The Twelve Commitments to Life
Published by The Impress Group
$12 ($10 with code at end)
This small book takes on a large topic: Commitment. Not your garden variety commitment, but commitment to lifethe largest topic of all. In 13 short chapters, with suggested exercises at the end of each, Rich Guy Miller expresses what it means to truly live fully. In the first chapter he explains the dream he had where it all became clear. Shortly after his father died he had a life-changing dream about the meaning of life. In his dream, it was all laid out for him: The meaning of life is our commitment to life: to living fully, to living with purpose and intention.
The first chapter explains what it means to have that deep Commitment to Life. This gives us the big picture, the overview. In the dream he also witnessed 12 additional essences of commitment. They are: Commitment to Health, Environment, Awareness, Relief of Suffering, Tribe, Consciousness, Understanding, Rest, Arousal, Balance, Love and last, but not least, Energy. Miller has written a chapter on each of these essences where he takes a holistic view of each subject. In each chapter, and through his unique perspective, Rich Guy Miller delves into the heart of what it is to be human, alive and expressing our deepest dedication to living fully.
He has taken The Twelve Commitments to Life and sewn them into an acronym, one that we can easily remember and has a message of its own for us to live by: HEART CURABLE. Though not explained in the book, this reviewer took it to mean that wherever we are on our growth path, that anything that ails our HEART is CURABLE with our conscious and active Commitment to Life as expressed through the 12 commitments therein.
This 100-page bookwhich can be read in a dayis deceptively brief considering the subject matter. Yet each word, each phrase carries a larger message. Millers message and his mission, as he puts it, is simple: Live fully now and stop death. This mission requires a level of commitment that does not allow for failure. To fail to live fully now is to accept death. To accept death is to deny life its mission: to thrive. His message, detailed throughout the book, brings to our awareness that which connects us to ourselves, to each other and to Source.
Bouncing off the ideas from many of the greatest thinkers of our day, The Twelve Commitments to Life weaves in and out of stories from Millers childhood, marriage and his lifes path. Each essence of life chapter quickly and succinctly speaks to the essence of the commitment. The stories and examples Miller gives make it easy for us to get it. The acronyms presented throughout, and the focus exercises at the end of each chapter, bring our attention to how we can successfully incorporate each essence commitment into our lives on a daily basis.
The book is not preachy, it is not forceful, and it flows easily through our eyes and lightly over our minds. In a world where many current writings focus on the importance of the heavier aspects of life: work, money, goals, etc., The Twelve Commitments to Life gently suggests ways to direct the flow of our attention toward deeper, more soulful, fulfillment. In the style of a martial arts sensei, Rich Guy Miller craftily presents the material, invites us to consider it, gives us tools to incorporate it in our way of thinking and being, encourages us to focus on it daily, then releases us to discover how to make it our own.
Miller says it well in his Conclusion: If you are reading this book, you probably want to make this world a better place, or take your commitment to life to another level. As you commit to lifes essences, I believe you will notice improvements developing everywhere. In terms of your personal satisfaction, you will notice a much better ability to focus on what matters as well as strength to not get pulled into emotional spinouts and distractions. In broader terms, you may notice a change of your personal and tribal economy, better understanding of politics, an improved environment and more. The reason is simple: by committing to life as it is, we are empowering it, ourselves and all other creatures. By committing to life, we are honoring who we are and what we do best.
A very enjoyable read that left me with a sense of calm and much to think about for the rest of my days.