Life Lessons: 125 Prayers and Meditations

By Julia Cameron TarcherPerigee Julia Cameron does it again. She is an accomplished artist and active in advocating the exploration and development of creativity. She encourages everyone to improve working on their spiritual path. Readers know her for writing The Artist’s Way and Finding Water. This book provides readers who want to improve their conscious contact with a Higher Power a variety of short prayers and meditations to facilitate that action. Cameron says, “God is not distant and different; rather, God is near and easy.” Stop struggling and enjoy a deeper relationship with your HP. If you have a book … Continue reading

The Self-Love Experiment: Fifteen Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate, and Accepting of Yourself

By Shannon Kaiser TarcherPerigee Kaiser offers readers 15 Self-Love Principles such as Be Who You Needed to Be When You Were Younger and Things Don’t Happen to You, They Happen for You. She shares her personal story of how she changed her relationship with her body and healed it. She gives loving advice to sufferers of depression, addiction, eating disorders, and corporate burnout. This includes journal prompts and a free audio mediation. The self-love experiment encourages readers to put themselves first and live a passion-filled life. If you have a book you’d like reviewed or have an old favorite you’d … Continue reading

Beyond The Imprint: A New Modality for Mental Health Practitioners and Those Seeking Their Help

By Kate O’Connell This book is an introduction to the science of epigenetics and how our DNA and environment influence thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. O’Connell uses her own family tree to describe how she was influenced by familial behaviors and patterns. Mental health professionals may find value in this approach to understanding how individuals are imprinted by their family and dysfunctional patterns are formed. Each chapter concludes with a summary such as O’Connell’s statement regarding the Therapeutic Relationship and compassion fatigue, “Fatigue, exhaustion and second-hand trauma develops from the conscious and unconscious identification that what is occurring in the moment … Continue reading

Enkindling Kindness

“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato I have started tracking kindness – noticing her as she gently touches the ordinary of my day. I see her at the bus stop as the first grade big sister greets the eager-to-have-her-home little brother. I see kindness in the neighbor who mows two lawns beyond her own. I see her in the gentle touch of the care-givers at the senior housing when residents gather for weekly prayer. Kindness can be simple and fleeting – a quick recognition, a knowing smile, a gentle touch. Kindness can also be robust … Continue reading

I’m Going to Stop, I Mean It This Time

As a detox clinic nurse, Diane watched the revolving door of repeat drunks. Some she knew she’d see again, having failed at sobriety one more time. Others seemed so very promising. One patient, when ready to leave, so clearly talked the talk and walked the walk that she was sure this one would make it. The next day he committed suicide. Relapse is the ever-vigilant hound nipping at the heels of people with addiction, often leading to depression and despair. But some addicts get past it and slam the door on relapse forever. They quit using, find relief from their … Continue reading

Returning to the Basics after Traumatic Brain Injury

“Traumatic Brain Injury is an important public health problem in the United States. Because the problems that result from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), such as those of thinking and memory, are often not visible, and because awareness about TBI among the general public is limited, it is frequently referred to as the ‘silent epidemic.’” Marilynn Lash: The Essential Brain Injury Guide (4th Edition) The Brain Injury Alliance of America, 2007. When I was new to the practice of chemical dependency counseling, I worked at Fairview Recovery Services. One morning a rushed counselor breezed past me and handed me something from … Continue reading

Dating in Recovery: It’s Complicated

Dating in recovery is a complex subject. We come into recovery as broken people; detached from ourselves, and from our feelings. We’re told, ‘the good news that you get your feelings back.’ One of those feelings is our sexual instinct. We’ve all been there at a meeting when an attractive person walks in. Come on, we’ve all found someone attractive at some point or another! I recall an old sponsor who would take one look at the sparkle in my eyes, and would immediately tell me, ‘look at the floor, Olivia!’ Feeling berated, I often did what I was told. … Continue reading

Seeking Treatment: Where do we go when we are Finally Ready?

Fill in the blanks: Where do/does ________ I/my partner/child/friend/relative go for help with _______ my/his/ her __________ addiction/mental health needs/co-occurring disorder? The options are ____________confusing/mind boggling/ daunting. A first step toward getting recovery and mental health services often begins with a phone call. From there, an intervention may be appropriate. Or a meeting with a chemical health assessor or psychologist. The information gleaned from such a professional will help inform the next steps. Financial considerations, medical and psychological histories, and willingness to make a commitment to change play vital roles in determining next steps. These professionals also will discuss with … Continue reading

Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom

By Suzanne Scurlock-Durana New World Library Scurlock-Durana has over three decades of experience teaching and using Cranio- Sacral Therapy and other bodywork modalities to help people heal from trauma by physical and emotional disease. In this book, she provides clear instructions to help readers understand how to reconnect with the wisdom of their body. She includes individual’s stories to help describe the process of using one’s intuitive self to recognize the things that might be causing harm and the necessary steps to make changes. Each of the main wisdom areas, identified as the heart, gut, pelvis, legs and feet, and … Continue reading

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