Beautiful Girl

Beautiful GirlBeautiful Girl, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a fabulous picture book for a girl of any age.  The reader feels a sense of reverence and respect for her own personal self, while at the same time feeling welcome in community with the feminine.  I am grateful to Dr. Northrup for extending her wisdom to a younger set–which ends up being helpful to everyone in between as well.

While not specifying these special gifts, changes and body wonders (which is good–it allows room for those discussions to occur on an individual basis), this book elevates girls without devaluing boys–one of my favorite lines occurs right away: “These special gifts are just for girls! Boys have their own.”

Although I myself do not have daughters, I am one!  This book will be appreciated by daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, female family friends, and any person who has anything to do with raising healthy, happy girls.  Which, really, is all of us.  Single dads of daughters, go get this book right now!

The book is a treasure to be shared.  My copy will be donated to the local elementary school library, and I will use it when I have the annual spring “The Talk” with the fourth-grade girls!

Hay House was gracious enough to give me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion of it, through their Book Nook blogger program.  Check it out!

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Messages from Margaret

Messages from Margaret is automatic writing through Gerry Gavin from his guardian angel, Margaret.  If you enjoyed Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch, you will appreciate this book.  If you haven’t read that one, put it on your to-read list, right behind this book!

Messages from MargaretMargaret has a lot of wisdom to share, and Gerry captures her spunky personality.  Each standalone chapter is like a visit over coffee with a wonderful friend–it’s something you look forward to with a light heart and no expectations, and you come away a better person for it.

If you are seeking not only uplifting and positive support for your life as a whole, but also specific steps you can take daily in this direction, you will appreciate this book.  If you have even a glimmer of an interest in learning more about automatic writing, give this read a try!  No matter how you feel about the method, the ideas are indisputable–and in the end, the message is the thing.

Hay House has graciously given me this book in exchange for my honest opinion and review, and I am grateful.  For more information, please click on the Hay House widget at the right.

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Surrender Past the Flow

For a while now I have been mindfully practicing going with the flow, allowing, and not forcing directing acting like I’m in charge so much.  My life, sanity, and peace have improved, I highly recommend it!

Hells Canyon, ID

Photo by gina drellack

I’ve learned that it doesn’t mean I give up responsibility or direction, it means I show up for life and co-create.  And there’s more going on here than only what I bring.

Isn’t it interesting how we often come to these turning and learning points in our lives due to a problem issue discomfort?

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Image courtesy of

Recently I’m struggling again, but in a newish way.  What do we do when we are flowing, but we begin to seriously question if we can continue in the direction that we are flowing with?  When we realize our vessel in this metaphorical river has changed from a favored canoe into an emergency life raft?

Maybe the company we work with is shifting their priorities.  Perhaps the organization we volunteer for is changing their focus.  Could be a friend is becoming an energy vampire.  I’m talking about after we’ve signed on for committees, task forces, and leadership roles to help with the big picture, and we find the direction remains unaffected.

Discomfort makes us take a closer look at ourselves, and reevaluate.  Maybe I make a difference on a level I am unaware of, and the best thing I can do is carry on and go with the flow.  Could be that I’m meant to expand at this time, and the best thing I can do is to flow in a new direction.  How are we to know which way the flow goes?

What if the best thing we can do in these situations is surrender?  I thought I had, as I shared at the beginning of this post–but I am learning that there is another layer to this flow thing.

And about direction, there is no incorrect choice.  In fact, I am not being asked to even make a choice.  I visualize an open-hearted Me that surrenders to each day–moment even–with great love, inviting possibilities.  I think I’ll even call her Flo.

Resurrecting Venus

Resurrecting Venus, by Cynthia Occelli, isn’t what I was expecting; it was better.

I watched this video trailer and thought the book might be simply a cathartic and healing journey–which is fine for the author. However, when I read the description of “Cynthia dispels the myths surrounding feminine power and explains where the feminist movement went awry, resulting in women carrying unnecessary and untenable burdens”, I decided to give it a chance.  It resonated with ideas and conversations I’ve tickled before, and in a brilliant moment of allowing the flow (!) I accepted this title as a gift from Hay House in exchange for my honest opinion.

Yes, it is a journey for the author–isn’t all writing?–but the brilliance is in how it reads.  It is very reader-centered where I was expecting author-centered: Cynthia uses her own experiences where helpful, and then gets out of the way.  The focus is on the ideas and thoughts as they apply to all women, an offering of feminine recollection and celebration to the world.

I also am grateful that in no way is this book a man-hater.  Quite the opposite, it celebrates good men and is in favor of masculine support in the divine dance.

You may disagree with some of Cynthia’s words–it takes courage to truly own your opinion as well as examine how it stands in the face of another’s.   However, her passion, gratitude, and genuine desire to empower others to make the world a better place through her book is its gentle strength.  This is written for others, not for herself.  And it is a voice that we need to hear.

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Love Languages Light Bulb

Okay, so you may be familiar with Dr. Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages.  It’s the idea that people give and receive love in different areas: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.  There is a neat little quiz to find out which is your (and your spouse’s or child’s) primary love language.  Pretty illuminating, actually.

I understand more deeply why we run errands together, as well as thrive in a small house.  Our gift-giving to each other makes sense to both of us.

I discovered why it is so important for me to hear that I am loved, as well as why my husband says it sparingly with words but abundantly with actions.  I know why I immensely enjoy making popcorn on the stove, as well as why I supremely appreciate that my family cleans up afterward.

Neither of us is wrong for what we need or how we give, and with awareness we see that we each are heavily giving to the other, and actually constantly expressing our love.

Knowing what language the other speaks, we can adjust to meet their needs.  When my husband asks me if I want to go with him when he test-drives the car from his garage repair, absolutely I say yes.  And he never fails to give me an authentic hug and kiss every morning, because that’s what I need to start my day right.

We learn to recognize that the form of love we are being gifted with is their most honest, best expression–even if it’s not the packaging we prefer.  To them, they are giving us the most incredible gift in the world (and they are!).  Think of it as the dead mouse left on the doorstep by the cat, if that helps.  This is accepting and honoring the person for who they are.

We also learn to let the other know what it is that we do need, and to not squelch our own desires and preferences. This is accepting and honoring ourselves for who we are.

Here’s my big ol’ floodlight-bulb aha! moment: one does not replace the other. (Think: yes, I may think I’m more enlightened than he is about all this; no, I don’t have to be the only one making adjustments!)

Here’s my mini maglite aha! moment: allow others to participate in showing love through service instead of me hogging all the opportunities, it’s a major language for them as well. (Think: let others set the table too!)

When I realize that my husband is actually expressing constantly his love language, I less often need him to express my love language.  Still, an unsolicited “I love you” or hearing from him that I’m beautiful, and I’m happily sharing movies I’d never choose.  I’ll make the popcorn, he’ll clean up.

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