Thinner This Year

Book cover image for Thinner This YearThinner This Year: A Diet and Exercise Program for Living Strong, Fit, and Sexy was more challenging for me than was Younger Next Year.  That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it, but I had to concentrate more to get the information.  Chris Crowley’s witty style is definitely present and Jennifer Sachek’s portions are interesting, but contain so much important information that it was less entertaining.  Together they are a complete package.

Younger Next Year was a game changer for me. I rarely miss a work out.  I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy it as much as Chris does, but I’m definitely a convert and have been since I first read it in 2014.  With regards to the diet component, that’s a little tougher because of my food allergies. I can’t just lift the advice from the pages and apply it quite as easily as I can the exercise part. The overarching message of don’t eat garbage is applicable though.

Remarkably, what I gained from Thinner This Year isn’t just knowledge.  Although a large portion is a how-to book, there is a significant amount of the book dedicated to why-to.  Even more important is that is sparked my excitement about making a few changes. I have a bit more belief in my ability to modify my lifestyle and I have a stronger belief in the necessity of doing it.

As you can tell, I highly recommend reading this book.

Younger Next Year

Book Cover of Younger Next YearThree letters sum up my reaction to the book Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge. You choose either WOW or OMG.  For me, this book was a life-changer. In reality, a lot of the information, the what, was not new to me.  What was new was the why.  And in this book, the why is pretty compelling. I found myself actually wanting to get to the gym more. That is pretty amazing. My diet is really pretty good, but I found myself wanting to make it better. The comparison between aging and decaying rattled around in my head almost constantly for the first few months after reading the book. I was convinced pretty early in the beginning chapters that decaying is a very bad think and generally preventable.

book cover from Younger Next Year for WomenYounger Next Year is a book by men and about men. That was not a turn off to me but it might be for some women. I was readily able to see that the science is the same, no matter the gender. Don’t despair though, there is a version Younger Next Year for Women.  No matter which one you choose, the important thing is to read the book and follow Harry’s Rules.  I am absolutely confident that they can change lives.

Jump Ship

Ha!  I just caught the fact that my book review of Jump Ship that I mentioned in a previous post somehow never got published.  Sorry about that.

Jump Ship by Josh Shipp book coverBefore anyone gets antsy, let me say up front that I’m not planning to quit my job and start another career in the near future.  I received Jump Ship by Josh Shipp a few years ago in a goodreads.com giveaway and initially requested it simply because I am fascinated by the process of personal growth.  I may actually be addicted to personal growth and self-help books. I currently have an interest in turning my passion into a profession for my retirement years so it certainly couldn’t hurt to read the book.

I loved this book for several reasons. First, I loved the writer’s open and honest style. It was informative. It was challenging. It was provocative. It was personal. On the first page of the introduction the author stated that he has a reputation for being “in your face, but on your side” and that was evident throughout the text. I can appreciate that style.  It is the same style that has worked for me while doing psychotherapy over the years. It is not a style that works for everybody, but it worked for me most of the time.

The second reason that I loved this book was because it was practical. There were no easy answers but there were actual things to do to help you to discern what your passion is and things to do to evaluate whether you could actually make it profitable.

Third, it is a rags to riches kind of story.  Who doesn’t appreciate that? The author obviously has practiced what he preaches.  I have a lot of respect for that. In addition, there were numerous stories of other individuals who have also undergone the process, not just the high points, but also the down and dirty, nitty gritty low points as well.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is considering changing careers, feeling burned out with the status quo, or who is in any way dissatisfied with an aspect of their life. There is much broader applicability to the information in this book than just humping ship from a less fulfilling job. With a little creativity you could make a new life with this information, not just get a new job.

Tapping Into Wealth

Book cover for Tapping Into Wealth: How Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Can Help You Clear The Path To Making More Money by Margaret LynchIt should come as no surprise to anyone that I enjoy reading books about tapping. Tapping has made such a profound change in my life. Quite by chance I ran into the book Tapping Into Wealth: How Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Can Help You Clear The Path to Making More Money by Margaret Lynch.  It probably also isn’t much of a surprise that I would be interested in making more money.  Who isn’t?

In the past I’ve listened to programs from the EFT World Summit on money and wealth, and I’ll admit that although I heard them, I apparently wasn’t really processing the information.  Even with this book, I picked it up at the library and had to renew it twice because I left it sitting on my shelf without actually reading it.

photo of US dollar billsThe timing must finally have been right because I started reading it.  Soon after I was listening to the CDs from the 2014 Tapping World Summit, having pulled one out at random, and it was Margaret Lynch talking about tapping to get rid of energetic blocks against money and wealth.  Wow!  The word that comes to mind is synchronicity.  Before reading the book I would have told you that I didn’t have any real blocks about money and wealth.  I would have been wrong, but that’s what I would have told you.

One of the things I really like about the book is how approachable she makes this complex topic. There aren’t fancy business or finance terms to deal with. There are practical questions that are, in my case, right on target and there are detailed tapping exercises to deal with the emotional responses dredged up via the questions.

briefcase full of moneyTwo of the chapter titles jumped right out of the Table of Contents.  The first was I Don’t Deserve More Money. I wanted to shout back YES I DO.  Then when I worked my way through the chapter I found out that I had a bunch of hangups about worthiness and deserving that could be interfering with my ability to experience wealth and abundance. The other notable chapter title was I Refuse to Be Rick.  Again, at first glance I was pretty sure that this one would not pertain to me. From comments I remember from my parents, religious teachings, and media references there were subconscious programs running in my head about wealth and wealthy people that were not particularly attractive or compelling.

Because of the overwhelming successes I have experienced and witnessed with tapping, I have complete confidence that if I do the work, the tapping will be successful.  Would you like to create more financial abundance in your life?  Get the book and start tapping.

The Art of Extreme Self-Care

The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a time by Cheryl Richardson book cover photoThe Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time by Cheryl Richardson is aesthetically pleasing and full of insight.

This is a wonderful book and I have recommended it to many of my clients, friends, and family.  I have read a lot of self-help books.  This is definitely one of the best. I felt like I actually had a “to do” plan at the end of each chapter and I kept post-it notes nearby to flag section that I wanted to go back and re-read because the book was much too beautiful to mark or damage the pages.

Cheryl’s insightful observations and direct questions stimulated several pages of notes for my tapping journal. It looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me, but instead of dread like I often experience while reading this type of book, I am actually excited to do the work.

It has been a while since I read it the first time but have picked it up again.  I am as excited about it now as I was the first time.

Book Review – The Third Plate

What do Eight Row Flight, worms, foie gras, mullet, and soil all have in common? They are all things that I couldn’t have imagined in a million years that I would read about or even care about. But, since reading The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber I do care.  And frankly, I wish I could go back to my state of ignorance is bliss.  Reading this book will forever change the way you look at food, farming, and consumerism.

I received this book as an advance uncorrected proof through a www.goodreads.com giveaway. Like many of the giveaways, I’m not sure what drew me to the book. When it arrived in the mail I put it on the shelf for later, mostly because it was visually intimidating. It isn’t a small book and there are very few pictures or diagrams. It just felt overwhelming. Fortunately looks CAN be deceiving. It reads quite easily and although it contains a great deal of technical information it didn’t really cause the book to bog down for me. I have already passed it along to a friend.  It was really that informative and good to read.

After finishing the book I made some life changes and have continued to incorporate the information into my life.  The book confirmed what I already knew – fresh produce from an organic garden tastes better than the store-bought produce (even the organic stuff).  Now I know why, companion planting and crop rotations. I also have suspicions about the origins of my food allergies and gluten issues.  I found it difficult to read about the corn, wheat, and soy because, in my mind I have vilified these substances as culprits in my own health issues. The realization that the grains I have consumed have no real resemblance to REAL corn, wheat, and soy and that this imposter phenomenon is what has made me sick actually makes me quite angry. I’m pretty sure that my consumption of meat will continue to decrease and change.

The book speaks to the conceptual and global issues related to farm-to-table eating and sustainable agriculture; however, it leaves me feeling very challenged about how to put this knowledge into practice.  Short of growing my entire food supply myself (not feasible), I don’t know the best way to move forward on some of these issues. Imagine the look on your grocer’s face when you ask not only how fresh the fish is, but also where it was caught and how it was killed. Or better yet, ask what was grown in the field along with my tomato.  And by the way, what crop was grown in that field the previous year?

I highly recommend that you read the book. Maybe your food habits will change. Maybe they won’t.  But I am certain that your view of food WILL change.

Book Review – Energy Tapping for Trauma

Energy Tapping for Trauma by Fred Gallo book cover from amazon.comEnergy Psychology has the power to revolutionize healing. Nowhere is that more evident that in the field of trauma recovery. In the book Energy Tapping for Trauma, as he has with all of his books, Dr. Gallo has included enough technical data and research to satisfy the skeptic, sufficient case summaries to encourage the hesitant, and step-by-step exercises for those who are ready for relief.

The various Energy Psychology techniques presented in this volume will be useful for traumas big and small.  had a bad day? Try the Simple Trauma Technique.  Are you the victim of natural disaster or war? Consider the Trauma Removal Technique. There really is something here for everyone and every situation.

I’ve been using some of these techniques for years and I am a living testament to their benefit. Now I am excited to expand my practice with these other techniques.  Dr. Gallo’s work in this field has made relief as close at hand as our fingertips.  Get busy and start healing your trauma now.

Why All of the Book Reviews?

Book shelves full of colorful books that could be used for bibliotherapyThanks for the question.  The quick answer is that I’m addicted to books.  The long answer is that I believe strongly in bibliotherapy.

The term bibliotherapy may be relative modern; however, the concept of using books for healing is reportedly as old as the sign of the anxiety Grecian library at Thebes which translates as, “the healing place of the soul.”  In the 1930s Dr. Karl Menninger and Dr. William Menninger advocated the use of books within the psychotherapeutic process.

Pardek, an expert in bibliotherapy, defined it as a dynamic interaction which occurs between the personality of the reader and the literature. Others define bibliotherapy as the use of literary work in the treatment of emotional and physical problems.

Bibliotherapy has many uses including:

  • To gain insight into a problem
  • To provide relaxation and diversion
  • To stimulate discussion of problems
  • To encourage one to focus outside of one’s self

NOTE: Books are not a substitute for the therapists’ time and are not to be considered a shortcut.

When you walk through a bookstore or browse online you will likely notice a very large section of books labeled psychology or self-help. Many of these books may be recommended by a therapist during treatment. Bibliotherapy is not limited to that section of books alone. Biographies, novels, non-fiction, comic books, and children’s books may also be used to stimulate growth and wellness. The use of movies and videos has also gained popularity in achieving the same goals.

You can be sure more book reviews are coming……Happy Reading.

Book Review – The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence

Book Cover of The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body ConfidenceOK.  I’ll admit it.  It was hard for me to read The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: a Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More by Jessica Ortner.  It was even harder for me to like it.  But honestly – its great.  I feel the need to explain, I had just written and published a book on tapping and weight loss too when her’s came out called Don’t Diet: Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tapping. I was definitely feeling defensive and book cover for Don't Diet Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tappingbelieved that the release of her book would have a negative impact on my book.  Actually it might have, but that’s not really the point.  I did what I try to always do when I have negative emotions – I started tapping.

Once I had tapped enough to feel comfortable that there is room enough in this world for two books on tapping and weight loss I dove in.  You might even say that I “devoured” it.  It is written in the same charismatic style that all of the materials from The Tapping Solution are written in.  It would be hard to resist smiling at the all-too-honest accounts of self-doubt, overindulgence (food and guilt) and insecurity that Jessica shares.  I definitely could relate.

The tapping examples were fantastic, although I would have preferred a few more. The book design and page layout are enviable. The quotes were inspirational and the stories of real women and their struggles were motivational. If there are any negatives (and I’m not sure that there are) one would be the title. There are so many words on the cover that it was difficult to know what the title was without turning to the copyright page. Also, the topic of self-sabotage or psychological reversal was not highlighted as much as I might have expected given the type of challenge being addressed.

Will I read it again?  Already did.

Will I recommend it to others? Absolutely.  Have even bought copies for gifts.

The book is attractive, informative, inspirational, and potentially life changing.

Book Review – The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys

Many of my friends and followers already know that I am intrigued by the Dalai Lama.  I was privileged to hear him speak in person once and have been very moved by most of his interviews and books.  What I have found most compelling is the apparent congruity between his teachings and his life. The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Victor Chan describes this congruence beautifully.

The Dalai Lama teaches about emptiness, interdependence, and forgiveness. He speaks specifically about forgiveness for those who have treated you cruelly or unfairly. In his case, he speaks about forgiving the Chinese people who caused his exile.

The concepts in this book are meaningful all of the time, but seem more so during our current political and social upheaval.  Whether you are Buddhist or not, check it out.