of mind guide their perspective ultimately decides who they are as a person.”

Perceptions

Phaedrus’ quote and Maya’s essay both make interesting and similar observations. Perception creates our experience of the world but every person perceives the world and approaches life problems differently. Perception is important, and largely in our control, I hope that you will question yours!

Joanne Reed – Author of ‘This Is Your Quest”


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Self-Help

Positivity vs. Negativity – Battle of the Fittest

Martial Arts

Art takes many forms; as an author, I consider myself an artist. In my free time, I am also a ‘martial artist’. The term ‘martial arts’ is closely associated with the fighting arts of East Asia; the term is however derived from Latin and means ‘arts of Mars,’ the Roman god of war. I practice Muay Thai (also known as Kick Boxing); the word ‘muay’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘wavya’ which means ‘bind together’ and the word ‘thai’ refers to the country Thailand. Its generic name means ‘unarmed combat,’ a true test in any battle of the fittest.

Muay Thai in Namsan Park, Seoul

Martial arts have health and spiritual benefits; the spiritual benefits include teaching self-respect, respect for others, patience, humility, self-control and modesty, the health benefits derived from the conditioning that helps keep the body fit, strong and properly toned. To be effective, a good Muay Thai fighter must keep his physical and mental condition in balance, he must move with speed, but also show common sense and intelligence, he must train both his mind and his body with dedication, concentration, and discipline. Muay Thai also develops a sense of brotherhood, a fighter will help others when the opportunity arises, and will never resort to fighting unless there is no other option available.

The history of Muay Thai can be traced to the middle of the 18th century. During battles between the Burmese of the Konbaung Dynasty and Siam, the famous fighter Nai Khanomtom was captured. The Burmese knew of his expertise in hand-to-hand combat and gave him an opportunity to fight for his freedom. Nai Khanomtom managed to knock out ten consecutive Burmese contenders. Impressed by his skill, he was freed and returned to Siam where his fighting style became known as Muay Thai and later recognized as a national sport.

Getting Balanced

If you ever feel a bit off-balance or stressed-out I recommend you find a Muay Thai class and develop your fighting spirit because, perhaps without realizing it, we are all engaged in fierce battles every day. These battles occur within us between positivity and negativity. For the sake of this article, I will call positivity ‘Yang’ (positive, bright, masculine) and negativity ‘Yin’ (negative, dark, feminine). Picture those two in a ring; if your first impulse is to cheer and expect ‘Yang’ to win, I’m sorry, but you’re mistaken, in a battle of the fittest, ‘Yin‘ would triumph.

Yin and Yang in the Battle of the Fittest

Battle of the Fittest – Negativity

Our brain has a negative bias, it loves negativity! Our brain is wired with a much greater sensitivity to unpleasant rather than pleasant news. Dr John Cacioppo, the ‘Scientist of Loneliness’ from  Ohio State University, conducted a study to demonstrate this effect by contrasting the effect on the brain of pictures arousing positive feelings (such as sport cars, holiday shots, ice creams, etc.), negative feelings (such as mutilated faces or dead cats), and, for good measure pictures to arouse neutral feelings (of everyday objects, such as dinners plate and hair dryers).

The subjects had their brain activity recorded during the experiment providing data to Dr. Cacioppo to analyze. The results showed very clearly that our brain reacts more strongly to negative rather than positive stimuli. Our attitudes are more heavily influenced by downbeat rather than good news and that information is stored in our short to long term memory. This is why ‘Yin’ has a better chance of winning against ‘Yang.’

Our weighting of negative input is an evolutionary development to keep us out of harm’s way. Back in prehistory, when humans faced life or death situations every day, it was far more important for the brain to respond to negative rather than positive stimuli. If a wild animal charged towards you, you needed to fight or run away and to take that decision in a split-second. But, in non-threatening situations, like being offered food, or a gift, there is no such requirement for speed – your brain can react very slowly. To make matters worse, not only do we react more quickly to negative experiences, we are looking for them all the time. This makes it extremely easy for our minds to get into a negative feedback loop; you are hyper-aware of negativity and when it happens, you react quicker, it impacts you more and you remember it for longer. One scientist described the brain like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones. 

Positive Outlook

When faced with decisions or uncertainties, it is natural to have a fear of the unknown, I confess – this happens to me a lot, which creates a lot of anxiety and negative emotions.  Unfortunately, the nature of the world is uncertain; nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, and it is important to maintain a positive outlook.

According to Sadhguru, Indian yogi, mystic, and author:

you cannot overcome something which does not exist. Your fear is always about something that does not exist. Fear is happening because of excessive imagination. It is about things that haven’t happened yet, but you are creating those things in your mind. Fear means that you are producing horror movies in your mind. Produce something else, produce a comedy, a love story, an action movie.”

In the battle of the fittest, it is important to have a positive outlook and understand that we all have a natural tendency to be negative; you must train yourself to be a ‘Yang.’ Being positive, overcoming negative emotions requires dedication, discipline, and patience – just like with Muay Thai – and just like being a successful Muay Thai fighter it is necessary to train your body and spirit to work together, so that when the time comes to do battle against ‘Yin,’ the negative spirit, the odds will be in your favor.

And this, my Dear Friend is your Quest.


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About the Book

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

The French Flag is called the Tricolore. It consists of 3 vertical stripes of blue, white and red. It was established as the flag of France after the French Revolution of 1789. Red & Blue were the colours of Paris. White was the colour of royalty. With the white sandwiched between the red and the blue, it symbolized the control of the people over the monarchy. Today the colours are said to mean: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity ideals associated with the Revolution that still resound in the hearts of many French Citizens.  Another interpretation is that the blue represents the people’s history, the white the people’s hope and the red the blood of their ancestors. 

Before the French Revolution the Royal French flag was designed with Fleur-de-Lis, which was the emblem of the King of France and a symbol of the French Monarchy. Historians believe that the three petals of the Fleur-de-Lis represent the three medieval social estates: the commoners, the nobility and the clergy. The Fleur-de-Lis was said to represent a symbol of the king’s divinely approved right to rule.


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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French Edition of “This Is Your Quest” Climbing the Amazon Charts

“If it’s worth celebrating, it’s worth celebrating in hotpants.”

Only 48 hours after its launch the French edition of “This Is Your Quest” is storming up the Amazon Sales Charts! Thank you to everyone that has bought my book and visited my website. I hope that you find something inside to inspire you!

Launch Photo for the French Version of “This is Your Quest”

En Français

48 heures seulement après son lancement, “En Quête du Bonheur” fait irruption dans les ventes d’Amazon! Merci à tous ceux qui ont acheté mon livre et visité mon site internet. J’espère que vous y trouverez de quoi vous inspirer !

Amazon France Sales Chart for 30 May 2019.

“This is Your Quest” at #47 on Amazon France Self Help Books – Rankings 30 May 2019


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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Breaking News! The Second Edition of my book “This Is Your Quest” is out!

By popular demand, the Second Edition of “This Is Your Quest” is out! In this new edition you will find some new analysis on some current events, some points have been refined, and some new wisdom has been added! There is more to it than there was before!

Watch the trailer below:

Second Edition of “This Is Your Quest” is out!

In this new edition you will find some new analysis on some current events, some points have been refined, and some new wisdom has been added! There is more to it than there was before!

Pick up your copy today and follow me on this Epic Adventure!


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

 

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About the Book

10 Minute Mindset – Part 1 of my Podcast Interview

I was a special guest of Mario Porreca who is the host and founder of 10 Minute Mindset Podcast. Mario reached out to me because he believes that I have a story ( through my book) that the world needs to hear. 

Mario asked me to tell him what led me to write my book. He was very interested in the fact that I talk a lot about history, philosophy and economics in the book and wanted me to tell him more about why these are important when we go on our own journey of self-discovery on our own Quest.

10 Minute Mindset with Mario Porreca – Episode 1 – “This is your Quest”

You can listen to the podcast by going on Mario’s website or by playing the file below (interview starts at 5:52):

https://authorjoannereed.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/10_minute_mindset_423_05.16.2019_final.mp3
10 Minute Mindset with Mario Porreca – Episode 1 – “This is your Quest


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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Epic Journey Through China – Part 3

Temple of Heaven

Extract from This Is Your Quest – Chapter 7 – Page 100:

“The idea of building huge temples and monuments was to instill the idea that the rulers were of a different class than the average man. The other way the rulers imposed their authority upon the rest was to make up stories/narrative in order to make the people believe that men were fashioned from clay and created for one purpose only: to serve the Gods and Sons of Gods living on Earth (i.e. Kings and Emperors) by supplying them with food, drink & shelter (i.e. palaces) so that they may have time for their divine activities spent mainly towards the preservation of their own glory & authority. The ultimate purpose of the rulers was to install control, regulation and fear into their subjects, so that they themselves could have a life of leisure and luxury.”

Temple of Heaven, Beijing

Photo taken in Beijing at the Temple of Heaven which was used to be a place where the Emperors of the Ming and Qin Dynasties went to worship Heaven and offered sacrifices to pray for good harvests & favorable rain.


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Book Review from London – The Most Interesting Self Help Book I Came Across

This Is Your Quest is a self-help book, I despise the phrase because it describes pop-psych, hippy nonsense, espousing spiritual mantras and upper colonic irrigation. If those are your tools for leading a kinder, simpler life, then so be it. However, if you want to read a book, you need something a bit more cerebral. This Is Your Quest is nothing like any other self-help book you will come across. It is an enlightening delight that defies the genre, well-written, insightful and ever so sincere. The approach is individual, the words have depth and the message is uplifting and thoughtful”.

“The book itself is a journey, and Reed excels at holding the hand of her guest readers. There is a gentle voice to the message. In between each chapter, she includes letters to the readers, recapping what’s has been learned and continually encouraging growth”.

“There is a surprising amount of depth in the presentation. I learnt a lot while reading it. I am not a major history nerd, but history was what hooked me. I think it is a really interesting way to break down happiness and comment on the idea of our worth and potential quests”.


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.