Synchronicity: Empower Your Life with the Gift of Coincidence

By Chris Mackey Watkins Publishing A clinical psychologist with 35 years’ experience, Mackey includes personal and clinical experiences of coincidences and synchronicity. These include case studies and anecdotal reports from people who stated that they were “in synch” with life and Gallup poll results of people who self-identify as “spiritual but not religious.” He discusses the brain science behind their perceptions. Readers who are interested in positive psychology in treating mental illness, which was developed by Martin Seligman, will find extensive information on Mackey’s website. What gift of coincidence or synchronicity have you received lately?

Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy

By Mallika Chopra Harmony Books Are you ready to move from thought to action to outcome? Mallika Chopra tells her journey of a year spent “living with intent” and shares her hope and wisdom. As the busy founder of INTENT.com (a website and app), author, mother and wife, she learned firsthand how overwhelming stress can be. And she developed workable strategies and actions that can help inspire, motivate, and rebalance a busy life. “The journey really is the destination — if we slow down enough to pay attention. When we slow down to notice, the universe gives us the signs … Continue reading

The Gratitude Element: A New Look at the Serenity Prayer

By Mark T. Scannell Gasscann Publishers Although Scannell is no longer a Catholic priest, his interest in spirituality is clear. He describes the history and evolution of The Serenity Prayer, a prayer of petition, which has been used for years by religious and Twelve Step groups. He identifies the prayer’s different versions and the authors attributed to it. Scannell indicates his intent to add to the prayer by including gratitude in the last sentence: “I am grateful for the serenity, courage, and wisdom you have given me.” He discusses how resentments and feelings of entitlement can hold one back from … Continue reading

Straight Talk from Claudia Black: What Recovering Parents Should Tell Their Kids about Drugs and Alcohol

By Claudia Black, Ph.D. Hazelden Publishing Before you begin a discussion with your children on addiction, it may be helpful to clarify your motives and expectations, especially if you are talking about your drug/alcohol history and subsequent recovery. Black is known for her work with family systems and addictive disorders. She uses five recovering parents and their different stories in this book. She takes the reader through the process of discussing addiction and recovery, new ways of relating, and creating healthy family traditions. The last chapter describes how to speak to specific age groups. Remember, discussion is a process; not … Continue reading

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

By Elle Luna Workman Publishing In this colorful book, Luna describes the process she went through to get to her must, which is painting. Accented by her drawings and sketches, Luna provides her personal journey. This book is intended for artists; fortunately, all of us have an artist within. She describes the differences between should, what we feel we ought to do, and must, what we dream of doing. Mark Twain stated, “The two most important days in our life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Luna provides techniques to help the reader … Continue reading

A Sober Mom’s Guide to Recovery: Taking Care of Yourself to Take Care of Your Kids

By Rosemary O’Connor Hazelden Publishing O’Connor describes the many challenges of recovering from addiction while upholding the responsibilities of motherhood. She describes her own and others’ stories of use and abuse, and the guilt it brought. This is a guidebook for recovering women who have struggled with balancing their recovery and parenting. Included at the end of each chapter are “Sober Mom’s Tools” which include honest insights into her experiences and may be helpful to others. Some of her best takeaways include self-care, forgive yourself and others, and remembering, “My sobriety comes first.” Besides praying to your Higher Power, O’Connor … Continue reading

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