I hadn’t realized
The here and now was such
A personal creation.
—Ragini Elizabeth Michaels, “Outer Reflection, Without Apology” from The Jewels of Here and Now
Life consists of joy and pain, searching and finding, healing and growing, energy and rest, learning and teaching. It is an endless spectrum of perspective. Author Ragini Michaels compiled many of her perspectives — assembled as verses or poems — in her new book The Jewels of Here and Now: Awe, Reverence, and Ever Deepening Gratitude. This collection of spiritual inquiry follows The Wildly Quiet Presence of God: Musings of a Modern Marketplace Mystic (2015), the first of her three-part series.
Philosophical Musings on Life, Love & Happiness
The Jewels of Here and Now is a four-part collection of Michaels’ verses that inspire readers to examine their own reflection of this journey called life. Readers can consider it as a companion manual to their expedition, regardless of what phase they’re experiencing or contemplations they’re weighing. Each of the writings are relatable.
Part one, “Whispers of Joy,” describes Michaels’ self-perception of physical beauty — “I wish I believed my beauty could stop the show — / But all I usually see are flaws.” (from “When a Flower’s Beauty”) — and the glorious beauty of the Divine — “We grumble at Transition’s / annoying presence — / Ignoring the / subtle beauty of her handiwork.” (from “We Grumble at Transition’s Annoying Presence”). This section encourages readers to consider positive growth and outlook amidst even the most frustrating of moments.
How do your experiences, emotions or relationships affect your perception? In the verse titled “Elegance” in the second part of the book (with the theme “In Plain Sight”), Michaels writes: “Elegance / Is hard To put into words. / But when it does appear — / Right before your eyes — / You immediately recognize / Its beauty and style. / I have the same experience / When I accidentally bump into the / Presence of what I’m told is the real me.” This second collection of musings encourages readers to focus on the here and now. In “Not Paying Attention,” she reveals a truth she discovered, but one that is applicable to everyone: “Being unwilling to take the next obvious step / On my journey / Just slows down my arrival / At the destination.”
In the third section, “Glimpses of Grandeur,” Michaels looks at the harmonious structure of nature and how her interactions and observations have helped her self-awareness develop. An excerpt from “Ever Contemplated The Notion?” is one many people should consider for their own context: “Ever contemplated the notion / That flowers & leaves / Are already perfectly formed / Before / They / Unfurl? / I have to trust / This is true / For any unfolding — / Including mine.”
The book concludes with “The Gifts of Letting Go,” a section that seems to reflect where Michaels is today with her journey and the lessons she’s learned along the way. In “The Gifts of Letting Go” Michaels pens, “With the past and future / No longer / My captors, / I am free to simply / Rest, relax, reflect and respond.”
Michaels first collection of ponderings, The Wildly Quiet Presence of God, was inspired by the years Michaels spent gathering personal thoughts and writings for a calendar for her friends and students. Michaels’ has many unpublished verses she will release in a third book of the series that reveals her inner ideas and emotions and she rides the ups and downs life brings to us all.
In The Wildly Quiet Presence of God, Michaels the “mystic” presents herself with utmost sincerity throughout the 40 philosophical reflections. “It’s too bad / Getting centered / And feeling balanced / Can’t last forever. / Seems all that / Wobbling is necessary / To keep us steady.” (from “It’s Too Bad”) It, too, is sectioned into four parts, each with a theme of verses. Both collections are highly personal and an intimate guidance that readers will appreciate and (hopefully) feel inspiration from.
About the Author
Ragini Michaels is a writer, educator and spiritual inquirer with explorations into human thought and behavior. She is an advocate for wellbeing and happiness, leading to the founding of Facticity Trainings® Inc. Michaels is well known for her contributions to Paradox Management, a trainer of Neuro-Linguistic programming, and has traveled around the world teaching psychology of the mystics.
Reading Michaels’ words will inspire you to continuously listen for that inner drive, the unseen force that influences your direction in life.
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