Getting Creative with Your Spirit Guides

by Debra Landwehr Engle

Have you ever wondered what creativity truly is?

What if we defined it as the art of living rather than the art of painting a portrait or writing a novel?

What if creativity isn’t an attribute that only certain people have, but a birthright of being human?

What if creativity isn’t something you do, but it’s who you are?

And what if your spirit guides are your creative partners every moment of your life?

When I was writing Let Your Spirit Guides Speak, my writing guide told me this:

“Creativity is not just a talent some people have. It is the intentional partnership between our world and yours, brought into human form by your willingness to listen.”

In other words, the more you listen, and the more you focus on spiritual guidance and act on it, the more you’ll be able to express your creativity in everything you do.

So when are you creative?

  • Any time there’s a problem and you manifest a solution, you’re creative.
  • Any time you help a friend see things a different way, you’re creative.
  • Every time you turn one thing into something else, you’re creative. (Case in point: transforming eggs, flour and sugar into a cake. It’s the alchemy of creation.)

Essentially, every time you breathe, you’re creative, since creativity is part of your DNA. So the question isn’t, “Am I creative?” Instead it’s, “How can I build an intentional partnership with my guides?”

There are endless ways to do that, but here’s one simple one to supersize your communication with your guides:

Do a vision board with your guides’ help. You may have created a vision board before, but it’s a more powerful exercise when you do it intentionally with your guides.

Get out a large piece of paper, several magazines, a pair of scissors and a glue stick. Now ask your guides what they’d suggest as a focus for your vision board.

Typically, a vision board is a way of visualizing what you’d like to manifest. But it could also be used to answer a question, help resolve an issue or point you in a clear direction.

So close your eyes, sit quietly for a few moments, take in three deep breaths, and ask your guides: “What is the focus of this vision board?” Pay attention to any sensations, images, words or feelings you receive, and trust their guidance for you.

Once you’re clear about the purpose of the vision board, set all expectations aside and ask your guides to lead you to the pictures and words you need most right now. Then simply start flipping through magazines.

Every time you see an image or a word that speaks to you, cut it out and set it aside. Do this for a set period of time—for instance, 10 minutes. Then spend another 10 minutes gluing the pieces at random to your sheet of paper.

Now it’s time to interpret your vision board. Ask your guides for help with this step, too, so you can understand the deeper meaning of the words and images you chose. It’s important not to judge or dismiss anything you put on your vision board. Instead, listen for the meaning.

For instance, if you’re married and you put a picture of a bride on your vision board, ask why. Maybe you’re going to feel newly married again. Maybe someone in your life is getting married and you don’t know it yet.

Ask other questions, too. For instance…

  • “Why did this particular image speak so strongly to me?”
  • “I have lots of white space on my vision board. What does that mean?” Or, in contrast, “My vision board is packed full. What does that mean?”
  • “What’s the connecting thread of the words and images?”
  • “What’s the one thing you want me to know right now?”

This is the beauty of the intentional partnership with your guides. It will reveal to you information and perspectives that you could not have thought of on your own.

So the next time you question your whether you’re a creative being, remember that partnership. Then let your creativity, and your spirit guides, speak.


Debra Engle is the author of the award-winning Let You Spirit Guides Speak and The Only Little Prayer You Need.

Spiritual Bandwidth

by Janet Conner

Have you noticed that the next big idea that sends your life into a whole new orbit always drops out of nowhere? You’re not looking for it, not asking for it, not expecting anything, when suddenly, wham, it lands in your heart. And the top of your head pops off like a champagne cork.

I had one of those moments recently.

I had just finished a delightful conversation with Kathleen Deignan on The Soul-Directed Life talking about Thomas Merton, prayer, and finding the natural rhythm of your life. We even sang to one another.

As we were saying goodbye, Kathleen blurte17d, “You are an ecstatic!”

This got my attention because it was the second time ecstasy came calling. The first time, a friend in book group interrupted me as I was describing the intense experience of writing Find Your Soul’s Purpose. She said, “You need more balance in your life.” Without thinking, I blurted, “I don’t want balance. I want ecstasy.”

Hmm. Ecstasy. Blurted. Twice. Time to investigate.

First stop. The dictionary:

  • rapturous delight
  • overpowering emotion or exaltation
  • state of sudden intense feeling
  • frenzy of poetic inspiration
  • mental transport of rapture from the contemplation of divine things

Well, now. These are what I like, what I want, what excites me.

But what is an ecstatic? 

I wrote to Kathleen. You might want to read her answer slowly:

“By ecstatic I mean vibrating at a very high and insightful frequency as a way of being in this world. Most of us do not use hardly ANY of the spiritual band-width we have as gift, never really let ourselves move into these more spacious, expansive realms.

You feel like a woman who lives in the power-state of joy and surprise and wonder and gratitude—all of that.

That is what I meant when I said you are an ecstatic being.”

I was tickled by how she described me, but it was Spiritual Band-width that sent my champagne cork flying.

In all my interspiritual reading (over 100 books a year), I’ve never seen anyone use that term.

So what is this?
In a word: Transparent.
Spiritual band-width is the measure of your transparency to the Transcendent.

Every tradition points to becoming so transparent that you merge into the divine in sacred union.

  • Jesus is transparent when he says, “The Father and I are One.”
  • The ultimate Vedic truth is, “You are That.”
  • Li Po in 8th century China wrote, “We sit together the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.”

The spiritual band-width of these souls is so vast it encompasses the width and depth of the cosmos.

Which is great for them, but what about you and me?
We’re not there yet.

But, as we explore the fields of the soul, embodying the living presence of the Divine in our mystical prayer practices, we become a wee bit more transparent.

Bit by bit, prayer by prayer, silence by silence, our spiritual band-width expands and expands and expands.

Thanks to Kathleen Deignan, I see that I have been slowly expanding my spiritual band-width for years. And everything I write and every course I lead helps you expand your band-width, too.

I’m in awe. I’m in wonder. I’m in love.

And it’s only taken me 10 years, 7 books, 220 radio shows, countless hours of deep soul writing, deep soul reading, and deep soul mystical prayer practice to see what is happening when we explore the fields of the soul: we are expanding our spiritual band-width!

So the question that’s probably bubbling up right now is “How do I expand my spiritual band-width?

I took this inquiry into soul writing. This surfaced:

  • Sacred Desire
    Acknowledge and express your sacred desire to become more transparent to the Transcendent
  • Big Questions
    Ask big questions, quest-inducing questions, and follow where they lead
  • Mystical Prayer
    Develop mystical prayers that you love with your whole being
  • Show Up
    Live your prayer practices and your prayer practices will transform your life
  • White Space
    Give yourself silence and emptiness in which to hear the voice of the Transcendent
  • Big Ideas
    Spend time with the mystics; chew over ideas that astonish you
  • Soul Community
    Explore the fields of the soul in community. Spend time with real soul friends
  • Serve the Divine
    Be the presence of the divine in and through and as you–this is the essence of transparency
  • Unknowing
    Open to what you don’t know, don’t understand, can’t figure out
  • Trust
    Release the need for safety. Pursue love. In perfect paradox, you’ll find true safety

Looking at my list, I realized we do all that and more in my deep soul exploration books and courses. And the result, as Kathleen recognized, is gratitude, wonder, and joy–even ecstasy!


Janet Conner is a writer, speaker, teacher, retreat guide, and radio show host of The Soul-Directed Life radio show for Unity Online Radio. Each year she teaches five global telecourses in her trademark series Your Soul Wants Five Things, which offers spiritual tools and practices that help people meet their soul’s primary needs. She lives and writes in Ozona, Florida. Visit her online at www.janetconner.com.

Imagine

by Marion Forgatch, PhD, Gerald Patterson, PhD and Tim Friend

As parents, we shape our children’s behavior from the day they are born. Their behaviors—desirable and undesirable alike— become established as we reinforce them through our own actions, reactions, and inactions. In this chapter, we’ll discuss how you can encourage cooperation in your children and help you to become aware of behaviors that may innocently send the wrong messages. As Jerry studied families in their homes, he developed what has become known as “coercion theory.” Coercion starts out as a vital, natural survival instinct that can be found in infants as well as baby birds. Before children develop language, they communicate their needs to be fed, held, or have their diapers changed by crying. Unattended infants can fly into little fits of apparent rage. It’s their only way of telling you that they need something, and they need it now. As they begin to develop language, we have to teach children to ask for what they need. If we don’t, that coercive behavior can allow toddlers to control their parents. To see unadulterated coercion in action, watch a three-year-old throw a temper tantrum in a grocery store. See how the parent and child react to each other. Observe the escalation in the intensity of emotions during the exchange. This is a battle of wills between a little kid and a grown-up. Watch how it ends, who wins, and why.

Coercion lies at the root of most of the battles we see between siblings and between parents and children. You can think of coercion as a dark side of human nature inside all of us. Understanding what coercion is and how it interferes with loving relationships can enable you to recognize it when it arises and do something about it. Because coercion is the cause of so much of the trouble between parents and young children, reducing it is a core component of our parenting techniques. When parents learn to reduce coercive actions in their children—and in themselves—cooperative behaviors have a better chance to grow and thrive. When we first become parents, many of us start out with vague dreams for ourselves, our individual children, and our families as a whole. You have probably had some kind of vision of the family you wanted ever since you were a child—though it is rare for anyone to sit down with us when we are young (and most receptive) and explain how to raise a happy family, let alone model how it is done. Your vision, however amorphous it may be, was likely influenced by the strengths and values that determined how you were raised—for better or worse.

Sit back and imagine the family you want. What you imagine is probably different from your partner’s ideal family. If one of you had a great childhood, you will surely follow in the footsteps of those amazing parents. If your childhood was rocky, you may be thinking of different ways to raise your children. Unfortunately, many of us are so busy that we don’t spend much time planning our parenting strategies. We live in a different world from the one in which we grew up. Raising children is more expensive than ever, employers demand more work, our relationships become loaded with stress, and we sacrifice our dreams to focus on the problems at hand. Now is the time to rekindle your dreams and get ready to create the changes you want for your family. Changing bad habits and teaching new skills require that you think carefully about your goals. We urge you to think big and reach high to create the family you have always wanted.

Dreams can lie dormant and may even die unless you awaken them and imagine ways to make them come true. Once you conceive your dreams, how do you give birth to them? It’s easy to say: “I want my children to get along with others or do well in school.” It is quite another thing to say: “Here’s how I will make it happen.” You start by setting goals. Begin with something feasible, and then break down the goal into steps using the Goldilocks rule—not too big, not too small, but just right. When you accomplish one goal, set a new one.

For instance, imagine teaching your children to get ready for bed on their own. Our approach is to first show them each tiny step; then we patiently teach them to put the steps together—take a bath, dress for bed, and brush their teeth. Gradually, your children learn to do it all themselves, and you can move on to another set of skills. Setting goals and planning the steps required to reach them is a kind of telescoping process—you look ahead to the future, you zoom back to the present, and you figure out how to get from here to that distant place. With practice, your skill at making long- and short-term goal statements will grow, and you will become a master of making dreams come true.

Excerpted from Raising Cooperative Kids by Marion Forgatch, PhD, Gerald Patterson, PhD, and Tim Friend


Marion S. Forgatch, PhD, is the senior scientist emerita at the Oregon Social Learning Center and a frequent lecturer at professional conferences. She is the coauthor with Dr. Patterson of Parents and AdolescentsGerald R. Patterson, PhD, was the founder of the Oregon Social Learning Center and was well known for his pioneering work in child psychology. His awards included the Distinguished Scientific Award from the American Psychological Association. Tim Friend has two decades of experience as a national reporter covering science and medicine.

Peace Begins with Me

by Karen Casey

I remember as though it were yesterday the first time I heard “The Peace Song.” It was at the close of a Sunday service at the Unity Church in Golden Valley, MN. I was just a few months sober and had gone to Unity at the suggestion of one of my new friends in AA. At the close of the service all the congregants stood and held hands. And then the singing began.

I was mesmerized. As the tears streamed down my face, I stood transfixed by the simple beauty of the words, the beauty of the voices that surrounded me and the quiet beauty of the truth of the message those words carried. I knew at that moment that my life was truly changing. I just didn’t have any idea of the extent of that change.

Fast forward 41 years. I am still sober, of course and still growing, still discovering transformation through the many encounters I have been privileged to experience since that Sunday so long ago. Over these many decades of sobriety and spiritual growth through recovery, I have come to cherish a certain few principles which I will share with you that have allowed me to walk more securely along the many pathways that brought me here, to this moment in time, with you.

There were obstacles along the way of course. There always are. They are the opportunities we have been gifted with to stretch us and push us to becoming the companions our many fellow travelers have needed to encounter so that they, too, could become who they were meant to be. I truly embrace the idea that we will always meet those individuals we need to encounter, not just for our own edification and growth, but their’s too. This is not an “accidental course” we are on. Indeed not. I am here as are you because of the divinity of the journey we have agreed to share.

To reiterate, choosing to live my life these many years being governed by a few very simple principles has given me the quiet well-being that I usually experience. However, those moments of quiet peace that slip out of my grasp are the result of my inattentiveness to here, now. But the introduction to a third pathway to peace has enhanced my awareness of “this moment.”

How very grateful I am that A Course in Miracles, my third pathway, blessed my life nearly thirty years ago. I had no idea I was searching for its particular message; I only knew that I needed something more. AA and Al-Anon were, and still are, the
cornerstones of my spiritual growth; cornerstones that I will never wander away from. But I continued to yearn for a closer sense of “the presence” of the Spirit that I had been assured accompanied me everywhere.

It was while reading the words so beautifully conveyed to Helen Schucman, the scribe of ACIM, that I heard the messages that God, through the Voice of Jesus, was intending for me to hear. And I was ready for them. I have remained ready for them. Not unlike 12 Step Programs, we aren’t really ever done with hearing and rehearing the messages that are meant for us in the many gatherings that invite us in, the many books that cry for rereading, the many moments of quiet reflection on all that we have come to know.

I have been a proponent of “the course,” coupled with the spiritual principles so embedded in 12 Step Philosophy since that very first moment that I knew I had been called to carry this message too, in my workshops, my books, my very being. Having received such a clear direction has allowed me to move forward confidently and purposefully, with the full intent of imparting that which I have gleaned from those many “voices” that have spoken to me.

I have been a proponent of “the course,” coupled with the spiritual principles so embedded in 12 Step Philosophy since that very first moment that I knew I had been called to carry this message too, in my workshops, my books, my very being. Having received such a clear direction has allowed me to move forward confidently and purposefully, with the full intent of imparting that which I have gleaned from those many “voices” that have spoken to me.

The message I herald is simple. And it’s not uncommon. It has been heard from the lips of Mother Teresa. In the writings of the Dalai Lama. Wayne Dyer too. AND MANY OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS WE SIT AMONG AT MEETINGS, DAY IN AND DAY OUT. It’s about being a messenger of peace, an expression of love, serving as a witness to the hearts and minds of all those men and women and children who have NOT WANDERED OUR WAY BY ACCIDENT.

It’s also about accepting that we are powerless over the lives of others but never powerless over how we acknowledge those others who pass us by. And it’s about forgiveness. Of all others and ourselves, particularly for our many judgments. As I read in the course so many years ago, “the ego speaks first; it speaks loudest, and it is always wrong.” It’s that very dominant voice in our minds that pushes us to be all that the Holy Spirit tries to steer us from being. With the ego in charge, we will never know peace.

The simple principles that continue calling to me also include these:
1. Detaching from the drama of others’ lives offers us peace of mind.
2. When others begin to bother you, change your focus.
3. Don’t let anyone else define who you are.
4. It’s a fact: we can not control any one else.
5. Letting go is an act that blesses everyone, everywhere.
6. Separation from others is an illusion.
7. We are joined in the Oneness of Spirit.
8. No experience is lacking in purpose. Seek to understand it.
9. Every encounter with another person is Holy.
10. Chance plays no part in God’s plan.

These are not the only principles that guide me, of course. There are dozens more. But I know after these many years on this spiritual path that any one of these principles, well honed, has the power to change the life we are living in the moment, and forever too. And any of these principles practiced any time by any one of us can impact the Universe that is the home of all of us. Seem farfetched? Think again. Every action, every thought emanates a vibration that moves beyond it. We do have the power to send forth whatever vibration we desire.

Why not make it a peaceful one?


Karen Casey is a writer and workshop facilitator for 12-step recovery. Her first book, Each Day a New Beginning, has sold more than 3 million copies. She has published 28 books since then including Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow, which was a finalist for the MS Society Books for a Better Life Awards. She has traveled throughout North America and Europe carrying her message of hope for others on the road to recovery.

Our May Titles Are Here!

Happy reading!


Last Things

Marissa Moss

“Loving, moving, and articulate, Last Things is packed with emotional truth. It’s a clear-eyed testimony to the way death arrives, sometimes inch by inch, inspiring the courage and strength and generosity that are the best things we bring to this life.”—Jennifer Hayden, Eisner-nominated author of Underwire and The Story of My Tits

“A gripping portrayal of how devastating ALS can be, but also a powerful example of resilience and hope.” —Dr. Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, neurologist, ALS clinic, UCSF

“If anyone still thinks the graphic format can’t be used to tell deep, grown-up, powerful stories, Last Things ought to change their mind. It’s about all the big questions: How we live, how we raise our children, how we survive seemingly unbearable loss. Moss’s authenticity, raw honesty and vulnerability will help anyone who’s struggling with loss and ‘lasts’ – ultimately, that’s all of us.” —Marjorie Ingall, author of Mamaleh Knows Best

“Before reading Marissa Moss’ Last Things I was unaware of how profoundly moved I could be by a graphic novel. With her gentle touch and brave honest voice we experience how completely one’s life and expectations be changed with a single devastating diagnosis. I absolutely loved Last Things!” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

“An important book that needs to be in the world. It’s a hard read, but sometimes surviving and resilience is what makes people stronger. Ultimately that’s what Last Things celebrates, not dying, but strength, the strength our families give us.” —Kathleen Caldwell, A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland CA

“Powerful and beautiful – this book would be a great addition to the graphic novel canon.” —Ian Lendler, author of The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents MacBeth

“I was swept into the story, swept along.” —Joan Lester, author of Mama’s Child

“This is a very brave and beautifully drawn account. Anyone coping with the loss of a spouse is going to benefit – and any reader can relate to the family dynamics, the stress of caregiving, and the crisis of a terminal disease.” —Eleanor Vincent, author of Swimming with Maya: A Mother’s Story

“In this deeply affecting graphic memoir, Moss lays out the struggles of trying to live as her husband is dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Her simple drawings reveal the pain and anguish her characters don’t know how to express in words, making the format a perfect choice for the story. Those facing similar situations will feel relief at finding their struggles and confusion laid clearly on a page. Meanwhile, the moral complexities of caring for a husband who is no longer emotionally engaged while parenting three confused children invites readers to examine their own choices. A sad, haunting memoir of struggle and confusion that will have readers in tears.” —Marika McCoola, author of Baba Yaga’s Assistant (Candlewick Press); Indie Bookseller, Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA)

Using words and pictures together to sharp effect Last Things is the true story of how one family copes with the devastating effects of ALS.  After returning home from a year abroad, Moss’s husband, Harvey, was diagnosed with ALS. The disease progressed quickly and Moss was soon consumed with caring for Harvey, while trying to keep life as normal as possible for her young children. This is not a story about the redemptive power of terminal illness, it is a story of resilience. It’s a story of how a family managed to survive a terrible loss and grow strong despite it.

(Conari Press)


Raising Cooperative Kids

Marion Forgatch, PhD, Gerald Patterson, PhD, and Tim Friend

Raising Cooperative Kids provides clear, commonsense strategies for accomplishing exactly what the title calls for. The behaviors that parents want to see in their children are, for the most part, universal. Although the practices in the book can be started at a very young age, the tools included are useful for parenting toddlers through teens. There is also advice on topics such as approaching social media with your child, linking home and school, working together while divorced, and so forth. Raising Cooperative Kids would make a useful addition to any public library parenting collection.” — Joyce McIntosh, Booklist

“Having observed thousands of parents and their children over the course of almost 50 years, the authors conclude that successful families share a spirit of cooperation that generates harmonious teamwork In sum, the authors tell parents how to identify their strengths and weaknesses and effectively teach and lead their kids. With lively family stories, useful dialogue, and checklists, this book is also indicative of the trend toward rediscovering generations-old, traditional parenting techniques.” – Publishers Weekly

“An excellent book which brings the best of longstanding, proven, and highly effective parenting practices to the modern age. This book is a must for every parent and every professional that works with children.” —Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D, author of 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child

“This is a wonderful book with clear, easy-to-apply, and workable techniques based on both clinical experience and research. From defining and setting goals to the critical importance of family play, Raising Cooperative Kids provides a concise and practical blueprint for parents who want to enjoy their kids.” —Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., author 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12

“This book is a special gift to accomplish one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs we will face in our lifetime: raising children. Marion and Jerry share their years of experience studying human behavior and give simple, yet powerful, tools to help parents. You will see yourself in some of the chapters, sometimes doing the right thing, sometimes doing the wrong thing. Enjoy the gift, have fun practicing and take comfort that you’re doing the best you can.”— Jim Wotring, Senior Deputy Director, Department of Behavioral Health, Washington, DC

“If you are going to rely on one book to secure a better future for your children, this is the book to use.” —Thomas J. Dishion, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University

“An excellent guide for parents who want to raise happy, well-adjusted children! Based on years of clinical and research experience, this user-friendly book emphasizes the importance of practicing skills and is filled with strategies and examples. I highly recommend Raising Cooperative Kids to parents, students-in-training, and therapists.”—Rex Forehand, PhD, author of Parenting the Strong-Willed Child

“A practical, common sense book that includes all the ingredients for a cooperative and happy family.” —Carolyn Webster Stratton, PhD,Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, and Founder of “The Incredible Years®”

Not since Dr. Spock has there been such a comprehensive book on parenting. Developed over forty years of practice and tested in clinical studies, Patterson and Forgatch’s parenting techniques tap deep-rooted human instincts, making them universal and easy to use no matter where you live or how a family is structured—these techniques enable parents to teach their children new behaviors and reduce family conflicts. The authors also remind us of the importance of play—enjoying time and activities together is the cornerstone of a happy family.

(Conari Press)


Rewrite Your Life

Jessica Lourey

“My favorite kind of self-help book: irreverent, personal, and superbly useful.” —Jen Mann, New York Times bestselling author of People I Want to Punch in the Throat

“A lively exploration of writing’s therapeutic value and an encouraging invitation to apply it to your life.” —Kendra Levin, author of The Hero is You

“On occasion a gem of a book comes along. One that sticks with us and helps us to remember, we can rewrite our life. That our journey is filled with plot twists we never expected and that we can gain insights and perspective by exploring those unexpected events, or ‘story food’ through writing. Rewrite Your Life is just such a book. You will walk away with an understanding of how to heal through writing fiction and have the tools you need to make a difference in your own life, and everyone your life touches.” —Lyssa Danehy deHart, MSW, LICSW, PCC and author of StoryJacking: Change Your Inner Dialogue, Transform Your Life

According to common wisdom, we all have a book inside of us. Every author calls on, crystallizes and shades their life experiences to craft fiction. The most conflict-ridden moments of our lives – the tragedies, humiliations, and terrors – shape the best stories. But how do we select and then write our most significant story? Creative writing professor, sociologist, and popular fiction author Jessica Lourey guides us through the redemptive process of writing a healing novel which recycles and transforms our most precious resource—our own emotions and experiences.

(Conari Press)


Instant Tarot

Monte Farber and Amy Zerner

“Each card is interpreted according to the position in which it appears . . .no other book we know of offers this degree of specificity.” —Publishers Weekly

“We found the information unnervingly on target.” —US Magazine

Bestselling authors Farber and Zerner unveil the mysteries of the tarot for beginners and experts alike with nothing to memorize.  They provide concise interpretations of every card in every position of the classic Celtic Cross tarot spread.  This book is like getting a reading from an expert advisor in the privacy of one’s home.  This unique method works with virtually any tarot deck; interprets every card, in every position; and provides sample questions you can easily personalize.

(Weiser Books)


I Ching, Plain & Simple

Kim Farnell

The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is a mix of Taoist and Confucianist philosophies that has evolved over many centuries and may be the oldest book in existence. It’s main philosophy is that nothing is static and our task is to adjust to the ebb and flow of changing circumstances. It can be an extremely complex system filled with poetry and philosophy, but Farnell has rendered it here as contemporary, straightforward, and as user-friendly as possible.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)


Wicca, Plain & Simple

Leanna Greenway, Foreword by Judika Illes

Greenaway takes a contemporary approach to Wicca and shows how you can use it as a healing and positive force.  She makes Wiccan traditions meaningful and accessible to us today by providing a basic understanding of the key elements of Wiccan practice, including: lunar magic, initiation, herbs and gardens, pendulum power, and animal magic.  Also included are 25 spells for beginning practitioners ranging from love spells to fertility spells and more.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)

Beyond Brain Chemistry: Exploring the Wider Context of Mental Illness

by Hilary Smith

When I wrote the first edition of Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar But Were Too Freaked Out To Ask, my mission was to provide positive, engaging companionship for young people being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My goal with the second edition, Welcome to the Jungle: Facing Bipolar Without Freaking Out, was a little bit different: to help people understand the wider context of their diagnosis, and encourage them to think about bipolar as not only a matter of biochemistry, but as a complex interplay between a person and his or her cultural, social, economic, geographic, political and environmental contexts.

Why is it important to see bipolar disorder in a wider context? Didn’t that public service announcement I saw last week explain that bipolar disorder was a chemical imbalance, best managed by taking lifelong medication? While the biochemical model has been useful for some, it has had the unexpected consequence of blinding us to the other factors feeding into mental distress, and to the many free, healthy and safe ways that people experiencing mental distress can help themselves.

For example, the destruction of the natural world and lack of access to nature are both factors that increase a person’s stress levels, yet people diagnosed with bipolar are rarely encouraged to reconnect with nature. Homelessness and economic pressure can give people symptoms resembling mental illness, yet most books about bipolar disorder do not consider housing status or economic security. Social isolation, not brain chemistry, is one of the greatest predictors of suicide, yet the biochemical model of mental illness makes no allowance for this or other crucial facts.

My hope is that Welcome to the Jungle: Facing Bipolar Without Freaking Out will help individuals, their families and friends, and their doctors make wiser decisions about dealing with depression and mania—decisions that go beyond the limited “brain chemistry” model to take the whole person, and their whole environment, in mind.


The subject of mental health has fascinated Hilary Smith since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in college. She is the author of the novels Wild Awake and A Sense of the Infinite, both of which explore the themes of mental health and illness. She lives in Portland, OR. Visit her at www.hilarytsmith.com.

Our April Titles Are Here

Happy reading!


Find Your Soul’s Purpose

Janet Conner

“Here’s the secret to Janet Conner’s wonderful new book Find Your Soul’s Purpose: your soul’s purpose is you at this very moment. The sacred path she offers you doesn’t lead to your soul’s purpose; rather each step is your soul’s purpose. She isn’t teaching something you don’t know, but pointing out the simple truths you have forgotten how to see. Don’t think—look!” —Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent

“Discerning our life mission is a central task for conscious spiritual seekers of any faith or tradition. Find Your Soul’s Purpose offers thoughtful reflections and meaningful exercises to help you do just that. It’s a delightful book, filled with gentle wisdom and playful practices that will help anyone discover their own innate genius.” —Carl McColman, author of Christian Mystics and Answering the Contemplative Call

“Come and take a deep dive with Janet’s magic whale into the depths of your inner brilliance to weave together the tapestry of your soul’s purpose. As you circle through the spiral with Janet’s exceptional guidance, you will be flooded with memories and invaluable re-discoveries of your creative destiny, so that you can now fully step into your soul’s path joyfully and with certainty. Janet is indeed one of the most innovative spiritual teachers of our time.” —Gail McMeekin, executive creative career coach and author of 6 books including The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and The Power of Positive Choices

With Conner as our guide, we embark on a mystical journey to see far beneath career or calling to remember who we really are—divine beings—and to embrace the divine gifts and purpose we carried into this life.  Your soul’s divine purpose is not a goal. And it’s not one thing—it is a whole package of things including gifts, talents, teachers, stories, and woes. Readers will come away from this journey with hands and hearts overflowing with love for themselves and the lives they’ve chosen.

(Conari Press)


Psychics, Healers, & Mediums

Jenniffer Weigel

“Jenniffer Weigel has done a masterful job of examining the paranormal. If you ever wanted to develop your own sixth sense about what’s ‘real,’ this is your guidebook.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

“Important stuff in this book. I’m so grateful I was asked to endorse it. Which means I may just get my grubby paws on it before everyone else. But, either way, it promises to be mind-blowing and the way I see it, we all need our minds blown.”  —Pam Grout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of E-Squared and 17 other books

“Being a lifelong spiritual seeker and journalist lends credibility to Jenniffer’s pursuit of Truth, and this book reflects that intention.  As with any profession, there will be those who operate from integrity, and those who do not. Jenniffer clearly sifts through that mix, and offers an engaging, inspiring and promising read!  It will leave one with their own sense of authentic faith that there are in fact many gifted healers on this planet, and psychic phenomena is real.”Rebecca Rosen, author of Awaken the Spirit Within and Spirited

“Jenniffer’s research into the lives of the intuitively gifted is both fascinating and often hilarious. A must read for the spiritually curious.” Judith Orloff, MD, author of Second Sight

“Jenniffer Weigel takes her readers on a rollicking adventure into the paranormal and its practitioners. A wise, funny and incisive book written by a first class interviewer.” Paul Selig, author of I Am the Word

“Jenniffer writes straight to my heart!  I laughed, I cried, and I rejoiced in the knowing that no matter how things look on the outside, everything is going to be alright. This book delivers undeniable proof that our loved ones can communicate from the other side.”—Concetta Bertoldi, author of So Dead People Watch You Shower?

Throughout time, people have been fascinated by those claiming extraordinary psychic abilities, a fascination that has reached a fever pitch in recent years. It’s safe to say many of these folks are either extraordinary frauds or extremely deluded.  But could some of them be legit?  Emmy Award-winning journalist, Jen Weigel makes it her duty to find out. She pulls the curtain back on Thomas John, Judith Orloff, Concetta Bertoldi, Caroline Myss, Echo Bodine, Rebecca Rosen, Paul Selig, and Michael Bodine—the results are startling and profound.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)


The Everything Answer Book

Amit Goswami, PhD

“Amit Goswami is one of those rare jewels in the pantheon of quantum physics who brings a deep understanding of reality through a synthesis of science and spirituality. He has contributed immensely to my own understanding of the nature of existence. I am deeply indebted to him.” —Deepak Chopra, author of You Are the Universe

Amit Goswami’s basic premise is that quantum physics is not only the future of science, but is also the key to understanding consciousness, life, death, God, psychology, and the meaning of life.  Quantum physics is an antidote to the moral sterility and mechanistic approach of scientific materialism and is the best and clearest approach to understanding our universe.  Here in conversation with friends and colleagues, Dr. Goswami shows that quantum physics is indeed the theory of everything.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)


A Little Book of Mystical Secrets

Maryam Mafi

At long last, a book that focuses on the teachings of Rumi’s teacher and inspiration, Shams of Tabriz.  Included is a biographical sketch of the great Sufi teacher and mystic and a new translation of 500 of his core teachings that bring into fresh focus the meaning and mysteries of life and love.  There are many books on Rumi and translations of his work, yet many are unaware of how Rumi became a mystic—Shams is the agent of propulsive mystical energy that transformed Rumi the reticent into Rumi the ecstatic poet.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)


Quotes That Will Change Your Life

Russ Kick

The wisest, most experienced, and most thoughtful people in history have left us these little thought-bombs, and this book collects them and neatly arranges them into topics everyone wonders about.  Surprising, jolting, discomforting, and comforting insights urge us to live a full, unbridled life, question authority and reality, relate to fellow humans, create, risk, love, live with uncertainty, and stay sane in an insane world.  These rousing insights and challenging thoughts appeal to everyone.

(Conari Press)


Fairies, Pookas, and Changelings

Varla Ventura

If you believe fairies follow you about on gossamer wings, you’re in for quite a shock—the kingdom of the fairy is one of vengeance, thievery, trickery, and wild creatures.  Included here are tales and myths from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia plus classic stories by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Clara Stroebe, Joseph Jacobs, and others on goblins, trolls, gnomes, pookas, banshees, and more—all guaranteed to keep readers wickedly entertained.

(Weiser Books)


Herbs Plain & Simple

Marlene Houghton

Herbal medicine is useful for a range of common complaints, and gentle and effective herbs can offer benefit where conventional medicine sometimes fails.  Houghton helps readers attain a high level of wellbeing through the use of traditional herbalism – only needing to consult a conventional doctor when you have a problem that only a medically qualified professional can handle.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)


 

Midlife Is Not a Crisis

Virginia Bell

“This marvelous book is a poetic and educational journey about juicy aging, and how to prepare, prosper and thrive in the second half of life, and it also beautifully applies to all the stages of living and growing.” –SARK co-author and artist of Succulent Wild Love, PlanetSARK.com

“What a clear, practical, and totally fascinating guide for how to thrive in all the phases of your life! With her brilliant mastery of astrology, Virginia Bell gives you the map to navigate your entire life and to become your fully authentic self. Keep this book on your bedside table!” —Jean Haner, author of Your Hidden Symmetry: How Your Birth Date Reveals the Plan for Your Life

“With her ageless wisdom, Virginia Bell has written a book for the ages. Using astrology’s key cycles, she shows us that life has a plot, and that its unfolding will give you new-found opportunities for growth. No matter what stage of life you are in, however, her book, Midlife Is Not a Crisis, is for the young-at-heart, for it will inspire you to embrace the changes and challenges you face with courage and a sense of adventure.” —Shirley Soffer, author of The Astrology Sourcebook: Your Guide to Understanding

Virginia Bell combines astrology, inspiration, and wisdom about aging to empower people to live more fully in the second half of life.  Based on the generational life cycles we all share at certain ages—Saturn Return at 29 all the way to Uranus Return at 84—these cycles are the great crossroads of life when strung together offer a road map to life’s most challenging and rewarding passages.  Every decade has trials, lessons, and loses and our freedom lies in how we respond.  This is a practical guidebook for our later years that shows us how to make the most of our journey to becoming whole.

(Weiser Books)