The Little Book of Love: Heart and Soul and The Little Book of Mindfulness: Focus. Slow Down. De-stress.

By Tiddy Rowan Quadrille These are really tiny books of knowledge, full of interesting thoughts and quotes. Both of these small books would make wonderful gifts for oneself or someone else.The Little Book of Mindfulness is a collection of over 150 mindful techniques and exercises to help one achieve calmness, joy, and happiness. Rowan suggests, “Be non-judgmental in your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. It is important sometimes to let things be, just as they are, and allow them to breathe without questioning or fixing.” The Little Book of Love is a collection about the topic of love, and the many … Continue reading

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

By Brene Brown Hazelden Publishing Although this book was published several years ago, it is still valuable today. Brown shares stories from her own life as well as from the more than 10,000 stories she has collected over the years. She states, “I’m basically a story teller.” And a researcher. And a professor. And a mother of two. All of which helped define her interest in how people develop and deal with shame and guilt. The book is broken into 10 Guideposts, such as #3 Cultivating a Resilient Spirit and #9 Cultivating Meaningful Work. These are not just action items; … Continue reading

Awakening Leadership: Embracing Mindfulness, Your Life’s Purpose, and the Leader You Were Born to Be

By Christine Horner In The Garden Publishing Are you a leader? Not just in your home or with friends and family, but in the work place? Horner believes that everyone has an “essential role to play in leading humanity toward a new era of true equality and prosperity.” She introduces readers to the New Leadership Blueprint which is a move from the traditional approach of leadership to a framework that supports living on purpose. There are 30 points to it, such as, “Joy uplifts surrounding energy levels” and “Cultivating mindfulness creates non-judgmental spaciousness.” She experienced this paradigm shift of character-based … Continue reading

Unwelcome Inheritance: Break Your Family’s Cycle of Addictive Behaviors

By Lisa Sue Woititz and Dr. Janet G. Woititz Hazelden Publishing Readers may recognize Dr. Janet Woititz’s name. She is the author of Adult Children of Alcoholics, a book written in the 1980’s, which started the ACoA recovery movement. Although she passed away in 1994, her daughter Lisa, using her mother’s previous and unpublished work including lecture notes and other written material, provides additional information about the cycle of addiction and addictive behaviors as well as insights and strategies to stop repeating the destructive cycle. The book describes the common characteristics of individuals who grew up with alcoholic/addicted parents and … Continue reading

Fly-Fishing – The Sacred Art: Casting a Fly as a Spiritual Practice

By Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer and Rev. Michael Attas, MD SkyLight Paths Publishing The book provide paired essays from Rabbi Eric: Stream and Spirit and Reverend Mike: Fishing into the Mystery, which reflect the authors’ diverse backgrounds; one is a Rabbi and the other is an Episcopal priest and physician. Their common ground is identified in the topics they write about which include fly-fishing, and fly-tying, and fishing rods, and the various fish and rivers they fished, as well as nature and the spirituality of experiencing life on the trout streams. They both fill their reflective stories with historical facts. Folks … Continue reading

Interview with Your Self: Be Inner-Wise, Resolve Life’s Problems

By Mercedes Tur Escriva Balboa Press Tur Escriva asks, “Why are we creating this reality?” and then she helps the reader to “get clear on what is an illusion and what is real.” She describes the three different levels of looking at the same situation: the level of the body (material); the mind (logical process); and the level of the soul (wise self). She provides step-by-step instructions to help the reader understand how thinking can obstruct vision. Readers learn how their internal world creates the external world. Interview questions include the topics of physical self, thoughts and beliefs, and spirituality. … Continue reading

Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling

By Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham Jeremy P. Tarcher     Penguin     The authors of the book The Spirituality of Imperfection continue their exploration of spirituality using storytelling of everyday life and experience. They want readers to learn that spirituality can be fun. They say that they do this “by living fully humanly.” They discuss the art of storytelling and the role of the storyteller. To do that, they use stories from a variety of countries, cultures, and religions. For example, in one short story, it is explained that “wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start truly living … Continue reading

Help Your Child to Thrive: Making the Best of a Struggling Public Education System

By Liane Brouillette      Balboa Press      Brouillette is an educator and actively involved in providing families of students with the resources to make informed decisions. She states her goal is to “provide parents with simple, effective ways to help children succeed in and out of school without spending all their evenings tutoring.” She thinks that parents can better spend their time talking with children in a way that awakens intellectually curiosity and confidence. She uses this book of real life examples to show them how.  She discusses America’s public schools and their efforts and failures to support a child’s academic and … Continue reading

Unplugged: How to Live Mindfully in a Digital World

By Orianna Fielding     Carlton Books     What would you discover if you were unplugged for a week? We all know and appreciate the pros and cons of almost instantaneous, around the clock, connectivity due to digital technology and social media. Being “on” all the time can wear on a person, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Included is a 12 point questionnaire to help identify how addicted you are to technology and how you are affected by digital overload. Fielding provides mindfulness techniques and a step by step approach to restore balance. One positive step for families to reconnect with each other is … Continue reading

The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance

By May McCarthy      Hierophant Publishing      What others might call God, Universal Spirit, or their Higher Power, McCarthy calls her Chief Spiritual Officer or CSO. She meets with her CSO on a regular basis, as part of her daily 30 minute practice to financial abundance. She outlines a seven step process: read something uplifting; write gratitude statements to your CSO; speak your truth as you read your letter out loud; imagine having the experience; listen for direction from your CSO; celebrate the good that shows up; and finally, end your day with gratitude and forgiveness. The book is divided into two … Continue reading

Rock the Boat

Rock the Boat: How to Use Conflict to Heal and Deepen Your Relationship     By Resmaa Menakem      Hazelden Publishing      Menakem writes, “We look to our partner for harmony and safety and familiarity. A long relationship provides these some of the time. But it also provides friction. Friction-not harmony or safety-is an engine of growth.” Drawing on his 25 years of experience as a licensed social worker, mediating families, including military and civilian couples, he gets right to the point describing the reality of relationships, “This book is about choosing to grow up.” He uses stories from actual clients and composites of … Continue reading

Warrior Goddess Training

Warrior Goddess Training

Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant To Be     By Heather Ash Amara     Hierophant Publishing      Amara states that women were “trained to seek our wholeness and value and to find love through others.” She was trained in Toltec wisdom and shamanism. Now she wants to share her wisdom and help woman be so much more. She wrote this book based on a year-long program she created in 1997called Thirteen Moons. In the first of 10 lessons, she encourages the reader to “Commit to You” and learn to “love all of who you are, flaws and all.” In the … Continue reading

Simply Open

Simply Open

Simply Open: A Guide to Experiencing God in the Everyday     By Greg Paul     Nelson Books     In his newest book, Paul states, “Prayerfully read this book and ask God to open your eyes, open your ears, open your nostrils, open your mouth, open your hands, open your mind, and open your heart.” He describes using the five senses while reflecting on the cycle of releasing, receiving, becoming, and doing. Each chapter closes with items to remember, such as this from the chapter on touching: “We are not likely to be touched or held ourselves, nor to touch or hold others in … Continue reading

My Dearest One

My Dearest One

My Dearest One     By Monisha Vasa, M.D.     Balboa Press     Bedtime stories are sharing times between the reader, whether they are a parent, grandparent, or other caregiver, and the child. They allow room for new words, discussion of the story and new concepts which may be presented by the story. They provide a dedicated space of time to share together. This children’s book is intended to facilitate those interactions. Vasa encourages the discussion of living intentionally and using self-reflection as a tool to help children develop healthy emotional lives. As the parent elephant said to the little elephant, “Blessed are we … Continue reading

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

Better Than Before

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives     By Gretchen Rubin     Crown Publishers     Habits. We all have some that we think are good and some we think are bad. In this book, readers are taught to evaluate their habits and use that knowledge to affect change. What’s the best way to successfully change a habit? Know your specific personality type. Whether an Upholder, Questioner, Rebel, Obliger, or a combination of these, readers can put the principles of change into action. Included is a quiz to assist with determining which type you are and twenty-one strategies to help establish … Continue reading

Super Performing at Work and at Home:

The Athleticism of Surgery and Life By Robert James Cerfolio, MD, MBA River Grove Books Are you a star performer but want to be a super performer? Cerfolio states that paying attention to the tiny details separates the average performer from the super performer. And he knows—he has been a well-respected cardiothoracic surgeon for 25 years. In his motivational book he describes how while growing up as a competitive athlete, and later as a coach, father and physician, he has had to make life changing choices. He recommends readers prepare for every contingency as best they can. One of the … Continue reading