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Contents copyright 2022 by Valerie Harms

Remembering Anais Nin decades later

The program went well -- about 100 people in a lovely venue. They showed slides of Nin with her voiceover. I managed to speak without looking at my notes very often, which I'm proud of. It was very worth while, provoked many thoughts.
Steven, the organizer, called out Moira Collins extensively for her longterm sustaining of www.anaisnin.com, the best website on Nin. It's amazing that we would gather after all this time to pay tribute.  Read More 
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Anais Nin event

Saturday March 28th in W. Hollywood I'll be on a panel about how Anais Nin influenced my life. Joining me will be Sas Colby, artist, Tristine Rainer who taught with Anais, and Barbara Kraft who wrote about Anais' last year, also Henry Miller. It will be a grand reunion. Check out Steven Reigns on Facebook.
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Book recommendations for Feb.

Recommendations for this month:
Alain de Botton Novel: On Love -- gripping drama from a man's point of view.
E.O. Wilson's The Meaning of Human Existence, esp. the last chapter
Meg Wollitzer's The Interestings -- so well written -- about 6 friends who meet as teens and how they grow up and interact
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Symbols of Rebirth excerpted from my book Your Soul at a Crossroads

Symbols of Renewal and Rebirth excerpted from my book Your Soul at a Crossroads
may your life be filled with renewals in 2015...

Here is a personal glossary of universal symbols that appear in dreams or stories about change and renewal. They will naturally appear in your soul work at the right time for you.

Vessel—The vessel is the womb. The female body is such a container.

Vulva—The vulva, yoni, or vagina is the place of putting in the semen, which jumpstarts procreation and birth. Through it passes all human birth.

Fire—Used to create vessels and tools, to fry/broil/roast food, it is thus an agent of transformation. Emotions and conflicts, religious and sensual desire, heat our temperature; containing them allows inner fires to work their changes.

Water—Our bodies are mostly composed of water; water covers most of the planet’s surface. The water cycle moves between the heavens and earth. Water is considered the mother/creator of all life. Because it dissolves most things, it’s been a primary image for the swallowing of our egos. The ever-changing waters of the soul’s journey sustain and refresh.

Egg—The incubator and newly born, the container of life.

Seed—In the cycle of life or inner transformation, life begins in the spring with the seed.; the seed puts forth tender shoots (while many die or get trampled on); with luck the seed blooms; it then must wither and die and endure the cold dark winter in order to be regenerated. Inner growth follows the same cycle: first we are lit up by the seed of inspiration; then we struggle to make a project a reality; we all like success or the blossoming stage, but equally important is the passing away of the bloom and facing the empty unknowingness before the new seed can be born.  Read More 
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The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates

I just learned how to download an audiobook on my iPod from the Library. It is free. Will save me lots of $. I listen to books a lot because they get me through my workouts. The Accursed is an amazing book. It's the first book by JCO that I've taken on and it's stellar in terms of writing and structure. It's got macabre elements for sure but also a lot of figures like Woodrow Wilson, Upton Sinclair, Jack London. The real pestilence is racism.  Read More 
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Holiday special offer

For the month of December I have a special offer on Your Soul at a Crossroads:
Holiday sale: buy one, get second for free. Good til Dec. 31st.
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3 highly recommended books

I can't resist hopping in to highly recommend 3 books:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr -- totally gripping literary novel.
The Carry Home by Gary Ferguson -- his moving account of carrying his wife's ashes to 5 beloved wild places.
We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, who won PEN Fiction Award  Read More 
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Book suggestions for November

Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie. He combines jokes, myth, poetry, Indian customs, music into this novel inspired by bluesman Robert Johnson.
Demigods on Speedway by my daughter, Aurelie Sheehan, out this month.
Rob Lowe's Love Life. He is a dynamic story teller, compassionate, and devoted family man.
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Ways I can avoid overeating in a restaurant

-- order from the appetizer menu or a salad
-- pay no attention to price
-- take 1/2 home of big order
-- eat with an elderly person and see how little they eat
-- chew bite 30 times
-- talk to each person
-- share orders or desserts
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My favorite soul book authors

While my lifetime mentors have been Ira Progoff and Carl Jung, other authors have stirred my soul. These include: Marie Louise von Franz, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Anais Nin, Robert Bly, David Whyte, James Hillman and more. I highly recommend any of their books.
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