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Spirituality & Health Magazine’s Book Review: Answers from Within by Olivia S. Benson
Kindle Direct Publishing Platform
Reviewed by Maria Okorn

“Each human arrives in the material world with a purpose, and with all the gifts, talents, skills, and abilities necessary to fulfill it,” contends Olivia Benson in Answers from Within: Answers to Work Life Issues in the Age of Spiritual Evolution. Bestowing the encouragement to uncover those gifts, talents, skills, and abilities, the book motivates us to manifest what “GEFS” (God/Energy/Force/Spirit) has created within our being. In doing so, we will experience true fulfillment in our work lives and beyond. An experienced attorney as well as a meta-physicist with a diverse spiritual background, Benson speaks from her own life, detailing the means by which she uncovered her true “Code” and found how to best serve the world with her gifts.

Highlighting current and historical individuals, Benson illustrates the contributions that others have made to model how we can follow in their footsteps by honoring our own Codes.  Additionally, the book takes an in-depth examination at groups that have been marginalized—women, minorities, and the elderly— and implores us to lift each other up and out of the trenches of injustice. She entreats, “Any time we limit the ability of any human to participate by using his or her unique capabilities and talents, we do a disservice to humanity.” Through direct questioning, moral, ethical, and philosophical analysis is fostered, asking us to reconsider our previously held beliefs and to “conceive of infinite possibilities”: to break down the barriers and societal constraints humans have constructed.

Those possibilities might include a major shift in career or lifestyle, and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are, willingly or forcefully, reframing our image of our ideal work life. “We need a completely different work paradigm,” Benson insists. “To create that, we must examine our beliefs about work— both conscious and unconscious— and clean out the old information in order to load a new program that actually works for today.” Answers from Within posits that we move to change our collective societal mindset around what it looks like to work and to gain fulfillment during our time on “Planet Earth University”, especially as mortality ages climb and our notion of retirement shifts. Benefits of a multigenerational work environment are detailed, and the analysis illuminates how each stage of life provides unique benefits to any office, team, or group.

If you do not already believe that you were put on Planet Earth with a specific calling, let this book convince and guide you. Benson urges us to imagine a world where we discover what we were made to do, and to experience the fulfillment and authentic joy that comes from living out our true calling. Above all, Answers from Within encourages us to believe in ourselves and each other, and to recognize the critical role we each play in the story of humanity.

Direct Link to Spirituality and Health Magazine’s Answers From Within Book Review


Spirituality & Health Magazine’s Author Interview

Spirituality & Health talks with author Olivia S. Benson
about the inspiration of her book ANSWERS FROM WITHIN.
Break out of your comfort zone.

 

You practice law and became a metaphysician. How did your own career evolution inspire your writing?

Being a student of metaphysics and spirituality isn’t generally inconsistent with virtually any career choice. Quite to the contrary, it can help us understand the role we each have to play in contributing to the Planet in a more conscious way.
Although it wasn’t conscious, my writing and speaking skills really led me to the practice of law since they are skills which are important to that career. But my process only illustrates some of the discussions in the book. Once we identify our gifts, talents, skills, and abilities part of the process is to decide what to do with them. There is a saying that says, your gift will make a way for you.
When I became an attorney, even though I could write, I didn’t think of myself as a writer. As life progressed, I realized I had this skill I could use in a different way. It could be our gifts are used in different ways at different phases of our lives. It could also be, we grow and evolve into to them.

Growing up, you were a part of the Catholic, Baptist, and Jehovah’s Witness faiths. Discuss how your spiritual background has influenced your work.

My religious experience influenced every aspect of my life. Until today, I sometimes consider myself a “Catholic school girl”. My exposure to the Jehovah’s Witness faith helped me to have a great familiarity with the Bible. The Baptist experience in the U.S. made me aware of the intersection of race and religion in the U.S. I was born in the Republic of Panama, and experienced religion in a very non-racial way, until we immigrated to the U.S. permanently at the age of seventeen.
My religious exposure absolutely lead me to seek explanations about the meaning of life from a deeper place. The explanations I sought had to make more sense than everything I had known.

Discover How To See Your Life

 

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You mention several famous examples of individuals whose work honored their Soul’s Code, such as Albert Einstein and George Washington Carver. Of what did your research into their lives and work consist?

There are so many books and articles about both men, so over the years I read about them. The Spiritual aspects of Carver’s life fascinated me. He was said to have asked God to reveal the secrets of the peanut to him, and apparently he got the answer.

As to Einstein there have been several articles in Time Magazine about him, including one where he was named “person of the century”, in 1999. I was fascinated by what I read. Even though we usually think of science and spirituality as unrelated, he like Carver, looked to God for answers to scientific questions. He was famously quoted as saying he wanted to know the mind of God, and that everything else was details.

Is searching for one’s true calling something accessible to everyone, or is a luxury only for those of means?

This is a question that comes-up often because when we have financial challenges it seems we have no choice but to work for a living without regard to our gifts, talents, skills, abilities, or calling. As discussed in the book, practicality can’t be thrown out the window. Yes, we do have work to take care of our basic needs, and we do what we need to do.

However, if we come to understand and know we are born with gifts, talents, skills, and abilities, we can deal with our financial imperative of the moment, and yet work to on developing our gifts, and if and when appropriate, transitioning to using it as a way to make a living.

Let Go of Who You Think You Are

 

How can a person know when they are living out their true calling?

There are clues, which I discuss in detail in the book. But among the clues, are things like really “Loving” what we are doing, and feeling “in joy” when we are doing it; becoming timeless when we are doing our work; being willing to do it all the time, to the extent we feel no pain; and among others, doing it energizes us and supplies almost boundless enthusiasm.

The book discusses the issue of increased life expectancy and suggests some shifts in the current mode of retirement and social security; namely, extended paid sabbaticals and intergenerational integration. Can you explain the benefits of reframing the structure of work?

The first thing we have to realize is that the system as it is, is not working. The work world is in a constant state of flux. It is not that the world hasn’t always been changing, it is just that at this time the evolutionary process is moving so quickly when it comes to work (and other things) that we have to look at it differently in order to find solutions for everyone, and in the process help the Planet to move forward.

What relevance does your writing have in today’s world as we navigate working through a global pandemic?

I recently wrote a blog titled “What Covid-19 Taught us About Work”. It is posted on my website: answersfromwithinbook.com. For many centuries the paradigm around work was very straight forward, and it was easy to do what I call “formula living”. Even before, the pandemic there was a lot of transition going-on in the work world.
I believe the pandemic has showed us how important work is, not only because it is how we make a living but because it is such a central part of our lives. Many of us now realize how important it is to make some contribution to life on the Planet, and what a serious impact the pandemic has on this. Even if we have not found our gifts, talents, skills, ability, and true calling, most of us would rather do something. So, this is an opportunity for us consider how important work is at multiple levels. Once we see this clearly, we can move beyond just work, to our true work.

READ THE REVIEW

 

 

Recent Comments

  • Joseph Long
    - 9:34 pm · Reply

    I love this! I am getting my copy of the book.

    • Olivia Benson
      - 2:59 pm · Reply

      Thank you Joe! I am excited that you are joining the Answers from Within Community! Enjoy!

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