Category Mental Health

Rare Bird

Rare Bird
By Anna Whiston-Donaldson
Retail Price $22.99
Amazon Price: $17.97

Book Description: 

On the other side of heartbreak, a story of hope rises.
On an ordinary September day, twelve-year-old Jack is swept away in a freak neighborhood flood. His parents and younger sister are left to wrestle with the awful questions: How could God let this happen? And, Can we ever be happy again? They each fall into the abyss of grief in different ways. And in the days and months to come, they each find their faltering way toward peace.

In Rare Bird, Anna Whiston-Donaldson unfolds a mother’s story of loss that leads, in time, to enduring hope. “Anna’s storytelling,” says Glennon Doyle Melton, “is raw and real and intense and funny.”

With this unforgettable account of a family’s love and longing, Anna will draw you deeper into a divine goodness that keeps us—beyond all earthly circumstances—safe.

This is a book about facing impossible circumstances and wanting to turn back the clock. It is about the flicker of hope in realizing that in times of heartbreak, God is closer than your own skin. It is about discovering that you’re braver than you think.


This book was an odd mix of inspiration and sadness.  As the author shares the story of the loss of her son,  I found myself grieving with her, almost heartbroken myself, then inspired by the way she handled the death and grew emotionally ans spiritually through her time of grief.  As the author lays her heart bare for all to see, we can find hope and healing in all she has experienced as we relate it to our own life. The book evokes raw emotion, both good and bad and will have you turning to God for understanding and comfort yourself.

~Reviewed by Tricia C.

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    Retrain Your Anxious Brain

    Retrain Your Anxious Brain
    by John Tsilimparis MFT and Daylle Deanna Schwawrtz
    Brilliance Audio
    Retail Price $15.95
    Amazon Price: $12.24

    Book Description: 

    Trouble sleeping, panic attacks, knots in your stomach, excessive worry, doubts, phobias—anxiety comes in many shapes and sizes, and affects millions of people. But you don’t have to suffer anymore. In Retrain Your Anxious Brain, renowned therapist and anxiety expert John Tsilimparis, MFT, shares the groundbreaking program he’s created to help hundreds of people (himself included) free themselves from crippling anxiety and live healthier, happier lives.

    Rather than just treating or masking symptoms, Tsilimparis’s innovative approach helps you identify and short-circuit anxiety triggers, so that you can stop anxiety before it starts. This customizable plan teaches you how to:

    • Alter the fixed thoughts that can cause anxiety

    • Adjust your existing personal belief systems

    • Challenge the idea of consensus reality

    • Balance your dualistic mind

    • Consciously create your own reality


    I struggle with worry and anxiety and my mother-in-law decided this would be a good book for me to listen to as I commute to work.  I am so glad she gave it to me!  The author gives a good explanation of what worry and specific exercises and tools that help to reinforce positive behaviors that will help you retrain your thought process.  I also found his own story that he shares enlightening and very easy to relate to.If you are looking for a book that explains anxiety and provides coping skills, look no further.  You will find comfort and help by listening to this book.

    ~Reviewed by Rich W.

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      Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and Gratitude


      Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and GratitudeSunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and Gratitude
      By Kim Weiss
      Retail Price $10.95
      Amazon Price: $9.86

      Book Description: 

      The same vista.  Never the same sun. Much like life, the stage changes even when our vantage point doesn’t.  And so it is with the rising and setting sun, no two are ever the same. Every picture tells another color, shape and shadow story . . . whatever unfolds each day reveals the diversity and beauty of life. Birds, insects, reptiles, trees, sandy shores—all thrive under the majesty of the sun.Weiss offers all of this as a show of gratitude, a tribute to the awe of each new day. Sunrise Sunset is replete with glorious photographs of different days and different suns captured from the very same vantage point, the very same terrace.

      Complementing her photographs are meditations, passages, poetry, reflections and contemplations from some of the bestknown and loved inspirational leaders of our time: Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff, M.J. Rose, Arielle Ford, Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., Richard Bandler, Lisa McCourt, Betsey Chasse and many more.

      This is the ultimate gift book for saying ‘thank you’, sharing a blessing or offering an oasis for spiritual awakening. From sunrise to sunset, this will be a perennial bestseller.


      This was an enjoyable book that helped me to focus on the good things in life.  We all have so much to be thankful for, yet we often get bogged down in the negative that we overlook the positive.  The author uses some stunning photography and thought provoking reflections to remind us that everyday brings things to be grateful for.  I loved the way she used the imagery of sunrises and sunsets to get her point across.  Kudos!

      ~Reviewed by Allie B.

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        Liberating the Power of Emotions

        Product Details Liberating the Power of Emotions
        By Riet Okken
        Ozark Mountain Publishing
        Retail Price $16.00
        Amazon Price: $6.85

        Book Description: 

        One of the perennial struggles of humanity has been the attempt to balance our rational and emotional selves. Generally, people have dealt with their feelings in one of two ways: venting and suppressing. In this book psychotherapist Riet Okken describes a third way: the way of healthy emotional management. She has devised a model for emotional and spiritual health that involves releasing both emotions and our connection to ego and discovering our divine core.

        Okken describes a concrete path that will enable readers to free themselves from ego and banish depression, jealously, burnout, shame, guilt and addiction. By processing and coming to terms with one’s underlying emotions, one moves to a place of awareness and realization of the soul qualities that are found in all of the great religions traditions: joy, freedom, confidence, creativity, vitality, and fullness of life.

        In this comprehensive and practical guide, Okken combines her profound knowledge of psychotherapy with her years of therapeutic experience. Filled with case studies and practical tips, it is a wise and friendly guide that will lead seekers to a place of freedom and bliss.


        This was a great read that was well-written as well as helpful.  Our emotions—especially the most damaging of them—can become a dominating force within us if we do not get a hold of them. Of course, most of us like to think that our feelings do not control us, yet we  find it quite difficult to govern how they affect us when the storms of life arise. Given the right combination of circumstances and stressors, our emotions have the potential to motivate us to act recklessly and can also paralyze us from doing what is necessary.  This book will help you get a grip on your emotions, leading us to both heal and harness our emotions—taking control of this powerful influence within us.  With the help of the author we can we choose to express the positive, life-enhancing emotions rather than the destructive ones.

        ~Reviewed by Jenna H.


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          How to Manage Anxiety and Phobias without Drugs

          Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. However, when your anxiety or phobia limits you from experiencing life, it’s time to take serious action. Drugs or medications are often prescribed. Yet before you take this step consider managing your anxiety or phobia without medication. Many medications have unwanted side effects. Natural anxiety tactics help you manage your issues without these potential dangers.

          10 Ways to Manage Anxiety and Phobia without Drugs

          1) Yoga. Yoga teaches many lessons. You learn to control your breathing. You learn to focus. You also learn how strong and capable you are. Combined, this is a powerful tool to manage anxiety. Using what you learn in yoga, you can quickly refocus your thoughts, relax and send fear away.

          2) Meditation. Meditation helps you look inward for answers and strength. Like yoga meditation also teaches focus and controlled breathing. With insight and control you can virtually eliminate anxiety and phobias from ruling your life.

          3) Exercise. Exercise boosts endorphins, feel good hormones. These hormones make you feel as if you can accomplish anything. They’re very strong and very positive.

          4) Fresh air. Fresh air and sunshine help clear the cobwebs from your mind. Also, sunshine helps your body produce vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to help manage depression and optimize many functions. It simply helps you feel more positive and in control of your life.

          5) Cut back on stimulants including sugar and caffeine. Stimulants can actually worsen anxiety and fear. Cut them out of your diet. You’ll be healthier and you’ll feel calmer.

          6) No alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs interfere with your body’s chemistry. They can mess up your hormones, alter your brain chemistry and ultimately change your mood and personality.

          7) Positive affirmations. When you’re experiencing anxiety or fear use affirmations to change your thoughts. Affirmations are positive statements. They help you refocus. For example, a stressful thought like, “I’ll never get this done in time,” can be changed with a positive affirmation. “I am in control and capable of accomplishing this task in a timely manner.”

          8) Visualizations. When you’re in a stressful situation consider using a visualization to help you relax. For example, you might imagine yourself sitting on a grassy hill watching a beautiful waterfall. Choose a visualization that helps you feel relaxed and calm. Go there when you need to.

          9) Friends. Friends can be a great help when you’re feeling anxious or fearful. A simple phone call or text can help you relax. Friends are also good for laughter which is the perfect tool to combat anxiety.

          10) Get help. Finally, if these natural methods are not working for you consider getting therapy. Talk therapy, massage and other practitioners can help you find balance in your life.

          It is possible and even preferable to treat anxiety and phobias naturally. Medications have the potential for dangerous and unwanted side effects. You can control your thoughts and life a less fearful life.

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            Conquering Shame and Codependency

            Conquering Shame and Codependency
            By Darlene Lancer
            Hazelden  –
            Retail Price $14.95
            Amazon Price: $9.45

            Book Description: 

            A nationally recognized author and codependency expert examines the roots of shame and its connection with codependent relationships. Learn how to heal from their destructive hold by implementing eight steps that will empower the real you, and lead to healthier relationships.

            Shame: the torment you feel when you’re exposed, humiliated, or rejected; the feeling of not being good enough. It’s a deeply painful and universal emotion, yet is not frequently discussed. For some, shame lurks in the unconscious, undermining self-esteem, destroying confidence, and leading to codependency. These codependent relationships—where we overlook our own needs and desires as we try to care for, protect, or please another—often cover up abuse, addiction, or other harmful behaviors. Shame and codependency feed off one another, making us feel stuck, never able to let go, move on, and become the true self we were meant to be.
            In Conquering Shame and Codependency, Darlene Lancer sheds new light on shame: how codependents’ feelings and beliefs about shame affect their identity, their behavior, and how shame can corrode relationships, destroying trust and love. She then provides eight steps to heal from shame, learn to love yourself, and develop healthy relationships.


            This very insightful book changed my life. It’s amazing how many people still don’t understand codependency, even when it is consuming them and those they love. The need to fix others is always easier than accepting we are codependent and need help ourselves. Like addiction, once a codependent, always a codependent.  Anyone who feels that the quality of their life is dependent upon someone else’s condition needs to read this book. Even if you’ve removed yourself from the situation, this book provides insight to help you recognize codependent behaviors and thoughts so that you can change your ways and move on to a happy way of life.  This book will show you how to control codependency so it doesn’t control you.

            ~Reviewed by Deb M.

            ~Reviewed by Terry G.


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              The Honeymoon Effect

              The Honeymoon Effect
              By Bruce H. Lipton
              Hay House
              Retail Price $24.95
              Amazon Price: $18.31

              Book Description: 

              The Honeymoon Effect: A state of bliss, passion, energy, and health resulting from a huge love. Your life is so beautiful that you can’t wait to get up to start a new day and you thank the Universe that you are alive. Think back on the most spectacular love affair of your life—the Big One that toppled you head over heels. For most, it was a time of heartfelt bliss, robust health, and abundant energy. Life was so beautiful that you couldn’t wait to bound out of bed in the morning to experience more Heaven on Earth. It was the Honeymoon Effect that was to last forever. Unfortunately for most, the Honeymoon Effect is frequently short-lived. Imagine what your planetary experience would be like if you could maintain the Honeymoon Effect throughout your whole life. Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., bestselling author of The Biology of Belief, describes how the Honeymoon Effect was not a chance event or a coincidence, but a personal creation. This book reveals how we manifest the Honeymoon Effect and the reasons why we lose it. This knowledge empowers readers to create the honeymoon experience again, this time in a way that ensures a happily-ever-after relationship that even a Hollywood producer would love. With authority, eloquence, and an easy-to-read style, Lipton covers the influence of quantum physics (good vibrations), biochemistry (love potions), and psychology (the conscious and subconscious minds) in creating and sustaining juicy loving relationships. He also asserts that if we use the 50 trillion cells that live harmoniously in every healthy human body as a model, we can create not just honeymoon relationships for couples but also a “super organism” called humanity that can heal our planet.


              If you are looking to live a happy and fulfilled life, then this book by Bruce Lipton will be right up your alley.  Lipton explains the “honeymoon effect”, that period of time when we are in love and everything seems perfect and the sun shines a little bit brighter each day.  He also shows us how we can keep that “honeymoon” period for an extended period of time and how to get it back if we were to lose it.  As with all his books, the author shares details of his personal life that bring home his points and make reading this book very intimate.  The Honeymoon Effect is a treasure chest of information and advice that you can apply to your own life, being assured that it worked in his.  Lipton uses science to prove his point, detailing the surge of chemicals that drive love can be unleashed not just by falling in love with a person, but also by falling in love with a project or idea.  This is an inspirational book combining a story of love and scientific research, giving us plenty information to ponder and tips to apply to our lives so that we can change the programming of our subconscious mind, helping us to have a fulfilling life.

              ~Reviewed by Linda C.




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                The Self-Actualizing Cosmos

                The Self-Actualizing Cosmos
                By Ervin Laszlo
                Inner Traditions
                Retail Price $14.95
                Amazon Price: $10.77

                Book Description: 

                An exploration of the current revolution in scientific thought and the newest scientific findings in support of the Akashic field

                • Explains how the new Akasha paradigm recognizes the interconnection of all things in space and time through the quantum resonance of the Akashic field

                • Reveals the cosmos to be a self-actualizing, self-organizing whole, bringing forth life and consciousness in countless universes

                • Explores the latest discoveries in the sciences of life, mind, and cosmos

                Science evolves through alternating phases of “normal science” and radical shifts that create scientific revolutions. We saw this at the turn of the 20th century, when science shifted from a Newtonian worldview to Einstein’s relativity paradigm, and again with the shift to the quantum paradigm. Now, as we recognize the nonlocal interconnection of all things in space and time, we find our scientific worldview shifting once again.

                With contributions by physicists Paul A. LaViolette and Peter Jakubowski, pioneering systems scientist Ervin Laszlo explores the genesis of the current revolution in scientific thought and the latest findings in support of the Akashic field. He explains how the burgeoning Akasha paradigm returns our way of thinking to an integral consciousness, a nonlinear mode of understanding that enables us to accept the reality of nonlocal interconnection throughout the world. This new inclusive way of understanding reaffirms the age-old instinctive comprehension of deep connections among people, societies, and nature, and it integrates and transcends classical religious and scientific paradigms.

                Providing examples from cutting-edge science of quantum-resonance-based interactions among all living systems, Laszlo shows the cosmos of the Akasha to be a self-actualizing, self-organizing whole, where each part is in coherence with all others and all parts together create the conditions for the emergence of life and consciousness. The advent of the Akasha paradigm marks a new stage in science’s understanding of the fundamental nature of the world and offers unique guidance for contemporary efforts to create a peaceful and sustainable world.


                Self-actualizing is unfolding and cultivating our human potentials, becoming more fully-functioning human beings at levels of mind, body, heart, spirit, and relationship. This book is a simple, non-technical introduction to cosmology in which the writing is highly user-friendly, and the book can be read in short passages making it easy in and easy out. Nuggets from this book can jump-start and support your self-actualizing adventure, the one you’ve been on your whole life, and that you’re now wanting to take to the next level.

                ~Reviewed by Howard K.



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                  Choose your Attitude, Change your life

                  Choose your Attitude, Change Your Life
                  By Deborah Smith Pegues
                  Harvest House
                  Retail Price $9.99
                  Amazon Price: $8.99

                  Book Description: 

                  You’ve heard the expression, “Attitude is everything.” But can a positive mental attitude make all that much difference in your personal and professional life? Deborah Smith Pegues, author of the bestselling 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, believes strongly that it can.

                  In Choose Your Attitude, Change Your Life, Deborah explores the root causes of 30 negative attitudes, their impact on your life and relationships, and how you can learn to think positively instead. As a result, she helps you recognize and conquer counterproductive behaviors, such as criticizing the choices others make, being inflexible, and being indifferent to the needs of others.

                  Deborah’s handy guide uses Bible-based principles and practical strategies to point you toward the path to a better outlook on life, empowering you to display a positive mental attitude in every situation and leading to healthier relationships, personal growth, and the ability to handle life’s challenges as never before.



                  The content of this book seems to be a story of my life. I went through a time where I was very down and negative. One day I decided to change my life by changing my thinking. I read books on attitude and listened to motivational tapes until I did indeed, change my thoughts and change my life.  In essence, I CHOSE to be positive.  The author did a great job laying out the “lessons” it took me SO many years to learn, in one easy to read. She has skipped over the fluff and delivers a very practical and insightful step-by-step recipe for expanding your vision of yourself and your world. If you follow Deborah’s recommendations, and take notice of how she has applied these same principles in her own life, there is no limit to what you can accomplish. This is a motivational masterpiece that teaches “real” happiness. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

                  ~Reviewed by Allie B.




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                    How To Create a Zen Garden

                    A Zen garden can be used to help you meditate, find quiet and solitude. You can also enjoy a Zen garden for its simplicity. Traditionally, a Zen garden is comprised of sand and stones. Depending on the scale, you might also choose to plant a few trees or small plants.

                    Step #1 Decide on the scale. Zen gardens come in all shapes and sizes. You can create a desktop Zen garden. You can also convert your entire back yard into a Zen garden. The choice is yours. Keep in mind that there is some maintenance involved in a Zen garden. (You’ll need to water plants, weed, and rake the sand to remove debris and animal droppings. Kitties love Zen garden sand.)

                    If you’re not up for maintaining a large scale garden, you might choose a smaller, portable size. Your garden’s location will help determine the size. For example, if you choose to create a desktop garden, how much space do you have on your desk?

                    Step #2 Gather your tools and equipment. For your Zen garden you’ll need:

                    * Lumber. For indoor use you’ll want a piece of plywood for the bottom of the garden. For outdoor use you simply need to create a
                    frame for your garden. Plastic sheeting will work for the bottom. The sheeting helps protect your garden from weeds.
                    * Wood screws or nails and wood glue
                    * Plastic sheeting
                    * Sand. (Two inches deep. Determine the volume of your frame, length x width x height, to determine how much sand you need.)
                    * Rocks of an appropriate size for the garden
                    * If you’re creating an outdoor Zen garden and you want plants, add your chosen plants to the list. Consider:
                    * Moss
                    * Evergreens
                    * Shrubs
                    * Xeriscape plants like Mountain Laurel which doesn’t require much water.

                    Step #3 Design your garden. Before you start hammering and nailing your lumber plan how you want your garden to look. For example, a simple rustic Zen garden might use old railroad ties for the frame. You’ll want your frame to support at least two inches of sand.

                    Step #4 Prepare the area. If you’re creating an outdoor Zen garden prepare the area. You might want to remove any plants or grass. If you’re building an indoor Zen garden then find a flat surface and cover it with newspaper or plastic to help contain the sand while you work.

                    Step #5 Build the structure. Glue your corners together. Reinforce with nails or wood screws. For smaller gardens wood glue may work just fine.

                    Step #6 Fill the garden with sand. Decorate with your chosen rocks and plants.

                    Step #7 Enjoy. Enjoying your Zen garden is easy. Sit down beside it and simply enjoy the peace and simplicity. Rake it to create pattern and lines. Meditate, relax, enjoy.

                    Creating a Zen garden is a nice way to landscape your yard or adorn your home. It’s also an effective means of calming your body and mind. You might make visiting your Zen garden a daily ritual.

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