Reviews written by Julie Clayton
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Return to Beauty
I once read that you should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t also put into your mouth. Well, this book is nothing but mouth-watering skin care recipes that are quick and easy (often only two or three ingredients), and many of the ingredients are already in your kitchen. They require a little more effort than store-bought beauty products, however, since they have to be kept refrigerated and made frequently. Personally, I find this a small price to pay for the benefit of natural skin care—chemical-free and nutrient-rich.
And, although I can’t state with scientific certainty that the recipes actually reduce lines or make my skin healthier, I can say that I feel so much better making and using my own beauty potions that my inner radiance comes through and this is what people notice. Yes, I understand that beauty is more than skin deep, but we women know that if we feel good, we look good--and vice versa.
Return to Beauty is nicely presented and easy to use. It includes step-by-step directions for giving yourself a facial, as well as recipes specific to the seasons, skin types, and sun signs; simple solutions for skin, hair, and nail care; pregnancy skin care—there is even a short section on skin care for men. If you’re ready to invest a few extra minutes of your time and energy into feeling and looking good, try some of the recipes and see the results for yourself. You’re worth it.
Transformative New Thoughts--T.N.T-- also stand for “dynamite.” And that’s what this book is: a small package that is packed with a joyful, fun-loving power. Author Jeoffrey Hutcherson has taken some basic words used in the English language, such as release, or idea, and tossed them into a kaleidoscope of spiritual/transformative meaning. When we look at these common words through this new lens, we see that they can also form uplifting messages and emotions. Contemplative questions and suggestions for meditation follows each reconfigured word, with blank space for notes.
The ideas and play on words are intriguing, but for me it is Jeoffrey’s unwavering enthusiasm and love of life that shines through and showers the reader with delight, as he invites the greatness and perfection within each of us to come forward.
“The truth of the matter is, to find happiness we don’t have to become something other than we are, we just have to stop pretending to be something we are not.”
Reading this book ignited a memory of a love song from decades ago, and the chorus went like this: “It’s only words - and words are all I have - to take your heart away.” Author John Welshons took my heart away with his words in One Soul, One Love, One Heart. I read the first eighty pages in one breath, surrendering into the love in my own heart and the larger truth he points out: that what we all want—more than anything—is Love.
This book is a manifesto for spiritual awakening and transformation that literally goes to the heart of the matter: “the truth of our interconnectedness [we are One] and what it can teach us about our relationships with other human beings, the natural world, our universe, and our Creator.” Drawing from authentic sacred truths, personal examples, stories, and an ocean of personal wisdom, Welshons shows us how each of our relationships can offer us the most profound teachings as stepping-stones toward awakening to our true Self. Shifting the focus of spiritual practice from one that is solitary and self-serving to one that is relational and serves the higher good, models the sacred path to healing as our evolutionary destiny.
The path of love may be the most difficult path—to learn to love that which we most resist—and yet it is only by turning our personal evolution in this direction that we will change the human condition. This path isn’t just polyannish idealism: it’s true! When did anger ever solve conflict? When did fear ever feel like happiness? Awakening isn’t merely a matter of riding waves of bliss, it’s also the descent into the hardened, ugly, and painful places that keep our heart constricted and unmoved. We can transmute these experiences when we think and act in ways that focus on our experience of Oneness, commit to and practice awareness and meditation, and nurture our spiritual heart. Welshons shows us how to heal our most difficult relationships and nurture our healthy ones, guiding us in our capacity for love and connecting us to humanity, the planet, and our spirituality.
Read this book and let your heart be opened to the wisdom, truth, and beauty within it.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~ Rumi
This is a fascinating and brilliant book that is long overdue, and yet no doubt right on time in terms of marking the expanding edges of human consciousness. Editor Tami Simon has gathered twenty-four essays on aspects of the kundalini awakening experience from mystics, psychologists, neuroscientists, and ordinary people who have had their life turned inside out by kundalini energy coursing through their body, psyche, and spirit.
The definitions of kundalini are as varied as the authors and essays, and yet the common theme is that kundalini is an awakening of consciousness--in a big way. The power of kundalini energy arising seems to come in numerous forms and each person is affected in a highly individual way; for all it marks the beginning of an entirely new way of being, and of being in the world.
One author, Penny Kelly, says that people often ask her why kundalini awakening occurs (and perhaps wonder why it would happen to her in particular) and her reply is quite astute: “Because it can happen. It is a potential that is built into us.” And, according to many of the authors in this book, there are increasing numbers of people having increasing experiences that could be described as opening to the (kundalini) energy of awakening. This has much to do with accelerating awareness of human consciousness, planetary shifts, and the existence of trans-dimensionality.
If you have ever had a kundalini experience, or think you may be undergoing an awakening, this book will guide, reassure, and enlighten you. If you haven’t, be advised that reading Kundalini Rising may actually help to catalyze the awakening experience. As Simon says, “It is as if once we understand the energy that lies within us and the pathways through which it can travel in our subtle body, we have an ability to visualize and flow with the process with heightened sensitivity. May Kundalini Rising help activate this natural unfolding of our expanded human potential in you, for the sake of the whole.”
This slender guide gives a succinct outline of family constellations work—the method for family conflict re-solution developed by German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger. Typically carried out in groups, with one person having their family issue “constellated” by the other participants (who are called representatives), family constellations are inherently experiential. So, while it is useful to have a book outlining how the constellation is set up and carried out, it’s one of those experiences where you really have to be there to get it.
You have to be there partly because the work unfolds in an unknown energetic field that seems to be outside of time and space, which sounds pretty flaky until you stop to consider that we are continually being bombarded by energy that we don’t know about and can’t see. Every family is a field of energy in which the members are held, each in our own unique position. Genes, beliefs, values, and behavior patterns are passed on through the generations, and our particular family field either enhances or limits our capacities for happiness, harmonious relationships, success and achieving goals, health, freedom of choice, and well being.
Family constellation work seems especially useful for personal concerns that seem long-standing and immovable, despite therapeutic or spiritual tools that may have been used previously to loosen their hold. Author Joy Manne presents case histories that help illuminate the ways that family constellation work offers clients and participants an opportunity to learn about life and relationships at a deep and profound level. Greater self-respect and wholeness are often what participants experience after having their constellation done, as well as healing within the family system; the benefits seems to ripple throughout the family system over time and in ways that are both subtle and obvious.
Family Constellations is a useful guide for those new to the method. Bert Hellinger, the founder of this therapeutic method gives a glowing endorsement saying that this is the best introduction to his work he’s read. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I have personally attended, participated, and trained in family constellation work and I can attest that it is an extraordinarily powerful, moving, and fulfilling method for re-solution of personal issues, family systems and ancestral appreciation.
Part I of Emotional Wisdom introduces the basic principles of Taoism (spirit in action) and excerpts from the Tao de Ching for understanding Taoist spiritual wisdom. This understanding is the foundation and springboard from which the author has developed energy practices to transform the negative emotions of anger, depression, and fear. And as we know by now, spiritual enlightenment does not suggest that we ought not to have such emotions, nor that they are inherently “bad” in and of themselves. However, as human development goes it seems that we have a habit of ignoring our painful emotions and stuffing them away, or being reactive instead of response-able with them. When we ignore or stuff unwanted emotions, inevitably they end up lodged in our cells, muscles, organs, and tissues, which over time creates ever-increasing physical issues and lack of well being.
Part II explains the valuable messages contained within these emotions and healthy ways to deal with them, in particular, the practice of what author Mantak Chia calls “The Six Healing Sounds” and “the Inner Smile.” Parts III, IV, and V provide comprehensive step-by-step instructions and illustrations for practicing these internal energy healings and Part VI offers nutritional advice for emotional issues and natural remedies for minor ailments.
Chia has been teaching these practices, known as The Universal Healing Tao System, for forty-five years and co-author Dena Saxter has been teaching for over twenty-six years. Once learned, the practice takes only twenty minutes a day, and with consistent practice, promises to transform internal imbalances into harmony and joy. Emotional Wisdom brings the essence of ageless wisdom into twenty-first century relevance and application. For those interested in or drawn to Eastern-based philosophy and healing techniques as tools for transformation, I highly recommend this book.
Mike Dooley is a popular and affable inspirational author and speaker who embraces life as an adventure. Infinite Possibilities is an invitation for each of us to join him on the greatest quest of all—living and manifesting our dreams. His roadmap for achieving this begins with understanding the terrain: “thoughts become things.” From this perspective and principle, all roads lead to Rome (so to speak) and it is a fun, easy ride with Dooley as our enthusiastic guide.
Dooley manages to distill complex ideas about human nature, spiritual growth, and our place in the Universe into plain language that is equal parts sincerity and inspiration. He assures us that life is to be lived joyously and fully, and so the first step toward living our dreams is to get up and do something! What and how we “do something” are what follows in Infinite Possibilities, always held within the context that loving life itself, with all of its ups and downs, is the greatest secret to happiness. We are spiritual beings with infinite potential, says Dooley, and the art of living our dreams is only limited by our ability to imagine and act on them.
The Wisdom of Your Dreams is far more than just another dream book: it is a unique and exciting journey into our unconscious, where symbols, soul urges, and the creative muse romp, untethered by earthly anchors. Understanding the language of your unconscious and its dream messages can transform your life deeply and profoundly. If you’re looking for cookie-cutter interpretations of dream images and a quick dream-meaning fix, this is NOT the book for you.
Author Jeremy Taylor is an erudite and eloquent dream master who draws from four decades of teaching and facilitating thousands of people to work with their dreams individually as well as in dream groups. His classic guidelines for working with dream imagery and sharing dreams in group dreamwork are unparalleled in their non-dogmatic approach and scope of application. A new introduction and chapter in this updated version of “Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill” elaborates on how the evolution of consciousness, something that is highly relevant in this modern era, is yet another layer of meaning that we can glean from working with our dreams. And, as is one of Jeremy Taylor’s trademark signatures, we are reminded that even (or especially) in an evolutionary context, and regardless of the content, “dreams always come in the service of health and wholeness.”
With Taylor as our guide, in The Wisdom of Your Dreams we find ourselves popping down rabbit holes of psyche and psychology, culture and mythology, symbols and spirit, creativity and potential. He brings to this field astounding and original theories about the universal and personal meanings of dreams and dreamwork and offers many real life stories and dream examples, which convey the astuteness of his perceptions. A veteran teacher and dream group leader, Taylor’s understanding of how archetypes, mythology, psyche, and culture weave together a vibrant dreamscape that is indeed the “workshop of conscious evolution” is nothing less than brilliant.
Children of Now, the Indigo children, are the new generation with genetically encoded heightened awareness. Children of Now “are part of a fast-forward evolution of the consciousness of humanity,” says author Meg Losey. They are gifted with astute intuitive awareness and sensitivity, among other qualities. Parents of these children, like all parents, want only the best for their children. But how to give children who are already innately ahead of their parents in conscious awareness the best? By being the very best. By doing the inner work that will transform the shackles of family history, cultural constrictions, or private wounding that keeps us small—so we can not only be present, but adequately nurture these special children.
This is a straightforward and compassionate book for personal growth. It is filled with real-life scenarios that land squarely in the heart of our personal (and human) issues, guiding us with wisdom, strategies, and exercises to grow beyond them. And while the title suggests this book would be of most interest to parents, this doesn’t do it justice. This is a book that anyone could benefit from in any relationship, for it inspires an awakening to our deepest truth and highest potential: good for us, good for our children, good for the planet.
“Symbiotic styles of love are good for the planet and not just for those who practice them.”
Fair warning that this book is not easy reading, but if you can wrap your intellect around the academic style, the author’s departure from mainstream politics of thought will keep you turning the pages. Author Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio takes a renewed look at the body of Gaia, linking human intimacy with global ecology, and positing a new way to think about health and love.
Gaia and the Politics of Love was written with “the intention of figuring out the connections between the arts of healing and the arts of loving.” Love, the author suggests, has been criminalized as a disease, and she invokes science to begin making the case for love as the “cure,” saying: “[E]rotic activity is ubiquitous among the cells that constitute Gaia’s body, including bacteria, Earth’s most ancient lifeforms, who like other microorganism, have “orgiastic sex lives…unrelated to reproduction.” The remedy is that love can be taught as a healing art, representing and galvanizing a political shift in consciousness that will transform Gaia and humanity into the happy, cheerful, and love-full beings that we are.
Gaia and the Politics of Love is an original speculative theory that has deep roots in ecofeminism and polyamory; I predict that there will be many offshoots from this idea that may not be as scholarly (and therefore more approachable), but will nevertheless to some degree move us closer toward a sustainable ecology of love.
“Deep in every heart is a wellspring of wisdom…Our heart’s wisdom comes to us as universal images and symbols…Guided Imagery is a process that focuses our attention inward to receive the impressions, pictures, and dream figures arising from our true nature. These images are the natural expression of our intuition, unconscious mind, and deepest self…”
This book is about seeing with the heart and allowing your unconscious imagery to surface, particularly in response to psychological trauma and crisis. It is one of the best written self-facilitated, self-help books I’ve seen in a while: easy but profound worksheets walk you through your own process, case studies demonstrate how the process can work, the guided imagery really does guide you, and the author’s heart- based wisdom comforts as if she were standing right by you the entire time.
Now, if this title immediately sets off alarms in your head, fear not. As someone who suffers only moderately with digestive intolerances to things like cheese, milk, or beans, I had already dismissed the recipes in this book as being boring or fussy to prepare. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the recipes in this book sound delicious, look fabulous (as we see from over two hundred photographs), and are lively and appetizing.
Preparation and ingredients range from simple to delicate, from hamburgers to fruit flan, and each adheres to the guidelines of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, the “bible” of healthy eating for intestinal healing. If you are in search of a gluten free, sugar free, and lactose free dietary lifestyle, then this is the book for you. If you’re not, this is definitely worth adding to your culinary library because you will want to try some of these irresistible recipes for yourself anyway.
This book is essentially a variation on the theme of emotional freedom techniques—tapping meridian points in certain sequences to release psychological or physical blocks. Co-authors Bender and Sise have introduced another component to this energy psychology that they call TAB: tap and breathe. Tap and breathe may or may not be a useful or even powerful distinction; one would have to wade through the explanatory preambles and numerous protracted preparatory instructions to find out.
There is some useful information in The Energy of Belief and I’m sure that the authors work this modality very effectively with their clients, but they have been less successful in translating their experience into words. This book would benefit from an accompanying video, and a reorganizing of the book layout might make the material more approachable. My recommendation is that if EFT interests you, familiarize yourself with EFT first (try Gary Craig’s EFT series); then read this book for what it brings to the table.
Finally! Something new in the self-help—and specifically the self-help-abundance—genre. Author Ernest Chu reorients our concepts of currency, value, and investment with a soul compass that points us to the true north of our abundance: our metaphysical resources. The riches we desire live within, and Soul Currency elegantly explains, guides, and demonstrates how to understand and utilize our spiritual assets (aspects of intuition and guidance, higher personality traits, creativity, and cultivated skills) as a tangible resource.
More than just a self-help book, this is a paradigm-shifting perspective and use of language. Once we “grok” Chu’s message and befriend our spiritual capital, we realize that we are worth more than we had imagined—we’re invaluable, actually. Soul Currency gives a whole new twist to the phrase, “Dahling, you look like a million dollars.”
Now What is a no-nonsense coaching tutorial for facilitating major life changes. Business and life coach Laura Berman Fortgang gives a succinct introduction that is timely and relevant and then gets straight to the point: the first exercise toward finding clarity for a new life direction.
This book is an active hands-on workbook that offers key insights, practices, and client success stories to get you moving forward. As with anything worth doing well, “this work takes attention, focus and self-reflection,” but boasts a ninety percent effectiveness rate. Although the author’s expertise has revolved largely around career choices, any life circumstance can call for redirection. Fortgang points out what many of us are feeling within: a general (even if unconscious) movement by humans toward a magnified importance for meaning, and toward honoring “those parts of ourselves we have allowed to become dormant.” Clear and practical, Now What makes a solid contribution to the self-help field.
Author Ervin Laszlo has certainly made great contributions to the fields of systems philosophy, conscious evolution, and socio-political evolution. With 69 books to his name, 400 articles, and a long list of appointments, honors, and luminary associates, his credibility seems beyond question. In 1993 he formed a who’s-who think tank called Club of Budapest to “center attention on the evolution of human values and consciousness as the crucial factors in changing course…in the direction of humanism, ethics, and global sustainability."
In Worldshift 2012 Laszlo makes the case once again that it is only by changing our consciousness will we turn planetary breakdown into sustainable breakthrough, and the author this time points our focus for this shift toward business and politics. I’m completely on board with his evolutionary vision, but disappointed in this slim volume (less than 100 pages) subtitled, “Making Green Business, New Politics and Higher Consciousness Work Together.” Part One summarizes of the state of the world, ecologically, politically and socially, Part two addresses objectives, and Part Three is a telling of the “new consciousness myth.” In other words, Laszlo uses a familiar change model format: where are we now, what do we want, how do we reframe our experience (get there from here), and how it will be when we have the change we desire (imagining what we want as if it has already occurred).
In this sense then, this is subconsciously a useful book. But the content doesn’t deliver anything particularly new or captivating. Certainly, Worldshift reminds us of the mounting statistics about ecological and social breakdown, which is always a wake-up call, and the thought experiment “reporting” by two young people from the year 2032 commenting on the new planetary ethics and consciousness is somewhat intriguing—and a story that needs to be told. Still, most of the “solutions” or actions offered in Worldshift are little more than well-worn gestures painted with broad brushstrokes, and sprinkled with quotes from notables.
To be honest, the forewords by Deepak Chopra and Mikhail Gorbachev are more compelling for this reviewer than what follows. Perhaps being in the business of reading multitudes of new consciousness books I have become saturated with new consciousness ideas; perhaps the concepts presented here have been written about so much more comprehensively and compellingly (by Laszlo himself, among many others) that I have high expectations: perhaps this isn’t one of Laszlo’s better efforts.
This is a fine film about “the serious business of happiness.” It is, essentially, a film about spirituality and an opportunity for luminaries from various walks of life to share their spiritual wisdom and insights to help uplift humanity. What sets this film apart from others of a similar bent is the people who are featured in it. In addition to the well-known names such as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and Don Miguel Ruiz, we meet Nachum Schifren—the surfing Rabbi, Geronimo (Pratt) Ji Jaga—a man who spent twenty-seven years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Reverend Robert Schuller (the Crystal Cathedral), the Venerable Tibetan Lama Chodok Gyatso Nubpa, and many others who bring varied perspectives to the common theme of self-realization and spiritual developemnt.
Rather than just a series of talking heads, the film has some wonderful creative elements that give it interest and variety. There is a loose storyline about a young man who is searching for happiness (the film is subtitled “The Awakening of Sean Mulvihill”) and it is through his journey that we meet these various spiritual “experts.” I have one criticism that in an effort to create a “plot,” the film seemed a bit choppy visually and a little clunky, particularly in the beginning. Fortunately, this is a minimal design element distraction in what is overall a film worth watching over and again. (A nice touch to bring in Swami Beyondananda to bridge segments of the film with a little spiritual comic relief.)
It’s a sign of the times that a book like this has been published by a large publishing house (Red Wheel/ Weiser). The author, Monica Holy, is an ordinary woman and yet she has extraordinary abilities to move through alternative states of consciousness. She accesses these other states primarily through the dream state, and Fringe Dweller is her attempt to describe how she assists people from within this state who are both living and passed, or passing.
She calls herself “an afterlife paramedic” since she is usually called to intervene in situations that are urgent, with no forewarning and no one to explain what is required or to translate the non-ordinary into something that she can understand.
After decades of not understanding her bizarre but innate nocturnal events, and on the edge of collapse, Holy found some direction and mentoring in the physical plane to get her re-grounded. Once she accepted her gifts and reoriented her purpose, guides and “co-workers” from her dream state introduced lessons and schooling for navigating through astral realities during, which continue to this day.
This book is an authentic and brave revelation; the author pioneers a landscape that is unfamiliar to most of us, but that we suspect exists in some form. In this regard, it is human consciousness that is now on the fringe of understanding more fully, thanks to Monica Holy.
Mother Theresa once said: “We cannot do great things in this world, we can only do small things with great love.” She could have been referring to the life and teachings of Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), a Dutch-born Catholic who in his lifetime authored forty books on the spiritual life. He was a secular psychologist, Roman Catholic priest, pastor, Yale professor, Christian writer and philosopher, social/political activist, and more; his life reflected the depth and breadth of his vision: “…that each of us can find a deep, secure home in a God of love, and that together humanity can co-create a house of love in which all people, communities, and nations can live in peace.”
In the brief preface to the chapter “Prayer and Contemplation” the editor captures the essence of Henri Nouwen: “Yes, we are embodied creatures whose inner experience is a continuous river of intellectual, emotional, and sensory data, but what interested Henri was a longing in the heart, a longing of love and for love…”
The Essential Henri Nouwen is a collection of Nouwen’s sermons, with a lengthy introduction to Henri and his life by his friend and editor, Robert Jonas. Nouwen’s ideology had a Catholic foundation but the overwhelming message was one of universal love, and he expressed no interest in hierarchical structures or religious dogma. He did, however, draw strength and insight from Jesus’ spiritual ministry, and challenged himself to understand how he himself could be a minister, counselor, social worker or psychologist and stay in touch with his own vulnerabilities, as Jesus had.
Each sermon is a gentle yet penetrating portal into intimacy: our own and Henri’s. “Nouwen believed that what is most personal is most universal; he wrote, ‘By giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others.’”
His life is a gift and this collection of sermons a treasure.
Like many people who have lived a privileged life (only in the sense that mine has been Caucasian-ordinary and relatively unscathed), I usually stay away from books or films that depict the raw evil that dwells within the human psyche. I find them too painful, too shameful, too assaulting to my empathic sensitivity. Still, I had seen the author of Left to Tell, Immaculee Ilibagiza, on Wayne Dyer’s PBS fundraiser. Her story and her presence moved me then, and when her book practically fell in my lap unbidden, I knew I would read it.
I already knew that it would be an epic story of the worst—and greatest—of human qualities. It’s one of those books that you stay up until the early hours of the morning reading, because you simply cannot put it down. It’s not the horror sightseeing that gripped me, for the author has treated that aspect of this particular human atrocity with a light hand. It’s her awakening to an unwavering belief in a higher power—for her that power is God—under the most dire of circumstances. It’s the miracle of her life now, of her spirit, of her unshakable faith in a life of meaning and unconditional love, even as she almost starved to death hiding from the slaughter in a tiny bathroom with seven other women for 91 days. It’s the admiration that anyone could endure such hardship, hatred, and horror, and emerge with her heart not only in tact, but wide open.
The blood of a million brutally slaughtered Tutsis has stained my heart as well as the human condition. But if ever there was a testimonial to human resilience, to human compassion, and to the power of prayer—which is the same as positive thinking, the author writes—Left to Tell is it!
Why Walk When You Can Fly is both practical and profound. The author, Isha, is an internationally known spiritual teacher whose primary focus is to teach us about our love consciousness. She has developed a simple “system” for inner transformation, based on four powerful statements of profound truth. Using them consistently produces a shift in consciousness that allows us greater happiness, fulfillment, and peace: what the author calls “a recipe for absolute freedom.”
Isha comments: “My entire focus is on elevating the consciousness of humanity. I believe that when each individual finds unconditional love of self within the profound experience of what I call “love-consciousness” – the place of inner fullness and freedom that exists within all of us – the hostility and conflicts of the world will start to fall away by themselves. When we realize that our true essence is unconditional love – that we are all love and that in reality there is no separation between us – love will expand to a pint where our apparent differences will no longer hold such precedence over how we interact with each other. We will embrace each other’s differences as unique expressions of beauty.”
Reading this book is like being held in a maternal bosom of loving acceptance; the author clearly has had an “awakening” that many of us understand conceptually, but have yet to fully experience. The Isha system will deliver us into the experience, we are told—and I believe it.
This small book offers some useful guidelines, therapeutic advice, and strategies for strengthening your loving bond with a partner. Couples who would benefit most from this book are those individuals already aware of their emotions, and willing to bring even greater self-awareness to their relational dynamics.
Shift gets the highest praise from this reviewer; this Panama author is an artist, a wordsmith, and a philosopher of life’s deepest questions. Shift is a guidebook to life that catalyzes us through the deepest regions of knowledge, truth, and language. Asking unexpected questions and then exploring complex ideas clearly and succinctly, the author manages to slice through the inadequacy of words to express the indescribable. Janet’s well-honed use of words sharpens our perception and transforms our thinking, and perhaps even prepares us for genuine transformation. This book flows through you, like a stream of eternal wisdom.
Hail to all the teachers of yoga, for the world is certainly a happier and healthier place thanks to them. Beth Shaw has earned her place among the ranks of notable yogis and her latest book, Yogafit, is worthy of her dedication to the path. With just enough preliminary direction and information this is a great book for yoga initiates, and with a volume of poses of differing intensities, this is a great book to keep one practicing or to challenge your existing practice. Basic instructions accompany each pose, alongside a photograph of someone demonstrating the pose. The series of yoga movements offered in Part III—workouts that incorporate a warm-up, a practice with peaks and valleys, and a cool down-- at varying levels of difficulty-- comprise the Yogafit program. With this structure, one can customize a workout not only for fitness level, but also in response to how your body is feeling on any given day.
The benefits of yoga to mind, body and spirit are numerous and far-reaching; the best reason to do yoga is because you will feel better. How you will feel better is a personal experience, but feel better you will. Just ask anyone who does yoga on a regular basis. Best of all, with modifications, yoga is suitable and beneficial for everyone from three to one hundred, for super-athletes or couch potatoes, for the housebound or wheelchair-bound. If you are breathing, you can do yoga. And Yogafit can help—yes, with the breathing too!
The top ten “superfoods” according to author David Wolfe: goji berries, cacao, maca, bee products, spirulina, blue-green algae, marine phytoplankton, aloe vera, hempseed, and coconuts. What are superfoods? Think Superman and you get the idea. To be more specific, they are not exactly foods and not exactly herbs, but are a class of the most nutrient-dense, potent, and super-concentrated foods on the planet. Each has a dozen or more unique properties. They are a class of foods known as “adaptogens:” distinct from other substances in their ability to boost the endocrine and immune system and the power of the body’s response against stressors. Additionally, they normalize the body by strengthening under-functioning systems and toning down hyper-functioning systems. I could go on about the virtues of superfoods, but you’ll want to find out for yourself—you really will.
Author David Wolfe has done a superb job of finding and sharing the best sources for these foods (most are easier to find than you think), researching their history, properties, and healing benefits, and offering both beginner and advanced raw food recipes. Seven foods that didn’t quite make the top ten, but merited honorable mention, are also included. His passion for bringing these healing foods to everyone on the planet and raising the collective body and soul vibration is only equaled by his knowledge and exuberance in sharing what he knows. After reading Superfoods you’ll be saying, “I want what he’s having!”
Buy this book; it’s beautifully designed, information-rich and has great photographs. Then choose a superfood (or ten) that appeals to you, add it to your diet, and get optimal health! My advice: buy extra copies for your friends and family because you’ll want to keep your own copy close at hand.
Clear, concise, comprehensive, and beautifully illustrated, Yoga Anatomy gives an anatomical perspective of the human body in yoga poses. Each pose is treated with information about its classification and level, key (body) structures used, joint actions, parts of the body working, muscles being lengthened, breathing activity, obstacles, cautions, and notes. Kaminoff does a fine job of explaining—and showing—how the muscles, spine, breathing, and body position are connected and how to get the most out of your yoga practice.
This Silver Nautilus award-winning book is a yoga instructor’s delight. People like myself who dabble in yoga will find that it offers invaluable insight into the inner workings of yoga poses within the body. The anatomical drawings that accompany each pose make it an easy-to-use resource and even if you didn’t read the accompanying text, you would learn something. For those who haven’t had an introduction to the philosophy of yoga or the practice, I’d suggest that you read a yoga “primer” as well, since Yoga Anatomy delves into the details without much preamble—although, the first two chapters thoroughly explain the finer points of breathing and the spine (postural development). This book is a valuable resource and worth keeping in your home library of healing arts.
I am thrilled that a manual—an excellent, easy to follow manual—for learning and applying Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is being made available to the general public. For three decades EFT has metaphorically hung around the fringe of the therapeutic community under different names, being invited into client sessions or out into the public only when an adventurous therapist or psychologist forayed into subtle energy healing. But as collective consciousness shifts and we better understand the significance energy has in both our physical and mental well-being (or lack of it), EFT is taking its well-deserved place among those healing techniques arising in the field of energy psychology.
In a nutshell, EFT combines some basic self-inquiry with sequences of “tapping” meridian points to clear emotional disruptions and/or or physical pain. The meridians are the energy “channels” through which our life energy flows and this energetic flow affects our muscles, tissues, and organs. Each meridian also has an associated emotional attribute; this is the link between mind and body.
For example, if you have a fear of heights, you would begin with a statement such as, “Even though I have this fear of heights, I deeply and completely accept myself.” Then follow the sequences Craig gives, which includes some tapping combined with eye movement (an aspect of EMDR): the whole process takes only a few minutes and anyone can easily follow the sequences without probing into unwelcome memories or needing any medical background.
Naturally there are qualifiers: repetition and consistency are required, and the results vary with each person. Still, EFT has some astounding success stories, even with acute or chronic ailments, or long-held disturbances in our emotional energy. And when working with emotions in particular, there is no doubt that our skill level in getting to the fundamental causes can be cultivated and refined with practice and study—which is why this particular healing modality is so well-suited for therapists and psychologists. However, The EFT Manual gives all the tools needed to utilize this technique regardless of your background; the only requirement is a willingness to try it. You don’t even have to believe it works.
Be sure to check out “EFT for Back Pain” and “EFT for PTSD” by Gary Craig as well; although the “basic recipe” for EFT is the same, each offers more depth and focus into EFT and enriches your understanding of this simple and stunning mind-body healing technique.
The Great Field is an evolutionary story about the place of the human soul within a vast, energetic universe. Far from being new, it is a perpetual story that we already know, but one that continually evolves as consciousness changes and the human story unfolds.
Author John James, PhD, presents an absorbing investigation into a unified theory: the Great Field. He describes it as a limitless field of energy from which everything has been created and within which everything exists: “It is an information-rich cosmos without space nor time that explains how homeopathy and holographs are possible, how cells send signals to every part of the body with no lag in time, and how the heart and the brain can act as one.” As a transpersonal psychotherapist (and he uses the label in its broadest sense), James’ intention is to explore the power of the personal field of energy we call “soul,” within this immense domain.
Like an architect, James begins by drafting a blueprint of spiritual wisdom and leading edge science, building a conceptual foundation for understanding what constitutes the Great Field. He does not argue for its existence, reminding us that “scientific experiments have [already] demonstrated that a universe of energy exists within the material world of our senses.” Instead, he frames the soul and psyche within this design and examines how the consistent vibrations of the Great Field model the basis for developing internal (soul/psyche) coherence.
In the latter half of the book the author draws from twenty years of therapeutic practice to describe his experiences of working with clients within this paradigm: therapy becomes “transformation,” and healing occurs in the deeper fields of vibration that form our psyche. Accepting and experiencing what lives beyond the physical senses can “help to clarify all creation and give meaning to the conflicts that so damages our species,” James optimistically concludes. Equally provocative, he proposes that understanding the psyche also works in reverse—providing a basis for determining how the Universe works.
This is a visionary book that pioneers a promising wave of conscious evolution—cresting into a “cohering reality,” where soul and psyche are harmoniously nested within a constant universal field. It is, as we say, an idea whose time has come. And for the conscious voyager The Great Field is a cosmic beacon, beckoning us onward to explore the boundless reaches of human potential.
Unveiling Your Hidden Power is a contemporary “translation” of the metaphysical and spiritual writings and teachings of Emma Curtis Hopkins. If you didn’t know anything about Emma Hopkins before reading this book, you might assume that she was just another contemporary author shining her light on the metaphysical path. But knowing that she lived from 1849-1925 we cannot help but feel a deep awe and respect for this woman’s pioneering insights, courage, and dedication to Truth. Granted, she built her “science of mind” on others before her—but then, who hasn’t stood on the shoulders of those before them? She has been dubbed the “teacher of teachers” and is considered to be the founder of the New Thought Movement, from which many notable and contemporary thinkers and spiritual denominations emerged.
The author of Unveiling, Ruth Miller, has done an excellent job of updating Hopkins’ Victorian language without compromising the intent or meaning of the teachings. And those teachings are a call to unveil our spiritual nature—our Christ Mind, our God intelligence, our Truth, or however we choose to name it. To that end, Hopkins developed a Science of Mind: a comprehensive program consisting of twelve lessons that will lead anyone to an enlightened state of being, provided they practice.
Practical and profound, Unveiling Your Hidden Power does us a great service by preserving a truly innovative spiritual manual for living in accordance with our higher self. With the plethora of self-improvement information available in our modern world, it is a welcome relief to take time to read this book and savor the “real thing:” a genuine voice of wisdom guiding us along the path of human potential.
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