“World Gone Good” Episode 88: “Alethea Gone Good” #podcasts #writing #healing

Episode 88 of “World Gone Good”

My journey into the world of podcasting continues with episode 88 of Steve Silverman’s “World Gone Good” podcast. I had a wonderful time chatting with Steve about healing, writing, reiki, yoga, and following your joy. Some of the highlights include our Jodie Foster stories, how we healed our stomach aliments through mindfulness, and how we channel our inner truth through writing.

It was a genuine honor and pleasure being on “World Gone Good.” If you have thirty minutes to listen to episode 88, you can find it here. Better yet, start following Steve’s awesome podcast!

The Transformative Effects of Kindness and Why I Have Made a Vow to Write Non-Violent Books #bethechange #kindness #middlegradebooks

Book 1 in the Warriors of Light Middle-Grade Fantasy Series

Warriors of Light: The Labyrinth, was a great story to read with my daughter. From a young age, she was aware of the suffering of humans and our disconnection from Mother Earth. Recently, it has been more palpable as we had to leave our beloved homestead because our water was contaminated by application of forever chemical (PFAS) filled sludge on our neighbor’s farm. When I asked her if I should have shielded her better from what is going on in our broken relationship with Earth, she told me that she was grateful that I talked about these things with her and what we do to be transformation because she could plainly see that the relationship with Earth is out of harmony. Initiation is a personal path that leads to the universal story, and seeing that there are guides and paths to healing, it is not an easy or straightforward journey. It takes grace, forgiveness, acceptance, courage, honesty, bravery… There is power, too, in that we are not the only ones on the paths of the labyrinth, but others are making their way and our stories interconnect.

When I showed these words to a friend of mine, she told me she wished there we more dads in the world like this one. I replied, “If there were, the world would be a vastly different place.”

After I read the email from the father of a young reader, my heart filled with hope, and my eyes, tears. We are living in a world of extremes as we individually and collectively struggle to control the chaos that we have co-created. The irony is that, for the most part, we seem to have forgotten that we have, indeed, created the hatred, violence, anger, injustice, and degradation of life that we so desperately are trying to find a way out of. Instead of kindness, compassion, and empathy, we too often point the finger in blame. We rage. We fight. We struggle for control.

And, we and all life on the planet suffer because of our actions (and inactions), including the living planet itself. Our struggles to be right. To hold onto limiting belief systems and ways of living are inhibiting us from living in harmony with life. How telling it is that a 9-yr-old child knows this innately, but somehow the vast majority of us have forgotten this Truth.

What we reap, we sow. Years ago, I made a vow to “find the light behind the story.” We are all bodies of stories, and together we share the stories of our history. We are long over-due to change the narratives. Read the words of the father in quotes once more. Feel them in your bones. What are they saying to you?

For me, they are a reminder of why I write what I do. The only way to change the narrative is to rewrite it. By rewriting it, we Do Not erase. Instead, we dig into our shadowland and find the light, and the light is what we grow. Our very lives depend upon it. If you are in doubt, ask a child who has not yet forgotten.

I Talk about Writing, Publishing & My Middle-Grade Series, Warriors of Light, with Barney Smith on his Story Comic Podcast #authorinterview #writinglife #storycomic

Watch the interview at storycomic.com

Last night I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Barney Smith of the Story Comic podcast. It was truly a fun-filled hour that flew by. We talked about the writing life, self-publishing, the emerging field of visionary fiction, and why I wrote the Warriors of Light series to empower today’s youth.

I’d be honored if you checked out the interview, which is also on YouTube. Barney interviews all sorts of creatives, and more of his podcasts can be found at Storycomic.com.

Flustered Without Mustard: Finding Calm with Angry or Frustrated by Barbara Haas Featured on A Better World of Books #mindfulbooks #mindfulness

It’s my pleasure to add another book to the growing collection of “A Better World of Books.” Today’s feature is brought to you by the self-proclaimed “word wrangler,” Barbara ‘Rhubarb’ Haas and her book for calming emotions illustrated by Mary Ann ‘June Hog’ Kruse, Flustered Without Mustard: Finding Calm When Angry or Frustrated. Flustered-Cover-768x842

Written in rhyme, using playful verse to appeal to a young audience, Flustered Without Mustard offers pages filled with teachable wisdom for taming volatile emotions in people of all ages.

Haas uses a simple narrative of a hot dog vendor who has not ordered enough mustard to meet the hungry demands of his customers to tell her tale of rhyming mindfulness. Although I think her story could be enhanced by more showing than telling, Haas incorporates the vendor’s predicament into examples of how her readers can reign in their emotional responses to stay calm and level headed. This is where her book shines.

More than a story, Flustered without Mustard is a go-to-guidebook for ways to calm one’s state of mind and move through life’s obstacles with centeredness and ease.  Although each tip appears in whimsical meter, much thought and wisdom is held inside of the lines:

“If you’ve let loose, quickly adjust, find your center.

Counting three breaths may help you remember.

You could shake like a dog when you’re really upset,

Or you can sing, or dance, or play clarinet!”

Filled with mindful coping techniques to stay centered and calm, such as the five given in just the four lines of rhyme above, Flustered without Mustard has a place in any classroom or home to be picked up often as a reminder of how easy it is to lose one’s temper and reign it back into a more peaceful state of mind.

Haas’s book, which she self-published just this year, has already received numerous testimonials from educators. The author, herself, has worked in the field of education since the 1970s and offers the arrangement of author’s visits to schools and libraries.

To learn more about Barbara ‘Rhubarb” Haas and her book Flustered without Mustard, you can find her at Rhubarbwisdombooks.com.

 

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea

My Pick for A Better World of Books: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer #betterworldofbooks #indigenouswisdom #braidingsweetgrass

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When you open this book, you begin to fall inside of yourself. I can’t promise you the fall will be gentle or painless, but I can promise you the journey through the path of the prose will be exquisitely beautiful.

I was introduced to Braiding Sweetgrass many months ago by two close friends of mine. “You must read it,” they both told me and so finally I did. For Mother’s Day I requested a copy and got it. It took me two months to slowly devour its pages, savoring a few hundred words each night before I went to sleep. That’s how I recommend reading it. Alone and in a quiet space where your mind can wander into the depths of its narratives and find that sometimes uncomfortable, but always welcoming place, of home.

Naturalist, scientist, teacher, mother, and writer, Robin Wall Kimmerer has woven together stories from her own life, combined with indigenous wisdom, into her book Braiding Sweetgrass. Although there are so many words that rang through the walls of my heart and beat it fiercely with the call of truth, below is the passage that I marked because its words sand directly to the core of my being. In this one small paragraph, I felt the author calling me home. Her longing, also mine. A longing that I believe exists somewhere inside each of our cellular memories.

“I want to stand by the river in my finest dress. I want to sing, strong and hard, and stomp my feet with a hundred others so that the waters hum with our happiness. I want to dance for the renewal of the world.” — Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass, pg. 251

The world needs more books like Braiding Sweetgrass, written in languages that are approachable to each of us. Books that stir the detritus of indifference and even despair. Books that break open the shell of the self and allow it to bleed a bit before it seeks healing. Healing that can always be found in the Mother we all share.

About halfway through the book, Kimmerer tells us the story of “The Honorable Harvest.” On page 177 she writes, “I am not the vibrant leaves on the forest floor — I am the woman with the basket, and how I fill it is a question that matters. If we are fully awake, a moral question arises as we extinguish the other lives around us on behalf of our own. Whether we are digging wild leeks or going to the mall, how do we consume in a way that does justice to the lives that we take?”

Indigenous wisdom, as Kimmerer tells us, teaches to take “only that which is given.” How far most of us have traveled from that edict. How far we have traveled from the honorable harvest where we stand before the offering and take only what is offered.

While picking wild leeks, the author pauses and studies the abundance before her. She pauses to ask permission of the plant before she indulges in the taking of its life. In return for a “yes,” she digs into a pouch holding tobacco leaves and leaves a gift in exchange.

I have been practicing “The Honorable Harvest” with the land surrounding my house. Beside my natural lawn there is a patch of wild berries. This year the bushes are filled with abundance. I have formed a quiet agreement with the land and its offering. Take just as far as you can reach, leave the others for the wildlife. Each day, when I go out with my bowl to fill, I pick just as far as I can reach. If I reach too far, I am scolded by a thorn in my foot or arm, and so I back off and remind myself not to give into greed. Each day I fall a little more in love with the wild bushes and their plump purple berries that seem to magically appear while I sleep. And, I think they know it. As Kimmerer shows us in her stories, the Earth loves her children and honors our love with her gifts. When we love her back, the harvest blooms with abundance.

If you feel the calling, as I did, to purchase a copy of Braiding Sweetgrass, please consider finding it at your local bookstore. And when you do, perhaps take a moment to honor, in your individual way, the trees that formed its pages, the soil, water, and sun that nourished their growth, and the author and the bookstore for bringing its exquisite teachings into your hands.

To discover more about Braiding Sweetgrass and Robin Wall Kimmerer, please visit these links:

The publisher of the book: Milkweed 

Dr. Kimmerer’s faculty page at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Robin Wall Kimmerer on Wikipedia 

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea

 

 

Introducing Dancing Jaguar’s Book Club Featuring The Labyrinth! #bookclub #kidsbookclub #spiritcamp #dancingjaguar #middlegrade

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May Selection for Dancing Jaguar’s Book Club 

I’m excited and honored to announce my middle-grade metaphysical fantasy book, The Labyrinthwill be featured this month in Dancing Jaguar’s Kids’ Book Club!

Eva Goulette, the vision behind Dancing Jaguar Inspirations and Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camps, will be hosting this virtual book club via Zoom. It is free and open to all, but recommended for ages 8-13. th

During the May series, when Eva and the kids will be exploring the magical world of The Labyrinth, I will be making special author appearances.

There is no purchase necessary to join the Book Club. Kids and their parents are encouraged to explore the book’s companion site, Warriors Of Light Club, for an introduction to its metaphysical teachings and the six young protagonists, Aponi, Shesha, Lupe, Dell, Ari, and Sula. While exploring, visitors who have not yet read The Labyrinth can try to guess what each character’s power animal is.

The hints are in the names…

The thirteen-year-old protagonists in The Labyrinth have a lot in common with the children and teens who attend Dancing Jaguar’s camps and events. Although the six teens do their best to blend into their outer world, each harbors gifts that are not easily embraced or understood by those around them. In the magical world of the labyrinth, though, the rules of the outer world break down and the teens learn to become empowered warriors of light.  Here in this strange and mysterious realm, the nature of their true selves are revealed, as the warriors learn to embrace the strengths of their power animals, work together to repair the broken lines of light in Earth, and save Aponi’s mother who is trapped inside the shadows of her mind.  But first they must save each other…

To learn more about the book club, or Dancing Jaguar Inspirations, and Dancing Jaguar Spirit Camps and events for kids, please visit Eva’s website. Here you can explore the wonderful and nurturing environment Eva has created for kids and teens who are seeking to understand and embrace their true selves. I’m including a brief description from her site, which describes the essence of Eva’s mission and the wonderful opportunity for enrichment she has created for youth through her camps:

“With a holistic approach to integrating mind, body, and spir­it, this camp teaches children how to nurture their inner world.  We live in a modern society that places value on nurturing the mind and body.  Dancing Jaguar’s Spirit Camp teaches children how to nurture their heart and spirit. When children are encouraged to trust their intuition, honor their truth, and speak from the heart, they can develop their inner compass and trust themselves to make choices in high school and beyond that will sustain them.”

I have known Eva for years, although we only met in-person last summer, and have had the honor of following her vision and see it grow and flourish. She is a kindred spirit, with a strong passion for empowering and nurturing young minds and bodies so that they can grow with confidence in a world that can sometimes seen harsh and insensitive. I could not be more grateful that she has chosen to share her wisdom and the beauty of her light while she offers to explore the magical world of The Labyrinth with young seekers.

If you know a child who might be interested in the book club, or in Eva’s spirit camps, which have expanded into the virtual world at this time of social distancing, please share.

 

 

A Review of Tasha Halpert’s Collections of Poems, Love Notes & Recipes for a Mindful and Joyful Life on “A Better World of Books” #inspiration #selfhelp

71-5ZakMn5L._US230_Tasha Halpert is a practical mystic, poet, and writer. She has been teaching the paths to inner peace and wellbeing for more than five decades. Tasha  lives in Massachusetts with her husband and writes a weekly column, “Good Earthkeeping,” for the local newspaper, and a weekly inspirational Internet column, “Heartwings.” She is staff poet and storyteller for The Unicorn.

It’s a genuine pleasure to feature two of Tasha Halpert’s books on “A Better World of Books.”  Although Tasha lives only one state over from me, and is a fellow yogi, we have only met through the virtual world of blogging. A few weeks ago she kindly sent me copies of her books Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life and Up to My Neck in Lemons: Love Notes, Poems, and Lemon Recipes for me to review for my blog feature.

Both of Tasha’s books offer an inspirational collection of poetry, anecdotes, and mindfulness exercises. Up to My Neck in Lemons also contains delightful recipes and medicinal uses for lemons interspersed throughout the pages. Perhaps this is why I particularly enjoyed this collection by Halpert.

41uEIP1BmoL._AC_UY218_Although Halpert’s two books are similar in nature, and are in the Self-Help/Inspiration genre, their content is unique. Tasha’s earlier book, Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life is presented in eight parts, each of which focuses on a topic related to living a mindful and joyous life. Short, relatable poems flow into personal narratives and simple mindfulness exercises for readers to practice, if they choose to.

I particularly appreciated the author’s willingness to demonstrate growth through her own experiences as she shows the readers it is okay not to be perfect, and that imperfection is a seed for growth. Many of Tasha’s metaphors center around nature and the symbolism of the seasons.  Gardening is a central theme throughout, and is a healing, mindful practice central to Halpert’s own life.

One of my favorite poems of Tasha’s appears on page 32 of  Heartwings. It’s called “The Apple Tree,” and begins with these lines: “The bark of the old tree is dappled with lichen and shade/ Making a pattern like runes, like pebbles strewn for good or for ill,/ Leaves layer against blue sky, white clouds,/ Dapple them with green. / Thirsty to grow, small green apples drink the light.” The last line I find to be particularly lovely and illustrative of the interconnectedness of all life.

Pulled from a review on Amazon, J. White wrote this about Tasha’s collection, “Heartwings reads like liquid ambrosia, whether savored a few pages at a time or consumed all at once. Tasha’s writing style is comfortable and personal and her gardening metaphors resonate beautifully. Her perspective of mindful joy demonstrates that focusing on the simplest essentials can often provide the highest rewards.”

In her more recent book, Halpert takes a lighter tone, as illustrated by her title, Up To My415O+ebFhSL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ Neck in Lemons, using lemons as her metaphor for a mindful and joy-filled life. I really enjoyed the layout of this book and the way Tasha wove her more serious pieces between the more whimsical recipes. I found myself looking forward to the recipes and historical anecdotes about lemons.  As with her earlier book, Tasha uses her own life as an example to draw upon for life experience. She is both honest and gentle with herself, as she is with her readers.

One of my favorite passages appears on page nine of the book, which contains a personal narrative illustrating gratitude titled “Thanks to Give.” In her third paragraph, Halpert writes, “There are now many things in life I am grateful for that I did not receive when I wanted them. I am now glad that there were roads I was unable to take, though at the time I thought them desirable. There are things I had hoped to accomplish that I had to give up trying to do. I now recognize these experiences and others like them as true blessings.” It is a beautiful reminder of how life has a way of leading us in unexpected was, which may at first appear undesirable or even disappointing, but there are always gifts to be found in the journey.

An Amazon reviewer, Doreen, had this to say about Up To My Neck in Lemons: “I keep this book near my favorite chair. Open to any page and you’ll have a delightful poem, poignant story or special recipe to help with life’s “lemons.” You are sure to smile, reflect or ponder. Tasha opens her heart to all the emotions, and writes so honestly and wisely.”

Both of Tasha’s books could easily find a home nestled on one’s favorite chair, on a bed stand, or on the shelf of a meditation or yoga room. It is clear, through her writing, that the author has led a full and contemplative life. Halpert has the soul of a yogi, ever-searching for meaning, and the admirable ability to pull the sweetness from what life gives her. Her books are filled with inspiration and wisdom gleaned from her life experiences. I am not sure if I can recommend one over the other. For readers who are searching out ways to lead a more mindful life perhaps they would be best served beginning with Tasha’s book Heartwings. On the other hand, if you are already on a mindful path and are looking to add some flavor to your life, particularly with the taste of lemons, I recommend diving into Up To My Neck in Lemons. You’ll find yourself relating to Halpert’s stories and poems as well as running to the store to stock up on lemons to try some of her sweet recipes.

To follow Tasha’s writing and teachings, please visit her website, Heartwings and Friends. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea

Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle on A Better World of Books #bookreviews #poetrybooks

front-cover4I have the honor of featuring Miriam Hurdle’s Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beautitude on A Better World of BooksThe collection was chosen as the solo “Medalist Winner” in the Poetry category of the 2019 New Apple Summer eBook Awards. It has also received much praise from its extensive readership.

Although I have never met Miriam, I have followed some of her posts through the world of blogging and had heard of, but had yet to read, her poetry collection. After I downloaded the Kindle version of Songs of Heartstrings, I  hardly put it down. As I read it, in basically one sitting, I felt a deep feeling of kinship and empathy grow within me through the author’s words and images. 55f8192d3ef2a593c5d56cb0286e1655

The reader soon learns Miriam has endured her share of life challenges, which include divorce, estrangement (and later reunion) with her daughter, and surviving cancer. These experiences shape, but do not define the spirit of the poet and artist who narrates her life’s journeys through a memoir told with poetry and images.

There are moments when Miriam’s words pull the heartstrings of pathos, catching the breath until the last word is reached. Juxtaposed with this, are poems full of hope and the inspiration of her faith in the Creator and the endurance of life.

I found myself particularly drawn to Miriam’s poetic narratives that evoke her faith, and the inspiration, strength and wisdom she finds in the natural world. Through her lovely photographs, paintings, and words, the artist reflects on the eternal goodness of life that weaves through even its most difficult moments. Mariam’s capacity to find the light inside moments of darkness is a balm for those who may be struggling through their own hardships, or are seeking a greater sense of connection and purpose.  I am so glad Miriam has chosen to share her beautiful soul through the spirit of her words and images.

You can get a peak at Miriam’s poetry, photographs, and paintings on her website and on Amazon. I particularly encourage you to read the preface of her book, which can be found through Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature. It will pull you into her world and won’t let you go until you are finished the book. In it, Miriam writes some of my favorite lines in the collection, “Life is born to live. The human instinct, no matter how faint it is, seeks the tiny window of light that sheds the warmth to bring the heartbeat to meet the desire to survive.” Miriam’s life is a testament to this desire, which is mirrored in each word she writes.

There are several wonderful reviews of Miriam’s collection on Amazon, and I have chosen two to share here:

“In some ways, Hurdle’s collection of poems reminded me of a memoir. The book is divided into “Songs” (sections) that cover different aspects of her life’s journey. Among them, the author touches on her love of nature; her reflections on relationships, marriage, parenting, cancer treatment; and her remembrances of the people who were meaningful in her past. The poetry is complemented by Hurdle’s photos and artwork. This gentle book provides an afternoon of peacefulness as all of the poems reflect the author’s innermost heart. One of my favorites is a villanelle entitled “I Sat in my Garden.” I highly recommend this collection for readers who enjoy a glimpse into a poet’s life through her words.” — D.W. Peach
“I asked my husband to buy me this book and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. As soon as Miriam’s book arrived, my intent was to do what I always do and read a few pages to see what it was going to be like. I couldn’t stop reading it! I read it in one sitting. This is a book that I will certainly read again, and again. It is wonderful. It is beyond wonderful! A few poems made me cry, but there were many more that were such a blessing to read. Miriam’s book stirred such emotions with each turn of the page taking me on a journey through her life. All I can say is it is just amazing. The black and white pictures show well, so does the artwork. The book is more than a book of poems. It is a walk through Miriam’s life, her struggles, triumphs, faith and her family. Miriam was expressing, and telling her life stories in each poem. I love it. Great book.”– Gary Ewell

If you would like to learn more about Miriam, or to follow her on social media, you can find her at:

The Showers of Blessings (her website)

Twitter

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea

Meet author Annika Perry and her love of writing on “A Better World of Books” #authorinterview #annikaperry #inspirationalbooks

annika-perryAnnika Perry is an award-winning author, blogger, and book reviewer. She has two books in print and is working on a third. I asked Annika to be a guest for A Better World of Booksafter I learned about the release of her childrens book, Oskars Quest. Bette Stevens, a reviewer of the book, had this to say about it, In this beautifully illustrated childrens book, author Annika Perry captures the importance of caring for others, overcoming fears and making new friends.

Annika, thank you for being a guest for A Better World of Books.Can you tell our readers how you came up with the idea for Oskars Quest?

Alethea, I am delighted to be here and thank you so much for inviting me on to your blog. I’m loving your insightful questions and I have enjoyed reflecting over my books, writing and characters.

Initially, Oskar’s Quest was a story I told my son at bedtime many years ago. The story developed over several nights and it became one of his (and my) favourites. For a couple of years, I would tell him the story, embellishing certain elements, removing others. As my son started to read books himself at nighttime, Oskar’s Quest was nearly, but not quite forgotten. Upon the advice of my mother (eternal thanks for everything!), I wrote down the story to save it.

Last year I revisited Oskar’s Quest and after much rewriting and editing I crafted the book as it is today!

What a wonderful gift for your son. Can you tell us who Oskar is and how his questbegins?

Initially swept away by the thought of adventures, Oskar joins the other birds to look for dragons but he is overcome by fear and turns for home. In a tumultuous storm, he finds himself on a mysterious island in need of help. Much to his surprise, he volunteers to rescue Maya the golden songbird from the formidable clouds. So, his quest begins …

Sounds like he has quite the adventure ahead! Is Oskar, or any of your other fictional characters, inspired by someone you know? If so, can you tell us what drew you to use real-life characters as models for your fiction? Or, are they all completely made up?

Oskar is all of us! Within each of us resides fear and doubt. That voice, whether quiet and niggling, or loud and controlling! I wanted to portray these emotions through an animal and came up with the idea of Oskar. As Oskar finds his courage, I wanted to empower children to look within themselves to find their inner strength. I always believe we are much stronger than we ever imagine.

In my collection of short stories, The Storyteller Speaks, a couple of stories are loosely based on my grandparent’s lives. Their strength, honesty and love influenced me tremendously and I hope to do them proud in my own life and through my writings. Although both have passed away I feel their love and care around me, at times almost hearing their chuckles, as they comment upon our lives.

The majority of the characters in my writings are made-up, sometimes based around real-life events but the protagonists are creations of my imagination and it is pure magic to bring ‘life’ to these fictional beings.

I love that you aim to empower children through your words. I’m curious why you chose Oskar to be a bird, and not a human or mammal, or even a fishWhy a bird?

I have always been drawn to birds, their sense of freedom in their flight. Birds also symbolise so much which I hold dear; not only freedom, peace, and harmony, but also empowerment, purity, and elegance. These are all qualities I hoped to convey with Oskar whilst reflecting upon his indomitable spirit. We all need to remember we can rise above our adversities in life, in whatever form they may take.

Such wonderful symbolism! In your childrens book animals talk as well as plants. It makes for a delightful read while opening a childs mind to wonderment. As a child, did you ever find yourself imaging that nature was talking to you? Or perhaps it did

Alethea, my childhood books made a huge impact on me and I have always enjoyed ones with talking animals and plants. To me, it seemed normal and I absorbed the stories wholeheartedly! Alas, at no stage has any animal or plant talked to me … yet! Or perhaps they have, and I just failed to understand their language! I often had long ‘conversations’ with my guinea pigs and from their noisy squeaks, I imagined their exciting adventures!

That rather sounds like your guinea pigs were doing their best to converse with you. I wonder, what is your favorite character you have ever created, and why?

Oh, this is a tricky one, Alethea! Obviously, Oskar is one of my favourite characters and he will always have a special place in my heart.

In The Storyteller Speaks there are so many varied and wonderful characters, and for me one in particular stands out.

Karin in “The Whiteout Years” is portrayed through the eyes of her husband Carl. She is a person who lived life to the fullest, her spirit at times too large for this world. Outwardly tough, she was vulnerable, and Carl could see through her being to her inner core. Even in death, her love knows no bounds as she reaches out to save the life of Carl

It sounds like Karin is a force of great strength. If you, yourself, could change anything about the world, what would it be?

I would strive for the elimination of hatred through kindness and understanding. The force of hatred from so many in society feels overwhelming at times. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels as if they’re drowning in all the negativity and anger. The world is the most astonishing place, its very existence miraculous. What a damning indictment upon humankind that so much energy is directed towards evil instead of goodness, warmth, and love towards each other.

Unfortunately, I have begun to despair that much will change. However, I strongly believe in the ‘butterfly’ effect and that every positive action will ripple out into the world and have some significance even if in the minutest of forms.

I too believe that small, positive actions can change the world in unknown ways. Can you give us a hint at future writing projects? What can your readers expect next from you?

I never stop writing and I have a couple of bigger writing projects on the go which I hope to bring to publication this year! One is finishing my novel, Island Girl, which has been delayed as I worked on my other books. I look forward to returning full-time to the book, editing, rewriting, and polishing before it is fully ready.

Meanwhile, my love for short stories is unfettered and I’m currently working on a short story idea which intrigued me as it is based entirely on dialogue. It’s challenging and hugely enjoyable creating a fictional world through speech alone.

My notebooks, both paper and digital ones, are crammed full of ideas for stories, novels and children’s books … I can’t see myself ever stopping this writing lark!

That’s good news for your readers! If you wish to learn more about Annika and her writing, you can find her at: 

Annika’s Blog

Twitter

Annika-Perry-Author.com

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Linkedin

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea

Featured Book: Chakra Empowerment for Women by Lisa Erickson #ABetterWorldOfBooks #bookreviews #newrelease #womenshealth

I am honored to be featuring Lisa Erikson’s newly released book, Chakra Empowerment for Women on “A Better World of Books.”

OfficialAuthorPhotoCloseup-square-1024x1024Lisa Erickson is a writer, chakra-based energy worker, and a teacher who specializes in women’s energetics and sexual trauma healing. She is trained in a variety of energy healing modalities, and is certified in mindfulness meditation instruction and trauma sensitivity. Lisa is a member of the International Association of Meditation Instructors, the American Holistic Health Association, the Energy Medicine Practitioners Association, and The Breathe Network, a non-profit dedicated to supporting holistic healing for sexual trauma survivors. She blogs at Mommy Mystic.

I first met Lisa through her blog and have been following her posts for several years. When she announced the publication of her book devoted to empowering women by helping them to connect to, and work with their body’s energy centers, or chakras, I asked her if she would like to be featured on a “A Better World of Books.”

Lisa’s passion for helping women embrace their power, in particular those who have experienced sexual trauma, is not only inspirational, it is infused into all aspects of her life’s work. Chakra Empowerment for Women is a testament of this devotion.chakra-empowerment-cover-600x899 In just over 200 pages of text, Lisa has provided women with an essential toolkit of empowerment and healing. She writes in a manner that is approachable for those not versed in the language of the chakras, while offering a transformational guidebook for women of all ages and walks of life.

Using the  more widely known 7-chakra based system, Lisa guides her readers through the body’s energy centers, from the root to the crown, providing step-by-step methods using visualization, breath-work, body/hand positions, and sound, to connect with and activate the body’s energy centers.  After she guides her reader’s through the chakras, Lisa provides four more empowerment techniques for women to increase vitality and abundance, heal imbalances, create healthy boundaries and protections, and to connect more deeply with the sacred power of the feminine energy body.

Lisa writes in a straightforward manner that is easy to understand as she takes her readers through the body’s energy centers and explains the role and potential held within each one. Offering anecdotes based on her work as a healer and teacher, Lisa demonstrates the power of a woman’s body and its ability to heal and resolve trauma and imbalances through simple, yet effective techniques.

As a fellow energy worker, I found myself deeply engaged with Lisa’s book. In particular, I admired her support of helping women to discover the power they already hold inside of them.  Along with guided exercises to engage with the body’s energy systems, Lisa provides full-color illustrations to aid in the visualization aspect of each of her empowerment techniques. And, for those who prefer to work with audio recordings, mp3 files can be found on the book’s companion website, ChakraEmpowermentForWomen.com

While reading Lisa’s book, I found my eyes opening more deeply into the awareness of the way women’s energy bodies tend to differ from men’s, and the gifts that reside within. Chakra Empowerment for Women is a go-to manual for any woman (or individual aligning with a more feminine energy body) who is seeking a deeper understanding of self, and wishes to both heal and embrace the innate power held within her body of energy. Chakra Empowerment for Women will now have a place on the self of the library in my healing and yoga studio. It will be positioned beside other books that I hold dear to my heart as reference not only for myself, but for those who come to me looking for resources and advice.

To learn more about Lisa and Chakra Empowerment for Women please visit her website.

You can also follow the author on social media via these direct links:

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WordPress 

LinkedIn

 

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea.