This past month, Megan has been reading a complimentary copy of A Journey Within by J. Mitchel Baker to share with you. If you love the outdoors, reading, and adventure, this book may be a great choice.
Read Megan’s review of A Journey Within and decide for yourself.
Anyone wanting to get a glimpse into what it is like to really get close to nature needs to take a look at J. Mitchel Baker’s A Journey Within.
Baker has spent a majority of his life working closely with the land and many different types of animals, but he has always ached for more. He says that we as a society have “become cold, hard, and disconnected from everything, distracted by electronic gadgetry, consumerism, and social status.” Wanting to change this and to learn more about himself and his beloved land, he plans a real camping trip. No campers, no actual campsites, just himself, his trusty horse and dog, and a lifelong friend.
Wanting to change this and to learn more about himself and his beloved land, he plans a real camping trip. No campers, no actual campsites, just himself, his trusty horse and dog, and a lifelong friend.
Baker tells his wife what he is planning. For years, he has been dreaming of becoming one with the land, taking a trip into the unknown with only the bare necessities. He spends years and years planning the trip, even resigning from his job in order to pursue his dream. After so many years of planning and procrastinating, he tells his wife that this year is finally the year he will make his trip. He tells her he is taking sixty days to find himself in the wild; his wife gives him thirty.
For years, he has been dreaming of becoming one with the land, taking a trip into the unknown with only the bare necessities. He spends years and years planning the trip, even resigning from his job in order to pursue his dream. After so many years of planning and procrastinating, he tells his wife that this year is finally the year he will make his trip. He tells her he is taking sixty days to find himself in the wild; his wife gives him thirty.
Finally, on his way, Baker’s truck is loaded down with more than enough supplies, his eleven-year-old horse Shake, his six-year-old dog Patch, and his lifelong friend Glynn and his horse. Eventually, they will meet up with two young cowboys, also ready for an adventure.
Before the trip even really begins, Baker feels like the Universe is telling him that maybe this was not such a good idea. On their way to the agreed-upon meeting site, Baker and Glynn get stuck behind a semi truck with an obvious mechanical issue. Driving slowly behind the truck, in a huge cloud of smoke, Baker feels like something is not right. On a whim, he decides to change lanes. He sees his instinct was right when he narrowly avoids hitting the stalled semi.
After their near-death experience, things for these modern cowboys only get worse.
The trails they were going to travel have been flooded.
Baker’s horse and dog are injured while scoping out new trails.
A river that must be crossed in order to finally start their journey is so flooded that their trip is postponed for two more days.
It seems like these men will never get to start their journey into the unknown and into themselves.
A majority of Baker’s A Journey Within takes place before the journey actually begins. Once they finally get over their many obstacles, the men get a little taste of what they had been dreaming of, however, their journey is cut short when one of the young cowboy’s horses loses a shoe.
This trip shows the men all too well that nature is extremely unpredictable. Promises to plan a new journey are made, and the men go their separate ways. Baker ends with what seems like the beginning of a new book. He and Glynn are at it again, this time with an extra horse and better sense of what is to come when wandering into the unknown.
Baker describes all of their trials and tribulations in great detail, and one can almost hear what they hear and smell what they smell. He leaves the reader wanting more.
Like Baker, we only get a small taste of what it is like to be out in the wild with only the bare minimum. Maybe we will get a bigger taste when Baker and Glynn finish their next journey into the unknown.
Here is an excerpt from A Journey Within:
Driving through the empty West Texas miles I reflect back on all the puzzle pieces of my life that define who I am: experiences, people, or events that mold my psyche and put a framework around my thoughts. To each person this is unique. Everyone is a piece of art, created by the universe on a specific canvas that is us. We live differently, experience differently, learn differently, ultimately creating a specific view of life through our own lens. My perspective too is unique. Although my empathy allows me to feel your pain, I have never walked in your shoes or seen your life through your lens. Let me not judge or ridicule. Allow me only to embrace you or hold your hand through this passing moment, in silence, without unwanted guidance or direction.
My daughter, Emma Leigh, was born while I was in college, with a congenital defect in the brain stem that only allowed her to breathe voluntarily – with intention and only during her waking hours. An extraordinarily beautiful baby girl, who from her very first day of life was tethered to a ventilator to ensure she continued breathing. She developed in an environment vastly different from other babies – constant medical attention, limited mobility and space, surrounded by alarms and stern faces – but she never cared. This was all she knew. Emma was a happy child despite the constant probing and testing from the medical professionals. Her happiness was born from the unconditional love and adoration of her mother and father. This was her lens.
Emma died a mere fourteen months into her young life. She was under my care the day she stopped breathing. Very few can understand the depth of anguish felt when giving chest compressions and forcing the breath of life back into your most precious gift – or the despair after failing to resuscitate. This was my tormented path and I would walk it alone. My marriage failed a short time later, both of us unable to reconcile the guilt, or the blame.
Over the years the pain, anger, and selfishness within began to subside with time. I came to understand how Emma had been sent as a gift. Rather than having lost – I had gained. I had been blessed with her presence on this earth and in my life. She had taught me valuable life lessons in unconditional love, altruism, and the absolute beauty and value of life; lessons I continue to honor and appreciate today with my son Hayden. Emma had been my teacher and guide, and I remain ever thankful to her for allowing me to be a part of her life. She will always be a part of mine.
Journey Within by J. Mitchel Baker
Publisher: Artistic Origins (April 30, 2017)
Category: Memoir, Adventure, Inspirational
Tour dates: Oct-Nov, 2017
Available in Print & ebook, 181 pages
The true story of a simple man who has spent his life working amidst the quiet embrace of nature and her animals. Despite the happy normalcy, his soul calls out to him through a series of visions urging him to search for the higher design in his life. His inner voice beckons him out into the wilderness, away from all that he knows and understands, to find the higher meaning of himself.
After nearly a decade of stubborn denial, he removes his self-imposed blindfolds to embark on what is to become his personal journey into the unknown.What he finds will forever change his life.
Instead of meaning, he finds a tempest. Finding courage through his animals he forges onward in search of his own truth. Is there a greater universal design for each of us? Or is there only chaos and confusion? Your answer lies within, if only you dare to take the journey.
A Journey Within highlights the duality between both the physical and the spiritual. It carries a message of courage and inspiration to connect with life and the inner-self, taking the road less traveled, and living authentically.
Praise Journey Within by J. Mitchel Baker
“A good book. A REALLY good book. The author has a way with words. He has you thinking you are right there with him. I enjoyed the adventure Mr. Baker. Thank you! It reminded me somewhat of “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It all goes back to, or starts with, “Why do bad things happen to Good People”? I’ve been trying to figure that out myself. I’ve read so many books in an effort to find an answer that I agree with. Some ideas make sense, some do not. I truly hope Mr. Bakers’ journey (s) help him find the answer.”-Kindle Customer
About J. Mitchel Baker
Mitchel Baker is a graduate of Texas A&M University, living in San Antonio with his family. He has dedicated his life to ranching and managing natural resources, and continues to be a student of all things visceral. He is currently working on his sequel to A Journey Within as he stumbles awkwardly toward a higher consciousness.
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Megan is a thirty-year-old free spirit and a self proclaimed nerd. She loves attending small, intimate concerts, spoiling her fur children, discovering mother nature, a good Netflix binge, and reading as many books as she can get her hands on. Follow her down the rabbit hole and she will bare her soul to you.