“We realize that we have all had “lives we didn’t order.” At times , we would have willingly traded our lives for what was behind door number three , yet we can honestly say that we’re wiser because of our life experiences. And we a richer- richer in spirit, in wisdom and joy.”

When life is not what you ordered, You can learn to begin again. We have all gone through traumatic experiences. You may be at a point in life where you feel like you have hit rock bottom, and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It could be through the loss of a loved one,a painful or sudden break up, loss of a job, a terminal illness, an accident, natural disaster, loss of property , bankruptcy, depression ,loss of hope and so much more. I recommend this book for you.

I started reading this( This Is Not the Life I Ordered by Deborah Stephens, Jackie Speier, Michealene Risley and Yan Yanehiro) book on Tuesday 10th June 2019 from midnight while I was at work, thanks to my colleague, Beatrice and finished reading it yesterday, 14th June 2019. This book came at a time when I was going through an emotional meltdown coupled with feelings of betrayal,anger and disappointment. I got so much perspective from reading this book and it has left me full of positive energy and now I feel like I am vibrating on a higher frequency.

The book has 217 pages which makes it quite easy to read. It has an eye friendly font ,hard cover with paper like design on top of cover which makes it even more appealing to the eye.

Jackie Spier who is one of the authors of this book was a young Congressional Aide at the age of 28 years when disaster struck. As a young career woman, Jackie s life changed when she ,together with other members of the congress were attacked at an airstrip while waiting to board a plane from Gayana where they had gone to visit the Peoples temple after allegations that people were being held there against their will. They were attacked by armed gun me and it was reported that there was a mass massacre. Her Congressman Ryan died after being sprayed with bullets 45 times. She was shot five times at a point blank range and left to die . She realised that her life was almost over and promised herself that she would never ever take life for granted. She was airlifted to hospital 22 hours later, underwent a couple of surgeries and rebuild her life. She was instrumental in passing of Gun laws in Carlifonia. she is not afraid of anything because she had met death. She has lived to vie for Senator, lives to tell her story and together with her other 3 co authors have made remarkable strides and have shared stories of inspiration of themselves and other women who have gone through tumultuous times. They tell their stories in a powerful way. Real life stories. Stories we can relate to, Stories I never wish to experience.

Together they talk about the loss of spouses, loss of a child to drug abuse, loss of property, dealing with spouses unfaithfulness, loss of employment, lack of a sense of well being to how they rose again and have remarried, found love again, amended relationships, inspired and influenced people positively through their experiences, rose above job ranks and still remain positive and continue to soldier on and thrive. They give us their honest opinions of how they felt and how they made that 180 degree turn to change their life for better. Improving the quality of their life.

From this book I see how women can empower each other and be there for each other so that we can all live a better quality of life. I am in awe of courage and resilience.

This book basically empowers us with 50 ways to keep our heads above the water when life keeps dragging us down.

Below are my favorite quotes from the book.

It’s the friend you call up at four o’clock in the morning that really matters.

Surviving and thriving meant reinventing; building and realizing that success was never final and failure was never fatal. It meant putting our best foot forward( Nike for some, Nine west for others) no matter what, and walking. Walking forward, looking like a pillar of success on the outside while that tiny voice inside reminded us that our teenagers were out of control, our job would end tomorrow, and our spouses, colleagues and bosses had been untruthful, selfish,unfaithful or just plain stupid.

There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them.

Whether one is twenty , forty, sixty; whether one has succeeded,failed or just muddled along;whether yesterday was full of sun or storm,or one of those dull days with no weather at all, life begins again each morning in the heart of a woman.

Although there may be tragedy in your life,there’s always a possibility to triumph. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.

I postpone death by living ,by suffering ,by error,by risking,by loving.

Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch . What make you go beyond the norm.

Through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened,vision cleared,ambition inspired and fight restored.

I’ve learned that no matter what happens,or how bad it seems today, that life does go on and it will be better tomorrow. This I am certain.

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned ,the hard way,that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning,middle and end. Life is about not knowing,having to change,taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next.

If you ask me what i came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live my life out loud.

The truer you are to yourself,the less conflicted you will be in life

Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life

Realise that nothing happens right away. Stay with your dream and live close to your beliefs.

Dreams usually don’t come about in the way that you first visualise them,so don’t expect them to. Be open to new opportunities and ideas. Reality is too complicated,and surprise is half the fun!

Seek cooperators in your dream. Dreams rarely survive their origin without evolution to a broader ownership. Get your ideas out in the universe and see who they inspire

Courage doesn’t always Roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying; I will try again tomorrow

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms or books that are written in a foreign tongue. The point is to love everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually,without noticing it,live your way some distant day into the answers.

Hope does not arise from being told to think positively. Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see in the minds eye a path to a better future. The path acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls and it has no room for delusion. Hope gives us the courage to confront our circumstances and the capacity to surmount them. We are just beginning to appreciate the power of hope and have not defined its limits. I see hope at the very heart of healing.

Remember that people come and go, and of all the people in your life, you are the one who is there to stay. You are the one who can choose to love yourself,choose to respect yourself, and promise with all your heart and soul that you will never leave you.

Greatness is not measured by what a woman accomplishes,but by the opposition she has had to overcome to reach her goals.

Life is what we make it. Always has been and always will be

If you really want something,you can figure out how to make it happen.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness,that frightens us.

I read and walked miles at night along the beach,writing bad verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that person could be me

I urge you all to get a copy of this book and get inspired. There is a tool kit to in the book to help you as you begin to make positive changes in your life.

Happy fathers day to all responsible fathers out there.

Have an inspiring weekend.

Sending love and light.