Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Book Review (Page 1 of 2)

Words In Focus: November

Welcome to my monthly collection of interesting articles, books, and resources plus a mini-monthly review.

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The Secret to Finding Your Happy Place

Galen Pearl excels as a storyteller.  In fact, her tales have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Cup of Comfort anthologies and on her blog.  That’s why her new book 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) is easy to read yet captivating, charming yet replete with wisdom.

Pearl, a retired attorney with a black belt in Taekwondo and enough kids to fill a big shoe, says she has found her “happy place” and lives in it most of the time.  I find that impressive!

So what does this happy place look like?  Pearl says it’s not a constant, giddy euphoria or unrelenting sunshine, but rather a deep abiding sense of joy.  It is place of refuge, spiritual sustenance and contented fulfillment that exists right within her and you too.

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Essential Advice on Saying Yes to Change & Book Giveaway

Alex Blackwell, author Saying Yes to ChangeToday, I’m delighted to share my interview with Alex Blackwell, author of Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change.  I admire Alex as a person who is fully committed to authenticity and integrity.

Would you like to change, but don’t know how? Or maybe you have felt frustrated by roadblocks you’ve met on the way.

In Saying Yes to Change, Alex shows us how to successfully face our self-defeating patterns and personal demons and replace them with love, joy, confidence, and faith.  It’s a simple yet complete road map.

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WILLPOWER: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

Book Review:  Willpower:  Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

I tend to be an impulsive person so I was automatically captivated by the title of this book:  Willpower.   Written by the pioneering research psychologist, Roy F. Baumeister, in collaboration with New York Times science writer, John Tierney, Willpower has proven its weight in gold.

One of the most powerful messages of Willpower – is that lack of self-control is an all-pervasive problem.  A challenge that is only escalating in these modern times when there are more temptations than ever.  In fact, one-fourth of our waking hours are spent resisting urges.

So if you find yourself low on willpower there’s no need to hide in embarrassment.  Almost everyone else is just like you.

That doesn’t mean developing willpower is a hopeless endeavor.  The authors provide reams of scientific evidence to the contrary.  And they outline the essential knowledge and tips you need to succeed.

There’s a very good reason to focus on willpower:  happiness. 

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When to Make a Change, When to Let Go?

Eileen Flanagan

Eileen Flanagan is a leader in the Quaker community

When to change, when to let go?

It’s a profound question that each of us will be faced with countless times throughout our life.  Whether the question pertains to leaving a job, receiving cancer treatment, or another challenging decision, the best choice is not always clear.

The Wisdom to Know the Difference, When to Change – and When to Let Go, written by Eileen Flanagan – a leader in the Quaker community – explores this fundamental question from a diversity of angles.

This enlightening read is a rich guide to the essence of both personal growth and spiritual evolution, which – in a nutshell – is the magical dance between wholehearted surrender or full force change.

The Serenity Prayer

The Wisdom to Know the Difference is inspired by the deeply meaningful Serenity Prayer, which has been a source of refuge to millions during times of personal upheaval.  At the same time, the book draws upon the teachings of many faith traditions including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity.  It also includes knowledge garnered from the field of psychology and programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Here is the most famous version of the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can change
And wisdom to know the difference.”

People often feel stuck with their lot in life.  Flanagan argues that it’s crucial to distinguish between letter go and giving up.  She says:

“On the one hand, this book rejects the idea that God decided your lot in life long ago, so if your are poor, or sick, or in a bad marriage, it is because ‘you were put on this earth to suffer’… That theology may lead to surrender, but not serenity.”

“On the other hand, this book also rejects the recently popular pseudo-spirituality that claims that the universe is a vending machine at your command and you can have whatever you want if you just visualize it, an approach that tends to focus people on their material wants rather than on wisdom.”

7 Spiritual Principles to Help You Live Fearlessly

Change?  Surrender?  What to do?  How do you know?

The Wisdom to Know the Difference offers 7 different but interconnected approaches to help you decided, each one the focus for a full chapter.  Flanagan calls them  “7 spiritual lessons to help you live fearlessly.”

  1. The Courage to Question
  2. Knowing Yourself
  3. Seeking Divine Wisdom
  4. Shifting Your Perspective
  5. Practicing Loving Acceptance
  6. Letting Go of Outcomes
  7. Finding Wisdom in Community

The book offers a wealth of personal stories to illustrate how real people – like you and me – employed these seven strategies to find clarity in the midst of difficult.  At the same time, it draws upon the spiritual wisdom of the ages.  Each chapter ends with a series of “queries” – thought-provoking reflections – to help you access your own inner spring of wisdom.

The Wisdom to Know the Difference is truly a treasure trove of deep and transformative wisdom. Chances are you will want to sip and savor each chapter to allow its clarity, beauty, and wisdom to deeply penetrate your mind, heart, and soul.  On the other hand, a particular theme might just call to you and be your perfect starting part.

I know you will find so much courage and guidance in the many real-life stories contained in this book.  They are like blueprints for navigating change and surrender.  Witnessing someone else’s courage can give you exactly the impetus you need to change or surrender yourself.

A Taste of Wisdom

This book is so replete with inspiration, ideas,  stories, and practical wisdom that I find it impossible to cover the full territory in a short book review.  So, I thought I would share 12 inspirational quotes gathered from among the pages to give you a taste of The Wisdom to Know the Difference.

  • “When I talk about changing your mind, it is not to become someone different from who you really are.  It is to strip away the socially conditioned, limited thoughts of the False Self to discover the person you were made to be, focusing on your deep joy instead of your superficial wants or fears.”
  • “Accepting yourself, faults included, is a pre-requisite to wisdom.”
  • “Self-discovery is a life-long process.”
  • “Listening within is crucial to accessing wisdom.”
  • “Excessive business can also lead to stress and anxiety, known to make inward listening more difficult.”
  • “Our thoughts are powerful, but part of the reason they are so powerful is that they often determine our actions.”
  • “The people in our lives can often help us develop self-knowledge, reflecting our strengths and weaknesses to us like a mirror.  We do not need to believe everything everyone tells us, but we should be open to the possibility that others see things about us that we don’t.”
  • “Divine guidance is not always so rapid or clear.  Many people experience it as more of a gradual dawning, like a sunrise rather than a lightening bolt.”
  • “There are some things that should be changed, only not by us.  Part of wisdom is figuring out which problems are ours to solve.”
  • “Whenever God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.”  (from the Sound of Music)
  • “The trick is to acknowledge anger, without getting stuck in blame, which is disempowering, rather than empowering.  Only when you have acknowledged your anger can you discern whether it is a sign that you need to change something or accept what cannot be changed.”
  • “So how do you let go of fear and cultivate trust?  Trust does not always come in a dramatic spiritual insight.  Sometimes it grows gradually, as we nervously take each step.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading The Wisdom to Know the Difference. Eileen Flanagan clearly has a huge heart and a profoundly reflective mind.  This is a book I will want to return to again and again. I see how it could easily become a wise spiritual companion for an entire lifetime.

You can learn more about Eileen Flanagan by visiting Eileen Flanagan (dot) com.

Thank you to  TLC Book Tours for the invitation to write this review.  Note:  None of the links in this article is an affiliate link.

How do you discern when to make a change, when to surrender?

Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, please share the link with your friends.  Thanks so much! Sandra

Vibrant health through energy medicine

“…the next big frontier in medicine is energy medicine.” Mehmet Oz, M. D.

Do you have an open mind?

If so, there’s no need to wait for the future.  All the benefits of energy medicine are available to you right now.

In fact, you can even practice Energy Medicine on your own – free of charge – to stay healthy or feel better if you are already ill.

This 3-part series on Energy Medicine will:

1. Introduce you to energy medicine – what it is and how it can help you with a wide range of physical and mental complaints.

Donna Eden’s book, Energy Medicine, Balancing Your Body’s Energies for Optimal Health, Joy, and Vitality is used as the basis for this series. There are many models of Energy Medicine – this is just one.

2. Take a look at the energy systems that impact immune function, according to the unique view presented by Eden.

3. Explore how Energy Medicine can help immune related conditions: auto-immune disorders, allergies, environmental sensitivities, chemical sensitivity, and immune-deficiency syndromes.

4. Discuss how to activate your “inner mom” to create more harmony and cooperation among your body energies.

Let’s move on to part 1, an introduction to Energy Medicine

Energy medicine – what’s that?

A flow of invisible, interconnected energies courses through and around your body day and night.  Like the wind cannot be seen but is surely felt, these subtle energies are not apparent to most people, but their impact is undeniable.

These energies include various combinations of:

  • electrical energies
  • electromagnetic energies
  • “subtle” energies

Illness occurs when energy flow in and around the body becomes obstructed.

Energy Medicine understands the body as this interconnected system of energies.  It works directly with the body’s energies to sustain health, prevent illness, and treat illness when it does occur.

A variety of modalities come within its purview.  These include using the hands and the energy that flows from them, tiny needles or fingertip pressure, movement and exercise, the mind and imagination, and others.  Even modern electromagnetic and imaging technologies can be seen in the context of energy medicine.

Invisible energy systems are the basis of many ancient healing arts including the traditional medical systems of China, Tibet, and India, the methods of acupuncture and acupressure, and exercises like Yoga, Tai Chi, and Chi Gong / Qigong.  There are many modern applications of energy medicine too – like Touch for Health.

Donna Eden explains:

“Energy medicine is the oldest, safest, most organic, most accessible, and most affordable medicine there is.”

You can learn and apply the principles of Energy Medicine on your own and at very little cost.

Or, you may choose to work with an Energy Medicine practitioner.  If you do so, self-care techniques remain important, especially to support the reversal of long-standing patterns.  Energy Medicine can be used to complement Western medicine or on its own.

Energy Medicine:  the book

Donna Eden’s book is acomprehensive guide to Energy Medicine.  It is so packed with useful information that I’m on my second read, and know I will return to it again and again.  It’s a self-help book that shows you how to apply the techniques of Energy Medicine to yourself or use them with a partner.

Fortunately, you don’t need to read the cover-to-cover.  As Donna points out, if you have chronic pain, you might want to go to directly to the chronic pain chapter.  If you are healthy, you may want to read just Part 1 to acquire an overview of Energy Medicine and learn a 5-minute daily energy routine to optimize your health.

The handy “How-to boxes” are like having an energy first-aid kit at your fingertips.

Donna’s book is divided into three sections.  Simply sharing the outline of the book’s contents, I hope, will give you a good feel for the breadth, depth, and potential of Energy Medicine and how it might help you.

Part 1 – Awakening the Two-Million-Year-Old Healer Within You

This section includes Donna’s background and story, an overview of Energy Medicine and energy testing, a simple 5-minute Daily Energy Routine to keep your energies “humming.”

Part 2 – The Anatomy of Your Energy Body

Donna reviews – in detail – nine energy systems existing within and around the body.  These include:

  • Meridians – your energy transportation system
  • Chakras – your body’s energy stations
  • Aura – contains your energy
  • Electrics – connect your energy systems with one another
  • Celtic weave – provides patterning that balances and strengthens your energies
  • The Basic Grid – provides their foundation
  • The Five Rhythms – the drummers to which you march
  • Triple Warmer – the energetic arms of your immune system, along with the  Radiant Circuits
  • Radiant Circuits – the energetic arms of your immune system, along with the Triple Warmer

Part 3  – Weaving It All Together

If that all seems like a lot, don’t worry.  Remember, you don’t need to read the entire book – you can zoom in on what’s useful for you.  Plus, in Part 3, Donna shows us how to weave it all together.

This section focuses on how to overcome illness and pain, including a step-by-step strategy for getting well and energy techniques for relieving pain. Donna also touches on optimizing electromagnetic environments and setting your habit field.

Energy Medicine how-to’s:

Interspersed throughout are 33 “How-to Boxes” – short, simple-to-use, practical guides that address an assortment of common body-mind complaints, for example:

  • How To Get Your Kids Out of Bed in the Morning
  • How To Release Neck and Shoulder Tension
  • How To Rid Yourself of an Allergy Headache
  • How to Overcome Digestive Problems
  • How to Keep Your Memory Sharp
  • How to Relieve Lower Back Pain
  • How to Feel Joyful More of the Time

Success depends on you

Energy Medicine is not a miracle cure – although miracles do occur in all systems of medicine.  It is an empowering and systematic way to work with the body’s energies to stay well or feel better.  I highly recommend this priceless self-help guide to anyone who is open to new possibilities.

Like all self-help approaches, its success lies in direct proportion to your own willingness, determination, and regular use of the techniques.  But the process doesn’t have to be full of struggle by any means!  These techniques are fun, empowering, and energizing.

Energy Medicine series:  part 2

In Part 2 of this series on Energy Medicine, I look at Donna’s approach to working with a wacky immune system and how this relates to auto-immune disorders, allergies, environmental sensitivities, chemical sensitivity, and immune-deficiency syndromes. I am fascinated by Donna’s unique presentation of the “energetic arms of the immune system” – which differs somewhat from the traditional interpretation in Chinese Medicine.

Please be aware that I am not a medical practitioner nor offering medical advice.  I am only sharing research and information on approaches that have worked for me.  Also, I am not receiving compensation for recommending this book.

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks very much!  Sandra

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