Reviews written by Miriam Knight
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This is one of those magical books where you can pick a page at random, and find words that speak straight to the core of your being. Sharif Khan illuminates the complex nature of our psyches with a combination of psychology, mythology, philosophy, spirituality and popular culture. He suggests that the only way we will overcome the overwhelming crises we face as a society, is for individuals to step into their power and show a hero’s courage despite fearful challenges.
There is a holy war being waged in the world, and that is the war inside of us between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. “Heroes are not ‘good’ – they are wise,” Khan states. Our task is to work through our shadow side and attain wisdom. “With wisdom one can see the divinity within every human being and thus have compassion and love for all.”
Sharif Khan’s eloquent passion inspires us to become the hero of our destiny, so that collectively we can lead the way to a new future for us all.
This is the most fascinating video I've seen about the orb phenomenon. Dr. Ledwith's amazing pictures not only show thousands of orbs of every shape, color and size, but he also shows stargates - local distortions in an otherwise stable scene caused by inter-dimensional portals. He explains how he developed a two-way dialog with the orbs, and the information he accumulated about them as a result. Highly recommended as well if you are interesting in taking your own orb pictures.
OK, the fact that I am writing this review at all is a testament to how effective this book is at overcoming procrastination! I've been sitting on this book for many months, and finally, after reading a few pages, I was hooked. It's a small book and easy to read, and the fact that you're reading this review is a testament to its effectiveness.
"EFT for Procrastination" shows you how to get to the underlying causes by showing your the fears and excuses you're using to avoid action. With a simple six-step technique that takes only minutes, you can address the issue and resolve it quickly and simply.It works like magic and it just might be magic!
Mike Dooley and his cosmic alter-ego, “The Universe,” offer equal parts wisdom and wit in this companion piece to Infinite Possibilites. It’s a metaphysical book that demystifies the magic of how the law of attraction and physical manifestation work. Equally it’s a practical “How-To” book about believing in the magic of your ability to dream and create anything you set your heart upon.
For many of us, the hard part is figuring out what it is that we want. According to Dooley, if you get too specific with what he calls “The Cursed Hows,” you throttle the creative force of the universe. He offers a Matrix – a kind of cosmic crib sheet – to help guide your visualizations. It illustrates how your thoughts and emotions are the only things entirely under your control, and if you focus on progressively specific details, the message of what you want gets more and more diluted and dependent on other people. If, on the other hand, you focus on pouring good feelings and expectation into a more general desire for Happiness, Health, Abundance and the like – part of his “Fantastic 5” – you unleash the full power of the universe to fill in the blanks, and fulfill your desires in wonderful and even unexpected ways.
The book is punctuated with useful visualizations and exercises that really make you stop and think about your thoughts! You begin to realize the power they have to manifest good and not-so-good. According to Dooley, “All you ever have to do to manifest change is define what you want in terms of the end result” and then “put your car in gear.” The direction you move in is not as important as the fact that you are moving. Let the Universe arrange the details. It’s good at that…
For thousands of years, a pilgrimage to a holy site has been used as a way to change one’s life and start over again free of the sins and burdens of the past. Feeling the need to mark his 60th year in a meaningful way, Robert Mullen set out to walk the Camino, the pilgrims’ way from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port at the foot of the Pyrenees, to the shrine of Saint James at Santiago de Compostela. As a writer, he wanted to explore the myths and legends associated with this pilgrimage and perhaps have his own mystical or transformative experience on this 560-mile trek that ended in Finisterre, the westernmost point of Spain.
The book is a fascinating combination of travelogue, history, legend and memoir. Richly-drawn portraits of the author’s fellow pilgrims engage the reader and move the narrative along. Mullen recounts braving the hardships of mountainous tracks, harsh weather and sore feet with his fellow pilgrims. You can understand the bonds they forged with each other, as they shared their life stories, food, medicine, unisex dormitories, and acquired wisdom.
The book is as much about connecting deeply with yourself and other human beings as it is about the web of history and human longing to connect with the divine. It is all so interwoven that you don’t so much read this book as experience it. It’s rather like a modern Canterbury Tales in which, in the author’s words, “we ourselves are the chief collaborators, the authors as well as the editors. … and we are above all engaged, and caught up in, that apparently most singular of human activities, the making and the revising of the stories which define our world and which constitute our lives.”
By any standard, GhettoPhysics is an extraordinary film – intelligent, entertaining, edgy and profound. It explores the power dynamics at play in just about every relationship in our lives using one of the most primal and graphic examples, that of the Pimp and the Ho. The premise was intriguing enough to lure William Arntz to write the screenplay, even though he had retired after his landmark film, What the BLEEP do We Know.
The film is part documentary, part satire, part animation embedded in the story of an inner-city college class called Ghetto Physics 101. The lecturer is E. Raymond Brown, the real author of Will the Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand Up!, which he self-published in 2002. His book formed the basis of the script written by Arntz, who co-directed with Brown. Brown also composed the powerful music that ties the scenes together.
GhettoPhysics brings metaphysics down to street level, illustrating the principles of “as above, so below” and how we create our own reality in terms of the trade-offs of everyday life, politics, religion and business. The interviewees include gurus and Rap stars, professors and politicians, pimps and pundits, streetwalkers and the man-in-the-street.
The kaleidoscopic montages and the shifts among the dramatization, interviews, talking heads and animations give it the energy of a rock concert with the keen political wit of the Daily Show. The stated goal of the filmmakers is to raise awareness of “the game” – the matrix of power that funnels wealth from the billions of earners (the Ho’s) to the few at the top (the Pimps) – and create a massive paradigm shift. Brown points out that like the symbol of yin and yang, we all are a mixture of both archetypes, but by exercising our freedom to choose the roles we want to play we can shift the dynamic. Once we realize that it is our choice whether or not to accept the victim-Ho role we can move into a new level of empowerment in our lives.
Life is full of difference and controversy, but that’s what makes it interesting and a learning experience. This film asks us to look beyond our differences to what we have in common, so we can create something beautiful and sustainable – a new way of being, a new kind of world.
GhettoPhysics is probably aimed at young people who feel alienated and disempowered by “the system,” but I believe it will resonate across the spectrum of age and culture. It is a fascinating and unusual blend of body-mind-spirit and African-American street culture. Those prone to “get the vapors” at the sound of a 4-letter word should probably give it a miss. For the rest of us, it is a richly rewarding reminder of the interconnection of everything and everyone everywhere. It is time to recognize each other as brothers and sisters, and rise up together for the common good if we are to survive as a species.
As Lo Da Show, one of the street characters in the film, so succinctly put it, “Let’s unite, let’s don’t fight, and let’s get the money right!”
If you’ve put on a few years and a few pounds, Yoga in Bed is the perfect way to gently ease into the day, and perhaps push back the hands of the clock. The new edition is a Vook, a digital app for an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad that combines the features of a book and video, and it’s ideal for reading/watching in bed.
The Yoga in Bed vook is divided into seven brief chapters that first introduce yoga as a practice, then take you through breathing, stretching, and poses for different objectives like rejuvenate, enliven, center, renewal, and finally a meditation for emerging refreshed. The chapters are illustrated with photographs of the poses, and emphasize the importance of tuning into your body and letting it relax into the poses. The brilliance of the vook is all accompanying videos in which Naomi Sophia Call describes each movement as she demonstrates it against a background of beautiful scenery. The luscious music helps you float languidly through the stretches and poses like a cat by a fire.
Read through the book first, then you can just play the videos in sequence to let her guide you through them all. Pause it whenever you want to spend a bit more time on a given stretch or pose. Yoga in Bed lowers the last barriers to exercise – no one’s watching, you’re in control going at your own pace, and the bed is so-o-o much more comfy than the floor. Naomi, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Alison Chester-Lambert is a longtime professional astrologer, who runs a School of Astrology and broadcasts horoscopes for the BBC, so while she doesn't shy away from taking controversial positions, she seems to have the credentials to back them up. In “The Future in the Stars" she describes how the discovery and naming of new planets and the demotion of Pluto to the status of dwarf planet tell us what life will be like in the 21st century. This broad-ranging book is a fascinating mix of astrology, psychology, cultural anthropology and physics.
She expects a period of extreme change, but no 2012 cataclysm. In fact, she thinks we have been looking at the wrong solstice and the summer rather than the winter solstice of 2012 is much more interesting. She sees in the stars a call for a revolution on many levels - spiritual, technological, environmental and social. Her original take on the nature of the underworld, our connection to Gods and Goddesses, and "Lake of Souls" turns conventional religious understandings on their heads. Very interesting reading!
Bradford Keeny’s exhuberant presence roars through the pages like a force of nature. He combines the verbal passion of an evangelical preacher with the visceral language patterns of a rap artist to grab readers by the ears and shake them to their core. By emulating the vigorous shaking practices of the Kalahari Bushmen, the oldest continuous spiritual tradition on the planet, Keeney wants us to lose our reserve and connect with our emotions in order to experience the deep joy of connection to all and “climb the ropes to God. “
One of the interesting things I've observed in the books coming our way of late is a wall-to-wall explosion of spiritual awakening. It doesn't matter if you're rich or homeless, a businessman or a check-out clerk, a religious person or total skeptic, a 20-something or retired - you're equally likely to get a wake-up call.
The "call" comes in many forms - visual, auditory, synchronicities, healings, and just plain miracles. Typically those receiving it think it has to be their imagination or they're afraid they're "losing it" and resist until they can't deny it any more. The "it" in question pretty much boils down to a realization that we are much more than our physical bodies, that our souls are in communication with something greater and that we are all a part of this One consciousness. The perception that what connects us all is the overpowering love of the One, seems to fill people with such joy that they are compelled to share it through their books, films, talks and what they do in the world.
One remarkable film that just came out is called "Wake Up." It is about Jonas Elrod, a young artist who suddenly started to see and hear angels, demons, ghosts, lights and auras that scare the $#!& out of him. This is an extraordinarily down-to-earth documentary that follows him around for a year as he sets out to understand what is happening to him. It records his visits to teachers around the world, and the gradual transformation within him as he comes to terms with the gift he was given.
So there you have it. You can believe that there is an epidemic of otherwise sane people suddenly going collectively mad ... or you may be ready to consider that something wonderful and magical is happening on a grand scale. You might even be ready to allow some magic into your life...hmmm?
When it comes to mind-body medicine, Inna Segal not only "gets it", she delivers what is sure to become a... if not "the" classic resource for therapists and those who want to get well or stay that way. In this updated and expanded edition of the Australian bestseller, Segal pulls together a veritable arsenal of complementary techniques. She offers readers a wide list of ailments together with profound insights into their likely associated root causes. She then goes into how to apply a combination of physical, psychological and energetic remedies to bring about what many report as almost miraculous relief. Perhaps the most surprising is the use of color, which she considers one of the most powerful vibrational remedies.
Segal teaches you how to learn to tune into your own body and read the messages it is broadcasting in the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle language of metaphor. She explains the systems of the body and provides a list of ten common-sense principles for healing that starts with your commitment to make your health a priority and to learn to feel your emotions rather than suppressing them. Healthy eating, movement, full breathing, creativity, color, gratitude and laughter fill out the list.
It is rather surprising that someone who looks so young should have such wisdom, but it turns out that that wisdom was hard won. Starting in her teens, she was severely affected by crippling back pain, which a variety of doctors were unable to relieve. Her only option was to discover how to access her body and spirit's higher intelligence and heal herself, and as she did so others began to come to her for help.
"The Secret Language of Your Body" reflects Inna's commitment to teach what she has learned. It is a healers' manual that should be part of the core library of any enlightened home.
Many of the recent books on the impact of consciousness on reality come from scientists rooted in psychology and quantum physics. While Dr. Meg Losey’s sources may be paranormal, they too have the ring of truth. Through a combination of channeling, dialog with entities and out of body experiences, she has been able to put together an impressively cogent and comprehensive overview of the evolution of consciousness from the creation of the universe through the anticipated events of 2112.
Starting with her own story of how she opened her own consciousness to other dimensions, Dr. Meg weaves a rich tapestry that includes multi-dimensional reality, science, conscious evolution, wormholes, genetic evolution, other world civilizations, ancient sacred sites, the Kaballah and more. The book provides the equivalent of the unified field theory using sacred geometry to link everything from the Merkaba to the Tree of Life and the Mayan calendar.
She describes the exciting potential we all have right now to affect not only our own lives but also the earth changes ahead. She explains that we all have the ability to energize the reality we want and teaches us, with explanations and meditations, how to claim our birthright and use it.
This is such a great book for anyone who has been having experiences they can’t explain and wants to learn how to open more fully to their own potential. Not everyone will necessarily resonate with everything in this book, but those who do will be blown away by the richness and scope of the information conveyed.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the book that gives you an idea of the deep wisdom within:
“As you begin to witness and experience the coming change, do not hide from yourself and others. Stand in your spiritual might and be among the counted, those who chose the higher road. Reach out and touch your fellow beings, offer your strength, your wisdom, courage and power, and remind them of theirs. Empower each other and embrace the infinite.…Greet us on equal terms, for each of you is a Master of greatness.”
This spiritual memoir has all the obscure clues, improbable twists, drama and suspense that one would expect in a finely crafted detective story…only it’s all true. Randolph Rogers meticulously recorded his experiences from the time he had the disturbingly vivid dream that set him down a path of exploration that would forever change his life.
In this dream, his childhood friend, Kathy, told him that she had died, and to please tell certain of her friends. Rogers had lost all connection with her, but he enlists his mother in tracking down the family and does indeed discover that Kathy had died of cancer on the day of the dream. Through a series of synchronicities, he is led to an acupuncturist who specializes in past life regressions, and discovers that he and Kathy were twin souls who had shared many lifetimes.
When Rogers, a videographer, takes advantage of a business trip to England to visit the scene of one of his regressions at Pontefract Castle, he is blown away by knowing details of the place that were no longer visible. He opens to dimensions of spiritual experience that are poles apart from his rigid Catholic school upbringing. Through the journeys he takes in the dream state and in regression, and the accumulation of improbable coincidences, he gradually becomes convinced that we humans are eternal beings whose essence is love and whose expression is creation.
The Key of Life is not just the story of one man’s search for meaning, but of every man’s quest to understand the mystery of why we’re here and how it all works. The answers that Rogers found by opening himself to the mystery and communicating with other dimensions are comforting and encouraging to us all.
Reading this book is a bit like eating your way through an enormous banquet, lured on by the promise of a delectable dessert – but when you get to the end, they've run out! The one compensation is that the feast itself is lavish and tasty. The central thesis of the book is that the ancient creation myths of Gods, giants and heroes were not myths at all, but actual history recorded on clay tablets for posterity. Pulling together the best parts of his earlier books, Zecharia Sitchin presents an overview of the cosmology of our planet in which he makes the case for alien intervention causing the unexplained leap from homo erectus to homo sapiens and the rapid flowering of early civilizations.
While the various records use different names for the same gods and reflect different national perspectives, they reinforce each other’s main story lines. The detective work used to piece together a coherent chronology is breathtaking. Weaving together ancient texts, including the bible, the Enûma Elish and the Gilgamesh epic with archaeological finds and artifacts from Mesopotamia to Egypt, the 90-year-old author of The 12th Planet presents the gods (conflated in the bible to one God) in a very “human” light. Indeed, it is somewhat depressing to realize that these advanced beings, who became the lawgivers and models for our societies, had the same appetites, ambitions, jealousies and taste for sex, war and conflict that we see in ourselves. Since, according to Sitchin, aliens used genetic engineering to introduce their DNA into that of the native hominids, I guess one could say that we come by it honestly.
The translation of ancient languages is often based on best guesses and there are disagreements and rivalries amongst the archaeologists – they are human after all. While many of them ignore evidence that doesn’t fit into the conventional worldview, Sitchin is fearless in reveling in inconvenient truths such as pictures of rocket ships and anachronistic artifacts like exquisite inlaid gold ornaments and musical instruments dated to the Bronze Age – before such technologies should have existed. Given Sitchin’s lifelong dedication to Mesopotamian archaeology, his interpretations are as plausible as any of them, and a lot more fun to read than most.
So that brings us to the uneaten dessert. In 1922 Leonard Wooley, a British archaeologist dug up a royal cemetery in what was identified as the ancient city of Ur of the Chaldees. One of the undisturbed tombs contained the skeleton of a woman on a bier covered in a jeweled cape and surrounded by a fortune in gold ornaments, ceremonial objects and the remains of almost a hundred attendants. The skull was exceptionally large and elongated, and Sitchin traced the inscriptions on the seals in the tomb to an Anunnaki goddess, whose genealogy goes back to the first gods to land on Earth from the seed planet, Nibiru.
The find could finally prove Sitchen’s claim of our alien ancestry, and for the past eight years he has been petitioning the curators of the British Museum repeatedly to conduct DNA tests on the bone, but they have refused. A comparison with Neanderthal and modern human DNA would answer these questions once and for all. Let’s hope enough pressure is brought to bear by the community to get the tests done. That would be a fitting dessert for us and for Zacharia Sitchin. In the meantime, enjoy the feast!
Sexual abuse by the church is much in the news lately. What we don’t hear about is religious abuse by the church. Jallen Rix tells the story of the strict Baptist upbringing that put him into deep inner conflict. With the fear of damnation drilled into him, he wanted to “accept Jesus” and live the religious life. He was also a young man with raging hormones directed at other males, so understand his homosexuality he sought psychological counseling. Eventually he joined an Ex-gay church group to get support in overcoming his homosexual urges and “go straight.”
Many gay people with deep religious feelings find themselves forced into self-loathing and/or deception by the churches they trust. To try and reconcile their conflicting emotions and conform to the heterosexual lifestyle, they subject themselves to what can only be described as brainwashing and religious abuse. Many of them date and marry, only to suffer and fail.
“Every day I feel the burdens of regret and grief. I grieve for my own years of anguish, but also for the confusion and pain I caused my wife, my family and my friends.” – Ex-gay survivor David Christie.
This well-written account of Rix’s struggle and eventually his success in stepping into his power should be of tremendous comfort and support to others struggling with these issues. I believe, however, that it has a broader message that should be taken to heart by parents, teachers and clergy of all cultures.
The consequence of an upbringing steeped in fear-based religion, Rix found, is religious dependency. This manifests as being so alienated from one’s own internal guidance system that one is incapable of choice and discernment. In effect, it means ceding control over one’s life to the religious authority or being forced into a life of alienation and deception.
Don’t we see exactly this playing out on today’s religious and political stages where right wing political figures and clergy are outed in their hypocrisy? As Rix states, “Clearly the ex-gay movement is, at the very least, an outgrowth of the out-of-control power abuse in large parts of the church… (which) can move political forces to instigate acts of war and exclusion, while any sign of compassion is lost. Indeed, the church’s reputation in many areas of our society is that of paranoia, half-truths and hypocrisy. I ask you, “What would Jesus do?”
Have you ever had a dream that seemed so real that you could recall every detail and felt it resonating in your being long afterwards? How about trying to crack a problem for hours that just wouldn’t give, only to wake up with the solution? If so, you’ve had a glimpse of the parallel reality that James Twyman accessed, that caused such a shift in his life.
Whether or not you are skeptical about the idea of the afterlife, “The Barn Dance” is compelling reading. Twyman tells the true and intensely personal story of the tragic murder of the love of his life to a random murder. Spanning a period of 20 years, the former monk turned spiritual musician and author explores with deep candor how the conflicting emotions of pride, love, ambition, hurt and guilt impact our lives and relationships, and keep on doing so until we recognize and release their hold on us.
Driven by an inner compulsion, James revisits the scene of a near fatal skid he had on the trip back to Oregon with his daughter, after his wife’s death. What he sees as he looks over the precipice he so narrowly missed plunging over, draws him down to the bottom of a canyon where he gets lost. He falls asleep, and enters into a series of experiences that span the tenuous border between reality and the dream state.
Whether you believe that he crossed over into a parallel dimension, or was just having a lucid dream, his journey was life changing, and not only for him! He takes us along with him as he struggles to understand its meaning, and I’m sure most readers will find a strong personal resonance with his quest. His revelations will trigger our own, and his catharsis can bring on ours.
I hope “The Barn Dance” opens a lot of minds to the possibilities it presents: that we are here for a purpose but we need to do the work to find the answers; that life continues and love persists beyond the grave; and that it is our birthright to be happy.
A no-holds-barred analysis of what sent the economy plunging into the worst global recession since the Depression, and what we urgently need to do to climb out of the slime pit. Corporate hit man turned eco-warrior John Perkins believes that it was the pervasive attitude that growth and profits justify any actions that got us into this mess, rather than any grand conspiracy.
Optimistically, he believes we can still turn it all around if we demand new standards of truth from the establishment and from ourselves, and realize how critical it is to our future to save the planet and stop sacrificing it to greed.
This is a consciousness-raising, paradigm-shifting gem of a book, and it needs to be read by everyone concerned with the future of humanity and the planet, particularly policy-makers. Juliet Schor tells it like it is - we want to have our affluent lifestyle cake and eat it too, and it just can't work any longer. She explains lucidly and without jargon, how the economy got into this state, how the politicians and economists have failed us, what are the limits of growth, and how we can not only survive, but thrive.
This is a sobering read, and hard-going at times, but it is ultimately hopeful because Schor shows how we can turn the tide using intelligence and community-based human capital.
The good news is that the shifts in spending and working habits that she suggests, while they are pretty austere, actually should result in greater happiness and quality of life for us all. Many in the new consciousness are already thinking and living along these lines, so if you don't need this book, buy it anyway and pass it on to a neighbor who does need waking up. I do, however, think that most of us would benefit from reading it.
Poeticology is the passionate expression of the feelings and life obervations of a young black man, rendered in the rhyme and cadences of hip hop. The poems speak eloquently of love and longing, abuse and revenge, rape and innocence, war and betrayal, depression and healing of the spirit.
Percival Jordan revels in the rich, juicy use of language, defying the anti-intellectual disdain of the macho culture of his peers. His imagery ranges from raw and stark to tender and wistful –alternately painful and full of hope. One wonders if he’s an isolated voice or the tip of the iceberg of an awakening consciousness among black youth who are claiming back a spiritual and intellectual freedom that society has denied them.
I was particularly charmed by the last poem, “You Are Appreciated – to all my readers.” It had the flavor of a Shakespearean epilogue, and I could almost see the poet alone on the stage, taking leave of the audience at the close of an eventful time together. This is an impressive first collection, and I look forward to reading more as his writing matures.
On the face of it, you wouldn’t think that an hour of expressionless narration in a barely intelligible north England accent about totally obscure codes and connections could hold one’s interest…but it did. Strangely enough, the video journey through the castles, churches, graveyards, streets and underground passageways of Lincolnshire, supplemented with art, architecture, music and rather good video graphics, made the story of a church plot to wipe out the bloodline of Jesus and Mary almost plausible.
I found myself about equally divided between appreciation of the research that went into connecting the dots, and pained amusement at the lengths to which my credulity was being stretched. Curiously, about the only connection that Dan Green didn’t draw was in a painting by Rene d’Anjou, the King of Naples and Grandmaster of the Priory of Sion, who spent his life looking for the tomb of the Magdalene. It shows a knight standing by a monument whose inscription warns against “bitter water.” The name Mary is a translation of the Hebrew, Miriam, which means “bitter water.”
If you enjoy books like The Da Vinci Code and Holy Blood, Holy Grail, you will probably find “The Murder of Mary Magdalene” quite intriguing.
If The Vitamin D Solution gets the attention it deserves, it could have a greater benefit for public health than all the drugs on the market today, except perhaps antibiotics. In this book, Dr. Holick presents overwhelming scientific evidence that vitamin D plays a crucial role in the body’s immune system, mood, brain and heart health, and weight and strength. He also shows that vitamin D deficiency is epidemic in the northern hemisphere and is a central player in the prevalence of conditions like diabetes, cancer, stroke, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, depression and many more.
Dr. Holick’s scientific credentials are impeccable, and even the mass media are beginning to climb on the bandwagon and talk about vitamin D supplements. Sunshine is free, but a combination of lifestyle and scare tactics about skin cancer has made us shun its life-giving benefits. One of the most sobering statistics in this very readable book is that for every one person who might die because of skin cancer due to over exposure to the sun, 55 people will die due to lack of vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin made by our skin.
He gives detailed recommendations about vitamin D supplementation as well as for how to strike an optimal balance for sun exposure with minimal risk. The book is full of fascinating case studies and research reports that delight a medical nerd like me. One of the most fascinating to my mind was the role of vitamin D in ensuring communication among cells. One of the characteristics of cancer is the breakdown of this communication, allowing cells to go rogue. Sounds like a metaphor for society…
I really think that everyone who works indoors all day needs to read this major wakeup call.
You wouldn’t think from the title that there is anything remotely spiritual about this book, but you’d be wrong. What makes it spiritual is the balance between an astute understanding of the dynamics of money and business on the one hand, and an emphasis on the need to find a path that makes your heart expand and your spirit sing. In fact the final tag line in this powerful book is a great summary of what it is about: “Giving you the competitive edge without losing your soul.”
This is a book for entrepreneurs, and Dov Baron makes a good case for joining their ranks, especially for boomers, and especially in this economy. It is written in a direct style that pulls no punches and makes you probe your own preconceptions about value and what really matters to you in your life. He brings you face to face with how your subconscious mind can sabotage your success, but gives you some great techniques for turning it around. I would call it a psycho-spiritual approach to financial success, but it is not a quick fix. Dov talk about concepts like becoming aware of the frequencies you’re resonating at, and at the same time he leads you through a set of teachings and exercises that build your financial muscles.
The book is crammed with practical advice that can be applied in the real world, but like any exercise regime, you need to do the work if you want results. Dov is so passionate about helping spiritual entrepreneurs find their mojo that he offers readers of this book access to abundant support through videos, free seminars and an online entrepreneurs’ community.
Oh WOW! Diana's love of food shines through her incredibly gorgeous photographs of every recipe that literally make your mouth water. Her mission is to unlock the world of health and vitality to be found in the produce section and farmers markets. She is not a raw food purist, and her recipes are a combination of mostly raw, lightly cooked, juices, especially green smoothie types, and healthy sweets. They seduce you you with creative food combinations, vibrant colors and outrageously good taste.
The basis of her approach is eliminating refined sugars, wheat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and meat, but she's not fanatic. If you must have that cup of coffee, fine. Getting rid of food cravings, allergies, addictions and excess weight are just the fringe benefits of this life-changing shift. The biggest benefits testified to by her followers are a zest for life and the energy to do anything they want.
The book offers a really sensible overview of how the different foods affect your body, and how to make the changes to your diet that will most impact your health, vitality and appearance - you know, that inner glow! Even my meat-and-potato-loving husband was enthusiastic about these recipes. It doesn't get better than that!
What kind of upbringing leads to a successful old age? What is a successful old age? Beth Rowles Scott would say that it’s being so happy, “pinch me, so I can be sure I’m not dreaming.”
Beth has been on a lifelong quest for happiness, which she believes needs three elements: someone to love; something to do; and something to look forward to. Like the 3-legged stool, life often comes up short on one leg or another, and it is the challenge of balancing all three that keeps life interesting.
Raised on the frozen prairies of Saskatchewan during the depression, Beth’s flowing narrative captures the essence of a life well lived. Money was tight in her early years and all the children in the family had to share the chores, which included growing produce and selling it in town. Beth developed a work ethic and can-do attitude that she carried with her for life – something we might all contemplate with respect to raising and educating children.
Looking back on a nostalgically wholesome childhood, this “fat little girl from the prairies” grew into a confident and attractive young woman who became a teacher, educator and philanthropist. That fat little girl she left behind will resonate with anyone whose inner child wasn’t pretty enough or smart enough or good enough.
Applying the happiness formula as a compass, Beth found that the most satisfying “something to do” was a “something” done to help others. When she and her husband retired in 1993, they applied their respective skills as educator and lawyer to starting a charity that provides post secondary education for young Africans to become the educators of the next generation. Their charity, ACCES - the African Canadian Continuing Education Society, established eight schools serving thousands of children. As you read their story, you can’t help but share Beth’s passion and quiet pleasure at the difference their efforts have made in so many lives. It is a joy to read and an inspiring example of what can be accomplished at any age.
Now in her eighties, Beth has stepped down as the president of Acces, though she is still active in it. You can find out more at www.acceskenya.org
"The Leader Who Had No Title" tells the story of Blake Davis, a veteran of the war in Iraq who is drifting along at his job, feeling disconnected from his work, from his relationship, and from life in general. One day an extraordinary character walks into his life. This eccentric old man knew Blake’s father, and undertakes to transform his perspective on what really matters in business and in life.
He introduces Blake to four master teachers, including a hotel maid, a former athlete and sports shop owner, a former corporate CEO turned gardener, and a massage therapist. Each one gives Blake an intensive lecture worthy of any MBA curriculum, chock full of psychological and spiritual insights, and tied to acronyms that recap the points in their lessons. The story lines felt a bit forced at the time, but in retrospect, I appreciate those devices, because they brought life to a wealth of business and life wisdom that could have been overwhelming. By putting it all in a real-life context, it was easy to absorb and integrate. How many business books do you remember, hmm?
What I most appreciate about the book is Sharma’s very spiritual interpretation of success. As one of the top leadership coaches in the country, I was delighted to find a philosophy that would be right at home in don Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements". Sharma urges each of us to find balance in our inner lives to give us the energy to launch our gifts into the world. He encourages us to look at our work and our surroundings with fresh eyes, and see the possibility in every situation, and to do our best. We don’t need titles or degrees - just find what needs to be done, whether at work or in the world, and do it.
Another aspect of the book that impressed me was the integrity of the message. It is not about quick fixes or shortcuts to success. It is a game plan for success that needs to be followed consistently over time. Sharma offers us the distillation of his enormous wisdom to show how each of us can be a leader in our own sphere and inspire those around us. This is a powerful book on the kind of leadership we need in the world by a leader who walks his talk. If we heed Sharma's call to be this change, collectively we can make a more wonderful world.
"The Fifth Agreement" is the sequel to "The Four Agreements," which outlines a simple foundation for a happy life that anyone can implement regardless of one’s religion or lack of one. They convey the core of the Toltec shamanic tradition in a nutshell: Be impeccable with your word; don’t take things personally; don’t make assumptions; and do your best.
Don Miguel Ruiz wrote that bestseller 12 years ago, and now has written "The Fifth Agreement" with his son, don Jose. The fifth agreement is deceptively simple, yet incredibly profound. It states, “Be skeptical but learn to listen.” While the first four agreements deal with our relationship to ourselves and how to create a happy life, the fifth agreement deals with our relationship to others, and how to create a better world.
"The Fifth Agreement" asks us to be skeptical and use discernment when listening others, and to understand that everyone has his or her own perspective and agenda reflected in their words. It is up to us to discern the truth behind the words, but always to be respectful of another’s right to his or her views, even if we don’t share them. Each of us is the artist of our own life, the director of our own play, and we can make it an adventure or a drama – heaven or hell, it’s up to us.
The first part of the book reviews the first four agreements, discussing how the meanings we attribute to symbols define us culturally. The second part of the book delves into the more advanced concepts of the Toltec mystery school, including the Fifth Agreement, Victims, Warriors, Masters and Seers. All the concepts are explained in ways that anyone can understand and, hopefully, implement in one’s life.
I had the opportunity to ask don Miguel in an interview why he didn’t include the fifth agreement in his first book, and he said, “It wasn’t the time.” The fact that he decided that it is now the time, implies that we are finally ready as a society to learn to listen to each other and to respect our differences. Combined with the prescription for living joyfully offered by "The Four Agreements," we really could have heaven on earth. This powerful little book shows the way, and makes it all sound possible.
Suzanne Jauchius’s memoir about growing up with an abusive mother and having to hide her impressive psychic abilities from her and a string of equally abusive husbands was like a soap opera. It was addictive - every page brought a new melodrama, so you keep reading compulsively to find out what happens next. You want to shake her as she ruefully admits to one bad choice after another, but you cheer her on as she gropes her way out of a prolonged dark night of the soul towards the light of self knowledge and acceptance of herself and her gifts.
Writing such an intimate memoir was a courageous act and, I would guess, the culmination of her own healing process. I think the core messages of the book are ones that we can all take on board: there are no victims, only accomplices; connecting with the natural world is essential to grounding oneself; and finding community supports you in finding inner peace.
As a working psychic Suzanne takes great pride in her psychometric skills and ability to get messages from objects and situations, which she has validated in a wide range of police cases and readings. She is a bit dismissive of the fuzzy emotional impressions of many new age psychics. I suspect that this view is colored by her own history of hiding her emotions and talents from her critics as a defense mechanism.
Anyone who has hidden or suppressed their own intuitive abilities out of fear of ridicule or worse can resonate with her struggle for validation. Ultimately, however, the psychic aspect of the story is only a byplay in her struggle to find validation and acceptance as a human being.
The lessons she learns the hard way are universal, and the fundamental one is that we can’t find ourselves in the eyes of others. We must do the inner work of erasing the tapes of our childhood, and releasing the baggage that has kept us from being whole and vibrant and joyful. Suzanne was lucky enough to have found some wonderful mentors along the way, and this book may be her way of paying their kindness forward. In any event, it’s a darn good read.
A Synthesis of Wisdom and Compassion
Wow! What a marvelous example of integral thinking, bridging cellular biology and spirituality. The Code of Authentic Living provides a deeply compassionate counterweight to the alienation and isolation of the individual so prevalent in our time. Reflecting the truism in mystical circles that states, “As above, so below, ” Joan King applies the principles of how the components of the cell interact and cooperate as an interdependent community to illuminate our understanding of what human beings need to thrive.
Dr. King emphasizes the importance of discovering one’s core values and living in alignment with them. “In order to unlock our full potential,” she suggests, “we must be part of a community whose values are harmonious with our own.” Just as all the mechanisms of the body are brought into play to achieve balance and homeostasis, so should the individual seek out supportive elements within society that let him or her maintain equilibrium. Equally it is up to each individual to contribute creatively to the greater whole. A good example is Cicely Saunders, who was moved by the pain, fear and loneliness of the dying and the helplessness of their families. Determined to do something about it she founded the Hospice movement. There are now thousands of hospices around the country providing an invaluable service.
Dr. King gives pragmatic suggestions for engaging in social action and delivering the most fundamental requirements of a healthy society – protecting the vulnerable, welcoming diversity, overcoming conflict and prejudice and finding creative outlets for the individual spirit.
This book is an amazing achievement and would make a fine workbook for any community or spiritual organization. There are discussion points and exercises at the end of each chapter that help internalize the change one needs to “be”.
If we could apply to politics and government the same guidelines for authenticity that Dr. King has so beautifully articulated, what a tipping point that would be.
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