A Comprehensive Resource With Simple, Unbiased Advice on Managing This Important Life Stage
By Barbara Seaman & Laura Eldridge

If you ever had any questions about menopause, or thought you were getting only a short side of the story, this engaging book is for you! Written by a long-time leader in the women's health care movement and her associate, this resource will give you all the tools necessary in order to make decisions that are right for you and not necessarily what is prescribed or suggested in the mainstream of western medicine.

How would you know what changes are normal? What can you do to mitigate some of the most common effects of menopause? Do you really want or need hormones? Starting off with a section on how to detect the onset of menopause, we are given the entire primer on what it means, physically, to be a woman, as well as what to expect. We are also given clues on what is definitely not normal.

In addition to the basics, the book goes on to explore some of the misgivings and warnings we should pay attention to. Finally, there is general overall health direction and information along with some kind words about how we can cope with these changes.

Published by Simon & Schuster, this book is available at your local bookstore or

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


A Holistic, Nonsurgical Approach to Youth & Well-being
By Victoria J. Mogilner, C.A.

Once again, we see Chinese medicine come to our rescue. By using specific acupressure techniques, one can look and feel younger, and bring facial expressions up to professionally engaged and secure. In short, it's a whole new you!

Our society is based, in part, with a focus on beauty. With true beauty, you would imagine that self-esteem and success would follow. Unfortunately, we are also in a world where the surgical knife and chemicals like botox (a poison) are used to simulate, if only momentarily, what we believe to be beauty.

The author, a certified acupuncturist, medical practitioner, aesthetician and Tai Chi instructor, introduces us to the fundamentals of non-surgical facial rejuvenation. She discusses the fundamentals of the Acupressure Facelift as well as major and minor causes of skin damage and skin types. Later, she guides us through the basics of the actual "facelift" along with showing us the specific acupressure points - with pictures. As a bonus, we get some insight as to how acupressure can heal common maladies, like a stomach ache or cramps.

Finally, the author tells us that we can look at this not only as a facial renewal, but a spiritual renewal in order to stay healthy, change our attitudes and regenerate ourselves so we are in harmony with nature.

Published by New World Library, this book is available at your local bookstore or at

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness
By Kathy Freston

As an instruction manual for how to reach our highest level of health and contentment through small, focused changes, this book is intended to change your approach to healthy living. In the very first sentence, the author tells us that this is not a health book.

Instead, it is a journey into exploring our degree of overall wellness, how we can excel and how we can create energy to face everyday life as well as challenges. And, everything that you do can positively influence not only you, but every other living being on this planet.

The author starts off by defining "quantum wellness" and going deeper than the superficial everyday vortex of our life. We are told that "shaking our mindset" is good for us. Start to visualize using guided imagery and make your dreams come to life.

Connect with your targets, live in the moment and take back control so you can gain insights and inspirations in your ordinary, everyday things and events. We are cautioned to simply do our best and not worry about perfection during the process.

We start with a "body jump start" that eliminates toxins so the author asks us to avoid the obvious culprits, like sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten and animal products. Next, we re-create our space: stop buying new stuff, add only those items you really need or want and keep it simple. Also included is data on the most recent studies on Hormone Replacement Therapy. Finally, it explains how you begin to examine the inner self by becoming more open to healing, becoming aware of what troubles you, and creating an action plan to process not only your grievances, but your goals. Published by Weinstein Books, this book is available at your local bookstore or

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


Realm of the Divine Mother
By Mataji Devi Vanamali

Shakti, or Devi, is the Divine Mother and/or divine power that is the womb of all creatures. She is maker, creator, manifestor and transformer of the universe. Shakti represents more than 30 goddess incarnations of the Divine Mother. The worship and cults of Shakti force are found in Hinduism, but also in ancient Greek, Egyptian and Babylonian cultures.

Hindu philosophy asserts the Brahman is the supreme reality. It is an integrated state that is changeless, without boundaries and beyond human comprehension. When the ancients looked at their world, they wondered about its source, its qualities and attempted to define the idea of divine

mystery. As one of many deities, Shakti provides us with an answer to life's source, with no contradictions between science and religion. We must come from somewhere and the Divine Mother explains where and how we came to be. The Divine Mother is described and explained in detail as the mother of the trinity. The dynamic manifestations are discussed at length. This is an excellent introduction into the world of Hindu culture, easy to understand, yet filled with details that will titillate your mind and imagination.

The author has written six books on the gods of the Hindu pantheon, as well as translating the Bhagavad Gita. She is founder and president of an organization dedicated to sharing the wisdom of Sanatana Dharma and provides charitable service to children.

Published by Inner Traditions, this book is available at your local bookstore or at

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


Into Consciousness
By Eliza Mada Dalian

Written by a self-realized spiritual teacher and master healer, the grounded and comprehensive Dalian Healing Method is introduced. With the death of the author's mother at a young age, she pondered illness and death and it led her to question the meaning of life and life's purpose. After being heavily medicated, without positive results, she began to search for another way of living. She realized her depression and anxiety were a spiritual problem for which a spiritual solution was possible. Through her studies, she realized that experiencing her "truth" did not have to be a struggle.

This is a no-nonsense methodology, and self-proclaimed as completely and utterly practical. It is a perspective on enlightenment and healing along with a relationship to spirituality and growth in consciousness. The purpose of our ego is illuminated; we are taken through the stages of its development as well as guided into final surrender.

One particularly deep quote from the very beginning of the book sums up the entire directive very well: "Our feelings of aloneness, insecurity, abandonment, alienation, and not feeling loved evaporate the moment we experience the purity of our silent being. Within this silence, there is balance, peace, freedom, love, health, and all the happiness we long for." Published by Expanded Universe Publishing, this book is available at your local bookstore or at 

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard


Living Life as Women Do
By Carol A. Marshal

This book is a lot like talking about life with a loving grandmother. It's a warm and honest self examination of one woman's human experience, but one that lots of women relate to.

Author Carol Marshall looks inside herself and ponders: Who was I, who am I now? What is/was the purpose and meaning of my life, my value, my power and my worth beyond expectations?

From the perspective of one who has graced the planet for several decades she revisits and shares the cycles of her life through the typical topics of love, family, career, health and pets but with an enlightened hindsight. She accounts for her decisions that led to the potholes and passions in the spiral of her soul's journey.

Carol's down-to-earth demeanor, quick wit and compassion for herself and others guarantees uplifting reading. This book will give women a feeling of validation and gratification in their feminine spirituality as they are drawn closer to their own cycles within the spiral of life.

This book is available at the Common Ground bookstore in Tustin, CA, , and

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


Everyday Ideas from Women Who Want to Make
The World a Better Place
By Shelly Rachanow

After publishing her first book, "If Women Ran the World Sh*t Would Get Done," author Shelly Rachanow posed the question "What would you do if you ran the world?" Many readers responded with their ideas for making the world a better place for themselves, their loved ones, their community and the world.

The result is her new book, "What Would You Do if You Ran the World? filled with creative, brilliant, brave and unlimited ideas that women have shared, complemented by relevant quotes from famous women, along with action lists like "Ten Things You Can Start Doing Now."

Shelly drives the point home that there are no limits and making a difference starts with knowing what you want to do. With each story or idea submitted, she also provides useful contact information for those who want to pursue their ideas. These submissions ignite possibilities for the future.

Her supportive tone, information and suggestions will inspire visionaries and humanitarians to be ready, willing and able to start making the world a better place.

Published by Conari Press, this book is available at your local bookstore or at

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis


Return to the January/February Index page