Reviews written by Cynthia Gregory
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In the Face of Fear is not only a beautiful package of collected wisdom from leading Buddhist thinkers, practitioners, and teachers, it is indeed the antidote to the creeping, nascent fear we are exposed to on a daily basis. In a radically changing world, In the Face of Fear provides a calming counterpoint to seeking safe answers “out there.” It does not deny the presence of subtle, overwhelming, or overt fear, but rather advocates that we accept fear and live a life of purpose anyway. The text is organized into five parts, or five facets, of recognizing, accepting, transforming, moving through, and transcending fear. Each chapter is a luminous gem of understanding as shared by such provocative thinkers as Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, and Jack Kornfield, who provide insights that taste like cool water on a warm day. In these turbulent times, it is recommended to keep this one by the bedside, and refer to it often.
Amy Racine's harrowing tale of her near death experience in the remote wilderness and her subsequent journey to recovery is a story of inspiration and faith. The narrative voice of Angels in the Wilderness is strong and clear as Racine allows her story to unfold, taking the reader along for the journey. This is a well-paced book, alternating between direct action, spiritual reflection, and practical wisdom. It is easy to see that Racine was surrounded by angels the whole time and her courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds is a beautiful lesson to behold.
This is the feel good bible for anyone who wants to hit "happy" more consistently in their life. Marci Shimoff and Carol Kline provide an easy to read guide to finding the happy in every moment and learning to live with and love, the life you've got. Shimoff and Kline's happiness instruction manual is "Chicken Soup" easy to read, as well as practical. Each chapter is loaded with valuable insights, and incorporates wisdom from many sources, including real life examples from "The Happy 100" to help heal and inspire. There's also a great resource guide at the back of the book for continuing study on the art of creating happy as a habit. I've read this book twice, and intend to keep it handy for periodic review.
Alison Bonds Shapiro's story is about how she has been able to work with a life she never planned. Successful and competent, her life took a sudden turn when she suffered two strokes, which turned everything she knew to be true on its proverbial head. The tone and voice of her story is one of gratitude and appreciation for what is. She learned to embody wisdom and healing and found the answer to "who am I now?" Healing into Possibility serves as a gentle guide to anyone who may be managing a life challenge, directing heart and soul to seek resolution through grace. A light-filled and inspiring read.
William Whitecloud's wonderful novel is a story of enlightenment in disguise. We meet everyman Mark Vale at the critical juncture of a life in transition. Everything he had believed to be true simply ceased to be, well, true. And like a true initiate, Mark has a series of experiences with unlikely magicians who show up to share important insights. At first, Mark is dazzled, then entranced by the idea that life is magical and that he himself, is a magician in training. Mark makes several easy quantum leaps and then stubs his metaphysical toe on the hardest lesson of all: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. The Magician's Way is a great modern saga that weaves important universal truths into a page-turning adventure.
This wonderful text is like a handbook for metaphysics 101. The tone of the narrative is akin to sitting with a loving and wiser aunt who takes the time to carefully and in great detail, outline all the reasons you’re wonderful and all the reasons you have to feel happy, complete, and in control of your life. A compendium of many truth traditions, each chapter in Mirror is structured with a ‘lesson,’ a ‘key points’ review, and notes for reflection. Sometimes it calls upon the reader to do ‘the difficult work’ of self-reflection, but always with encouragement and support. If you’ve read many tomes on the topic, this book will be like a warm cup of cocoa at midnight; a soothing reminder that all is well. If you’re new to the subject of higher consciousness teachings, it will be like meeting with a friendly way-shower.
Here is a charming collection of stories that will affirm every animal lover’s suspicion that pets are angels with fur – or feathers, as the case may be. The book is a clever assortment of stories from a host of contributors who give a balanced and loving representation of the animal kingdom. If you’ve ever felt the abiding love of an animal, this book will whisper to your heart and serve as a reminder that those soulful eyes are a direct line to heaven. Angel Animals offers examples of furry friends that bring comfort and camaraderie, pets that have the capacity to inspire faith and joy, companion animals that are smart, and funny, and empathetic. Each story is followed by a thought-provoking meditation, but certainly a high note must be considered the pet portraits -- which without exception flawlessly illustrate the endearing personalities of each cherished companion. Here is a lovely little book of tributes which aims for the heart and does not miss.
A timely collection of essays by smart, sassy, and world-savvy women writers devoted to living single at a ‘certain age’ that seems to take each author by surprise. Dating is sublimely easy when you’re twenty, but at forty and divorced? With children? This experience requires a whole new set of skills. But then, isn’t this true about life generally? The collected voices of ‘Women’ are true, and strong, and resound as clearly as crystal bells. The writing is direct and stories snappy. This reader would like to have found a spiritual depth in the revelations explored in the book because when we arrive at that place where we are neither young nor old, when we’ve given our hearts and souls to our experience as women, it would be nice to think that wisdom and inner peace are the reward for a life fully lived.
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