Living Courageously: A Book Review
Publisher: Healing Heart
No. of Pages: 114
“Despite my family’s spiritual influence, I wasn’t sure of God until I was in my late-twenties. I thought we Indians are so tradition-bound that people worship God because their parents and ancestors did so. It was just a ritual and a chore. Who was ready to face the social wrath? Since I considered myself a bit of a rebel, I did not feel I would ever concede to the social pressures of worshipping God. I did not disregard God, but I wasn’t sure of Him. I was curious about Him, and yet at the same time, I kept Him at bay until I needed Him every once in a while, like when I needed to be saved from scant preparation during exam seasons. After everything got over, I quickly thanked Him and didn’t bother Him much. What if He started making demands on me? Could I handle that?”
Isn’t the above narrative so very similar to what many people feel about God, the Almighty, the spiritual force, whatever name one may give to the Power Above?
The book, Living Courageously written by Lipa Rath is a self help book which has been recommended by a direct disciple of Sri Paramahansa Yoganandaji, the well known yogi and author of the book, Autobiography of a Yogi. So, it becomes an added qualification for the book also giving due credit to the author for making use of her own experiences in life and writing a book that is simple yet uncomplicatingly spiritual, emotional yet practical and logical.
For a person to undergo suffering and yet, emerge non-cynical, forgiving and loving is extremely difficult in today’s world. That the author Lipa Rath was able to do this and more in her own life and also write a book to inspire other people is indeed a lovely initiative.
The background of the author’s life is this-
A corporate person, she has gone through an unhappy marriage, lost custody of her daughter and finally etched back to survival and success in the real sense of the word. Today, she has the custody of her daughter Ria and is helping people connect with themselves.
The book, Living Courageously is about the spirit that can never be conquered. It is written in three parts under the titles, ‘Challenges’, ‘Understanding and Healing’ and ‘Man’s Greatest Gift and His Highest Potential.’
“Friends had warned me I should always be nice with my boss and be in his good books, “because your immediate boss has the key to your promotion, your increments, your references…”It sounded like he had the key to all the happiness in my life!
“I peered into myself. I saw only faults and mistakes. “Not good enough!” came the verdict. I sought the company of people who could correct me. I was drawn to people who only saw my faults…..
…We sought each other out. I was out with a whip and willingly gave it to others to use on me. In their subtle and sometimes in obvious ways, they told me how miserable I was. And the worst is that I accepted it.”
She talks about moving away from being victimised to the role of a reviewer and finally, to that of a ‘detached observer’ who is less prejudiced and more objective in his/her attitude. This helps in overcoming a difficult or painful experience.
“The batterer cannot touch your core, your spirit….After a while you realize that you can’t be wrong for everything. This is just a tactic to break your self-esteem.”
What stand out in this book are the author’s faith, patience and perseverance. Despite facing all odds, she does not let go even when the kaal chakra (wheel of time) knocks her down again and again. For a person less likely to read a non-fiction book on self-development, ‘Living Courageously’ will be a great beginning as the language is simple, no high-funda stuff mentioned that goes over the head and one can identify with the author’s emotions.
The book is all about falling, hurting and then, dusting oneself and standing up once again. I guess, everyone would wish to read this book then.
Lipa Rath is a certified spiritual counselor, an angel therapist and a writer. She has worked extensively in the area of personal growth, health and well-being, issues of self-esteem and spirituality for over ten years. She has shared Eastern spiritual traditions in America and Europe.