Book Review – Mars and Venus in the Bedroom

SEX. Now that’s a word that gets your attention. Men and women spend great amounts of time thinking about sex, wishing for sex, having sex, and complaining about sex. Few couples have the skills to discuss, request, or negotiate sex successfully.  Couples also don’t appear to understand why sexual expression is so problematic.

Would you like to learn about sex and passion, increase your sexual confidence, rekindle passion, and keep romance alive?  If so, consider reading Mars and Venus in the Bedroom by John Gray.  This is an older book but continues to be relevant today.  Dr. Gray’s books are easy to read, but be forewarned, he writes about sex, sexuality, and intimacy with the same candor that you would expect of a weather report.  Perhaps that is the important first lesson of this book.

Book Review – The Too Precious Child: Letting Go of the Super-Parent Syndrome

The Too Precious Child was written by Dr. Lynne Williams, Dr. Henry Berman, and Louisa Rose. It has been a mainstay in my tool kit for helping parents with a variety of issues.  I consider it to be one of the most important books busy parents in our culture can read, particularly if they are striving for strong parenting skills. If you answer yes to any of these questions, this book is for you.

  • As a parent, have you vowed never to let your child lack for anything?
  • Did you have your first child at or beyond the age of thirty?
  • Were there obstacles to conceiving your child?
  • Was your child adopted or premature?
  • Does it bother you when your child is bored, messy, or less than an A student?
  • Are you a single parent?
  • Is your child artistically, athletically, or intellectually gifted?
  • Do you always put your children’s needs first? Before your mate’s? Before your own?

It looks like this book is only available through second hand retailers, but is worth the search.

Book Review: Dreamsong of the Eagle

Dreamsong of the Eagle was written by the late Ted Andrews and illustrated by Deborah Hayner. I had the great fortune of hearing this book recited by the author at a local gathering.  I was tremendously excited when he took the stage and then was even more enthralled when I realized that he was going to tell this story.

It was written in the form of a fairy tale about two children in a small village who are challenged in various ways.  Each turned to the woods as a place of safety. The animals made them feel accepted and whole.

One day they found an injured eagle and their lives changed forever.  The eagle said, “From this day forth your home will be among the woods and streams. Your family will be the creatures that abound within the world. Never more will you be outcast.”

This is a story of inclusion, acceptance, and love and a much needed lesson for our world today.

Book Review – Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism

While traveling through Arizona many years ago I read Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism by Dawn Prince-Hughes, Ph.D. As the secondary title indicates, this is a first-hand account of autism. The author offers a vivid and insightful account of autism.

She was diagnosed rather late in her life, after a childhood punctuated by misunderstanding and isolation. Fortunately, she was able to learn about human socialization and relationships through her keen observation of gorilla communities. She writes, “This is a book about autism. Specifically, it is about my autism, which is both like and unlike other people’s autism. But just as much, it is a story about how I emerged from the darkness of it into the beauty of it. It is about how I moved full circle from being a wild thing out of context as a child, to being a wild thing in context with a family of gorillas, who taught me how to be civilized. They taught me the beauty of being wild and gentle together and as one.”

While there are many excellent texts about Asperger’s Syndrome and autism, this was the first book I read that described it from the inside. Dr. Prince-Hughes is eloquent in her poetry and prose. She describes confusion, rage, fear, and joyful discovery in a way that touches the reader’s heart and heightens understanding. Instead of lists of characteristics or clinical observations, this book placed the experience into context. My understanding has certainly been expanded by this book. I am hopeful that it will change my acceptance of the more “annoying” behaviors often associated with autism. It is harder to remain annoyed when I remember that the strong need for repetition exhibited by persons with autism can be the result of anxiety or panic. Dr. Prince-Hughes had this to say, “Most autistic people need order and ritual and will find ways to make order where they feel chaos. So much stimulation streams in, rushing into one’s body without ever being processed: the filters that other people have simply aren’t there. Swimming through the din of the fractured and the unexpected, one feels as if one were drowning in an ocean without predictability, without markers, without a shore. It is like being blinded

There are also examples of wonderful and intricate coping mechanisms. She used a formula to get along with people in the workplace. This included talking about her skills a third of the time, talking with colleagues about how their interests mergered for a third of the time, and talking about current events and “softened” opinions about them a third of the time. This had to be approached consciously. She also counted seconds to know how long to look into another person’s eyes and when to look away. Each of these required deliberate practice and application.

This book is a great source of information, but is also an incredibly engaging autobiography. Dr. Prince-Hughes has a wonderful command of language. Consider this self description, “I am an individual. I am different, for reasons germane to the phenomenon of autism and reasons mundane. All that is in between and at both ends have made my life. Within these pages, an archaeology cleared of dust and fear, I talk about this life. It is the archaeology of a culture of one.”

Book Review – Spirit Woman: The Teachings of the Shields

I’m not sure when I purchased the book, or how long it had been on my shelf before I finally got around to reading it.  It was probably sitting there for quite a while. I have a habit of letting books call to me at the time of sale, but not necessarily reading thenm promptly.

Spirit Woman, by Lynn Andrews, was actually written as a sequel to Medicine Woman but it easily stands on its own. Lynn describes her teachings from Agnes Whistling Elk and Ruby Plenty Chiefs through the spiritual tool of medicine shields.

Lynn’s education is definitely “experiential” rather than a lecture format that we are so used to in suburban educational systems. Lynn’s teachers set up situations that required much of her beyond simple demonstrations of skill or knowledge. These learning experiences challenged her to become something different and to become aware of her own abilities, fears, and constricted beliefs.

The author’s writing style allows you to feel at times as if you are sitting at the table, experiencing the darkness, or knowing the joy. It is amazing to realize that this is a true story. During each chapter I questioned whether or not I could have done the things that Lynn did.  I wonder, could you?

Book Review – Energy Tapping: How to Rapidly Eliminate Anxiety, Depression, Cravings, and More Using Energy Psychology

Energy Tapping by Fred Gallo and Harry Vincenzi was one of the first books on Energy Psychology (EP) that I  read and I’m delighted to have read it again after more than a decade of doing EP with others.  In addition to being a great introductory text for EP work and tapping, this book has features that set it apart from many other books in the genre including a chapter about energy toxins, a great description of beliefs and their impact on feelings and behavior, and perhaps the best chapter anywhere on Psychological Reversal and Self Sabotage.

Beyond the basics of how to do tapping, the authors provide easy to follow instruction and numerous case examples so that the reader can feel confident in addressing a variety of emotions and situations.  The page formatting and easy to understand graphics add to the experience and the ease of use.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in improving their life circumstance.  Whether you are a seasoned health care provider or new to energy work, this book has much to offer.