May & June issue of Awareness Magazine : Linda & charlie Bloom blossoming into Right Relationship : John Bdalament Becoming A Better Dad

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Awareness Magazine
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BOOK REVIEWS

 

THE GOOD KARMA DIVORCE
Avoid Litigation, Turn Negative Emotions into Positive Actions, and Get On with the Rest of Your Life
By Judge Michele Lowrance

If there were ever a book title that said it all, this is it. Follow the principles in this book, and you could join divorcing couples who did not have to go to trial in order to arrive at an acceptable outcome for both parties.

The author has been a practicing domestic-relations judge since 1995. Over the past four years, she has seen 100% of divorcing couples who have followed her plan, avoid litigation. Judge Lowrance found that directly at the start of the divorce process, couples were missing two things: a game plan and a guide. By rewriting the negative story line of what led to this divorce, you can relieve the pain associated with the process, in order to see clearly to the other side of the ordeal.

The first part will help you to create your personal blueprint to carry you through the process. The second part covers the range of negativity associated with all sides of divorce, and shows you, in the manner of the seven stages of grief, how to get beyond it to productive ground. Divorce is emotionally devastating to children and therefore it is specifically addressed, including sections on courtroom confrontations, and how to deal with them, as well as moving on to embrace the road ahead.

Published by HarperOne, this book is available at your local bookstore or at www.harperone.com.

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard



LOVE THRESHOLD
Practicing the Art of Choosing Love in Every Moment
By Arria Deepwater

Through seven principles that ultimately lead to what the author refers to as “The Three Pillars,” this book introduces and explains a three-step spiritual practice that will teach you to turn your inner voice into your greatest teacher. The premise of this book is to learn how to cultivate a conscious relationship with love/your creative source. By utilizing the “Thresholding System” introduced here, you can integrate a program of development into your everyday life.

For more than 10 years, the author has studied and worked with healers from multiple disciplines. Using an integrated and holistic approach, Deepwater combines deep metaphysical roots and cutting-edge science from quantum physics and quantum biology with the practical application of a savvy success coach.

Thresholding aligns our everyday human experience with the divine truth of who we are. By starting with the simple question of who and what we are, the process begins. Going further to define our motivation may be the next step... or not. The author’s provocative thoughts and discussions in this book are intended to be tools that allow us to find our own truth and not someone else’s. The first step may lead you to the next, or you could jump to another realization, then come back to further define what is important to you.

Published by the Love Threshold Group, this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at www.lovethreshold.com.

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard



LOVE’S ALCHEMY
Poems from the Sufi Tradition

Translated from the Persian by David and Sabrineh Fideler
The spirituality and artistic value of the classical Persian world is brought to full light through this translation of Sufi poetry from the original Persian sources. Not merely an “interpretation” of other language translations, the 150 poems and epigrams in this book have been collected from all major poets of this art, including the well-known Rumi. Written in ruba’i form, the concise meditations may span only four lines, but reveal mystic knowledge.

Sufism emphasized the unity of all existence. The human heart is a direct mirror to God. Sufis believed that the highest form of knowledge was contained within love, the highest form of love being direct knowing. They realized that love possesses the power to lead us beyond our restrictions and enables us to make the types of personal sacrifices that may otherwise not be possible.

The authors believe the very best poems produce a shift in awareness that take us outside ourselves. Even a short poem of four lines can produce many layers and depths of meanings. The same poem read on a different day may bring a different enlightenment and will continue to allow us to grow over the course of many years.

Published by New World Library, this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at www.newworldlibrary.com.

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard



ONE SOUL, ONE LOVE, ONE HEART
The Sacred Path to Healing All Relationships
By John E. Welshons

This book is a culmination of forty years of reflection on what is called the “spiritual path.”

While the author has found that most of the goals of spiritual practice are basically the same, he feels there is one basic ingredient without which all of the practices fall short: an ability to love, not just the divine or nature, but the love toward other human beings. Cultivating that love is the most important spiritual practice available to us.

Welshons, the founder and president of Open Heart Seminars, an organization dedicated to enhancing spiritual education and awareness in our society, tells us that we are all connected; the illusion of separateness is actually the root of all human problems.

While our culture teaches us to focus on material possessions, the accumulation of these things actually leads us to a variety of negative physical and emotional maladies. The path to real and lasting happiness lies in recognizing that we are all One. Living with that understanding can heal our most difficult relationships by transforming them into our greatest spiritual lessons.

The book is dedicated to helping you find your own True Self and the extraordinary light within you, where you can love, forgive, and care for your fellow human beings, even those we find most difficult to love and forgive.

Published by New World Library, this book is available at your local bookstore or on the website at www.newworldlibrary.com.

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard



WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN
By Corinne Casazza

In ancient Egypt, religious initiates were placed inside a sealed coffin for several days. Some experienced vivid hallucinations. Others perished. Those who survived were respected, believed to be worthy, and allowed to be of a higher service to Isis.

Within a fictional and fast-moving suspense story, this book manages to meld teachings, theories and intrigue of ancient Egypt into a present-day political drama. A senator returns home to his summer estate to find his wife has been brutally murdered. His quest is to find the answers to the mystery of her death.

In a parallel story, a flight attendant lands a job she has longed for as an actress in a television commercial. She also begins to have vivid dreams of a former life in ancient Egypt, which she is having a difficult time making sense of. Then, through an assassination plot, her path and that of the senator converge.

To give away any more of this tale, would be inappropriate. Suffice it to say, it is a fast and fun fiction that captivates the reader from the very first page.

Published by Llumina Press, this book is available at your local bookstore or at www.llumina.com.

Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard



THE ANIMAL MANIFESTO:
Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint
By Marc Bekoff

The Animal Manifesto is the author’s call for action to improve our treatment of animals by living with regard and compassion for them. Marc Bekoff is the world’s leading authority on animal emotions. He demonstrates that animals do feel a range of emotions much like humans and offers six compelling reasons why improvement in our treatment and regard for animals is crucial to environmental preservation and moral duty.

Packed with interesting data, the book awakens us to many ways in which our world is not compassionate to animals and the subsequent negative impact on the environment. Bekoff advocates “expanding our compassion footprint” by putting an animal’s well-being first, starting with individual decisions, then gradually involving society-wide changes.

From studies of animals and firsthand experience, he provides many reasons why animals deserve our compassion. Written in an optimistic tone, he believes a new understanding of our relationship with other species is already underway because the animals need us, just as we need them.

The Manifesto is an inspiration toward a much-needed revolution in the way animals are treated because current methods have wreaked havoc on animals and Earth. While admitting there are enormous obstacles to overcome, Bekoff offers realistic ideas to improve the lives of animals so we may improve our lives as well.

Published by New World Library, this book is available at major bookstores and through www.worldlibrary.com.

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis



EVERY DOG HAS A GIFT
True Stories of Dogs Who Bring Hope & Healing Into Our Lives
By Rachel McPherson
With Deborah Mitchell

Whether big or small, purebred or mixed, house pet or service animal, dogs touch our lives in many ways. They provide a sense of calm for autistic children; they serve as the perfect audience and playmate for children; they are a soothing presence in hospitals and hospice centers, and offer joy and acceptance to anyone.

Author Rachel McPherson is the founder and executive director of The Good Dog Foundation, the largest animal therapy organization on the East Coast. In her position she has heard of and witnessed many heroic deeds by a variety of dogs and believes all dogs are healers and teachers in their own way.

This book explores the inspirational true stories of the work that Good Dog is doing and the people they have helped. The stories pay tribute to the ability of a dog’s presence and unconditional love that creates a magical bond of hope and healing. Each section of the book ends with “Closing Tales,” practical and helpful information that ties in with the main theme of the section.

A portion of the proceeds from Every Dog Has A Gift will benefit the Good Dog Foundation. More information is available at www.thegooddogfoundation.org/

Published by Tarcher/Penguin this book is available at your local bookstore or www.us.penguingroup.com.

Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis



THE DANCE OF LOVE
A Personal Collection of Artwork and Poetry
By Aliza McCracken

Imagine how positively and creatively we would be affected if people felt unconditionally loved and were able to apply their energy to the beautification of our world. In this treasury of artwork and poetry created by Aliza McCracken, we are invited to join The Dance of Love with other human beings and naturally strengthen our connection to the Divine, the source of perfect and infinite love.

As Aliza personally demonstrates, when we exercise faith in our creativity, we begin to feel the abundance of Perfect Love and, therefore, rarely feel afraid or alone. In the absence of fear, loving other people becomes effortless. Therefore, a loving relationship with the Spirit is the greatest gift and dance available to all of us.

The reader will feel a wonderful affinity to her artistry and that Someone genuinely cares about their happiness. As I read this book, total peace began to surround me. I was comforted by Aliza’s loving embrace.

With The Dance of Love as our guide, we can heal the wounds of our heart and create rewarding and fulfilling relationships in our lives. For all those who seek to find meaning in a creative life, this book will prove to be a constant inspiration.

Published by Grace Publishing Group, this creation is available at your local bookstore or on the website at www.alizamccracken.com.

Reviewed by Diana Wallace