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Last updated: April 16, 2010
Top 50 Reviewer - View all my reviews
When was the last time you picked up a self-help book and found yourself taking notes within the first few minutes? I had this experience recently while reading Neale Donald Walsch's latest book, one that seemed to jump up and grab my attention at a time of great upheaval in my life.
Change can be a frightening thing, especially when it involves the loss of a job as in my case. In his refreshing conversational style, Walsch reaches out to the reader with some startling revelations about change itself: that change is going to keep happening whether we like it or not (thanks, Heraclitus), that change and life are actually the same thing, and that the only thing we can change is the way we deal with change itself.
For a book that deals with something we all tend to avoid, When Everything Changes does a remarkable job of explaining complex ideas in a methodical, non-threatening way. Like a brick layer, Walsch puts down a solid foundation of helpful concepts and then adds layers of empowering steps for the reader to turn change into a ever-present ally.
While I highly recommend this book, I don't think it is for everyone. Walsch himself may have foresaw this because he divided the book into two sections: "The Mechanics of the Mind," which really appealed to my left-brain, logical sensibilities, and then a second part called "The System Of The Soul," which got into all kinds of metaphysics that might turn off some folks with a more secular perspective. It's not that I blame him. After all, he is the guy who brought us "Conversations With God."
In any event, I think just about anyone could benefit from the practical wisdom in this book. Change doesn't have to be scary, and somehow just knowing that is a comfort I wish I had enjoyed much earlier in my life.
(Note: This movie is now called "The Tapping Solution")
"If we can be traumatized in 30 seconds, why can't we be healed in say... a week... a day... or even an hour?"
That question comes from this documentary, and I find that question interesting and powerful because it challenges our belief systems (a common theme throughout the movie). One of the people in The Tapping Solution claims that tapping will become a standard medical healing practice in the future.
Until I watched The Tapping Solution, I was very skeptical. I thought it was a little bit crazy that people could heal emotional or physical ailments just by tapping on various places in their body. However, because highly successful people endorse tapping — people like Jack Canfield and Joe Vitale (both featured in themovie), Deepak Chopra — and some of my friends say it's the most powerful healing modality they know of, I figured that there was probably something about it that I didn't understand.
And after watching The Tapping Solution, I realized that tapping makes a lot of sense from neurological, psychological, and spiritual perspectives. In fact, I already 'knew' most of this stuff, I just wasn't applying it with the uniquely structured (and effective) 'tapping / EFT' methodology.
The super simple version is that tapping is a technique which combines ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology.
It's also relevant to note that while I was watching The Tapping Solution I actually had tears in my eyes a couple of times because I was so touched by the transformation I witnessed in some of the participants.
This movie gets my two thumbs up. :)
If you've been having challenges taking ownership of your spiritual growth and really expressing your inner courage, then this is a book well worth the read. It's not for everybody, however, so I recommend you read the summary or book jacket, or flip to a random page and see whether Guy's writing calls to you.
I will say that one of my personal favorite aspects of this book is that Guy shares several spiritual stories and then discusses, in-depth, the wisdom contained within each of them. Guy's insights are both timeless and timely, and he communicates them effectively using practical real-world examples that anybody can relate to.
In reading this book, I couldn't figure out if it was trying to be fiction or non-fiction, biography, poem, or something else entirely. I found it difficult to engage with this book due to its lack of focus.
For example, the book talks about some of the challenges Hajjar went through. But it doesn't go into enough detail to feel like we truly know the author... by trying to be poetic, the book ends up staying just on the surface of what are timeless wisdoms.
Speaking of which, the wisdoms presented are timeless - but again due to the poetic nature, and the lack of focus, they are lost in a sea of missed messages.
One bonus is that the book is short - but even then it took me much longer to finish this book than it takes me of books twice and three times as long.
The book also seemed like it was trying to share timeless truths, but again the effort to be poetic overshadowed the truths in a way that makes everything sound good but difficult to really figure out what is being said.
This book is probably best suited for somebody who enjoys reading poetic beautiful words and isn't necessarily concerned about "learning" something new. Now that I think about it, the previous sentence sums up my review pretty well: I like to learn stuff from spiritual books, and I like to enjoy the process. In this case, I didn't enjoy the book nor learn anything I could apply to my own spiritual path.
On the bright side, the poetic nature of the book lends itself to some delightful quotes that are well-worth sharing.
Did you know that if a person with multiple personality disorder gets drunk and switches to another personality unaware of the drinking, then the current personality will no longer be drunk? If you've ever wondered what the limits to the mind and our interconnectedness are, then this book will help you set your sights more accurately.
More specifically, through its true stories and cited studies, it demonstrates that the world is not as we see it. This book clearly shows us that there is a richness and depth that go to such far reaches of our mind that we can't even comprehend it.
This book has the potential to radically alter your world view forever.
“When Annie Leonard came to work at the Center for Study of Responsive Law, she brought a special character—a dynamic curiosity; a willingness to scour the countries of the Earth to understand and document solid and chemical wastes' production, consumption, and disposal; the intellectual and emotional intelligence to mobilize everyone she could reach to respect the ecosphere; and health and safety concerns. Those dynamic energies permeate her galvanizing, exciting, and fascinating book. You will be bouncing up and down as you are drawn through its pages, graphics, and engrossing stories. Annie Leonard not only knows 'the story of stuff'—she has the right stuff!”
“Where others have documented countless challenges to the Earth and its inhabitants, Annie Leonard has accomplished the rare feat of defining the systemic nature of the problems we face and offering solutions that get to the heart of the matter. Whether you are redesigning industry and commerce or simply imagining a better world for your grandchildren's grandchildren, Annie's work will engage you. Read it and be inspired into action.”
—Ray C. Anderson, founder and chairman, Interface, Inc.
Last updated: February 21, 2010
Top 100 Reviewer - View all my reviews
If you want to grow your creative self, and with it your confidence, your sense of purpose and your spirit, then this book is a must-have. Even if you don't draw (perhaps especially if you don't draw) this book will get you thinking more creatively than you'd have thought possible.
These are large claims, but I make them because I know the miraculous nature of these exercises and meditative insights into the way we work. Cat Bennett has been a working artist for over thirty years, with drawings in Time Magazine and other places of note, and there's not a lot she doesn't know about what drawing can do for us. Fortunately she's also an inspiring writer.
Last updated: February 16, 2010
Top 50 Reviewer - View all my reviews
This book is a distillation of many years of research into Near Death Experiences (NDE) by one of the most thorough and innovative researchers in this arena. Long's Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) and website (www.nderf.org ) are the primary tools he has used to collect the largest database of NDE data in the world. In addition to
his own work, he cites the research of other serious scientists working on NDEs.
The book has an Introduction, 11 chapters and a Conclusion, along with eleven pages of research citations at the end. It is readable and well written.
Long's research centers around a one hundred question survey and the complex analysis of the data people enter on the website. Long uses in-depth statistical analysis of the data, including sophisticated filters to ferret out false entries. What he has discovered through this common and well-accepted scientific method of research is nothing short of amazing. He
has discovered scientific evidence of life after death.
While I am sure that will scandalize many of a scientific bent, he develops his methodology in a meticulous and thorough manner, cross-checking results with other researchers to increase clarity and understanding. He acknowledges skeptics and systematically dispatches their objections in a balanced and thoughtful way.
He divides the evidence up into nine categories of proof:
Out Of Body
From The Mouths Of Babes
He devotes a chapter to each topic, giving details of the statistical results as well as including narratives from the people answering the survey. He then explains how the incredible similarity and detail, even from people of different ages, cultures, and languages from around the world, describes a situation which provides overwhelming evidence that our consciousness is independent of the physical body and survives the death of that body.
For any but the most pathological skeptic, the evidence is conclusive. If you add in all the historical, anthropological, and spiritual studies which have reached the same conclusion, it would be all but impossible to deny the conclusion. This squares well with other interesting research, like that mentioned in Talbot's "Holographic Universe," regarding people with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD, now called Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID), who can show radical alterations in their physical body (eye color changes, tumors and scars coming and going, vanishing medical problems like diabetes, etc.) simply by a change in personality. The "mind" or personality is definitely not a result of the physical body, but more primary and controls the physical manifestation.
A good, fairly quick read, and one well worth your time.
“Parched earth can lead us to water the land or embitter us to the lack of sustenance.” This is but one of the golden nuggets I found in Grace Lost and Found; a book which I am nicknaming “Not your ordinary daily meditation.”
I thoroughly enjoy meditations and pithy sayings, and believe wisdom can be gained from anything if we are willing. But if we don’t recognize that we are stuck in our own ignorance or illusions, some stronger interventions might be needed. Who hasn't experienced a friend or teacher pushing us past where we were plateaued to find a new resting place? This book might be that catalyst. Each of 40 essays feature questions to ponder as well as affirmations. Some examples include: “What is an example of my faking who I am,” “What behaviors and thoughts block me from experiencing love,” and “When do I perceive myself as a victim and as an aggressor?” Mary Cook, the author, is reported to have 30 years of clinical experience as a psychologist and addictions counselor and I see evidence of those years well spent in this book.
There seem to be a number of "new consciousness" books and workshops on "finding or creating the love you want" these days. It is natural,I guess, that if we think something and help to create it, love and partnership will be addressed. “The Soulmate Path” walks this same road with a slightly different step, pairing a working and romantic duo in discussing aspects of relationship. The first half of the book gives some basic background about the couple as well as their principles about people and love.
I enjoyed the second half more: it is a series of affirmations about how you might live life itself, and in the process, find or strengthen a love. Sayings such as “I transform myself and my relationship as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly,” “I am patient,” and “I deserve respect because I am respectful,” are words of wisdom regardless of whether your heart is solitary or united in a romantic relationship.
Last updated: February 11, 2010
#1 Reviewer - View all my reviews
Have you ever strolled on a beach or on trail, and a stone or pebble on the ground catches your eye? Or perhaps you were in a shop and were drawn to a large amethyst that's been cut in half, with all of its crystalline facets sparkling under the lights? What is it about gems that we are drawn to? Is it their beauty, their color, their shape? Author Robert Simmons suggests that beyond their initial appearance, there is something much more powerful in stones that we resonate with—and something within stones that resonates with us: “the silent spiritual world of matter.”
One definition he cites of crystals is: “‘The regular form, which a substance tends to assume in solidifying, through the inherent power of cohesive attraction…” He explains, “The power of cohesive attraction is not explained, though it sounds rather like the organizing intelligence that calls together and animates the substance of our own bodies....” And so, Stones of the New Consciousness begins to spelunk the solidity of stones, taking us to the edge of consciousness and matter, and into the realm of co-creative evolution, fields of heart-intelligence, the crystalline nature of humans, the Soul of the world, myths and legends, shamanism, poets and prophets, and myriad ways that we can wrap our intelligence around the parallels and possibilities that working with stones offers.
This journey into the mysterious realm of stones, along with meditations and practices with stones for achieving specific states of conscious awareness, comprises the first half of the book. It is not light reading; it is, however, authoritatively original and inspiring, and weaves a fascinating tapestry of science and spirit that itself exemplifies the new consciousness the author strives to make more understandable and accessible.
The latter half of the book explores sixty-two crystals that the author has meditated with or had personal experience with, and which he suggests are important stones for awakening the birth of a new planetary consciousness: a co-creative consciousness. Photos, background information, how each stone relates to the “new attunement,” and a “message” from the stone completes the entry.
Then new consciousness Simmons refers to is not, he says, a new age “add-on;” it is a place where we have not yet shed our light of awareness. Paying attention to our awareness, and particularly our body awareness in relation to stones, develops our capacity for awareness. And, greater capacity for awareness offers the potential for greater resonance with “cosmic and earthly illuminations.” This book is going on my top shelf!
Last updated: February 10, 2010
Top 50 Reviewer - View all my reviews
Kevin Hall's Aspire, Discovering Your Purpose ThroughThe Power of Words, is a hearty pep talk by a close friend, spiritual guru, erudite professor and dad all rolled into one. His tale telling of the wise and courageous souls he meets along the way are strokes of inspiration, pumping us up for the road to find our greatest treasure of self. His line of questioning and journal entries offer us the opportunity for personal insight. What IS one word that describes YOU?
The serendipity experienced by meeting the "great" people he encounters is a jeweled illustration of the unknown paths we often travel to navigate life's trajectory. His passion -and subsequently the reader's- is sparked by "shoshin," beginner's mind, as we wander the streets, homes, shops and running paths with him. He is led from one person to another, "discovering the intersection between...heart and what the world needs..to discover...mission and purpose in life."
Hall's "accidental" encounter and regular meetings with Arthur, a retired university professor with a passion and brilliance for the study of words, becomes our inspired study as well. Words, "the currency in human exchange" draw attention to our gifts, educate, and heal. They can also harm and hinder should we use them without thought, without "namaste" --honoring the spirits of all those we encounter. Aspire will initiate us through a short list of words into "ollin," getting into your life with heart action, its mission an affirmation of soul's work in humanity.
Joyce Schwarz' The Vision Board, The Secret to an Extraordinary Life, offers another example of manifesting your dreams. Through collage-type art, affirmations, key words, mantras and "visioning" (inner spiritual practice) as a group activity, the life you desire can be created. Reminders of gratititude and belief in one's own innate power are reinforced in these pages, with individual and group samplings of vision boards.
Reading this book reminded me of a similar project I did 20 years ago during a Life Transition Course. Clipping magazine images, words, deco, then fashioning them into an art form with accompanying list of future specifics, was indeed a powerful way to envision ambitions and longings. Years later when I rediscovered this "collage" I found I had indeed reached my goals. There is energy, creativity and potential for attracting abundance through this medium.
The Vision Board reminds us also to hold gratitude for what we seek (as well as what we have), and to affirm regularly what our artwork reflects in regard to health, relationship, career, success and family. The premise of this how-to publication is honorable and worthy of consideration. However, the layout of the book seems crowded, jumbled --even a little chaotic. In retrospect, perhaps that was the author's intent: to have the book itself appear as a collage, eyes moving from one cut-out, word grouping, quote, illustration or explanation to another.
I started out reviewing this book by viewing the accompanying DVD's. The claims are that this system has can heal physical and mental illnesses, as well as be used to heal humanity and the planet. Despite its infomercial stilted tableau and my dubiousness of “yet another complete healing system," within 5 minutes I became engaged. Dr Sha, trained in both Western medicine and Chinese medicine, is excited and believable. This book, one of his many bestsellers, touts healing your soul and body through multiple practices using what he labels as mind, body, sound and soul. His basic premise of needing to heal the soul along with the body is similar to many “New Age” practices. What makes Dr Sha's work different seems to be 1) He was gifted with Divine Soul Mind Body Transplants that are printed in the book that readers can receive and 2) His healing practices incorporate elements of traditional Chinese medicine; for example, what to do if there is an imbalance in the Wood Element of your body.
My issues with this book are somewhat small: 1) I found the exact words used to heal and some of the books overall wording to be stilted and cumbersome in English. I would guess this is due to the translation from Chinese. 2) Some of the healing is done through song, and I'm not totally sure how you would learn the tunes if you didn't have access to them on DVD (a few were on these, but not all of them). 3) Dr Sha states that receiving the Divine Soul Transplants (energy healing coming through the book) is not enough, that you must practice, at least 3-5 minutes per day or if gravely ill, up to 2 hours. In my mind, this type of frequent practice would help anyway, regardless of what you say or sing. But then again, if someone is motivated to begin this type of practice, how can it be bad?
Dr. Sha identifies as someone chosen by the Divine to help spread healing in and around the world. It's obvious from his multiple best sellers that his word has been received positively. Indeed, in yoga class the day after I read this book, I found myself idly muttering my remembered version of the Divine Mind Body Transplant prayers, because really, what can it hurt?
Many people I meet who are interested in healing or increasing their coping skills mention, "If only I'd learned this at age 10, or 5...." Many techniques described in adult detail can be used by or adapted for a child's attention span and world view, but this is one of the first books I've read with good practical exercises that take the guess work out of it. This books details specific exercises that could potentially make blander moves (deep breath) into games (balloon breathing breath, or breathing in rainbows).
I would recommend this book any parent, whether familiar with relaxation skills or not. There is good information about some frequent questions such as "what if they're using their imagination and something scary shows up," that might ease the minds of people new to these practices. I would also recommend this adults with no contact with children. Stress and pain in life can turn us into very serious people; we often approach our healing in that same serious and perfectionistic way. This book throws some fun and silliness into anyone's practice. After all, isn't "laughter one of the best medicines?"
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