Soul Voice: What I Know about Nothing is a provocative, true-life, spiritual adventure. It braves the world of nothing—the invisible world of ideas, dreams, creativity, imagination, spirituality, and feelings. Soul Voice is both humorous and serious, catalyzing you to laugh and cry as you realize your own radiance and experience the voice of your soul. Discover how fulfilling it is to live your eternally happy life when you listen to your soul voice.
Do you believe that life is hard and that there is nothing you can do about it?
Shed outdated ideas that have trapped you in an almost-happy life.
Transformation is easy with thoughtful moments and activities designed to be the cornerstones of a regular spiritual practice that insures your success.
Thirty-two pearls of wisdom show you how to have fun with your soul voice while you dive deep and surface into your birthright, a life of everlasting love, peace, and joy.
Happiness is in your hands. Get ready to flow with your soul voice.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)|
Read an Excerpt
What I Know About Nothing
By Linda Taft Walburn
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Linda Taft Walburn
All rights reserved.
Ready, Set, Flow!
Where Does a River Start?
To start, initiate, or commence on a path, a road, or a trail for a voyage, a journey, or a passage, you must begin somewhere. There is always a first step. The question that keeps you from beginning is always, what is that step? A physical journey, hiking a long trail, for instance, requires preparation. You would want to make sure you had at least enough supplies for basic survival. It would be helpful to know the distance from one water hole to the next. Learning how to make a fire, fending off large animals, and repairing your tent might be a smart first step. Although you could, and many do, more likely you would not tackle an arduous physical journey just by putting your bare foot on a path and going for it.
Where does a river start? It starts where rain collects and runs downhill from there. A journey of self is similar. You are like a river, as in having collected your rain—your life force; let's hope not the going downhill part. You began collecting your life force in childhood. Childhood was where you first learned what was possible. If you were as smart as I think you were, you also learned there were consequences when you tested those theories. Don't worry, I am not going to ask you to rehash your entire childhood or subject you to mine. Childhood is simply where your river began. It is also where you prepared for the direction in which your river—your life—would flow.
One of the first places children begin to gather their rain is on a playground. I still get chills and sometime nightmares just thinking about the many summer days I spent at the playground. The playground down the street at the neighborhood school was frightening and at the same time exhilarating. I was somewhat of a daredevil and loved to climb high on the jungle gym. I'd shout at my more timid friends who would cower at the mere sight of a tall slide, "Look at me!" We were a motley bunch of boys and girls who also loved to play tag and kick the can in the street. Some of us threw rocks at the others. One of the kids teased me relentlessly. At that time, the early 1950s, no one knew, or at least didn't talk about, bullies and psychological personality types. In hindsight, I can see I learned how to manage a wide variety of personalities on that playground. I gathered a lot of rain there.
Not only did I learn about personalities, but I also learned about gravity, a fact of life on planet earth over which I had no control. When I jumped off the swing at its highest point ... well, I was lucky not to have broken any bones. The playground taught me that fun was mixed with fear, and it was often hard to tell the difference. Having friends to play with was fun. Having friends who threw rocks at you was not. I'm sure my friends would have tagged my personality type as the sensitive one who tries hard not to cry. Do you hear something? Is that my soul voice singing, "Cry Me a River"? Or was that you? Very funny. Frankly, as my river began to gather its rain, mud, and tears, I felt like I had a leaky bucket. I felt vulnerable, alone, and helpless. I could have used some help.
Help did eventually come. My bucket had one less leak. It came by way of my family's religion, Catholicism. A catechism (religious education) teacher introduced me to the idea of a guardian angel. A guardian angel would protect me, look out for me, and give me support. The teacher showed me a holy card with a picture of a guardian angel on it. How did Catholicism teach children about the big nothing? With flash cards. It was a brilliant idea.
"Do I have a guardian angel?" I asked.
My teacher smiled a smile that became emblazoned on my memory. She kindly and firmly asserted, "Yes, you do."
Wow, my very own beautiful, winged woman as a protector and champion, I thought. I was ready for her. I needed her. I accepted her. When I knew I had my special, darling guardian angel with sparkling wings, wearing a dress more stunning than anything I'd ever seen and a halo, no less, to watch over me, I felt freedom to be more daring. I was definitely smitten. I breathed a little easier. My river flowed a little faster. I felt I was in safe hands.
As you might expect, my river meandered until it hit a boulder. I diverged one way around the big rock, and Catholicism tumbled the other way. My interest in the unseen world, the world of spirit and spirituality, went with me. As a child, I was able to put a dress, wings, and a halo on a female image and imagine she was helping me.
As a young adult, my Alice-who-cried-buckets-of-tears personality lost a bit of her wide-eyed innocence. Along with Santa and the Tooth Fairy, the idea of angels became another childhood casualty. However, my mother and paternal aunt loved angels, even into adulthood. After my aunt retired, she developed an extensive business making craft-style angels. She sold them at craft fairs to people who believed in the power of angels. My mother loved angels too and joined my aunt in the craft business. They were known as the angel ladies.
But for me, the idea of angels as guardians was no longer a comfort or a Source of awe. I shed a tear or two when I had to let go of my dear guardian angel. Her face still smiling and her halo, although a bit damp, remained radiant as she flowed one way around another a boulder and I flowed the other way.
My way flowed pretty quickly after that. Interest in the unseen world of spirit flowed with me. I had decided the idea of angels was just one story people used to explain what they felt but could not see. The scenery through which my river flowed was more like a movie than it was my actual life. I encountered strange ideas. Some people believe in the idea of soul groups. It is the idea that many people decide to incarnate (come to life) at the same time because they have a strong soul bond. When incarnated, some may recognize another as part of their soul group and some do not. What I gleaned from this idea was that it was too complicated for me.
Other ideas were more familiar. I felt praying to deceased ancestors for help and guidance in the here and now was plausible. Relying on the communications between the human world and plant world for your sustenance seemed less plausible but at least possible. I did not believe in the idea of fairies, but I did consider the idea that trees and plants have a way to communicate with humans if we take the time to quiet our minds enough to hear or sense them. I could understand that. My Catholic family believed in saints, very holy people who have passed on to the big nothing but can still help you with physical world difficulties if you pray long and hard enough. To this day I remain fascinated by the vast number of ways people's minds shape the big nothing.
A Thinking Moment: Where did your river begin? From your childhood experiences, what have you learned that you have taken with you around your boulders?
Is there help for those of you who have no idea what has been flowing in your river? Yes. Look down at your navel, and be reminded that you are connected to something that is greater than you and has wisdom that is just right for you. Help is present in the form of your soul voice.
Is the idea of a soul voice simply a guardian angel all grown up? Perhaps. However, it is the idea that has washed downstream with me from my river's source in childhood. Like gold, the idea of soul voice has sifted through the mud and tears and has become precious and valuable to me.
Soul voice is at its best when you are flowing with the joie de vivre of childhood. Soul voice is the clearest when your natural tendency is to allow the freely flowing energy of the big nothing to express through you. Often childhood whips the creative juices out of you. Parents almost always mean well, but they often stop children from their free-form play because they make a mess or are too noisy. Allowing children to daydream all day does not exactly get the parental stamp of approval in the United States, circa 2012.
It is true that children's soul voices are always part of them, but they can get buried. When it comes time to throw these children to the wolves, so to speak, when they must fend for themselves, the real world of mostly bad news wears down their natural joy. If children are not left alone long enough to wander in the world of nothing, they will not experience creative flow and will not recognize their soul voice's unique qualities. The perfect world according to me would be to give children plenty of opportunity to wonder and sit quietly. It encourages them to communicate naturally with their soul voices. Children who live according to soul voice become adults who live in harmony with themselves, with others, and with the natural world that sustains all of us. All means all.
Another Thinking Moment: What kind of child were you? Did you have any time to think or daydream?
Has your spunky child become a stuffy ol' adult? How did that playful child become jammed into a corner and abandoned like old shoes? It is not too late to rekindle or discover the joys of discarding your must-do list and allowing your imagination and body to move with the energies of creation. Yes, as an adult, you can find your soul voice. Yes, you can retrain yourself to flow with creativity and joy. After all, you have created your life from your childhood to whatever "hood" you are in now. Your life is in your hands.
I do not make light of your serious life. Your life isn't about crayons and dabs of paint any longer. You have a job and loved ones; you have responsibilities. Indeed, you have learned a thing or two about the great creative universe of all without having had one thought about soul voice. Being thrown into the deep end of the pool is one way to learn how to swim. It could be so much more joyful if you had some water wings to help you float down your river in the direction that is perfectly suited to you without having to feel like you are constantly on the brink of drowning.
Allow me to draw a new picture for you of your soul voice wearing water wings wearing her pearls of wisdom that hang down to her knees. She comfortably holds a paddle in one hand and a pack of bubblegum in the other. You are ready to naturally flow downstream. Once she pops that bubblegum into her mouth, you are set and can let one hand dangle in the summer-warmed water because your soul voice is doing the heavy paddling. You can go easily and lazily drift downstream on your way to your best-self—your highest potential.
Pearl of Wisdom: Flow Like a Child
Below are a few activities that are intended to coax you into being a carefree kid again, at least for a few moments.
Make a paper plate into a mask, bunny ears, or a huge nose. Color it as you see fit.
Look at yourself in the mirror, make funny faces, and laugh.
Smear your face with molasses or peanut butter. Cover your face with Cheerios or popcorn. Do it quickly and take a picture of yourself before the cheerios and popcorn slide off. Have that picture handy as a reminder of how silly you can be.
Walk around a playground and feel the energy there. Be careful not to look like you are casing the grounds, please.
Be really brave and put on some music and dance wildly.
Children are connected to their soul voices, and unless they are thwarted, they can learn from the unseen world—the place where soul voices thrive. They learn what river to follow and what to take with them around their inevitable boulders. In so doing, they reach their full potential. The same can be said for adults. The difference is that often you have become frustrated with the boulders in your rivers. You haven't known which way to go or what to take with you. With guidance from your soul voice, you will go in your right direction around the boulders of your life, and you will only need a paddle, water wings, your pearls of wisdom necklace, and some bubblegum.
Soul voice: Knock, knock.
Me: Who's there?
Soul voice: You.
Me: You who?
Soul voice: You.
Soul voice: Yes, you.
You are always there with you-know-who. May everlasting love, peace, and joy be with you in all ways.
What Would You Have Me Do?
On the path of best self, one of the pearls of wisdom I have discovered while for aging in the big nothing is to know yourself. A computer sitting on a desktop is a pile of plastic, wires, and soldered bits of this and that. When you plug it in, it has potential. When you know how to use the pile of plastic, wires, and soldered bits, potential has become something that is at least useful and at best, valuable. Please know that I do not ascribe to the opinion some have that humans are machines, just like computers.
I live in a family of computer geeks; therefore, I have become geekified by association. I now love my electronic machines because my code-writing ninja son (his words, not mine) and my laying-on-of-hands husband, who can fix inanimate objects, taught me. The computer is, however, a fairly apt analogy for making a case for why you would want to know yourself. Knowing yourself inside and out is the plugin to the great all, the source of energy where you will find your everlasting peace and eternal happiness. No, not the everlasting peace and eternal happiness you find once you have entered the pearly gates. I mean here on earth, with feet of clay and a dusty heart.
Happiness is a loaded word. Defining happiness is like finding the biggest pearl in a ton of oysters. It is not impossible, but it is a chore. Poets try to make that chore easier by distilling the idea of happiness into a few words, but even then they don't always capture the fullness of happiness. Writers use so many words to describe happiness that if you strung them together, they'd create at least a three-strand necklace that would even weigh down the neck of the world. I promise to use fewer words than that.
What I mean by happiness is peace—peace of mind and heart. It is like a sigh of relief, a breath of fresh air. It is an attitude that allows you to peacefully reside with the cacophony of life circumstances, from the finest to the most dastardly. Happiness is not about wearing a party hat and dancing in the streets all the time. Happiness is calmly moving with life always and in every way. If that seems as unlikely as finding one pearl in a ton of oysters, look down. Look at your navel, and be reminded of your soul voice. Clasp hands with your soul voice, in your mind's eye, of course. Your soul voice knows when it is appropriate to dance with you all night and when it is time to sit with you when you are in need of a good cry. Your soul voice is your teacher of happiness.
My first knock on the door of self came during my early years when I was neck-deep in Roman Catholic dogma. From first through seventh grades (except for the two years I went to Catholic school), every Saturday morning was dedicated to catechism (religious education) and not cartoons. When my sister and I were seven (sister) and eight (me), we managed to get ourselves out of bed, dressed, and to our classrooms by 9:00 a.m. We hiked the almost two miles without parental supervision. I don't remember being taught how to get there, but I'm sure our parents did. In the winter, we traveled by bus—two buses, actually. Often we chose to walk home and use our bus money to buy candy at a small store, unless it was Lent, and then we would buy cough drops. Since we would always give up candy for Lent, we decided cough drops didn't count. Church and church school were definitely important in our family. I pleasantly digress.
On one of those sleep-deprived Saturday mornings, when I was probably all of eleven, the cute priest as much as shook my shoulder when he said, "To know God is to know yourself." Gong! It took me a while to digest what he was saying. Usually catechism was all about knowing God, not knowing me. Did the priest mean that if I knew myself, I would know God? Not that I was especially looking for God at the time. I already knew God was on a chair in a cloud in heaven. But still, I was intrigued that God and I were in the same sentence.
The priest was vague on the idea that knowing myself would lead to knowing God, but at least I was left with a vague understanding that led me to quiz the priest further. "If I could know me and that leads me to knowing God, am I God? Is God me?"
"Oh no," said the priest. "You are not God."
It was all so confusing. Knowing self meant I would know God, knowing God meant I would know self, and knowing self meant I would know God? Regard less of the incongruities in my religious education about self and God, at the wise age of eleven, a thunderous gong had rung. To know self was in some way an important part of my best-self journey.
A Thinking Moment: Who are you? How do you know it? What do you question? Do you need answers?
I grew, and God grew with me for a while. Then he moved out. I just couldn't make sense of God anymore, and that left me at the Grand Central Station of all who quest—that indeterminate state of limbo, betwixt and between, as my mother used to say. I waited a long time because I did not know which train was my train. One train of thought was the idea that God was impossible to know and therefore I wouldn't know myself through God. The other train of thought, the one that drove me crazy, was, if not God, then what? Because I didn't have a ticket for either train, I coasted and did not go in search of anything. I paused.
Excerpted from Soul Voice by Linda Taft Walburn. Copyright © 2013 by Linda Taft Walburn. 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.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Ready, Set, Flow!.................... 1
Chapter 2 What Would You Have Me Do?.................... 9
Chapter 3 Did You Call Me Crazy?.................... 18
Chapter 4 Doomsday Movie or GodGod.................... 23
Chapter 5 Wobbly Legs.................... 28
Chapter 6 The Art of Slogging.................... 35
Chapter 7 Are You a Lemming or a President?.................... 42
Chapter 8 You Are Not a Funnel.................... 51
Chapter 9 Shrink to Fit.................... 62
Chapter 10 Running with the Wolves.................... 68
Chapter 11 Hey, Stupid, Listen Up.................... 78
Chapter 12 Merry-Go-Round.................... 87
Chapter 13 I Can't Draw.................... 95
Chapter 14 Elephants and Balloons.................... 104
Chapter 15 Clogged Drain.................... 113
Chapter 16 When Your Tank Is Low, Appreciate.................... 122
Chapter 17 Lords of Darkness.................... 129
Chapter 18 Comic Relief and Other Serious Stuff.................... 137
Chapter 19 Blessed Be.................... 151
Chapter 20 Lions and Tigers, Oh My!.................... 159
Chapter 21 Are You Keeping the Stream Clean?.................... 168
Chapter 22 In Case You Do Want to Save the Planet.................... 176
Chapter 23 There's No Time Like Now.................... 185
Chapter 24 Worn Habits.................... 195
Chapter 25 Poor Baby.................... 203
Chapter 26 Sparkle On.................... 212
Chapter 27 Once upon a Time.................... 217
Chapter 28 Wipe the Slate Clean.................... 224
Chapter 29 E for Effort.................... 233
Chapter 30 Gee yoU aRe yoU.................... 241
Chapter 31 Threading the Needle.................... 249
Chapter 32 Boldly Go.................... 257