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I Believe (book review)

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 9.03.04 PM“The power of belief, the absolutely awesome incredible power of belief, is the genie in your life,” Eldon Taylor writes early in his book “I Believe: When What You Believe Matters!”  Now in paperback, I Believe is 191 pages of life advice from one of the nation’s leading mind researchers.

I liked how I Believe was divided into 26 short, easy to read chapters.  With sections on such varied topics as “Who Am I?”,  “Love and Cruelty”, and “Instinct and Intuition” there is something for everyone in navigating this game called life.  Each chapter concludes with a brief “Reflection” that summarizes the main points and with questions for the reader to ponder.  I took my time getting through “I Believe”, reading one or two chapters at night before bedtime.  It’s not a book to be rushed through.

This is the second book I have read and reviewed from Taylor.  The first, Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology, was good but at times ventured into difficult-to-understand mind theory.  Not so with I Believe – Taylor does a wonderful job of using stories to illustrate his points.  I especially liked one story of a CEO who challenged his young executives to grow the best plant possible with a seed he had given to each of them.  Unknown to the executives, the CEO had boiled the seeds so that they would not grow.  One worker thought he had failed the test badly. “All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers,” the CEO tells the his young managers at the end of the year long challenge.  He adds, “Jim was the only person with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it.  Therefore, he’s the one who will be the new CEO.”  This tale Taylor uses to emphasize the importance of integrity, and he tells other stories throughout the book to illustrate more life lessons.

Taylor does not shy away from tough questions in I Believe.  “For me there’s no simple answer to the question: Why Pain?” he writes.  He encourages us to be patient when enduring hardships.  “The long view may well provide us with insight, but generally we must wait for some future date before context makes the pain bearable, forgivable, and potentially understandable … Are you still holding on to the pains of yesterday?  What would happen if you simply trusted that one day you’ll discover the silver lining in those particular clouds?”

“I believe that you’re a miracle, and discovering your true self uncovers that wonder in a way that transcends the normal way of knowing,” Taylor writes in the concluding pages of I Believe.  His book, in a positive and non-preachy manner, caused me to ponder what areas of my life I still have some growing to do.  Simply by changing my beliefs.

I received a complementary copy of this book for review purposes.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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The Honeymoon Effect (book review)

honeymooneI received a complementary copy of this book from Hay House for review purposes.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Most of us have had the feeling.  The joy of being in love and all the euphoric emotions that came with it.  But it didn’t last.  Why?  Bruce Lipton in his new book “The Honeymoon Effect” explains where those wonderful feelings came from, how we lose them, and how we can get them back.  “Your beliefs are preventing you from experiencing those elusive, loving relationships,” he writes.  “Change your beliefs, change your relationships.”

Lipton stresses the importance of “trusting our vibes”.  I liked how he gave examples from his own life.  In one chapter he tells how he had a bad feeling about a “predator” neighbor while living on Barbados.  When a job transfer came through to another island Lipton was relieved – he’d get away from that neighbor once and for all!  He was surprised when the neighbor volunteered to help him move.  After getting assistance loading his belongings from his new friend, Lipton thought to himself “maybe this guy wasn’t so bad after all” as he left on a plane trip.  When Lipton returned he found his neighbor had cancelled Lipton’s move with the shipping company, and had stolen all of Lipton’s household goods!  “The loss of all my possessions was a painful lesson for me about the importance of trusting ‘bad vibes’ and ‘good vibes’,” Lipton writes.

Most of the examples Lipton gives in his book are related to romantic relationships.  “When it comes to partners, there are suddenly four instead of two minds involved,” he writes.  “And these two extra subconscious minds can wreak havoc on Happily-Ever-After relationships.”  The Honeymoon Effect is full of strategies to deprogram those unhealthy messages that come from our subconscious minds.

While I valued Lipton’s insights, I suspect the average reader will find it difficult to change the programming of his or her subconscious just by reading the book.  Lipton encourages readers to followup on his suggestions. “There is no one tool that fits all people,” he says.  “If one of the processes listed in the appendix doesn’t work, don’t give up;  try another one!” he adds.  I think the Honeymoon Effect is best used as a guide for the reader to explore different healing methods.

The book ends on a hopeful note – we CAN change the programming of our subconscious minds.  “By manifesting the life you choose, not the life you were programmed by your family to lead, you can have it all,” Lipton writes.  The Honeymoon Effect reminded me of how those messages I received in childhood still affect me today, and encouraged me to continue to work on changing those thoughts.

You can get “The Honeymoon Effect” from these book sellers:

Hay House


Barnes & Noble

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Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved (book review)

loveabilityI received a complementary copy of this book from Hay House for review purposes.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

“Of all the things there are to learn – philosophy and mathematics, poetry and law, all the arts and all the sciences – what could be more important than that we learn how to love?” writes Marianne Williamson in the Forward of Robert Holden’s new book, “Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved.”  Holden’s book is indeed a great read for those who want to take a fresh look at how love is operating in their lives.

Robert Holden did not come out of the womb as a love guru. I liked how Holden opens up in “Loveability” with his own struggles in learning how to love.  In one chapter Holden reveals how uncomfortable he was with Louise Hay’s Mirror Exercise, where you look into your eyes in a mirror and say to yourself “I love you”.  Holden remembers saying “I can’t do this” when recalling his first experience with the mirror exercise at age 27.  “When I said the words ‘I love myself’ it sounded fake.”  His retelling of this experience had special meaning for me, as I was uncomfortable, too, when I first tried mirror work.  In being vulnerable with his own love issues and how he worked through them, Holden’s lessons are easy for the reader to relate to.  He is one of us.

Holden emphasizes again and again in Loveability that self love is the key to a fulfilling life.  Are you still dealing with painful rejections of the past?  “Every relationship in your life is a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself,” Holden writes.  “When you make someone your source of love, they will also be a source of pain.”  His words will cause me to pause the next time I feel slighted at the words or actions of another.  Is it the other person doing that to me, or am I just being reminding of parts of myself I don’t accept and love?  It’s not about them, it’s about me.  “The quality of your relationship with yourself determines the quality of your relationship with everything else,” Holden says.

At times I felt Holden was repeating himself a bit much, stating his self love message in different forms throughout the book.  Yet after reading Loveability I understood the value of his words:  “Love is not just a technique you learn, a skill you acquire, or a secret you find on the last page of a book.  It is a natural ability that flows effortlessly through you when you let it.”

This is the second book I have read from Holden.  I also liked “Shift Happens” which I reviewed back in 2011.  If you are new to Holden’s work, I recommend reading Loveability first to get a sound foundation in his self love message, and then read Shift Happens for short, daily inspirational thoughts.

The byproduct of self love according to Holden?  Your relationships improve, too.  “When you stop judging yourself, the habit of gratuitously judging others will also stop,” he writes.  “The more you love yourself, the more people feel loved by you.  It’s how reality works.”

I found myself thinking of Holden’s words on love often in the past week as different challenges came up in my life.  I’m guessing the book will have the same effect on you – I recommend reading Loveability.

You can get “Loveability” from these book sellers:

Hay House


Barnes & Noble


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The Importance of Being Extraordinary by Wayne Dyer/Eckhart Tolle (CD Review)

dyertolleHow would you like to hear a conversation between two of the top three most influential spiritual people alive?  The new Hay House CD set “The Importance of Being Extraordinary” gives you that opportunity.

Wayne Dyer jokes about this designation that he first saw on the internet.  “You’re listening right now to the third most influential spiritual person alive,” Dyer says.  “That’s my ego.  There’s two people ahead of me on this list.  Now my spirit says ‘you aren’t any better than anyone else, you’re just connected to God like everyone else.’  The ego is tapping me on the shoulder saying ‘I know you can take those two guys ahead of you down!'”

The CD is filled with wonderful moments like this, giving insight to the human dilemma we all struggle with – when are we living out of our ego and when are we living out of spirit?

Eckhart Tolle’s “power of now” message comes through clearly in the discussion.  The real you, Tolle says, is “a sense of deep aliveness that has nothing to do with your history or your future.  If you can touch that within you that is the liberation from a false sense of self.  This is why we are here.  To experience that.”

I enjoyed the friendly banter between Dyer and Tolle, filled with wisdom and humor.  On the second disk of the two CD set the pair take questions from the audience (recorded at a live event in Maui).  Listen to the CD to hear their take on inquiries such as:

  • “Since you are both very popular and successful, how do you remain humble and in touch with everyday people and situations, and not let your ego take over?”
  • “Should I establish goals for my life, and what kind of goals would each of you place a high value on?”
  • “Is it possible to slay the ego?  Can the ego be good?”

While I feel a reading book from Dyer or Tolle is the best way to absorb each author’s teaching, this two hour CD program captures the essence of their message in abbreviated form.  “You can be an extraordinary being and still have ordinary in it.  The extraordinary part of who we all are is the Soul,”  Wayne Dyer says in one segment.  The CD set reminded me to recognize and live out of my “extraordinary” part more often.

You can get “The Importance of Being Extraordinary” from these sellers:

Hay House


Barnes & Noble

This is another review in my partnership with Hay House.  I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the CD from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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Why Quantum Physicists Do Not Fail (book review)

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 6.30.45 PMGreg Kuhn’s book “Why Quantum Physicists Do Not Fail” could easily be called “Quantum Physics for Dummies”.  Yes, I’m a dummy when it comes to understanding quantum physics, and Kuhn gives the best treatment I’ve read yet of explaining this complex topic in simple language.  More importantly, he shows how quantum principles can be used to improve our lives.  “This is a self-help book about using quantum physics to achieve your dreams and goals,” he says in the introduction, and he delivers on that promise.

Quantum physics is a totally different way to look at reality than what most of us were taught.  “The science of the second scientific revolution shows us that the outside world is created by one’s inside world, not the other way around,” Kuhn writes. “Your internal energy creates the material world outside of you. Embracing this paradigm, as weird as it may sound to you right now, is as logical a scientific ‘next step’ for humanity as embracing the Earth’s revolution around the sun was for a person in the 17th century.”  I like how Kuhn lays the ground work early in the book by explaining what quantum physics is and how it differs from traditional science.

The best parts of the book, though, are where the author takes this quantum understanding and shows how we can apply it to everyday life.   I’ve long been a proponent of the benefits of positive thinking.  Kuhn tells us why positive thinking works.  It is all related to quantum principles.  “As quantum physics shows us, by looking for ways to feel as good as possible about people, places, things, and circumstances in your life, you are creating even more good in your life by telling yourself the best story possible,” he writes.

One of my top five books last year was Joe Dispenza’s “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”.  Kuhn’s book is a worthy companion to Dispenza’s work.  In fact if you are new to the concepts of quantum physics I recommend reading “Why Quantum Physicists Do Not Fail” first.  It’s like going to quantum elementary school, Dispenza’s book is high school, and authors like Deepak Chopra are college level.  It is a great book to read in taking the initial steps of understanding a different, life enhancing view of reality.

I was given a complementary copy of this book for review purposes.  I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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You Can Trust Your Life (DVD Review)

haydvd“I love you, Tim, and I am proud of you.  You have shown great courage to get to where you are, and you have so much more life yet to live.”

I now have a mirror by my desk where I look myself in the eye and say little affirmations like this during the day.  Does this sound strange?  If you watch Louise Hay’s and Cheryl Richardson’s new four part DVD set from Hay House, “You Can Trust Your Life”, you soon will be telling yourself loving affirmations, too!

“Mirror Work” is one of the self loving techniques Louise and Cheryl emphasize throughout the program.  Recorded at a live two day weekend workshop in London, the DVDs really capture the experience of hearing Louise and Cheryl in person.  The camera work is very well done, showing the subtle facial expressions of these two teachers, as well as the vulnerability of audience members during the question and answer periods.

I reviewed the book on which the workshop was based, You Can Create a Magnificent Life, when it first came out in September 2011.  The book was great but the DVDs offer spontaneous moments not possible in print format.  “We certainly welcome the men. We are so glad to have you here.  We love you,” Louise says early in the program.  “We like to acknowledge the men when they show up. We need more men,” Cheryl adds.  “We don’t need men but we welcome them.  We don’t need anything because life gives us everything,” says Louise, correcting Cheryl.  Rather than being offended, Cheryl laughs and says, “The teaching never ends people. It’s continuous and wonderful.”  The two women play off of each other like this throughout the sessions.  Watch the DVDs for more surprises (including one where Louise uses salty language to make a point – she is a feisty 86 year old!)

My favorite part of the program was the closing, where Louise leads the audience in a group forgiveness exercise.  “Being in a state of non-forgiveness is like sitting in a prison of self righteous resentment that keeps the doors closed,” she tells the crowd as everyone listens with their eyes closed. “And we cannot access the love in our own hearts.”

If you have never attended a Cheryl Richardson/Louise Hay talk in person as I have, the DVD set captures the energy and emotion of a live event.  The message of self love healing old wounds was freeing to me, as if I was at that London workshop.  “Living an exceptional life starts with loving yourself first,” Cheryl says in one segment.  “You are living with yourself day after day, you might as well enjoy it,” adds Louise.  Wise words I will remember the next time I have a self critical thought.

You can get “You Can Trust Your Life” from Hay House directly at this link:

Hay House

This is another review in my partnership with Hay House.  I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the DVD from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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This Time I Dance (book review)

Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 4.55.31 PMTama Kieves had it made.  A Harvard Law School graduate, she had achieved what most people would consider “success” – a well paying position with a large firm.  But something inside told her there was more to life than filing legal briefs and earning a big pay check.

In “This Time I Dance!: Creating the Work You Love” Kieves tells her own story of leaving the corporate world to pursue a writing and coaching career.  “No salary ever pays enough for us to leave our truth behind,” she writes.  “Only a life of self-honor feels safe and sure.  Everything else leaves us empty, hungry, and haunted for more.”

In telling her story with candor and wit, Kieves inspires us to follow our own callings, too.  She encountered plenty of naysayers along the way, including her family, questioning why she would leave a secure job for a writing future that was anything but guaranteed.  Perhaps you are considering a career change but wonder if you can support yourself in following your passion?  “Decide to live your dreams before you can foresee the means,” Kieves counsels.

I liked how the book was a mix of biography and motivation.  Kieves relates one story of meeting a senior partner from her old law firm in a chance encounter at a bank.  Kieves’ casual outfit that day matched her new artistic bent – complete with a striped feather tucked into a black hat.  “You look great, just like Annie Hall,” her old boss told her.  Kieves was mortified. She later realized her former boss was well meaning in his comment, it was she that was condemning herself for “playing dress up.”  Kieves follows this story with a lesson: “we will face these kinds of tests in our transition … trying on new lives feels like playing make-believe.  But as we act out our new roles, we will make belief.  We become solid with experience and poised and affirmed.”

Reading “This Time I Dance” encouraged me to pursue my own dreams.  I have had this book idea in my head for the past year.  I happened to meet Kieves and told her of my vision.  “I so hope you write your book … it’s your dance,” she wrote when I asked her for an autograph.  Though I didn’t win a publishing contract in my first attempt, Kieves’ words motivated me to keep at it – to self publish.  I recommend reading “This Time I Dance” if you, too, are looking to express yourself in new and exciting ways.

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The Best Of Extroverts and Introverts at the Super Bowl

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 1.47.06 PM“Activate your inner Beyoncé,” minister Cynthia James encouraged us to do in a talk I attended awhile back at Mile Hi Church in Denver.  Reverend Cynthia wanted us to express ourselves to the fullest.  “Don’t restrict it – Beyoncé holds nothing back!” she said.

Until yesterday’s Super Bowl I had never seen Beyoncé perform.  Wow!  Talk about being uninhibited.  The extroverted Beyoncé electrified the crowd in a 15 minute dance filled, pyrotechnic enhanced show.  “Beyoncé will go down in history as giving the best halftime performance of all time!” writes Christopher Rogers of Hollywood Life.

Yet there was another person who fully expressed himself yesterday in a much quieter way.  Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, the game’s most valuable player, had a phenomenal day – throwing for three touchdowns in leading his team to the victory.  Flacco said after the game in an interview with NFL Network “I hope I can stay somewhat by myself (tonight) so I don’t have to take all kinds of pictures and stuff.”  Not quite as flamboyant as Beyoncé!  Or like past Super Bowl winning quarterbacks who enjoyed the spotlight a la Joe Namath.

But Flacco was equally impressive as Beyoncé in staying true to his character.  The introverted quarterback had the reputation of giving a “boring interview” by broadcasters covering the Super Bowl before the game.  Flacco did just fine in his post game talks, giving his in depth analysis of the game and his teammates before retreating to the solitude he preferred.  “I’m always like that – always pretty calm,” he said when asked how his quiet demeanor helped his team win the game.

I think we saw the best of extroverts and introverts on Super Bowl Sunday.  Beyoncé and Flacco, in their own ways, stayed true to their basic temperaments and shined because of it.   That can be a lesson to the rest of us.  Don’t try to be like somebody else.  Be yourself.  And bring all your passion, like Beyoncé and Flacco did yesterday, to whatever you do.

Beyoncé photo courtesy of nfl network.

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Help, Thanks, Wow – The Three Essential Prayers (book review)

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 7.40.01 PMI was thinking the other day how much time I devote to spiritual growth.  Reading books.  Listening to inspirational music.  Regularly taking in weekly podcasts from some of my favorite ministers.  Meditating.  All activities I really get into.  But lately I haven’t been praying much.  So I decided I want to learn more about prayer.

One of my “podcast ministers” recommended “Help, Thanks, Wow – The Three Essential Prayers” by Anne Lamott.  It’s a little 101 page book full of quirky stories about these three types of prayers.  “Most good, honest prayers remind me that I am not in charge, that I cannot fix anything, and that I open myself to being helped by something, some force, some friends, some something,” Lamott writes in the Help chapter.  “These prayers acknowledge that I am clueless;  but someone else isn’t.”

I liked the Help chapter the best.  While I believe in the mantra “God helps those who help themselves”, at times when I am baffled at a situation the best I can do is pray: “help!”.  Lamott reassured me that this type of prayer is OK, and in fact may be the most honest prayer.  We don’t have to know all the answers.

I get the “Gratitude” part of life.  Focusing on the positive and being thankful for the everyday blessings in my life just gives me more joy.  Lamott’s “Thanks” chapter again reminded me of the value of saying “thank you” prayers.

The “Wows” in life I really didn’t consider as prayers, but after reading this chapter I can see how they could be.  “Wow means we are not dulled to wonder,” Lamott writes.  “We click into being fully present when we’re stunned into that gasp, by the sight of a birth, or images of the World Trade Center towers falling, or the experience of being in a fjord, at dawn, for the first time.”

I also found it interesting that the book was recommended by a “New Thought” Unity minister, with a very different spiritual outlook than the author (Lamott attends a traditional Presbyterian church).  This is a book that has meaning regardless of your religious orientation.

“Help, Thanks, Wow” may give you a fresh perspective on prayer, as it did for me.  I’ve noticed I’ve been praying more since reading the book, and I think that is a good thing.

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