Archive for Hay House Book

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

Anita Moorjani gets it.  After a near death experience (NDE) that she describes in vivid detail in her first book, Dying to be Me, she came to the conclusion that “being in that state made me realize that I didn’t have to do anything to deserve being loved. I realized that I’m loved unconditionally just because I exist!”  Unconditional love is the basis for my spirituality, and much of what Moorjani writes in her new book “What If This is Heaven? How Our Cultural Myths Prevent Us From Experiencing Heaven on Earth” resonated with me.  Sadly, many of the belief systems of today are based in conditional love.  “As soon as we put conditions on love, it becomes something else entirely,” Moorjani says.

I liked how the book was organized, with many examples from the author’s own life and conversations she has had with others as a result of her first book.  “Each chapter of this book will highlight a common myth that most of us have just accepted as truth and show how these myths are pervasive and often invisible to us,” Moorjani writes in the introduction.  I found meaningful the Tips and Exercises she has spread throughout the book, designed to put the ideas the author expresses into practice.   “When others put you down in any way,” she writes in one “tips” section, “realize their actions are direct projections of their own state of pain and confusion. Likewise, remember that opening your heart and having compassion for them in their pain (which does not at all mean condoning their behavior) benefits you as well as them.”  Since reading the book that tip has come to mind as I encounter challenging people in my life.

Moorjani addresses some big questions in What If This is Heaven? such as the reason for illness, the purpose of the ego, and more.  She comes from the perspective of having experienced an incredible love in her near death experience, and not from years of study in seminary.

“One of the vital differences between a good healer and a great healer is that a great healer guides you back to your own innate ability to heal and ultimately encourages your independence,” the author writes.  From hearing her speak in person two times, and now reading both her books, I consider Moorjani a great healer.  I recommend reading What If This Is Heaven? as an aid to your own healing and expression of your unique talents.



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The Universe Has Your BackI received an advanced, complementary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

“The practice of being on a spiritual path isn’t about being the best meditator, or the kindest possible person, or the most enlightened,” author Gabrielle Bernstein writes early in her new book “The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith.  “The practice is about surrendering to love as often as possible.”

If you feel a lack of love in your life, the Universe Has Your Back is the book for you.  Drawing from principles she has learned from A Course in Miracles, Bernstein’s new work is all about seeing the circumstances in your life through the eyes of love instead of fear.  “Every experience you perceive on the movie screen that is your life gives rise to one of two choices: to learn through the perception of love or to learn through the perception of fear,” Bernstein says.

The Universe Has Your Back is more than pithy love sayings.  Bernstein is very open in sharing from her own life experiences.  “I was living a life far beyond my wildest dreams,” she writes describing her current career as an author and speaker. “I had spent a decade growing my spiritual practice, healing old wounds, and deepening my faith. And I was finally free—or so I thought.” I liked the vulnerability Bernstein showed in getting her love message out.  The author wrestles with fear thoughts, too, just like us.

Bernstein summarizes her main points throughout the book with “Universal Lessons”.  Such as:

  • The Universe will always conspire to lead you toward solutions of the highest good when you open up to receive them.
  • Our happiness, success, and safety can be measured by our genuine capacity to tune in to the loving vibration of the Universe.
  • When we surrender our will to the power of the Universe, we receive miracles.

I found these sayings helpful.  They are short, concise reminders of the essence of the book.

“Whenever you notice yourself stuck in your low-vibe story, witness it and say, I am determined to see this with love,” Bernstein writes.  I suspect we all have our own “low-vibe stories” (I know I do).  The Universe Has Your Back led me to take a fresh look at the perceived negatives in my life and reframe them in a positive, loving light.  “As each individual lights up his or her life, the world becomes brighter. In our light that darkness cannot co-exist,” Bernstein says.  The Universe Has Your Back will help light up lives when it is published later this Fall.

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Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 10.39.35 AMI received a complementary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Do you consider yourself to be a creative yet sensitive person?  I do, so that’s why I was drawn to Doreen Virtue’s new book – The Courage to be Creative: How to Believe in Yourself, Your Dreams and Ideas, and Your Creative Career Path.  “Some of the most creative people I’ve met are also the most sensitive,” Virtue writes.  “Their sensitivity makes them receptive to divinely inspired ideas.  Yet, that same sensitivity makes them shy to reveal their ideas to others.”  Yep, that’s me.

I have read and reviewed some of the author’s other books, like The Miracles of Archangel Gabriel.  Virtue has written extensively in the past about angels – making the topic of communing with angels understandable to the reading public.  While Virtue touches on angels in Courage to be Creative, her new work has loads of practical advice for us creative types, whether we believe in angels or not.  “As much as I love my guardian angels,” she writes,  “they don’t magically write my books while I sleep.  I’m the one who has to sit at the keyboard and type.”

Getting in touch with all your feelings, the good and the bad, is the key to producing creative works that can touch the hearts of others, Virtue feels.  “The more courage you have to fully notice and express your feelings,” she says, “the higher the vibration of your creation will be.  Any watering down of your truth, because you’re embarrassed to admit how you feel, will lower it.”  Reading the book encouraged me to be honest with my feelings in my own writing.

Another part of the book I liked were suggestions on dealing with criticism.  “Most people aren’t comfortable with change or anything that’s unusual or different,” Virtue says.  “Yet, as a creative person, you must present fresh, new ideas in order to be noticed.  Along with being noticed comes the risk that you may also be criticized, feared, or misunderstood.”  I also liked the guidance she gives in funding your creative works.  “It’s not a good idea to quit your job without first having some savings or other income stream available,” she says.  “You don’t want to put pressure on your creative output to be an income producer.”

Courage to be Creative is the best book I’ve read on the creative process since Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.  If you have doubts about bringing your own creations into public view, I recommend reading both books.  “True creativity is a gift that you give to yourself,” Virtue writes, “with full faith that there’s an audience out there who feels the same way you do.”

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

Lisa Garr is best known for her internationally syndicated radio program, The Aware Show, where for the past 15 years she has interviewed new thought leaders from a variety of scientific and spiritual pursuits.  “On my shows I purposely do not share much about myself,” she says, “because I like to give the guest the platform so that their message can shine.”  Now Lisa gets to tell her own story in her first book, “Becoming Aware: How to Repattern Your Brain and Revitalize Your Life”.  And what an amazing story it is.

I like how the book is organized.  In Part 1 Lisa tells her story of how she became “aware”.  In these tales of her growing up years, including time with her famous aunt (the actress Teri Garr) we get to know Lisa as a person before she she gets into “life lessons” in the second half of the book.  Her most powerful story is her account of a near fatal bike accident while racing in the 1999 California State Mountain Bike Championship.  On the verge of overtaking the leader to win the race, Lisa suffers a horrific crash, plunging down the side of a mountain.  After suffering a severe head injury, Lisa recalls, “I don’t even know if there are words that could explain the level of consciousness I experienced, something that is much more expansive than anything I’ve ever known … This was a place of complete, unconditional love.”

There it is again.  If you’ve read my reviews of Near Death Experience books in the past (including accounts from Anita Moorjani and Eben Alexander) each tells of a place of unconditional love beyond this life – a place Lisa describes so well in her book, too.  My spiritual practice is based in the unconditional love of Spirit, and it is comforting to read these NDE accounts as further proof that such Love is the key to all existence.

But you don’t have to be on the verge of death to achieve this level of consciousness.  In the second part of the book Lisa gives the reader a series of “Awareisms” so that we, too, can experience our own expanded level of consciousness.  Such “Awareisms” as:

  • We’re powerful beings who were put here to live very fruitful lives.  Quite often what stops us is … us.
  • Know that bad things happen, but your reaction to these bad things is what really matters.  Of course, you’re not immune to negative events, shock, and criticism, but what counts is how you deal with them when they happen.
  • Quite often our biggest life failures push us into our greatest successes.  Always put life on pause and look for the lesson in each disappointment.
  • Helping others quiets your mind and releases your own restless energy.  It’s a complete win-win situation.

These “awareisms” and others each have an accompanying story to drive home the point.  Lisa uses quotes from a variety of experts in addition to sharing her own experiences.  In this part her years of interviews serve her well, as she tells how she applies the lessons she has learned from her guests to her own life.

Lisa Garr at the Denver I Can Do It conference, April 2015

Lisa Garr at the Denver I Can Do It conference, April 2015

I was fortunate to hear Lisa Garr speak in person at the recent Hay House “I Can Do It” conference in Denver.  Hearing her story, which she said was the first time she told it in front of a live audience, motivated me to read her book.  I’m glad I did.  More than an accomplished interviewer, Lisa has life lessons of her own to share.  I recommend you read “Becoming Aware” to learn more.

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

top 10 things dead people want to tell youWhat happens to us after we die?  If you are at all curious about this subject, as I am, you may want to read Mike Dooley’s new book, “The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You”.

The skeptic in me immediately questioned where Dooley was coming from.  “Does Mike Dooley REALLY talk to dead people, or are the dialogs with the deceased in the book just something he made up?” I wondered.  I put that question aside and found solid advice for living in the book’s 240 pages.

Dooley starts off to say we don’t really die, and that this life’s purpose is to teach you lessons.  After death, he says, “loving guides soon appear, glowing, radiant, and joyful. They orient you and answer your questions. They teach you. Remind you. Love you. Show you. Everything becomes clearer. You remember the hopes and intentions of your recent life and why you chose it.”  I liked Dooley’s emphasis on love.  Maybe, just maybe, all the insecurities and failings we feel in this life will be consumed after death in an ocean of unconditional love.  “They (the dead) are elated to find that not only are they immortal, but they’re approved of, appreciated, forgiven, and adored, just exactly as they are,” Dooley writes.  “If only, they solemnly think to themselves, I’d known this while living … how different things might have been.”

Dooley’s message of love after death is similar to what I have read in “near death” experience books – first hand accounts of people who have glimpsed the other side – like Anita Moorjani in Dying to Be Me, and Eben Alexander in Proof of Heaven.  I found these autobiographies more compelling and believable than Dooley’s book.  And from an outsider’s perspective on death, I liked Penny Satori’s The Wisdom of Near Death Experiences better for a more detailed, scientific study of the topic.

Nevertheless, Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You still had an impact on me.  “The dead, with their advantage of perspective, see love everywhere,” he writes.  I want that perspective, too, and for a time I had it when reading Dooley’s book.  How quickly I forget, though.  I’ll revisit the pages of Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You next time I need a reminder of the love that is here for me now.

You can get Top Ten Things Dead People want to Tell YOU from these sources:

Hay House


Barnes and Noble


Beyond Past Lives (book review)

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

beyond past livesThe concept that I may have lived past lives never really interested me.  Though in recent years I’ve delved into metaphysical spirituality through reading and by attending a local “new thought” church, the idea that I had lives before this one always seemed a little too “woo woo” for me.  Then I heard Brian Weiss, considered the foremost authority on past lives, speak at a Hay House I Can Do It conference this spring.  Weiss himself was initially a past lives skeptic!  His reasoned approach, full of real life examples, got me curious about the topic.  When presented with the opportunity to read and review Mira Kelley’s “Beyond Past Lives: What Parallel Realities Can Teach Us About Relationships, Healing, and Transformation” I said, “why not?”  I was soon to discover Kelley’s book is a fascinating study for anyone interested in past lives, even for a doubter like me.

“The most basic lesson is that it is possible to heal your present by working with your past,” Kelley writes in the book’s introduction.  “I was a Roman slave!”  “I was a British soldier in the American Revolution!” “I was a Russian Spy!”  While stories of past lives like these may lead to interesting cocktail party conversations, that’s not the real purpose of exploring this phenomena.  One theme stressed repeatedly in the book is that examining past lives can lead to healing and living a better life TODAY.  “Reliving other incarnations helps us understand who we are and gives us guidance on our most pressing emotional and physical challenges,” Kelley says.  I liked the present moment emphasis of Beyond Past Lives.  Who doesn’t want to lead a richer, more fulfilling life?  Revisiting past lives can help us do that.

Another key point of Beyond Past Lives is related to our concept of time.  We humans think of our lives linearly, with a past, present, and future.  Kelley says that’s an illusion, and that our multiple lives are really happening simultaneously.  This is a difficult concept to grasp for a logical thinking ex-engineer like myself, yet the author explains it well and gives good examples, quoting no less of an authority than Albert Einstein to back up her assertions.  “The understanding that time is simultaneous can assist all of us in our spiritual progression and expand our awareness of how we create our own realities,” she writes.

“Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing,” Wayne Dyer writes in the book’s introduction, relating how he benefited from Kelley’s work.  Beyond Past Lives certainly piqued my interest in the topic that had previously seemed strange to me, and encouraged me to learn more.  I recommend the book.

You can get Beyond Past Lives from these sources:

Hay House


Barnes and Noble

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

When I was first given the opportunity to read and review “Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You: My Experience Growing Up with Spiritual Parents” I resisted.  “Serena Dyer probably just got to write and publish this book because of her famous father,” I thought.  Yet being a fan of Wayne Dyer’s work I was intrigued enough to give the book a try.  I am glad I did.  I was to discover Serena Dyer has a vulnerability and grace uniquely her own.  While Wayne Dyer adds his thoughts at the end of each chapter, this is primarily a Serena Dyer book, and a good one at that.

I enjoyed Serena’s behind the scenes stories of what it was like to grow up in the Dyer household.  Rather than living on a perpetual spiritual high, I learned that the Dyers had their own challenges to work through.  The separation of Wayne from Serena’s Mom Marcelene, for example, was a biggie.  “It was a really difficult time for the whole family,” Serena writes, “yet I also think it was a pivotal time in my life.”  The Dyers come across as very human through Serena’s family stories.  “My dad was distraught and had a very difficult time just functioning on a day-to-day basis during that fateful summer,” Serena recalls,   “He had always been so strong and positive that his pain was jarring. He was such a powerful figure in my mind, but that summer I realized he was also vulnerable and human.”

Serena’s insights on living and her admiration for her Mom and Dad come through in each chapter.  “Spirituality isn’t about being positive and memorizing great quotes. Spirituality is honoring the truth that is within me so that I can grow and expand and improve,” she believes.

Like her father, Serena has the gift of relating life lessons through easy to read stories.  I was entertained and inspired by Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You, and I think you will be, too.

You can get Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You from these sources:

Hay House


Barnes and Noble

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You Are the Placebo (book review)

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

placeboYou no doubt have heard stories of people being healed from illness by taking miracle drugs, only to find out later the drugs were “placebos” – or harmless sugar pills.  How, then, were these people healed?  Dr Joe Dispenza explores this phenomenon in his new book, “You Are the Placebo: making your mind matter”.

Dispenza knows what you tell yourself can heal physical maladies.  He did it himself!  Having experienced a horrific biking accident at age 23 while competing in a triathlon, Dispenza’s prognosis was not good.  With six broken vertebrae it was doubtful he would ever walk again.  “I decided against the medical model and the expert recommendations,” Dispenza recalls in the first pages of the book.  “I believe that there’s an intelligence, an invisible consciousness, within each of us that’s the giver of life.  It supports, maintains, protects, and heals us every moment.”  The author goes on to explain how he tapped into that intelligence to heal his back, without surgery.

Similar to his first book I read, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Dispenza is vulnerable in telling his own story, sharing his doubts and struggles along the way.  Dispenza gives accounts of others, too, who healed themselves with positive mental attitude shifts.  Is his approach mere pie in the sky optimism?  Not a chance, says Dispenza.  “None of the methods you’ll read about here involve denying whatever health condition you may presently have,” he writes.  “Instead of being about rejecting reality, You Are the Placebo is about projecting what’s possible when you step into a new reality.”  Reading Dizpenza’s stories opened my eyes to the power of the mind in healing the body.

As in his first book, Dispenza emphasizes a daily meditation practice to get in touch with the healing intelligence within.  He devotes several pages to a meditation technique.  I found this part hard to follow.  I think it’s difficult to learn how to meditate from a book.  In person instruction is much better.  But Dispenza’s words did remind me of the value of meditation and encouraged me to continue my practice.

“You Are the Placebo” is a good read if you are going through a health crisis of your own.  Perhaps, through a change in attitude, your condition will improve, like the healing stories of those described in the book.  Dispenza concludes with a noble goal.  “Imagine a world inhabited by billions of people, just like a school of fish, living as one—where everyone is embracing similar uplifting thoughts connected to unlimited possibility,” he writes.  You Are the Placebo inspired me to monitor my self talk more carefully, so I too can recognize the “unlimited possibilities” not only in health, but in all areas of my life.

You can get You Are the Placebo from these sources:

Hay House


Barnes and Noble

Learn more about “You Are the Placebo” in this short video from the author:

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Holy Shift (book review)

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

holyshiftI’ve come across many authors, teachers, and acquaintances in the past year who have had a positive experience studying A Course In Miracles (ACIM).  “It’s my primary spiritual path,” said one.  When I’ve tried to read ACIM myself, however, I found it hard to comprehend.  Yet because it has had such a favorable impact on peoples’ lives I wanted to learn more about it.  That’s why I welcomed the chance to read Robert Holden’s new book: Holy Shift: 365 Daily Meditations From A Course In Miracles.

In the 10 page introduction Holden gives the best overview of “The Course” that I have read.  “A Course in Miracles is a big book.  It’s more than 1,200 pages and 500,000 words long, and its size alone is too imposing for many,” Holden writes.  It was a relief to know I was not the only one who was baffled by ACIM at first glance.  Holden himself writes about The Course, “Initially, I found it difficult to understand.”  Yet Holden says “The Course describes a miracle as something you experience when you are willing to shift your perception from a psychology of fear to a psychology of love.” Now that’s something I can relate to!  My spirituality is based in the unconditional love of God, and not in the fear based messages taught in many churches.  I wanted to read more.

Once I was past this excellent introduction, I discovered Holy Shift was not an original work.  Rather Holden gives the reader 365 passages from The Course to read and meditate on – one for each day of the year.  For someone intimidated by the size and language of the original Course, Holden’s work is much easier to digest. I found myself underlying key passages, such as:

  • “As a man thinketh, so does he perceive.  Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.” (February 1st).
  • “Only the Love of God will protect you in all circumstances.” (March 1st)
  • “You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness.” (May 2nd)
  • “God is our goal; forgiveness is the means by which our minds return to Him at last.” (Sept 13th)
  • “The Holy Spirit’s Voice is as loud as your willingness to listen.” (November 5th)

With ACIM’s primary message of love and forgiveness, emphasized throughout Holy Shift in these and other passages, I found the book uplifting.  Holden has produced an abbreviated version of A Course In Miracles – good for people like me who find the original Course a bit overwhelming.  Ardent students of ACIM will find Holy Shift a valuable refresher of The Course’s key concepts.  For the purposes of this review I quickly read through the 365 daily lessons.  I’m going to take a second look, this time reading the book as it was intended, with one passage to focus on each day.

You can get Holy Shift from these sources:

Hay House


Barnes and Noble

Learn more about Holy Shift from this video from Robert Holden:

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Miracles Now (book review)

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

When I attended Hay House’s recent I Can Do It conference in Denver I was browsing Gabrielle Bernstein’s “Miracles Now: Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose” at the bookstore.  “I was so hoping to hear Gabby speak today,” said a woman in her 20’s next to me, disappointed that Bernstein’s appearance at the conference had been cancelled.  “Gabby is reaching the younger generation with her message,” she said.  Having listened to Bernstein’s Hay House radio program in the past I said, “I like her, too, and I’m old!”  But I had never read any of Bernstein’s books.  Until now.

Miracles Now does indeed appeal to the young and old with its practical, easy to understand spiritual lessons.  Divided into 108 short chapters (most one or two pages), I liked reading a few pages after my morning meditation, and a few more in the evening before going to bed.  Bernstein, very much in tune with social media, has a inspirational quote at the end of each chapter just perfect to summarize the topic and to share with your twitter followers.  I sent out on my twitter feed the ones that had the most impact on me, such as:

  • “People who value themselves attract people who value them, too.” — Kate Northrup #MiraclesNow
  • The key to getting what you want is to ASK FOR IT. #MiraclesNow
  • I surrender my desires & I know the Universe has my back. #MiraclesNow
  • You don’t need to find your purpose.Your purpose will find you. #MiraclesNow

Is twitter not your thing? You can “pin it, post it to Facebook, or pass it along on Instagram” instead, says Gabby.

In the lessons she shares Bernstein draws from two primary sources: insights from A Course In Miracles and from her Kundalini yoga practice.  In my experience A Course In Miracles can be difficult to understand on your own.  Bernstein explains it in simpler terms.  The Course “is a metaphysical self-taught curriculum based on the principle that when we choose love over fear we experience miraculous change,” she says.  The Kundalini exercises were new to me and most were easy to follow (this old guy didn’t try the one where Gabby recommends standing on your head for one minute, however :-))

Bernstein’s practical and straight forward spiritual exercises reminded me of the writing of Louise Hay – Gabby is that good.  “When you are called to share the spiritual awareness you now have, don’t hesitate to speak up. Be the lighthouse. In your light, others will become illuminated,” Bernstein concludes in the final pages.  Reading Miracles Now gave me encouragement to spread my own light, as well as a bevy of simple spiritual tools for me to use now and in the future.

You can get Miracles Now from these sources:

Hay House


Barnes and Noble

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