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

Meet Author Sarah Woodard on a Better World of Books #AuthorInterview

74453234_399629280711774_2903981337633357824_n.pngSarah Woodard is an author, podcaster, animal lover & communicator, vegan, Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Shamanic Practitioner, and woman on a mission. Her mission is to create a world in which all beings are respected and honored. To accomplish this, she writes books for kids and adults that encourage connection to self, soul, and the environment, lives an eco-friendly, vegan lifestyle & encourages others to do the same. She offers healing for pets and their people along with book coaching services.

Hi Sarah, thank you for being a guest on a Better World of Books! Can you begin by telling us how and why you became an author with a mission?

Hi Alethea! Thanks for having me. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write. In fourth grade, I wrote an essay about why I want to be a writer and got to interview a local children’s author, Dorothy Marshall-Noke.

Like most of us, my life took a lot of twists and turns while I honed in on my path. Over time, it became clear that I have a unique perspective, one which made shamanism my spiritual path. With that, my connection to spirit became deeper and I realized that my path to creating change in the world is with words. I write for kids and adults based on what spirit gives me.

You have written, I believe, five books for children so far. Is there a common theme that unites them all?

That number keeps growing. I think there’s currently 5 or 6 on the market. I’ve got one with my illustrator, and about 8 or 9 “on deck” for him. And I plan to keep going. Richard Scarry, who was one of my childhood favorites, wrote 300 books. I’d like to match him in quantity, quality, and importance.

That being said, a common theme is change, and accepting it. Another one that will be more prevalent in the near future is being aware of one’s decisions and how they impact the world. Also upcoming, animal rights and the environment. I’m taking on some big stuff!

Your children’s books are what one might call picture books. Are they written for a particular audience, and if so why?

Although they’re picture books suitable for children, I believe adults can and do learn a lot from them as well. Therefore, my audience is anyone who’s interested in becoming their best selves and creating a beautiful world.

If you could choose one of your characters that is most like yourself. Which one would it be and why?

I love this question! Thus far, I’d say definitely Amber from Amber’s Sick Day. And I think my illustrator knew it (though I didn’t tell him) because she even looks like me, I think. Her story is about using change in a positive way, and I feel like transformation and change have been key elements in my life. I didn’t always love them, but I’ve learned to embrace them as an opportunity, just like Amber does in the book.

What are some of your inspirations for your stories and characters?

In a word, life. I know that maybe sounds simplistic, so I’ll explain. My writing process looks like this: something grabs me; be it a story in the news, a post on social media, whatever. I then say to the Universe, “hey, if it’s in my path, I’d love to write a book about this.” Most of the time, the book shows up in ways I didn’t expect. Sometimes it starts with a character name (like Molly Meow in a not-yet-released book about Trap-Neuter-Return). Other times, I get the story and no name (like the upcoming Carlos Makes a Discovery). In both cases, once I get the “nudge” I sit down, open (we call it the hollow bone in shamanism), and allow Spirit to use me as a vessel.

After the initial “dump,” I edit it, ask for missing info (like a name if it didn’t come through at first), and send it to my proofreader for her thoughts. Based on her feedback, I may change, add, remove, etc. as necessary. Once that’s done, it sits on deck until my illustrator is ready.

You’re also an author of books for adults. Can you tell us how your books serve to guide your adult audience as they navigate the challenges of life?

I am! Right now, my adult books cover two genres: spiritual self-help and poetry. The spiritual self-help books focus on mindful living and connecting with spirit guides. They’re workbooks, so readers can easily go through the process in their own time. My poetry book (more in process) was easily the most emotionally difficult thing I’ve ever written, but in a good way. My hope is that it touches people in their core; makes them think, and hopefully change for the better.

If there was one thing you could change about the world we live in, what would it be?

Gosh! This one is tough. There’s so much I’d like to see changed, but when it comes down to it, I think ALL the stuff that bugs me boils down to one thing: as a whole we don’t view all beings as worthy of respect and love. When I say beings, I mean humans, animals, insects, plants, rocks, etc. Everything we share the planet with.

So, if I could change one thing, it would be that – that everyone would view all beings as worthy of respect and love.

I think Sarah’s vision for the world sounds quite wonderful. If you’d like to connect with Sarah and her books, you can find her on:

Facebook
YouTube
Instagram
Amazon

 

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