Book of Interest—Gravity and Grace

Do you have a personal yoga?

Somewhere back in the 70’s, I used to get up at dawn, turn on PBS, and spend half an hour with Richard Hittelman doing yoga before I left for work in the morning. I still do some of those poses I learned in front of the TV and I still remember experiencing the new understanding of my body that came with the strange positions he was teaching. Like Sterios, who used his knowledge of yoga to recover from a severe spinal injury, I almost always turn to what I learned in front of the TV back then when I find my self in physical pain. Since those early days, yoga has become more and more commercialized in the West and Instagram has turned yoga into a competitive sport.

In Gravity and Grace, Sterios is asking readers to give up the quest for perfecting poses and go back to the healing roots of yoga practice. He gives us all permission, based on his four decades of yoga experience, to make yoga our own and discover the subtle energies within our bodies that yoga is intended to free up. He reintroduces us to our bodies in a way that nurtures, inspires and empowers.

Sterios covers information that has become common lingo in the West, putting it into the overall context of a journey of self-discovery. He talks about Chakras, Nadis, Subtle Energy Bodies, Alpha States, and the wave frequencies of different levels of consciousness. As he progresses, the information becomes more and more sophisticated, but it is always about connecting with our bodies on our own terms.

This book is a valuable contribution to a world that has us competing ourselves into extinction. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Books of Interest—2019 HOLIDAY Gift Book Roundup

DINOSAUR YOGA • Miriam Gates & Matthew Rivera • Sounds True
Miriam Gates has established herself as the go-to person for KIDS & YOGA. Now she is adding DINOSAURS to the mix. Matthew Rivera brings it all to life. His dynamic illustrations are filled with emotive versions of the ancient creatures that will make readers want to hug them. Of course, the yoga teaching is very serious despite the light-hearted presentation. Youngsters will learn techniques for processing negative emotions and restoring calm within themselves. There are instructional aides for parents who want to be involved in it all. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

TAROT for YOUR SELF • Mary K. Greer • Weiser Books
Spirituality continues to gain prominence over religion as more information becomes available to the general public and more people begin taking responsibility for their own lives. Mary K. Greer was one of the pioneers in the new spirituality movements and the original pioneer in the world of tarot. Tarot for Your Self was a breakthrough book 35 years ago. This is the third edition, reprinted with minimal edits and under the watchful eye of the author. Packed with insight, guidance, history, and an embrace of the joyful pursuit of an individual path to self-fulfillment, it is as relevant and informative today as it has ever been. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX and THE HORSE • Charlie Mackesy • HarperOne
This unassuming little book is a miracle waiting to be shared. “If at first you don’t succeed, have some cake”, says the Mole. Cake is a recurring thread of humor throughout (Mackesy is, after all, a cartoonist—and a realist.) It reminds us not to take these profound messages too heavily. A light heart most easily walks the path to joy. The illustrations burst off the page with their spontaneity and fearlessness. One contains the paw print additions of Mackesy’s dog, another a tea cup stain. (Presentation follows message.) Sometimes color is added, sometimes not. “When the dark clouds come … keep going.” Reading this book feels like a hug. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

OPENING DOORS WITHIN • Eileen Caddy • Findhorn Press
It was 1953 when Eileen Caddy began hearing a quiet voice within herself that provided guidance for her and for those around her. The guidance of that quiet voice drew followers from around the world and served as the foundation for the Findhorn Foundation Community. Eventually, she was told to stop giving guidance to others. It was time for them to find that quiet voice within themselves. Fortunately, she was given the spiritual wisdom contained within this perennial diary before the quiet voice was silenced. Eileen Caddy walked the spiritual path with difficulty, facing more than a few serious obstacles. Those challenges helped her recognize the wisdom of the messages she was hearing and communicate them with insight. “Once you have taken a step forward in faith, never look backwards or start regretting what you have left behind.” SHOP FOR THE BOOK

THE LITTLE BOOK of CAT MAGIC • Deborah Blake • Llewellyn
Many people interested in the occult sciences have cats. Those who prefer dogs might not get this book. Those who already have an established admiration for felines should be bowled over by Blake’s humor and knowledge of cat history and trivia. Moving on to more serious considerations, this book records cat myths, folklore and tales, and cat deities. It includes volumes of serious information about connecting with and caring for felines. Of course, Blake delivers on the magic component with an indepth chapter on cats as familiars and another chapter on cat divination. There are even cat crafts and recipes. The book contains lots of quotes about cats. I’ll leave you with this one: Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this. —Terry Pratchett SHOP FOR THE BOOK

THE BEER LOVER’S TABLE • Claire Bullen with Jen Ferguson • Dog ‘n Bones
Craft beer is a rising wave approaching its peak. I remember the days when I would ask about premium wines by the glass and even the restaurant manager would answer me like I was nut job. Now the world is getting ready to understand that a “fine beer” can be paired with good food the same way a “fine wine” can be, even in casual circumstances. Jen Ferguson saw the potential for craft beer early on and when she met Claire Bullen, who understood the food component that went with it, they began to make history. This book is a gold mine for any one who cooks seriously (Slow-Fermented ‘nduja Pizza). But there are plenty of recipes for those who are looking to get their foot in the door (Three-Cheese Toasted Sandwiches with Tomato Bisque). Even if you don’t drink alcohol, the recipes are outstanding (Seared Duck Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Dal with Fried Onions and Lime Cream, Indian-Spiced Fried Chicken, Blue Cheese Macaroni). SHOP FOR THE BOOK

Want to get your children off their e-devices and back into the physical world? This book offers you a great technique for doing just that and the earlier you introduce it the better. With just your fingers—and a bit of cardboard and a little bit of tape to wrap the ends when weaving pieces together—you’re on your way to creating finished projects that are stylish and fun. Yarn suggestions make the projects state-of-the-art. Instructions and yarn suggestions make it easy for people, young or old, to start turning out scarves, scrunchies, hats, and purses that they love. Discover the magic of “hands on” for yourself. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

THE HIDDEN CODE • P. J. Hoover • CBAY Books
IN THE INTEREST OF FULL DISCLOSURE: Young Adult Literature is not my area of expertise. I only read this book because P. J. is my cousin. I am reviewing it because I LOVED it! Hannah Hawkins, the female adventurer who narrates this exotic, twisty tale, took me back through the fogs of time to the days when I was nearly obsessed by Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton. Hannah is, however, a thoroughly updated version of those gutsy, feminine sleuths. She accesses all the latest technologies as she pursues the truth behind the disappearance of her parents and the mysteries to be revealed by the ancient, archeological treasure in her possession. Hannah makes an excellent role model, researching, strategizing, and demonstrating people skills beyond her years. What young readers will most appreciate though is the fact that there is literally never a dull moment in the well-constructed telling of this tale. There is even a romantic aspect which delivers pretty intense attraction within a female-respectful, positive framework. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

KAHLIL GIBRAN’S LITTLE BOOK of WISDOM • Neil Douglas-Klotz • Hampton Roads
This is the fourth and final book in a series that reaches back more than a century to extract the wisest of the words of wisdom Gibran left us. He thought in Arabic, was raised in Middle Eastern culture, and was a student of nature mysticism. When he became popular in the 1920’s, it was partly the exotic nature of his writings that attracted attention. Today, his words take us back to a time and civilization that predates the violence that has come to represent the Middle East today. He wrestled with the ideas of good and evil, of what God really was, of reconciling feelings of exile, and of what happiness really is. His beautiful words, pared down to the minimal, are a gift that has great meaning in the chaotic world we live in now. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

RAIN • Anders Holmer • Eerdmans
Visual artist and architect Holmer, once again combines his love of nature with his love of poetry. Writing in English, he has chosen the form of traditional Japanese Haiku to put words to the powerful double-page-spread illustrations in this book. His art takes us around the globe, focusing on small magical moments that become larger than life. (Half awake and drenched/a beetle stands guard in the/middle of the path.) Each illustration transports the reader into connection with a physical experience. Once there, the words and artwork teach us something we sense is important but we must figure out what and how for ourselves. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

IF YOU PLAYED HIDE-AND-SEEK WITH A CHAMELEON • Bill Wise and Rebecca Evans • Dawn Publications
Blending creative imagination with science, and adding a dose of humor, this latest release from Dawn takes kids on a journey through the natural world comparing their skills with the skills of some of their favorite animals. How many grown-ups can an elephant carry? Could you out race a cheetah? Could you out jump a kangaroo? Could you eat as many pies as a hippo? DAWN’s trademark dynamic, inclusive illustrations take young readers through a journey of comparison that’s sure to get them thinking. As usual, there are suggestions for further study at the end. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

For those who love “animanga” and all the youthful creativity of modern Japan, but who also love the beauty and serene formality of traditional Japan, this is a must have book. There is a wealth of information, about everything from The Imperial Palace Gardens to Maid Cafes to Tax-Free Shopping to the best convenience stores (my Japanese friend, Miho, assures me that 7-Eleven is indeed an excellent place to find budget-conscious Japanese food). It is all presented in manga/comic book form. The author is, after all, a superstar comic book artist. Reading this book will make you want to go to Japan and experience all of these interesting things for yourself. In the meantime, you will smile and sometimes laugh out loud as you make your way through Neo’s fun-loving Tokyo. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

Posted in Anna's Books of Interest, Findhorn Press, HarperOne, Inner Traditions, Llewellyn, Red Wheel/Weiser, Sounds True, Tuttle Publishing | Comments Off

Book of Interest—Customer-Driven Disruption

Is fear of change undermining your success?

Our job is to figure out what they’re [customers] going to want before they do…That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.Steve Jobs

There is only one boss—the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.Sam Walton

These visionaries came from different price-point worlds but the future they both saw and capitalized upon is now becoming the new reality. As Baby Boomers begin to join Millennials and Gen Z’s in disrupting the old retailing rule of bending the customer to your will, a new world opens up for consumers. Amidst the violence and nonsense that currently dominates media cycles, a new, personal world view is emerging. I call it “responsibly self serving”. Sarkar calls it smart business. Younger generations are tuning out status-based advertising and relying on peer evaluations to find the best value at the least cost. Sarkar warns business leaders that it is time to adapt or perish. And he has a long list of previously successful multinational corporations that have made the wrong decision at great cost.

If you are a business owner, this is a book you can’t afford not to read. If you are a consumer, it’s a field guide to the coming age. The new “revolution” is based on spending money in your own best interest and it’s becoming increasingly effective. Sarkar explains it all in detail and in an easy-to-read style. He’s not alone in the message he delivers but his communication of this bell weather info is extraordinary. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Santa Muerte

Can you engage the Lady of the Holy Death?

Tracey Rollin tells us right up front, in the beginning of this book, that she is more concerned with results-oriented magic than she is with tradition. Still, she conveys quite a bit of information regarding the traditions (and possible cultural origins) of Santa Muerte. Condemned by the Catholic Church, Santa Muerte remains a folk saint. She has never been accepted into the ranks of official Catholic spiritual figures. She has survived through the centuries (perhaps millennia) because of her inherent appeal to the core instincts of the human race. She has become famous in the last few decades because drug traffickers have embraced her powers for their own sensationalized purposes and the media has jumped on the band wagon.

Now Rollin has given us a definitive history and how-to, all in one easy-to-read source. She turns away from the negative practices associated with criminal behavior (beating Santa Muerte’s statue and withholding offerings in order to achieve illegal and often violent ends). Instead, she encourages us to engage Santa Muerte in the world of our own experience for purposes of enlightenment and healing. She offers plenty of suggested rituals and ceremonies, but releases us to create our own bridge to this increasingly powerful goddess.

I have read this book several times now and Santa Muerte becomes more alive to me with each perusal. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—The Sacred Herbs of Samhain

How do you celebrate the deceased?

The natural world connects us to the Otherworld/Higher Realms/Invisible Realms. Through the earth, the air, and the waters we draw energy from on high and create openings to realms of wisdom beyond the physical plane. Plants, especially herbs, draw spirits from those worlds and enable us to capture the higher energies that they bring with them. While Hopman has focused on using herbs to contact the spirits of those who have died, she also offers readers a very comprehensive overview of using plants and their essences to generally draw in the energies of the higher levels of awareness.

The first part of the book includes instructions for using plants to make teas, salves, poultices, fomentations, tinctures, homeopathic dilutions, and flower essences. The next section contains detailed documentation for dozens of herbs (primarily those which are associated with communication with spirits), citing their history in spiritual/metaphysical use, suggesting uses for the modern practitioner, and cautioning about negative side effects and misuse. The last part of the book focuses specifically on the rituals surrounding Samhain. There are intriguing, simple recipes throughout the book.

Beginners will find many entry points that make this work accessible to them. Experienced practitioners will find interesting details and insights throughout that will pique their interest. Whether you regularly speak with the discarnate (as I do) or have a garden that seems to be bustling with life forms you can’t quite bring into focus, this is a reference book that you will find helpful over and over again. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Beneath the Surface

Can you hear them?

We watch young people, like the survivors of the Parkland shooting, mobilize in an attempt to turn that tragedy into action that makes the world a better place. Many of us wonder where they find the will and how they got so savvy about the global world that is watching. Those of us who came of age during the transformative Sixties understand that their message—so clearly constructed, so well communicated, so completely energized—hits a wall that didn’t exist when the call for change went out over fifty years ago. As a society, we are becoming numb to the legitimate out cries of others. There is so much social “noise” now, and many of us seek refuge from the suffering of others because we have reached injustice burn out.

In a lot of ways the younger generations today are on their own. (More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined.) I don’t mean any disrespect for parents and parental authority figures who are in the trenches doing everything they know to do to help. But the truth is that Millennials and Gen Z’ers are charting new territory and, past a certain point, the best we can do is cheer them on. When these young people hit a personal wall and feel like they can’t go on, however, there is a lot that we can do and Kristi Hugstad has delineated those things as well as anybody ever has.

It was the suicide of her husband that led Hugstad into the darkness of despair that is severe depression. Her personal experience infuses every sentence she writes in this book. She also includes the voices of teens telling their own stories. The end product is clear, bare bones communication regarding the why and how of overwhelming mental anguish. While she asks readers to look at the truth of what is going on, she offers substantial, real-world actions that anyone can take to make things better. This is a book that can help teens find their way out of the deep woods and help the adults who care about them learn compassionate listening that contributes rather than shuts down. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Start Finishing

Can you make goal setting work for you?

Decades ago, I learned about the importance of setting goals and then working backwards to create manageable steps to accomplish the goal. I was even successful at using the technique to help make a major career change. And while I believe that there is magic in writing down goals and reviewing them, I also realize that without further instruction, most people don’t get further than the writing-down part. This book is about further instruction and it is state-of-the-art further instruction.

In 258 enlightening pages, Gilkey gives us they information we need to stop sabotaging our best-laid plans and begin doing our best work according to plan. Lowering the dread-to-work ration, habit stacking, after-action reviews, the gift of failure, the Five Project Rule, no-win scenarios, derailers versus naysayers, listening with your feet, and momentum planning are just a few of the topics that Gilkey covers in-depth.

My suggestion is that readers give the book a relatively quick first-read and highlight the things that stand out to them on that initial perusal. Then go back to the beginning and spend one week with each chapter, thoroughly digesting its content. Pay careful attention to the things that weren’t noticed on the initial read through. Those are probably the things that are blocking completion/success.

Gilkey tells readers that their best work takes a lot of effort. Seriously working with this book will be a very valuable first step for many readers. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—ADHD

Could you survive in the wild?

“Farming is stable.” Thus says Thom Hartmann as he explains why the specialization of function became the dominating force in most of the world, as least as far back as Mesopotamia. Once associated with religion, it was a force that rolled over most of the human-occupied realm. Ironically, specialization of function eventually led to the development of weapons and technologies of destruction. Did the Hunter Gene, when repressed, adapt to the “Farming Society” and resurface in a socially acceptable mega-form? But that’s not the point that Thom Hartmann is trying to make in this book. He’s telling us that those with predominantly Hunter Genes, while not well suited to success as defined by the current societal norms, are very well suited to become successful entrepreneurs, inventors, consultants, and visionaries.

He takes us back through the scientific history of ADD and ADHD, as well as the psychology that predates it. It’s all about the short attention span (or mostly about that). He calls on Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, and Ernest Hemingway as examples of Hunter Types who would now be classified as dysfunctional according to most educational facilities.

This is not a superficial treatise. Hartmann looks at this issue in-depth and from a 360° perspective. He weighs and measures the use of drugs like Ritalin in agonizing detail. He tries to make sense of why some people can learn to navigate around short attention spans and other can’t. He asks how far successful Hunter Types could have gone if there had been up-to-date support services available to them.

The neuroscience insight that this book contains is worth the purchase price. The degree of compassionate and socially responsible ruminating that it also contains makes it invaluable. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Blossoms and Bones


Have you made the descent?

The earliest written record of a heroine’s journey to the netherworld is the Sumerian myth of Inanna. The existing versions of her story are framed by the patriarchy (history is written by the winners) but every woman who has made any part of the inner journey to reclaim her soul will recognize that journey in whatever form it appears. And it seems as if the time to tell these tales out loud has come around again. A few weeks ago I reviewed Seane Corn’s powerful narrative of her descent and return. Now Melinda Mullen of Harper Collins has sent me this incredible graphic memoir by Kim Krans, creator of The Wild Unknown Oracle, to review. Both of these books are 100% woman-told and it is the raw truth that they are telling, no punches pulled, hair and makeup be damned. (Gentlemen are, of course, welcome but remember that you’ve been warned.)

In Kim’s version of the heroine’s quest, she is spending a month in an ashram in Pennsylvania to deal with a post-divorce eating disorder that is threatening to take over her life. After traditional avenues of healing fail to stop the invasion, she turns and faces the disorder head on by “drawing the feelings” that fuel the disorder. What the reader sees are the original, first-draft pages, as she drew and journaled to reclaim her life. The minor edits that she made are right there on those pages for all to see.

The end of the tale is the beginning as, after having added ten days to her journey, she begins the ascent to return to the land of the living, buoyed by hope. The book contains seven prayers that literally vibrate off the page when the reader comes across them. Thank you, Kim, for this special gift. PRE-ORDER THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

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Book of Interest—Intuitive Intelligence

How well do you hear your inner voice?

This is the best left-brain analysis of right-brain functioning I have ever read. It will make sense to analytical and creative types alike. O’Brien has walked both sides of the fence successfully and he understands the value of everything he discovered along the way.

When he talks about making life-changing decisions, it’s not an intellectual exercise. In the late 80’s, he left a lucrative career as a software marketing specialist to create Synchronicity, a multimedia version of the I Ching for use on early graphical computers like the Macintosh. Eventually, despite a bumpy road, he ended up with a very successful ecommerce divination business. Then it was time for O’Brien to roll the dice again and that’s what he did. He sold the business and dedicated his life to sharing his Visionary Decision Making approach to success.

The VDM system is founded on Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity. Timing is everything and knowing when the timing is right (intuitive intelligence) can be learned. Creative powers can be accessed consciously and O’Brien details the skills that help us do that. Creativity, however, needs to be managed, and O’Brien tells us how to do that as well.

Drawing on ideas as seemingly diverse as The Law of Attraction and Chaos Theory, he demonstrates again and again that everything is interconnected and logical, albeit it in a non-linear way. The key to success is doing your homework then letting go. Easier said than done—until you’ve read Intuitive Intelligence. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2019 Anna Jedrziewski and InannaWorks

Posted in Anna's Books of Interest, Beyond Words | Comments Off