Overcoming Your Difficult Family: 8 Skills for Thriving in Any Family Situation

By Eric Maisel, PhD New World Library Maisel is an author and retired family therapist. In the first part of the book he provides eight strategies to deal successfully with family life and “survive difficult family life and sometimes even improve it for everyone involved.” He describes how to focus on being smart, strong, calm, clear, aware, brave, present and resilient. He includes a variety of individual’s stories to demonstrate the process. Each chapter closes with a ceremony suggestion and “Food for Thought” questions for reflection. The second part of the book includes ten difficult family types and how to … Continue reading

The Wisdom of the Universe: Essential Truths from the Beloved Conversations with God Trilogy

By Neale Donald Walsch Tarcher Perigee Walsch is well known for his previous books on “contemporary spirituality and its practical application in everyday life.” With full-color photographs and quotes from Walsch’s Conversations with God Trilogy, this book is a wonderful example of how combining short essays and beautiful photos can help a reader explore and contemplate the deeper meaning of life. The reader is provided a question for reflection and its correlating answer for consideration. The book closes with the message: “I will not leave you. Call on Me, therefore, wherever and whenever you are separate from the peace that … Continue reading

Compassion is the Key to Everything: Find Your Own Path

By Alexandra Chauran Llewellyn Chauran describes how she tried to live for one full year and “harm none.” This book is the results of a New Year’s resolution to do that. She describes her struggle to create her own personal code of ethics. For example, she refrains from reading blogs and accessing other media sources of “snark and rudeness” for three days before each of the sacred holidays she observes. Readers will find well thought out practical suggestions for increasing compassion, kindness, generosity, humility, and trust. She encourages readers to find peace and make the world a peaceful place. If … Continue reading

Happily Ever Now: Four Ways to Be in Love in the Present Moment

We all know that Happily Ever After doesn’t always pan out. Tinderella and Prince Match.com don’t always ride off into the sunset, and well, that doesn’t mean it was a complete failure after all. Many times people come into our lives for a moment of time to help us grow and expand; then their duty is done. Unfortunately we often get so caught up in obsessive future planning of the “what if’s” and the “might be’s”, that we miss the magic of the moment. Which essentially is all that really exists. What about this…Happily Ever Now. Being present with your … Continue reading

Bookshelves

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Cicero I resist joining the e-book fascination. I like my page turners with real pages, my underlines with real pencils and my coffee spills with real stains. I like the touch, the heft, the physicality of a book. Besides, books aren’t just to read. Some hide dried auburn maple leaves, a birthday horoscope from years past, a Chinese fortune too good to let go. Like my garden, my books multiply and grow, expanding into whatever space I give them. Unfortunately, I am in my thinning years–thinning my … Continue reading

Co-Occurance of Gambling and Substance Abuse Ups the Anty for Successful Recovery

“John” was doing well in his recovery from alcohol addiction. He hadn’t had a drink in eight months, was regularly attending AA and individual counseling, and was well supported in his recovery by family and friends. Several of John’s college buddies were planning a trip to Las Vegas and asked him if he wanted to join them. John was feeling good about life and the progress he’d made with his alcohol addiction, so he thought a first-ever trip to Las Vegas would be fun and well deserved. Once in Las Vegas, John visited the famous strip. He was mesmerized by … Continue reading

Creating Closeness with Compassionate Communication: A Nonviolent Approach

Personal communication too often fails us. A conversation can go south in a second when a nasty feeling erupts in our gut. The other person did something that strikes us as wrong, and they’re going to pay. Blame and vengeance hijack the conversation. Or we duck out of the conversation ASAP and let this feeling fester for days – or even years – in effect, sticking ourselves with the price tag of simmering victimhood. Passive- aggressive actions may follow. All these scenarios involve inflicting harm on someone, an everyday type of violence. A nonviolent approach Another option is Nonviolent Communication … Continue reading

Voyageur Outward Bound: Helping Students Find True Grit

With the best of intentions, many 21st century parents have worked hard to shield their children from pain, discomfort and struggle. In part, with the advent of 24/7 news programs like CNN, parents are bombarded by the risks and perils facing their precious offspring and have reacted by creating organized sports and group activities, filling downtime to ensure safety and security. The flipside of such structure is that many kids today have little opportunity to develop problem-solving skills, grit or perseverance, skills that are essential to coping with life. Sadly, when these kids encounter challenges with relationships, academics, drugs, or … Continue reading

When Good-Hearted Men Marry Selfish Women

John Driggs

“The Knife and the Wound Both Need Each Other.” — Sheldon Kopp, Psychoanalyst and Writer I’ve been married to Laura for 25 years and I’ve never been able to please her. We go for a period of time with things going well between us. Then out of the blue she gets bent out of shape over some imagined worry that preoccupies her. I understand that I may not be the most sensitive husband at times but Laura goes nuts and exaggerates how bad things are between us and rants for hours. She slams doors and usually wants nothing to do … Continue reading

I Can’t Go On. I’ll Go On.

Coiled. Mortal. The only thing I knew was that it was bright and I could hear the sounds of clattering wheels rolling over a tiled floor and people talking. Johnnie had his arm around me, holding me up while I walked. The usual feeling of realizing you’re dreaming or arriving back into reality after a black out; you’re just in the middle of some situation or other with no knowledge of, or interest in, what happened before this exact moment but this wasn’t exactly that so I said to him “what’s happening” and immediately his eyes got soft and his … Continue reading

When the Game is Up

Christine’s Story When I was asked to share my story, I didn’t hesitate. I think it’s so important for people to see that everyday, regular people can have a gambling addiction. And by telling my story I hope I can help others and reduce the shame of compulsive gambling. Looking back on it, I guess it’s not surprising that I developed a gambling problem. I had a risk-taking personality and was exposed to various forms of gambling as early as age 9. My father was a bookie and sold football tickets. I’d spend my allowance and purchase tickets from him. … Continue reading

The Heart and Science of Yoga: Empowering Self-Care Program for a Happy, Healthy, Joyful Life

By Leonard T. Perlmutter with Jenness Cortez Perlmutter AMI Publishers In this revised and expanded edition, readers will find a well-documented introduction to Yoga Science and how it can benefit one physically and mentally as well as emotionally and spiritually. For example, it can help relieve stress, enhance the immune system, lower blood pressure and reduce pain. Additionally, practitioners may learn how to love themselves, cultivate loving and nurturing relationships, as well as learn their life’s purpose. Perlmutter describes the basic tools needed and step-by-step instructions for a practice to help reduce distractions by stretching (pictures showing how are included) … Continue reading

Emotional Rescue: How to Work with Your Emotions to Transform Hurt and Confusion into Energy That Empowers You

By Dzogchen Ponlop Tarcher Perigee Do you use your emotions and harness their power or are you at their mercy? Rather than letting emotions control you, Ponlop, a Buddhist teacher, recommends that readers learn to relate to their emotions so they can benefit from that knowledge. He shares his own experiences as well as those of students and teachers he has worked with. He suggests writing mindfully and reflectively. At the end of each chapter there are short mindful practices with an Ask Yourself Questions to reflect on, such as “How do my thoughts and feelings interact?” There are also … Continue reading

The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

By Culadasa (John Yates), and Matthew Immergut, with Jeremy Graves Dharma Treasure Press The authors believe that anyone can learn to meditate and improve their lives. They encourage the reader to use meditation to practice mindfulness and describe what the body and mind go through during the process. They provide the ten stages of meditation to help a meditator advance from the novice meditator to the skilled meditator to the adept meditator. Their step-by-step process is easy for anyone who wants to start or improve their meditation practice. The first steps to prepare to meditate include: “Fire up your motivation, … Continue reading