“When Fear Falls Away” (Book Review)

“When Fear Falls Away”
By Jan Frazier (2007)

The Story of a Sudden Awakening

This is a story about a woman facing a health scare that leaves her bathed in fear. One day she asks for relief from this fear and wakes up to find it is simply gone. The book is written from her personal journals she kept about her journey of self-discovery on a soul level and how it has affected her life. It’s written with refreshing honesty and clarity.

Excerpt from the book:

“This is what I know about the general situations of human life:

-There is a place in every person that is not subject to harm of any sort. It is not subject to change or to death. It is actual.

-It is possible to become aware of this place—fleetingly, and even continuously.

-In the state of that awareness, all suffering ceases.

-There is nothing inconsistent about that state and what we think of as regular life.”

By sharing her story with us we are enlightened with the thought that our own story lines might sound different but the human aspects of emotion and ego are a part of us all. With true intentions of the heart, we can all find relief from fear in the emotions that permeates every aspect of our lives. In its place we can experience the joy of love, freedom and compassion in fully living in the moment with the relief from the past and future that can hinder our growth. By the end of this book, if we allow ourselves, we understand that the answers we seek in spiritual growth are not found in the myriad of books and manuals but truly inside ourselves.

Review written by Jasmine@majickalgarden.com

The Stars In Your Family (Book Review)

The Stars In Your Family:
How Astrology Affects Relationships between Parents and Children
By Sylvia Freeman (1995)

“Astrology-based, Sylvia educates the reader about relationships between every member of your family. Why did my child do that? How could my mom act that way? Why can’t we relate better? Can I ever motivate my son? Is my daughter a dreamer or a doer?”

Astrology has been a tool of mine that has helped me better understand family and friends close to me. I started with myself then fanned out with my spouse then my kids followed by friends. Discovering different aspects of the zodiac signs, with regard to personality traits, has become a fascinating hobby.

I picked up a few books, when my kids were younger, to help me understand their distinct personalities better. Most books on the subject are geared towards adults with personality traits already developed. “The Stars In Your Family” puts emphasis on recognizing budding traits of Sun signs in the children.

I was very pleased to discover this book.

I am  a Libra (Air) blessed with an Aquarius (Air) son and a Capricorn (Earth) daughter. Discovering how each of us interact on an astrological level individually and together was very enlightening for me and helped me relate to, as well as understand them in a very refreshing way. It also aided me in helping bring out their individual traits with a better understanding of how to do so with their own needs recognized. A better sense of understanding, compatibility and acceptance can be achieved with relationships enhanced even more.

Review written by Jasmine@majickalgarden.com

The Camino: Journey of the Spirit (Book Review)

The Camino: Journey of the Spirit (2000)

by Shirley MacLaine

“For Shirley, the Camino was both an intense spiritual and physical challenge. A woman in her sixth decade completing such a grueling trip on foot in thirty days at twenty miles per day was nothing short of remarkable. But even more astounding was the route she took spiritually: back thousands of years, through past lives to the very origin of the universe.”

I admire Shirley MacLaine. She strikes me as someone that has truly followed her own path while in the glare of Hollywood lights. If you are familiar with any of her earlier books…she has been on a spiritual search for decades and has been publicly vocal about it.

The Camino is the story of her latest journey…a pilgrimage on foot along the Santiago de Compostela Camino in Spain. It is an ancient, and purporteldly to be, enchanted pilgrimage encompassing a nearly 500 mile trek across highways, mountains and valleys, cities and towns. It is said to have been traversed by saints, sinners, generals, misfits, kings and queens for thousands of years. Amazingly, she was 60 years old when she embarked  on this intense spiritual and physical challenge. She traveled nearly 500 miles in thirty days. What she discovered in the process was even more astounding.

This book was very enjoyable and kept me interested up to the very last page. Some might find bits of it a little *out there*. However, it is her story and experience. By the time I finished this book….it had enough of an impact on me to realize, one does not have to journey across the mountains and valleys of Spain, to experience the warm, fulfilling thrill of spiritual enlightenment found thru the challenges, goals and willfully living life with awareness.

Review written by Jasmine@majickalgarden.com

The Call (Book Review)

The Call
By David Spangler (1996)

“The call is already a part of your life. All you have to do is listen.”

I found this book in paperback form, in the library, during one of my quests for enlightenment in the written word. When on these “quests”, I enter with an understanding with my guides that I am open for suggestion and shall do my best to open my mind and watch what “jumps” off the shelves at me. This was a result of one of those times. A delightfully easy read packed with applicable soul nourishing, validating information. Its one of those books I went out to buy for my own library shelf as reading it over again will reap understanding in a different light each time.

Its intentions are for anyone that has ever felt the stirrings of a particular calling deep inside or for those firmly on the path following their own calling. To be so blessed as to experience this is not an easy task nor is it without some sort of life changing sacrifice to enable the follow thru to where one is destined to end up.

Book Introduction in part:

The holy call is a revelation, an inner prompting, a vision, causing an individual to turn from a personal, self-centered, and superficially expressed life to that of a servant of the divine.

The numinosity of such a transcendent call is often of such a magnitude that the individual experiences a rupture of his or her life. He or she is cast into a vaster consciousness, and often acts with the sense of extreme vulnerability and wounding brought on by the leaving behind of-everything that had previously held primary value in the individual’s personal life. The members of the family, circle of friends, professional colleagues, and organizations threatened by such a disruption may exert extreme pressure to reform the called one. And, failing, that to ignore or, worse yet, to cast out the “misguided” individual.

For anyone to receive, acknowledge and accept such a calling is a testament to ones conscious dedication in living life in the light of life and in doing so expresses desire to truly evolve as a soul in lesson in human form.

This book will aid anyone traveling this path with willful intentions and each individual will read it with an understanding unique to who they are in spirit and with respect to where their evolvement lies.

Book Review Written by Jasmine@majickalgarden.com

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting (Review)

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

By Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn (1997)

While going through some major inner changes, when my kids were young, I hit the bookshelves for some supportive tools. My lack of patience, during that time, was a contrast to the serenity I was striving to attain on the inside. Not to mention the type of environment I wanted so much to create for my children.

I found this book that brought some insight into things I was missing, in my search for enlightenment, that included my children into the whole equation.

“….in Everyday Blessings, Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinnshow how parents can enrich their lives and the lives of their children through mindful parenting–that is, by honoring the fullness of the present moment, and within it, the inner potential and beauty that reside in our children and ourselves…..”

Its so easy, as parents, to get caught up in the quick moving of everyday life…on automatic pilot at times it seems…that we might have difficulty seeing our kids fully in moments so easily missed. Especially when things are not going as we would like them to. The result can be the difficulty in giving them a gift of what they really deserve…your own non-judgmental, conscious, fully accepting presence. It helps with the understanding of how lack of awareness fosters patterns that damage both parent and child. However…mindfulness can bring healing and transformation into the process. The end result is nourishing the souls of our children.

A definite good read for those that want to share the joy of spirituality with their kids, not so much by telling them…but more importantly showing them.

Review written by Jasmine@majickalgarden.com

“The Power Of Now” By Eckhart Tolle: A Review

Eckhart Tolle, Me and Soul

I first heard of Eckhart Tolle around the time Oprah was promoting him on her show. I was not a regular viewer of her program but heard about it in the media. My best friend called me up one day to suggest I might look into it myself. I appreciated my friends’ enthusiasm; however, chose to bypass it myself with no interest due to all the hype Oprah was generating which was a commercially laced turn off for me.

I have been traveling my own spiritual path for some decades now and have been exposed to many books, tapes and programs along with many teachers. I’ve always seemed to be seeking the next one that will provide a valid source for me to get into and “work”. All have left some sort of positive residual that has contributed to my spiritual growth.

Five months ago, one of Eckhart Tolle’s books “jumped” off the library shelf into my hand. It was called “The Power of Now”. I had to smile in realizing this was the author I had passed on the year before and decided to take the Universe’s suggestion that I might take a look now! Normally, I find a book of interest and move thru it with enthusiasm as quick as I can. I take what feels right then leave the rest behind before moving on to something else. His book was different than any I have ever read before. After a few pages, I felt a subtle familiar comforting change deep inside me. The realization that I have been aware of this feeling many times before was profound in his explanation that I could “go” there anytime I choose. I felt I was at the right place at the right time.

I read it slowly and savored every word because I felt as if he understood what my soul was craving in my search for “enlightenment”. To be honest, what he speaks of is not all new to me. Some of what I have carried inside me as a part of my “knowing” was already there. He has helped supply the “how to carry on and progress with it” part in a way I can get my head around. There are many quotes from different sources to help in presentation of what he is talking about. Some authors he quotes are on my have read list. It’s very simple and subtle. So simple that some might find it difficult to grasp or as one New York reviewer stated, “A bunch of New Age mumbo jumbo”. Also, like anything new to us, one needs to be ready for it on their own journey.

All that is required is right inside us right now. It’s not something to look forward to in the future. There is no heavy writing or any need to delve deep into the past before success might hopefully be attained, as many other sources imply. It’s basically about recognizing that the mind, ego and emotions are all a part of this earthly body. That is not who we truly are. Who we are in “spirit” or our higher selves is the essence of our true Being. He is really just pointing in the right direction of how to spend more of our lives in that place and at the same time continue a productive life free of the emotional burdens that hold us back. That is a very quick simplified definition to be sure because so much that comes from Spirit loses its true meaning in translation when put into spoken or written. Like I mentioned before, not all new to me, however, the way he speaks was.

I finished his first book, and then continued on with the next one. I am just now finishing re-reading the first one and it’s just as fresh as the first time I read it. There is a permanent place for it on my bedside table. The freedom I have experienced from heavy emotional baggage I have been packing around for so long has been dramatic. I am becoming more enthusiastic about discovering my purpose here and the energy to become more productive in the things I want to achieve in pursuing my interests. My constant search for “the next thing” has subsided. I know the answers I seek are already inside me. My mind is not closed to other ideas but I have a universal tool that has taken away the infinite search for something that will work for me. It’s not an overnight thing by any means. But how quickly one will grasp his concepts in application to the inside is dependent on where they are on the path and how open minded to allow the change to happen. I felt just enough “knowing” deep inside me to know I wanted to continue on with his words and wisdom.

One last note, I have a tendency to take the easy way on most anything, as well as lose interest quickly. To my delight, this has not been the case. I am able to incorporate his direction into my everyday life with mindful willful understanding that this moment right here, right now, (not the past or the future,) is all I have a hold of to do anything about. I have come to the point of being able to “switch off” my mind and allow my Being to come forward with silent peace, true love and better understanding of what is really happening in front of me more often. I am practicing reacting to the “silence” instead of emotion and ego.

The future starts with what I do with this moment. I can begin to change my future by action on my part right now. A situation in front of me now can be altered by speaking up or doing. And if there is nothing I can do to change it then I can accept it and move forward leaving guilt and the “could-a, should-a, would-a” behind, in the past. With my own efforts as well as the resulting guidance I am receiving from within, and with continued practice, I am experiencing true joy and optimism in living my life forward.

Article by Jasmine@majickalgarden.com