The Ivory Tower – Are These My Akashic Records?

Ivory towerFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe term ivory tower originates in the Biblical Song of Solomon (7:4)[1] and was later used as an epithet for Mary. From the 19th century, it has been used to designate an environment of intellectual pursuit disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. In American English usage it is also used as shorthand for academia or the university.This is another one of my crazy stories…Over the past decade of my life I have uttered the following phrase a million times, “You just can’t make this shi** up”! Once again today I find myself completely blown away at the way my human experience continues to show me in a BIG way that we are much much more than what is obvious to our worldly eyes. This is another one of my stories, a story of how one movement (yes) has led to the next moment and on to the next possible movement (yes). If you have listened to me speak or if I have had the pleasure of working with you, you know that I am a HUGE proponent of saying YES to our internal guidance system, even when it feels scary, uncertain, impossible or extremely uncomfortable. What I love love love about “Yesses” is that one yes leads to many outcomes; it is never a linear event.Several months ago I said yes to a volunteer position. In fact I had a strange knowing that this position was going to be offered to me and that I should say yes. This was a stretch for me because I thought that I had given up on volunteering for these kinds of positions long ago. But here I was being asked by my universal guidance system to say yes, so I did. In November of last year a string of events (a string of yeses) transpired that had me thinking OH this is why I said yes to that volunteer position. I was more than satisfied with that outcome; I was thrilled to say the very least. But what happened a few weeks ago has me understanding that nothing is linear, nothing is about 1 event, 1 outcome or 1 yes, it is always an unfolding of our life progress. I know, I know I haven’t given you much yet; you want some meat to chew on unless you are vegetarian or vegan and you want a celery stalk to chew on. I’m tolerant and flexible, I can accommodate both.


Here we go… so I’m doing what I am supposed to do at my monthly volunteer assignment. I am there to support someone who is leading a group and promoting their individual practice. I set up, break down, greet and become invisible for an hour and a half. The fun part is that I get to listen to the group leader and mildly participate in any activities, like guided meditations and so on. But, I do so with one eye open, because my “job” is the safety and comfort of the room, I am there to support not participate. In this particular circle, the participants were led to do three different closed eye meditations (journeys). Again I mildly participated in the first two, but somehow the last one got me, I was gone from that space and on to a spiritual vision.I have to interject here that this is unusual for me, I do not get (or think I get) spiritual visions. My guidance system works differently and it usually happens with a Knowing, not a full on VISION. The other part to this is that the VISION I had does not go along with how I participate in this illusion. I am going to mention the akashic records, and I want you to know that this is not a place or a topic I feel even remotely comfortable discussing but it is a part of the VISION I had so I will be referencing them.THE VISION:(we are instructed by the group leader to go to our akashic records to access information that we may need in this moment) Instantly, I see a massive, brilliant white, marble building in the sky, kind of sitting or surrounded in clouds. There is a steep and wide staircase, as wide as the building leading up to golden doors that seem to go on forever reaching up into the sky. The doors open as my presence approaches, (I seem to be flying, floating or gliding as if on a magic carpet). I check in with a Being, I state my name “Virginia _____, to see my records please”. She/It nods and says to a guide who I perceive but do not see, “take her to room 333-10490249″. (she actually says the word “dash” 333 dash 1049… , don’t ask me why I remember the number, I just don’t know why, but I do!) I am instantly in a space or a white room, at first I do not see anything but white. I say “I would like to know what I have forgotten”. I then see walls of books as high as the sky, vast beyond belief. A booming voice strongly states “HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WHO YOU ARE? You helped tear down this IVORY TOWER”, then all of the books and shelves within that space started to tumble down on top of me leaving a gaping hole where there was nothing or maybe an opening to infinity and beyond. I am startled and in shock by the voice and what was happening in the space. (then I hear the group leader, call us back).I open my eyes and realize I that my consciousness had completely left that space during the meditation, I was shaking, my heart was racing. What had I just seen? What in the world had just happened? The leader asked the group if anyone had seen anything. I tried to relay what had just transpired but I did not have words for the experience quite yet.What does it all mean? For each of you reading this you might have an interpretation of my vision, in fact I was really, really tempted to reach out to a physic medium friend of mine for her interpretation. But I stopped myself. The lessons that I have learned thus far in my journey have been instructing me to always look within for the answers and then reach out to others for support or confirmation. So I have been sitting with this vision for a few weeks.


My interpretation:Everyone is special, therefore no one is special. -Eric PearlThe Ivory Tower represents to me the human tendency to want to prove, show or be better than, more educated than, more experienced than and/or more enlightened than. On the other side of the spectrum is to experience unworthiness because of these unfounded comparisons. We see this in the secular world and unfortunately this tendency permeates the spiritual world, or the so called AWAKENED world. But my Knowing tells me that this is all an ILLUSION. There is no-thing that can amplify or diminish my connection and perfection. I AM one with my creator even if I have never picked up a book, attended a seminar/training, obtained a degree or spent 30 years acquiring experience in the art of healing. The one and only thing that separates any of us from our SUPER NATURAL power is the illusion of separation. All that we have to do is remember who we truly are. We are the essence of pure love. Nothing more nothing less! Within that essence is the power to BE whole.So I stand here today and ask you, is there anything in the records of your souls journey that can help you KNOW that you are ONE with your creator? Is there any past pain or suffering that will lead you to your KNOWING that you are and have always been PERFECT and that the illusion of this world with all of it’s wounds would only have you forget this? Tear down the walls of illusion, “The Ivory Tower” and step into the vast space of expansion where you do not need to figure out or fix anything. You just simply need to remember.It’s time to WAKE UP now.

Some of the Best Cooking Books That Need to Be in Your Kitchen

Having just graduated from university, cooking books have a firm place on my kitchen shelf. From disastrous attempts at making barely edible dishes, my time as a student has exposed me to many cooking books. Here are the top ten of the best cooking books that are invaluable to any wannabe Masterchefs out there.

Ready… Steady… Cook!

10. Delia’s Complete Cookery Course by Delia Smith

This mammoth cookery book whips in at number 10. Delia Smith is very much the David Beckham of the cooking world – an institution. Her Complete Cookery Course does exactly what it says on the tin. It provides wannabe chefs with a full, comprehensive guide to creating the best dishes. With fundamental must know recipes like apple pie and yorkshire puddings, Delia shows she is one of the masters. With mouth-watering pictures acting as a rough guide this book is a god send for beginner chefs. No doubt a staple on your mother’s shelf, this book is perfect as a starting point in the basics of pastry making, cake baking and roast making. A genuine triumph in the cookery book world.

9. The New Curry Bible by Pat Chapman

Chapman’s bible does not follow the conventional rules of cookery books, but is a diamond in the rough for curry fanatics out there and the reason it has made this best cooking books list. The New Curry Bible does not simply show you the recipes but teaches you the history of curry making. It is not a book to be bought for people who want a quick fix curry. If you are one of those people I suggest you save yourself time and money and just buy a ready meal. However, if you are interested in the exquisite nature of curries, then this book teaches you all you need to know. Like any specialist cook book, it is a little disheartening at first to encounter all of the strange herbs and spices that you know you don’t own, but the rewards from having knowledge of these is irreplaceable. Although it may take you a while to get to grips with the fine art of balancing the spices, you will most certainly become famous amongst friends and family for the talent you will take from this beautiful book.

8. Rick Stein’s Taste of the Sea: 150 Fabulous Recipes for Every Occasion

As a massive lover of seafood, this book has literally been my magna carta. Rick Stein takes you on a journey around the coast and teaches you to really appreciate fish in all its scaly glory. From skinning methods to filleting, this book teaches you how to prepare and cook fish to perfection. Stein writes in a clear and simple fashion and it is impossible to resist his infectious passion. With a variety of dishes that cater for absolutely every occasion, this book is a must have for beginners and experienced fish mongers alike. The instructions are not condescending or set in stone, and leave freedom for experimentation. A truly great book by a truly great chef and teacher.

7. Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong

Following the theme of specialist cooking books, Simple Chinese Cooking is an absolute must have for anyone wanting to start a love affair with chinese cooking. Filled with beautiful photography, this book coaches you through each dish with clear and crisp step-by-step instructions. Usually when faced with a specific cook book, there seems a never-ending list of ingredients that appear to exist in outer space, but this book has essentials that can be bought and found easily in local grocery stores. Not only is this book a great guide, but it is also incredibly exciting as each week you can watch yourself develop and gain confidence with once seemingly difficult dishes. From steamed cod to sweet and sour pork, Kwong’s recipes will have you burning all your chinese takeaway menus from the get go.

6. Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

There can be no such thing as a best cooking books list without Mr Oliver, of course. One of the things I love most about almost all of Jamie Oliver’s cook books are their beautiful and impeccable presentation. They are not endless pages of lines and lines of writing but are instead filled with bright, colourful and delectable pictures, as well as no- nonsense recipes. In his 30 Minute Meals Jaime shows you that once and for all cooking does not have to be a stressful and laborious affair. Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals is amazing for working people for whom time is money, and of course students who wish to spend minimum amount of time cooking and maximum amount of time… studying. Not only is it wonderfully organised with a designated section for starters, mains and desserts, but there are numerous vegetarian recipes scattered inside, making this book literally for every type of chef.

5. The Best Recipes in the World by Mark Bittman

After his debut cook book How to Cook Everything became an international sensation, Bittman is back to teach you it is easier than you thought to cook recipes from all around the world. With no unnecessary embellishments Bittman gently leads you on a culinary round the world trip that will leave your taste buds in a state of euphoria. The best aspect of Mark Bittman’s The Best Recipes In The World whilst you may never get round to cooking everything inside, the dishes you do make will leave you feeling inspired to take dishes you already cook and turn them on their head. Although it can be overwhelming to face so many recipes in one book, I urge you to add this to your collection. It is timeless and will only help to increase your knowledge of food.

4. Gordon Ramsay’s Secrets by Gordon Ramsay

In this incredible and not too badly priced book, Gordon Ramsay lets you in on a few secrets that have made him the world-renowned chef that we have all come to love. With a huge collection of recipes from poultry to fish and desserts to soups, this cookbook lets you in on inside info that will have friends and family thinking you are a bona-fide kitchen guru. The recipes are simple and effective and Ramsay has even added flourishes of his own, such as useful tips on presenting dishes. If you really have a passion for cooking or would love to learn more, this is the book that teaches you not just to cook but how to become a chef. These tips help to make cooking a truly enjoyable experience and will boost your confidence to be adventurous not only in cooking but also in eating as well.

3. The Complete Book of Sushi by Hideo Dekura

As a self-confessed sushi addict this book is incredible – the pages are almost edible. It combines the modern with the traditional and allows you to get to grips with this difficult Japanese style of cooking. Although not to everyone’s taste, this book teaches you the secrets behind making that difficult sticky rice and how to present your sushi in wonderful ways. The most interesting thing about Dekura’s book is they way it advances from simple to expert. This allows you to move gradually at your own pace and also sets little targets within the book. Whilst there are other books on the market such as Yo Sushi’s, it is Dekura’s book that really stands out of the crowd. With gorgeous photography it inspires with a mere flick of the page, and unlike its contemporaries has clear and simple instructions. A must have for any sushi fan and it also makes a great present.

2. Wahaca – Mexican Food At Home by Thomasina Miers

This book comes in at number two of this best cooking books top ten and is a must have for any frequent Wahaca customer. It was only recently published and plunges you straight into the vibrant and tasty world of Mexican street food. One thing that did surprise me was the breakfast section, and I have to admit I have been thoroughly converted to a mexican way of eating in the morning. Full of beautiful pictures and written in an accessible and friendly way, this book does exactly what the title states and brings Mexican food straight into your kitchen. Miers has clearly done the research required for such an exquisite book, and the information about mexican chillies is invaluable. An excellent book for cooking meals for friends and a great equivalent to BBQ parties.

1.Jaime does… by Jaime Oliver

In at number one is Jaime does. In this book Jaime travels through foodie hotspots such as Spain, France and Morocco in order to find innovative recipes. The book is beautifully presented (like all of Jaime’s books) and has wonderful pictures of his travels alongside the amazing pictures of his food. Each country has an introductory paragraph that explains the culture and food he came into contact with, and then in very simple language and an ever friendly tone, Jaime guides you through a range of dishes. From light bites such as patatas bravas to the more complex dishes like the steak tartare, Jaime’s tone never condescends you as the amateur chef. This book not only provides great enjoyment as a teaching tool but is also nice to flip through every now and again to behold the location shots of his food journey. Overall a very deserving winner of this Best Cooking Books list. Absolutely delicious!

This is by no means the only ten cook books I think you should own. There are many other brilliant cookbooks out there for beginners such as The Student Cookbook by Sophie Grigson. This is superb for amateur chefs who simply do not have the time to cook elaborate meals every day and are after recipes for both real cooking and convenience cooking. Then for more adventurous chefs who are willing to getinventive and scientific in the kitchen, there is Heston Bluementhal’s brilliant book The Fat Duck Cookbook, which combines vivid illustrations and wacky recipes for a truly great cooking experience. Overall, the ten books that compose this best cooking books list all offer friendly, easy to follow guidance which enables you to not only enjoy them as books, but also enjoy them as learning tools that will one day make you the king of the kitchen.

Bon appetit ladies and gents.

Promoting Your “Amazon Published” Book or eBook Online

You’ve just gone through the work and the excitement of completing your first book or e-book and you are ready to showcase it to the world. Now, you have to get the word out and try to get some buyers for it. This by the way, is just as strenuous if not even more so than writing the book in the first place. You will realize soon enough that you have to dig deep within yourself to market what you have created to others to make the sales. One author I know when once asked how his books managed to sell so well said. “It’s easy. Write it, put it in a place where people can buy it, and then promote the heck out of it for about 3 years.”

In this article I don’t plan to discuss the myriad of things you can do outside of the Internet to promote your creation such as book signings, getting a table at trade fairs to showcase your book and give away autographed copies, trying to get retailers to sell it (if you’ve created a bound version of it), etc. The tips provided below are written to help you get maximum publicity for your book or e-book online.

Let’s start with building your online selling strategy. Where will you put your book to sell it?

The most popular choice on the Internet is Amazon. This is a very good first step for many books, particularly e-books. Amazon owns Kindle Books, the defacto leader in E-Book marketing and distribution. The whole world has heard of Kindle and there are literally millions of Kindle Readers out there that people can use to read your e-book not to mention that Kindle book reading software is available for computers, tablets and even mobile devices – so it is very easy to distribute and make your creation accessible to others. Amazon also owns “Create Space”, a second entity that can turn your E-book into a bound book that can also be sold on Amazon-Kindle and through distributors globally. If you want to “pay-market” your book through Amazon? You can do that as well through building one of their economically priced advertising campaigns.

Going through this process also gets you an ASIN number for your book or an ISBN number for your book if you wish to go that route (needed for selling hard-copy books through Create Space but not for e-books just sold on Amazon-Kindle). You can enroll your book as well into the Kindle KDP Select program which is like an online library that people pay a monthly subscription to and you can get additional royalty payments for your book from here – based on number of pages read. You can also get promotional banners from Amazon that you can put on your website or blogsite and even send in e-mails to people to further promote your book.

Bottom line is that starting out, Amazon – Kindle has a lot to offer a new self-publisher. You can literally get your book out there in under a week and start making money from it if people purchase it.

But you will need to do further work to get your book to actually sell and start earning you revenues. Your book will get onto Amazon OK, but it has to be seen and desired in order for you to make sales. There are books that have sat there for years without any sales at all so don’t think your done once you get your book published and onto the site. You have to help the sales happen by promoting it. So below is a list of things you should also be doing yourself online to get people to your Amazon purchased page to buy your book.

  • Be sure you build out your Author profiles on Amazon Central and on book review sites such as “Good Reads”. On Good Reads, also be sure to get your book into their “Listopia” program – so learn how to do that. Find other similar Author sites and get your name out there as well.
  • Consider getting out an online press release on your book as well. Make sure it has back links to where people can view and purchase your book. Take a look at “Reddit” as one possible site for this.
  • Promote your book on different social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc.
  • Consider building a YouTube channel and creating a promotional video for your book with linkbacks to where your book can be purchased.
  • Create your own “Author” blog-site to further promote your book. Traverse the Internet to get linkbacks to your site or book through guest posting, article writing, etc.
  • Get an automated e-mail marketing and autoresponder system in place and use it to help promote your book – build your e-mail subscriber lists!
  • Consider getting a podcast series going on iTunes where you can have “podcast discussions” about the content of your book. FYI – Once you get some of these built, stick an image of your book in front of them and upload these to your YouTube channel as well as “Video Podcasts”.
  • Keep posting and guest posting and getting yourself out there with people. The more people that know about you and your book, the better your sales will be. Build relationship bridges with other authors (EzineArticles and Good Reads are good places to do this), with book reviewers, people knowledgeable in your “book space”, etc. Get known out there.
  • Build a Facebook business page for your book and put your author “Good Reads” button onto your Facebook pages that can bring people back to your Author page at GoodReads. Promote your book on Facebook using the “Boost Post” feature – this is a very economical marketing platform with great targeting capabilities.
  • Be sure to get on Google+ and build out your profile there. Then, search for and join several communities relating to your topic area and also relating to other authors – become a positive content contributor to these communities.

In summary, if you can get through all the above steps for promoting your book online, you will be well on your way of starting to build the base needed to start earning revenues for your book. Best of luck to you in your writing career.

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