…Of God, of Others, and most importantly, of Oneself. It is about being positive and being happy, of becoming truly Xtra-Ordinary. But not without effort though. That is what for me Cris Lorenzana’s book, “Refuse to be Ordinary” is all about having read it from cover to cover. True enough, how else can one become extraordinary if we concern ourselves too much on what others would think or say when we do something different, unusual or uncommon; or, when we trod to take a path less traveled? How can one be a Jonathan Livingston Seagull if you would always have to go with the flow, or do what flock members are expected to perform ordinarily; or, when you stop or refuse to explore your potentials. The ripple effect is there I believe. When we love ourselves, it will be reflected on how we treat others — be they to human beings or any of God’s Creations. “When there is Love; there is Kindness,” that is very true. War and conflict will never arise. Peace, Harmony, Love are only possible if first of all, there is God within our hearts, for God is Love.
Cris Lorenzana Launches Her First Book
Even before its publication, I was expecting the book’s content to be akin to WINNER KA PINOY! — that it would be a radio program on print, if not, an extension of it. I was right! On page 235, Cris says anyone who’d prefer hearing, rather than reading The Optimist Creed and Desiderata may send her a request for their audio file copies; I say that — for her radio listeners like me, there is no need at all because from page one, I could already hear her voice as I read the book. It is as if she is reading in front of me, or over the radio; her presence is felt despite a lot of quotable quotes from those whom she considers her mentors. What a voracious reader, you couldn’t help but think.
However, there is big difference between printed matter, and virtual, aural, and digital materials like CD’s where her weekly episodes are recorded. The former needs no gadget. You can at anytime leaf through the pages to read and re-read, review or just be reminded of fave segments…You can touch the pages lovingly, or tear them with bitterness because some truth may have cause pain in you for realizing that you have wasted a lot of your time doing nothing, or your existence itself seem a complete waste. Which is what Cris is trying to tell everyone all along, to think positive and be with positive people: “Move On! Do not surrender!” What a warrior, this gal!
Indeed the book is quite awesome; it is easy-reading yet thought provoking. At some point, you will have to stop, look back and reflect on your own experiences, relationships, interactions with others; or wallow in the deeper meaning of the quotable quotes as they apply to your own life. Her examples help in understanding them better.
Amidst contemporary chaos locally and globally, amidst daily news reports of deaths, especially EJK’s, of the dangers and fear terrorists sow and spread; of corruption in the government, and apathy now wrapping many of our citizen’s Being, Refuse to be Ordinary is refreshingly a must-read — for downtrodden hearts, those feeling hopeless and useless as it shares thoughts and tips that will help raise self-worth and self-esteem, providing keys to success to become a winner in life. Again, with Love as the bottomline.
Illustration by Ma. Kristina Ham
Regarding the book cover though, I prefer the illustration on her CD, “Live an Extraordinary Life” simply because literally and graphically, showing someone off the ground, and levitating is in itself extraordinary. Don’t you find being off the earth magically uplifting? And metaphorically seeing or feeling the spirit being taken up in Cloud-9? The ecstatic stance depicts being triumphant, victorious, in euphoria. Besides, the title size as used in the cover snatches the attention that could have been given to the visual element of the girl dancing. In fact, I did not notice the love/heart sign formed by her hands until I intently looked at the form. I could sense the love in labor from Ms. Ma. Kristina Ham’s illustrations and dexterous calligraphy.
Well, speaking of euphoric moments, I once dreamt of being in such an amazing feeling and setting. I remember being high up in the clouds, standing and actually riding on a giant flower that gave me an aerial view of the entire city; the flower moving like a magic carpet as it took me on a journey around, while soft breeze enveloping my Being drowned me with bliss. An unforgettable dream, yes!
Proof of Attendance
Above everything, my preferred illustration reminds me of my favorite writer, Kahlil Gibran. His book illustrations possess surreal, and ethereal qualities that I admire. Beauty is relative but that is how I perceive them in comparison. Having said that, I want to thank Cris for inviting us to her book launch with matching souvenir photo during the occasion held last December 15.
Below are some photos sent by Cris as documented by Col. Clark Abellera.
The book signing
Photo Op with the rest of the Privileged Few who Attended the Book Launching
ONE MONTH LATER —
I was supposed to treat Cris for giving birth to a dream; pero hindi nangyari. Siya ang nagtreat — birthday treat daw. Anyway, we had nearly three hours of fun just talking, and laughing with some exchange of notes re her book. Our last moments at Chili’s [left photo below] spoiled Cris’ mood though because of sudden ‘bad element’ that came her way…
However, Gelatos at Cafe Ti-Amo [right side photos above] helped in regaining her cool back.
Being with a very positive person, and seeing how she reacted to a negative element was quite notable. I would have reacted the same way she did. Naiimbyerna rin! How one says something really matters.
My treat next time!