|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.17(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Feed Your Soul
By Stephanie Hamilton
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Stephanie Hamilton
All rights reserved.
We all HUNGER for more meaning. Searching endlessly, and insatiably so.... trying to fill in the cracks that creep into our existence. We are waiting for someone, or something to come and light up our lives, when all along WE are the solution, WE are the creation, WE ARE OUR OWN SAVIOR.
I have spent a good part of my life trying to fill an insatiable need.
"Of what?", you ask
"Of EVERYTHING", I reply.
I have been HUNGRY.
Hungry for affection, acknowledgement, a greater purpose, and LOVE.
I have filled this hunger in the only way I knew how to. Overconsuming, literally everything with great fervor, and the fear that there, or I for that matter wasn't enough.
And so I ATE,
I did a few undesirable things that I could write antoher book about, but this book isn't about pointing out what I, or anyone else has done wrong.
It's about AWARENESS, FORGIVENESS, and probably the most important message of all ...
Unconditional LOVE through simplicity of all that surrounds us, and all that we already are.
It's also about rediscovering the familiarity that lies in all of us, that we are all intricately CONNECTED.
Pure ABUNDANCE and healing for our souls....
There are times when I feel a calling, and an urge that is so strong it becomes hard to define it. I feel the visceral pull of life looming over me, and there are times it becomes too much to face. I want to ask the questions, but fear the answers. A quick fix to fill the void always brings me back to the calling ... wanting something more.
To live the perfect existence, what does it mean? The pressures and barriers we surround ourselves with are what inevitably lead us to a greater realization that much of what we "create" for ourselves is all but an illusion. There is no greater fulfillment than to realize that we are PERFECTLY IMPERFECT.
To become lost in the "dream" is a danger we face. The constant bombardment of fear, anger, guilt, and jealousy do us no justice when everything that surrounds us contradicts this illusion. There is simplicity, love, light, and harmony at every turn. More than anything, there is the spark held deep within us waiting to be reignited.
"And in my dreams, there you were. Unassuming, full of peace, and free. You were covered in the "grit" of the earth, your foundations strong and unwavering. Why had I not seen this before? How could I not see that this is the glue that connects us all?"
Every breath is the possibility of something more.
Every inhale, bringing with it the chance for change.
Every conscious exhale leading us one step closer to the truth as we allow ourselves to let go.....
One day I woke up and realized in that moment, that I was completely where I was supposed to be in every facet of my life.
I have been lost in the dream for a lot of my life, creating illusions and playing games within my own parameters that suited the part that I was playing at any given time.
And why not? Isn't life a game to be pushed to it's limits? To experience every emotion, play every card, and spend every last penny until the light beckons?
I LIKE dreaming ... it's where I'm able to create and re-create my reality over and over again. Problem is, somewhere along the way I picked up a lot of beliefs and patterns that made me feel guilty or unworthy in nearly every act of this Grand Stage we call LIFE.
In fact, if guilt were a currency, I'd be it's millionaire.
If anger were a virtue, I'd be it's heroine.
If jealousy showed it's true colors, well, you know I'd be greener than green!
And then all within an instant, I realize that it was part of my plan all along. That without the lows, there are no highs.
Without suffering, there is no ecstacy.
It is only with the DARK, that we truly begin to see the STARS that we truly are.
The mirror within the mirror reveals it's reflection in all it's truth, and with that, I never go hungry again.....
There is no backup plan. This IS IT. You are planted exactly where you are meant to be in this moment, and you will play your part with the utmost precision.
Even the slightest whisper of life is extraordinary. There are times when even the cadence of my own heartbeat overwhelms me. The enormity of all that we encompass and embody is INCREDIBLE.
For fear of slowing down is what scares the hell out of me. To stop, and listen to the voice within. Sometimes, it is just too scary to realize the POWER of who we really are.
Everywhere you go, let them know you were there.
Walk together, yet let your own footprints mark your path.
Feel the earth beneath your feet, drink the warm air as it courses down your throat into your lungs.
Breathe, and know that you are indeed ALIVE.
Everywhere you go, leave the sound of your heartbeat....
If there is one thing I know for sure, it's that time waits for no one.
Through my life experiences, time and time again, I have stood on that platform, waiting for the right train to come.
Waiting for someone, or something to bring a sense of order to the inner sea of chaos that I have so often experienced in this lifetime.
To bring me answers of the direction I was meant to travel. Of where I would go, and who I would meet.
Time waits for no one, and all we have is NOW.
It ticks along with every breath, and every second; bringing with it a new possibility, if you are so inclined to stop and listen.
I have never been the best of listeners, but I am one hell of a traveller.
Take me a to a better place, a better space, where I can breathe new life and start again.
And when the train breaks down, and I am left to my own devices, that's when I really begin to see the beauty of the journey.
There is more than one destination, and certainly a lot more ways to get there than a broken down train.
But I'd take that train again any day! Yes! I'd run after that train with all of my might, hold on tight, and know that I was heading exactly where I was meant to be.
What is beauty? How can we define it? Doesn't the mundane, grit of life deserve a place on the podium beside the stunning sunset that we long to capture? What if that image that you see, right here, right now, is the last time you'll have that experience? Would you think differentlly?
Linger a little bit longer in the mundane, and realize that every moment is a divine gift. Before too long, that familiar hand covered in the earth's offerings will hold it's place beside the sunset you have longlingly waited to capture.
There is this vision of perfection that has haunted and taunted me from a very young age.
Growing up in a very large family, we lived a very colorful existence. I craved a sense of order, but it's taken me this long to realize that it wasn't what was around me that affected how I felt about the world, but rather what was going on inside me.
My perceived ideal of perfection overshadowed the fact that I was living the most perfect and orderly life in order to shape the person I am today.
The more I longed to acquire the things I "needed" to make my environment perfect, the more chaos I created within myself.
Nothing ever seemed to satisfy the beast within.
It's funny how hindsight is one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive. At the time of "wanting" to fill a void, there is nothing stopping me.
Sometimes, I don't even know what it is I am looking for, and yet I feel it. A HUNGER that hangs on, refusing to let go until I face it.
And it's through letting go that I finally allow my inner voice to be heard. I am surprised at the things it tells me, sometimes asking it over and over again for reassurance that I've listened correctly.
The voice is quiet, and humble, and although it's appetite is just as voracious, it seems much happier and fuller, feeding my soul the nutrition of acceptance, simplicity, forgiveness, LOVE, and light.
Water is the great connector.
It is one of the greatest gifts and tools we'll ever have in life.
It FEEDS us,
and reminds us WHO WE ARE.
Have you ever really considered that water might be the key to remembering and knowing all that you'll ever need in this magnificent life?
It is the greatest amplifier of our memories. You only have to spend a day by the sea to feel as though you've been transported back in time.
We are blessed to feel it's strength as a wave pulls us under it's grip.
A while back, as I cleared through the hundreds of items in my home that I felt I no longer needed and were holding me back, I would always end up drawn back to the ocean.
The number of times that I just sat and stared, allowing every wave to wash over my consciousness, letting me know that I was not alone, and that I was on the right path.
To be able to clear my mind and above all FORGIVE myself for whatever it was I perceived to be wrong in my life.
With every wave, and breath, came an awareness that there was nothing more right than that exact moment.
We are all cut from the same cloth. Dirty or clean, rich or poor. Hungry, or satisfied. It is the realization of this that gives us strength. Each cloth has it's own union of threads that weave together in the perfect tapestry of who we are, in all our experiences. It is as it should be.
We are here to observe, connect, live, share, and LOVE.
When I listen to the small voice that calls within, the message is always the same. "Play with me, oh please!! Play with me and LOVE me as I am!"
Can you see how perfect it is?
You are THAT flower.
And the hint of smoke that rises above it all.....
There are times that it becomes too difficult to put experience to words.
It is not always easy for us to open up our hearts and share what lies beneath.
We feel, and yet we are afraid to feel.
We've all had that moment, where life taps you on the shoulder, and you feel with absolute clarity, the omnipotent presence that suspends you in time and space, and leaves you breathless.
Why do we fear what can only be described as who and what we truly are?
At what point do we decide that we are good enough to accept the moment that we've been given?
To embrace it, and to honor it is our deepest challenge.
Open your eyes and you will see the beauty that surrounds you. For what seems benign is actually the catalyst that opens us up to the vastness.
And once you see it for what it is, it is easy to retreat and feel a sadness for what seemed to be lost in not knowing.
Yet it is only the BEGINNING.
Drink it up, lap it up, breathe it in my friend!
This is not the moment where the curtain falls, but rather this is the encore of your SOUL, reaching out to what has sustained it all along.
It is the love and nurturing of the Mother that cradles you, supports you, and surrenders in forgiveness so that you can be FREE.
Giving and receiving, the never ending cycle of breathing, loving, and being.
Go and find your quiet place and in that space, you will find your symphony.
There IS existence beyond the dream.
It's true that there is a beginning, and what seems to be an end. It's up to us to find and nurture the magic in between. This is the substance, the filling in our life "sandwich" if you like. It's the sustenance you bite into, and savour it like it was your last bite.
Trust that your outer vision is linked with your inner plan. You are protected, guided, and empowered each and every day.
There is no right or wrong. No perfect "view". Just feeling, remembering, and knowing that every little detail adds up to one BIG magnificent picture.
The indulgence of life is a gift.
Chosen by those brave enough to taste it, never knowing how long the hunger will subside.
Will you remember the smile on their face, or the fact that they made a mess, or didn't quite do things your way? These are fleeting, careless, wonderful, and beautiful moments.
There is beauty in the simplicity of randomness.
Sometimes it's all too easy to overthink things.
To overanalyze, worry, and criticize every step we make.
Every imprint tells a story in it's own right.
There is no need to challenge our journey, but rather to embrace it fully.
The dark and the light, the smooth and the rough, all dance their own dance.
Our job is to sit back and notice the beauty.
Simply put, Just Be Love.
There is no right or wrong way to "grow". We are each imprinted with a special blueprint from WITHIN to express our own uniqueness.
I'm not here to give you a solution. I'm too busy trying to patch up the cracks in my own life. I'm not a guru, nor a Saint. I'm just the messenger, another spoke in the wheel of the divine consciousness that flows all around us. I'm here to help awaken the inspiration of the God that lies within you, and me, while we cruise along our own road.
We have this constant need to nullify, vilify, and justify everything in our reality.
If a shadow appears, we must find a reason to explain why it is there.
Can it not exist in it's own right?
Do we not enjoy the sun more for the fact that it highlights and shapes the darkness?
We feel we must deconstruct, categorize, label, and disown, when in reality we only need to acknowledge it's humble presence.
Accepting our TRUTH is where we all connect at the deepest level. To stand as a single bubble in a tub of soap, or a cresting wave in an expansive ocean, is to stand up in the face of fear. To be fulfilled by the whole, and yet maintain the single "part" is the truth that forms a connection that goes far beyond words.
Things happen for a reason. Every piece of the puzzle fits together to tell a story of where we've been, and where we're going.
With creation, comes destruction.
With life, death becomes inevitable.
With advancement, comes ignorance.
There is a finite balance to everything, and part of that balance is the power of KNOWING.
Fear doesn't FLOW.
When a child creates, they don't limit themselves to one color. In their infinite wisdom, they know something we seem to have lost. They are limitless, and never cast themselves in just ONE act, scene, or play. They already know that we ALL can be many fabulous things at any given time if we choose to be, rough patches and all.
What do you SEE?
Feast your eyes on all that surrounds you. Find what inspires you. Eat, drink, and savor the deliciousness of it all.
The inspiration for this book came through many channels. It started with a series of compelling thoughts that came to me in a form of darkness that I could not face for some time.
To face what you have been unable to see for most of your life, is at times painful, but it brings with it many gifts.
To be able to know that we all possess this innate sense of beauty, power, freedom, and love is liberating.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to channel these thoughts into what I consider to be a beautifully presented representation of the soul food available to all of us.
The images, powered by written sincerity from the heart is a feast to be savored again and again.
To be privileged enough to wake up every day on this magnificent earth is truly grounding, yet heavenly all the same if we choose to view it through gracious eyes.
I would like to acknowledge the incredible beauty of New Zealand (my husband's native land), where I had the privilege of living for the past 3 years and transformed more than I could ever imagine.
I am also forever grateful to my husband James for giving me the space, and support to be able to create and reconnect to my creative self.
This book was created largely through notes tapped out on my iphone while walking in the pristine nature of NZ. The images were selected from over 26,000 that I managed to passionately capture in that time. I call it ...
"Inspiration and LOVE fed from above".
Never underestimate the POWER of human connection. There is only ONE thing that binds us together, and that is the power of LOVE.
Excerpted from Hungry by Stephanie Hamilton. Copyright © 2013 by Stephanie Hamilton. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very simply put, this book tells us to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life. Enjoy the life you were given. Thank God that you are alive and well and enjoy the day, your life and most of all love. Love yourself and others and enjoy the beauty around you. It is easy to see the beauty in the world through the author photographs. I enjoyed the photos and words of wisdom in this book. I would suggest this book for someone that needs a pick me up. When you feel like you don’t know where you are going in life, sometimes you need to be reminded you are already there, so sit back and enjoy the ride. Rating: 4 No Heat Rating, self-help Reviewed By: Rae Courtesy Of My Book Addiction And More
Words do not come to me to express what I felt while reading this book. What I can tell you is that it has touched my heart because of its purity, its essence, its colors, pictures, the way it is written, the way it was conceived as well as its simplicity. Stephanie was able to express the beauty of emotions in all that surrounds us in every simple thing, sometimes unsignificant if we do not pay attention. And foremost, I was deeply moved by the way she exposes her moods and reveals the beauty of her soul, very authentic. This is a very inspiring book, carrying strong messages and a wonderful guide to what Love is and what we are able to see when Love shows up in ourselves. I hope many people can have the chance to have this wonderful book in their hands. This is the best gift you can make to your loved ones.
A fresh and easy read....In a world where we are weighted down daily by a heavy blanket, these musings remind us to walk on the easier side of light and life, and forgive ourselves for our heavy hearts and minds. Even if you consider yourself enlightened, Hungry is the kind of book you'd have your bookshelf and sit and read over and over again and stop to see whatever wonderfulness you have going on around you at any given time. It's for everyone. And lovely photography too!
"Hungry" is a photographic essay highlighting the power of simplicity, awareness, and love. It was inspired by a series of photographs taken over a period of awakening and growth for the author. The majority of this book was "channeled" while walking through the pristine nature of New Zealand, tapped out on an iPhone to inspire, and to be inspired. Stephanie Hamilton is a mother of 3, has lived abroad for much of her adult life as an expat in the Middle East, and New Zealand. Stephanie's life experiences and challenges have been a strong inspiration for creating this book, where she believes that we all can relate and connect to at some level. Nektar is all about expressing and connecting to your pure essence and tapping into your true soul blueprint through the use of the Soulmap. Through the appreciation and love of the "little things", life is beautiful..... Very inspirational....brought tears to my eyes. Just beautiful!