Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

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26 Ways to a Better Relationship: THE ABC’s OF LOVE #BookReview and #AuthorInterview

ABCs CoverReading The ABCs of Love may be the most loving thing you can do for yourself and your partner.

It supports you in transforming your relationship: if it’s already great, then it will help you make it even better, and if you’re stuck, or suffering, then it will be show you how to turn things around.

If you’re not as happy as you’d like to be in your relationship, you may think that you or your partner – or both – have fallen out of love. But this book shows you how, most likely, you’ve simply fallen into bad or just repetitive habits. And it provides advice on the new habits you can adopt to prevent relationship problems… savoring what’s good and fixing what’s not.

The first chapter in The ABC’s of Love is Attachment and the last is Zest, so you see where this is going and how many suggestions Diana Shulman offers to keep your motivation strong.

For example, what is your style of attachment? Are you, e.g., an Approacher or an Avoider? Knowing yourself and your partner’s styles of relating can help foster better relationships. Diana Shulman recommends celebrating our differences, developing compassion, patience and respect for each other… so you can live your life to its fullest.


The chapters are short and full of inspiration, lessons, and entertaining and insightful examples from the author’s marriage in applying her own lessons and those culled from experts in couples counseling. 

Author Diana Shulman, J.D., Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst in Los Angeles with more than 25 years of clinical experience after practicing law for 10 years. Here, she answers my questions about The ABCs of Love:


Who can most benefit from reading The ABCs of Love?

The ABCs of Love is a self-help book for anyone in a relationship regardless of milestones, age, or sexual orientation. Readers will find everything they need — quite literally, from A to Z — to avoid the landmines, repair wounds (both old and new), rekindle desire, and get happy again. So whether you’re young or old, dating, or about to celebrate your 50th anniversary, the vignettes, tools, and skill-building exercises in the book can help readers create the relationship of their dreams.

What is the most effective way for the reader to use this book to improve their relationship?

I recommend couples read the book from beginning to end and then zero in on the chapters and exercises they found most helpful, keeping in mind there’s no such thing as perfect. Fights are normal. All couples fight, some more unproductively than others, of course, but we all fight. In fact, what distinguishes successful from unsuccessful couples is repair — the willingness to look, learn, and promise to do better. The ABCs of Love is all about how to do this.

I really like the TRY THIS feature at the end of each chapter. Do couples need to answer the questions together?

Couples don’t need to do the Try This exercises together but if they can put their heads and hearts together to discover ways to get things going in a better direction, it’s a real plus. Having said that, if one partner reads the book and starts making improvements, it’s going to help the relationship. As you might expect from.the title, the topics are presented in alphabetical order starting with “Attachment” and ending with “Zest.” 

In Chapter F for Feelings, you cover how we deal with emotions. What would you say is the best way to handle them?

Emotions are sometimes compared to ocean waves and for good reason. They’re natural and powerful as they reach a peak and flatten out with a noticeable ebb and flow. Letting emotional waves pass through you from beginning to end isn’t about losing your temper or non-stop weepiness. Instead, it’s about slowing down, mindfully noticing bodily sensations, perceptions, and impulses as the energy rises and falls. If you take the time to let a feeling do its thing, options open up, angles you’ve never considered enter your mind, and new strengths begin to emerge.

When handled effectively, our emotions are a vital part of an internal guidance system. They help make us better decision-makers. While all this sounds commonsensical, as though it should be effortless, most of us are afraid of certain emotions. We don’t want to explore their energy; we want to avoid it. It’s what we learned and what we’ve always done, but given the downside of turning away, I say it’s time to try something else. Many of the exercises in the book are designed to help couples do just that and start growing again.

Can you explain The S.U.R.E. Thing to lessen negativity in a relationship?

The S.U.R.E. Thing is an acronym I came up with to help couples slow down and think before lobbing the next conversational grenade. It’s about reminding yourself that your partner has an understandable point of view — even though you don’t agree with it. Here are the four steps of The S.U.R.E. Thing:

S is for Slowing your breathing to calm your brain so you can think more clearly.

U is for Understanding your partner’s points or feelings by focusing on what makes sense (you may not like what your partner is saying, but it still makes sense).

R is for Reflecting back what you heard to show you’re tuned in, “It makes sense to me that…”

E is for showing Empathy. “This has been difficult. I’ve made it worse, and I’m sorry.”

Witnessing each other is calming as opposed to infuriating. If you hold back on speaking until your partner shows signs of feeling heard, you’re in for a treat. By waiting your turn, you create a real chance of having an audience when you continue the conversation.

What overall message would you like readers to take away from The ABCs of Love?

I hope readers will see their recurring conflicts as a doorway into closeness and connection. Whether dramatic or born of something more routine, these are the moments, brief or drawn-out, when we feel dismissed, attacked, ignored, or shamed. Revisiting moments of disconnection and conflict can be a gift, a passageway into healing, provided we do it wisely — meaning explore what happened with an eye toward the future and the past, an ear for both words and feelings, and an ever-growing awareness of blind spots, hot buttons, and mistaken assumptions. If we fail to do this, the gift goes unopened and will soon be forgotten, ensuring more of that pointless back and forth we know all too well.

How can readers connect with you?

Readers can find me on Facebook at and at my website:

The ABCs of Love is available at

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet





Conquer Subconscious Fears Associated with Love – REDISCOVERING LOVE #BookReview and #AuthorInterview

Rediscover Love coverRediscovering Love: An Intimacy Restoration and Growth Journey Guide can help you identify how hidden fears and learned behaviors from as far back as childhood are undermining your relationships. Page after page, you’ll start to understand why your relationships have played out as they have, and how your subconscious can trick you into acting out of fear instead of love.

Reading this book has truly been an eye-opener, helping to set me on a path towards discovering and enriching my connections with both my self, my husband and my world.

Roy Rawers’ truly transformational lessons are packed with mindset-altering ideas and stories that follow the progress of three of his clients. One of his recommendations to them and to readers of Rediscovering Love is to cultivate inner clarity through journaling, so we can see how our thoughts and feelings activate one another in a less than loving way. Then he relates how to learn and practice new ways of thinking, feeling and relating, so that we can consistently hold thoughts of love toward our partners, and consistently express them.

By the time you’re done reading the book and answering the Self Help Exercises at the end of each chapter, you can’t help but feel your heart growing with love and compassion for yourself and your loved one.

“Sometimes as we rediscover love, we rediscover ourselves.” ~ Roy Rawers

Roy Rawers, MA, LMFT, CSAT, is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with a Southern California private practice focused on working with individuals and couples longing for more satisfying relationships. In the following Author Interview, he discusses how his book offers real solutions for real people with busy lives who want to identify and heal their problems.


Who is this book written for?

In the introduction, I write that this book is “for all those who refuse to think the best days of their relationships are behind them and who have the courage and willingness to try to repair the relationship.” My original intent was focused on helping intimate partners stay or grow more connected, but what I’m learning from the feedback I’m getting from the readers has pleasantly surprised me. I’m hearing that not only are people using the book to help with their intimate partner relationships but also applying the principles with family members, significant friends, and co-workers. Usually unintended consequences don’t work out so favorably, but in this case, I’m happy to report positive results.

What would you most like readers to take away from Rediscovering Love?

I like to think that there are a few themes woven into fabric of the book that I hope stick with the reader:

a) The value of self-examination, introspection, and gaining insight into how one’s own unique experiences can influence both positively and negatively the quality of their relationships.

b) The reality that it can take a significant amount of emotional courage and energy to grow relationally, but I haven’t run into one yet that has said the reward wasn’t worth the effort.

c) Hope. Another quote from the book hits the center of this, “It doesn’t matter so much what cards we are dealt as much as it is to learn how to play them as best they can.” Meaning that no one is disqualified from participating in the journey, but some may have more challenges than others.  

What is the “Lover’s Dilemma?”

The “Lover’s Dilemma” is the tension between the desire to be and feel connected to another and the sacrifices or hardships that come with the relationship. A simple example might be when a husband chronically leaves his dirty clothes on the ground for his wife to pick up. It’s not a “deal-breaker” or true threat to the continuation of the relationship, but it’s annoying and creates an “emotional cost” to staying in the partnership. Annoying is nothing to ignore, but the tension can become more intense when issues of self worth, rejection, acceptance, abandonment, or inadequacy enter the relationship. All relationships experience the Lover’s Dilemma to some degree, what’s important to take way is understanding when, to what degree, and how one mal-adaptively reacts to emotional pain so that more effective problem solving processes can replace old responses.

How can one best handle unmet expectations in a relationship?

Every relationship will experience unmet expectations; how they are responded to is the key. Not to oversimplify the process, but I think the best defense is a good offense. When a couple can proactively work on developing their abilities to: 1) have early identification of both what is and isn’t working for them in their relationship; 2) the ability to appropriately communicate those issues within an atmosphere of emotional safety; and 3) avoid settling on solutions that are overly burdensome toward one side or that could create resentment over time.

When pro-actively addressing our life situations, it’s harder for small problems to grow into big ones.

How can we change unconscious habits that keep us from a loving relationship?

By being very intentional to do otherwise. Learning to anticipate situations when an old habit would occur, and intentionally replacing it with a new response, meaning purposefully and premeditatedly practicing an outcome different than the unconscious pattern. Many find it helpful to create a script of how they would ideally respond and mentally rehearse the new outcome in preparation of a real life opportunity to practice. Over time and with perseverance, the new pattern will begin to override the old programming.  

Why do you recommend journaling?

I could possibly write an entire new book on the value of journaling, but some of my favorite benefits are: 1) Learning things about yourself you would otherwise miss or deny; 2) Providing historical evidence of growth, and reflect on changes in attitudes or perspectives; 3) Capturing verbally unexpressed thoughts, feeling, and emotions that may be helpful to address vs. avoid; 4) It’s an emotional gym, a ritualized place to develop one’s intimacy with self and others.

What exactly is the new process of journaling recommended – the Captain and Terrorist method?

This is a new way at looking at an old problem, namely, how to examine and counter mal-adaptive internal dialog patterns.

Why do intelligent people sometime make terrible relational decisions? In most cases when we feel unsafe or unsure when faced with an emotionally threatening situation, the fear control center of our brain tries to take our decision making process away from the executive functioning part, the pre-frontal lobe. The Captain and the Terrorist represent the two forces battling inside one’s head for control over the prevailing narrative and how to respond to a threatening situation. By listening, or studying, the dialog that goes on between the fear based and rational/logical parts of our thoughts, it is possible to understand how our past traumatic experiences and perspectives are used by our fear-based side to promote choices that are relationally destructive. For example, a husband might conclude to not talk to his wife about something that is bothering him, because when he thinks about it, a fear-based narrative, such as, “she’ll only think I’m weak,” overrides an opportunity to be intimate through sharing his feelings.

There is an ancient Chinese saying that goes, “Know yourself and know your enemy and you need not worry in a hundred battles.” Certainly if one has a keen understanding of both their Captain and their Terrorist, the Captain will have an advantage in knowing the enemies strengths.

Why is it better to live in the gray zone than in strictly black and white?

Here’s what a relationship loses when we choose to think in black or white terms: 1) The desire, interest or ability to understanding another’s thoughts or feelings (loss of empathy); 2) Resilience and openness to criticism (loss of authentic self examination); 3) Meaning all is reduced to either “good” or “bad”, requiring a winner and a loser (loss of accurate discernment).

You might be able to see how the Lover’s Dilemma fits into this situation, as giving up the comfort and familiarity of a black and white perspective could easily require an unspecified amount of emotional turmoil. Living in the gray offers greater potential to attain deeper levels of intimacy, with oneself, and with others.

You say, “…as we rediscover love, we rediscover ourselves.” Can you explain that?

The best gift that I find my clients receive toward the later stages of rediscovering love is a clear and restored sense of “okay’ness” with oneself, despite being openly able to discuss their personal shortcomings. Not rationalizing or justifying the dysfunctional parts of themselves that could still benefit from ongoing work but understanding that they are lovable and acceptable while still having flaws and room for personal growth. For many, it will be the first time in their lives that they actually felt authentically “okay” about themselves.

Do both partners in a relationship need to follow the self-help tools you recommend in Rediscovering Love?

Let me start by saying that I don’t think you need to be in an intimate relationship to begin learning how to have more satisfying and connected relationships. The Rediscovering Love self-help tools can be very helpful for a single person looking to make sense of past relationships and what can be done to not repeat the process with a new face, or someone who has never been in a serious relationship but wants to gain an understanding of healthy intimate partner relationship dynamics.

For those in a relationship, one of the benefits of the self-help tools is that they don’t require a partner’s participation to be useful toward rediscovering love. Even less enthusiastic partners get an opportunity to develop their ability to rediscover love when their mate shares and demonstrates their own journey. While I never recommend taking responsibility for another’s intimacy development, being vulnerable and exposing one’s own journey can spark a partner’s interest in participating at greater levels, but don’t be surprised if their pace is slower than you would like it to be.

Rediscovering Love: An Intimacy Restoration and Growth Journey Guide is available on Amazon.

Roy Rawers’ insightful writing brings psychological practices into today’s world, to treat today’s unique problems. You can find more of his ideas on his blog at

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet




NEW INSIGHTS INTO LIFE AFTER DEATH: The Dreaming Road #BookReview and #AuthorInterview

The Dreaming Road cover (1)We all want to know what happens after we die and what has happened to loved ones who have gone before us.

Well, The Dreaming Road provides answers. 

What started as Elizabeth Moore’s diary to express her grief after the suicide of her teenage daughter, turned into The Dreaming Roada beautifully written novel with parallel stories of the daughter’s experience in the afterlife and her mother’s spiritual epiphanies.

The novel is extraordinary — a heart-wrenching yet uplifting exploration of the theme that love never dies.

Elizabeth Moore writes of the mother contacting her daughter’s spirit through mediums, angel guides, lucid dreaming, and automatic writing of her daughter’s voice in her head. Her daughter Cassie, called Callie in the novel, shares her experiences in a part of heaven called Summer Wind and her training by the Angel Seraphiel, all told with the same voice and wise-cracking personality she had in life. Her description of the afterlife gels with some of what we’ve heard before, but there are also many surprises.

We learn from Callie that life is not the end, but part of an eternal journey. She finds that her death was just a transition; it did not end her “life” or what she still needed to learn…

“You are not imprisoned by your history. You can own it and then let all of it go and move forward with faith and courage. You have the power to forgive everything and everyone, even yourself, and this will truly set you free. Believe me, things on Earth are not what they appear…. Everything happens for a reason — to help you know you’re love.”

Seraphiel explains how Callie’s life on Earth (thus everyone’s life) is just a dream:

“In the beginning, nothing existed except oneness and wholeness, but in your desire to know yourself, you dreamed yourself into existence as separate beings…. You are all love, but often you express yourselves as fear and judgment. Remember, nothing exists that you have not created…. Your true power is in remembering that you have created your experience.”

The mother also interacts with Seraphiel, channeled during Angel Awakening Classes, and learns the secret to feeling joy in life again. In her Acknowledgements, Moore says that she wrote this book to share the understanding she gained that “life and love go on forever, the dawn will break and the sorrow will be washed away.”

Elizabeth Moore explores profound concepts for those seeking spiritual awareness, from parallel lifetimes to insights into the angelic realm. I found it a good reminder, something I have heard before, when the Angel Seraphiel says, “We can’t help you unless you ask.”

Remember to ask for help when you need it. And I believe The Dreaming Road will provide help and solace, to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, and actually to ALL of us in this human experience who need to find understanding in the midst of inevitable loss, sorrow and pain.

Author Elizabeth Moore, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Nursing at a university in the south-central U.S. Her nursing research has focused on strengthening the bond between mother and baby immediately after birth by skin-to-skin contact, while her novel explores the eternal bonds between mother and child that continue even when one of them has passed on. Here, she answers my questions about The Dreaming Road:

What message would you like readers to take away from reading The Dreaming Road?

The message in my novel is that our connections with those who have passed on are eternal and can remain vibrant, ongoing and continuous even though they are no longer with us on earth. They’re not gone forever when they’re buried or lost to us until we too cross over. But to reestablish our relationship with them, we need to let go of the need to have their physical presence with us and focus instead on communicating with their eternal soul.

Your daughter’s suicide was certainly a tragic occurrence in your life. But, in the book, many important spiritual gifts are received. What was the most important thing you learned?

I think the most important thing I learned was how to let go of my guilt and despair over my daughter’s death by suicide. I learned that if I clung to all the pain from my past, I robbed myself of joy in the present moment. I forgave myself by understanding that I wasn’t responsible for my daughter’s death. Everyone is on their own individual path of destiny. We are all passing through this physical reality, traveling on a winding and sometimes difficult road home. Life on this side of the veil, by its very nature, is fragile and transient. And Cassie’s not gone, she just exists in another dimension.

As your book is described as a novel rather than a memoir, how much of the communication with Callie in the afterlife and with angels actually match the experiences in your real life?

The communications through dreams with my daughter were written exactly as they occurred. When I woke up I wrote everything down, so I wouldn’t forget anything. The information I received about Cassie’s experiences on the other side of the veil were written exactly as they were communicated to me. I heard what I felt was her voice in my mind and wrote down what she told me. I also talked with her through a medium and these conversations were edited to capture the essence of our communication. I did attend a class that was taught by a woman who was a physical channel for what we believed was an angel. The spiritual truths communicated by the angel were edited slightly to make them more understandable for readers. The characteristics of the setting and the individuals were modified to protect the anonymity of those involved.

So many people want to communicate with those who have passed. What would you recommend as the best way to proceed?

My communications with Cassie began in dreams and they just happened. But later, in a waking state, I found if I went into my flower garden, lay down, and let myself be at peace, I could ask her questions in my mind and she would answer them. As we continued our conversations, words became images and vivid scenes unfolded behind my closed eyelids.

So, I would recommend to first start some type of meditation practice, whatever resonates with you. I found that communication was easier if I was in a state of calm receptivity and if the love connection was strong, and more difficult if I was immersed in grief. You must also believe that this type of communication is possible. Light a candle, have a photo of your loved one, paper and pen nearby, say a prayer and ask the angels for guidance. When your mind is calm and open, ask them a question and wait for an answer. Don’t get hung up on whether it’s real or your imagination, just write down what you hear. Once you open the door and continue to set aside time for a conversation with your loved one, you’ll find that communication gets easier.

Your character is taught that she can create her own reality. Can you share more on this subject?

I believe we create our own reality by how we experience the external events that are happening in our lives. I believe we set up certain challenges that we will face before we cross over to this side of the veil. But our reality becomes how we meet these challenges, for example, with courage, faith and hope for a better day or through bitterness and despair.

I also think we can learn to manifest a more positive dream by the steps I mention in The Dreaming Road: visualizing it in in our mind, smelling it, tasting it, hearing it and imagining that it has already occurred.

But we can’t circumvent our destiny. So from my perspective, our experiences evolve from both free will and destiny. Cassie contends that manifesting is much easier on the other side of the veil because we are no longer in that time-space reality and when we imagine things there, they happen in an instant.

It was certainly a long process to work through the grief caused by your daughter’s suicide, but was there one thing that helped you the most?

It took me quite a while to find the joy in life again and I started taking small steps by just appreciating the small things in life, the scent of new mown grass or a rose from my gardens, wall-to-wall sunshine on a beautiful day, how happy my dogs were when I walked in the door. Then I moved to remembering the good times I shared with Cassie, climbing daffodil hill in spring, drawing colorful pictures with sidewalk chalk by the pool, dressing her in a mermaid costume for Halloween, hanging bubble lights on the Christmas tree or baking gingerbread cookies. These images began to replace the horrifying picture I had in my mind of finding her lying dead on the floor of her bedroom.

Now I actively try to seize the moment by doing things that bring me joy, like swimming in the ocean with the dolphins or snorkeling along a tropical coral reef and watching the fish swim in beautiful, intricate patterns.

How did the writing of this book benefit you personally, and how can reading it benefit anyone — whether or not they have experienced the type of loss you did?

I think The Dreaming Road serves as a gentle reminder for everyone that life can change on a dime and to cherish our loved ones who are still with us on this side of the veil. It reminds us not to take anything for granted and to focus on the things that bring us joy and make our lives meaningful before it’s too late. Because I began my novel as a diary, I was able to write my heart out without censoring myself. I found it difficult to be authentic in my grief around other people as there’s such a taboo around death by suicide and many are uncomfortable talking about it. Looking back, I now know how I survived and am hoping that by sharing my road map with others who have suffered similar losses, it will help ease their pain.

For resources on teenage suicide, grief and loss, as well as after-death communication, see Elizabeth Moore’s website,

The Dreaming Road is available today on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback.

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet







Become Who You Truly Are: YOU CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE #BookReview and #AuthorInterview

You Can Transform Full Cover FINALrevWhat is your plan for transforming 2018 into your best year ever? Have you thought about it? Do you have a plan?

Imagine if you could have a year of inspiration mapped out for you. Well, Darity Wesley, a Modern Day Oracle™, has done just that for you. You Can Transform Your Life was written as a guide to support your personal and spiritual growth over the course of 52 weeks… so it’s a perfect time to start using it at the beginning of a new year. Of course, you can start at any time, go at your own pace, or even open the book at random for an Oracle message to answer a question on your mind in the moment.

The first Oracle message relates to Creating a New Way of Life, with the affirmation mantra: “I AM releasing the old so I can build the new…And so it is!!!” There’s also a circle for you to draw your goal or intention as a simple symbol.

Each Oracle message is followed by space for you to answer four questions of self-inquiry – to explore what the message means to you, to create your own personal mantra, to plan how to integrate the message into your life, and to direct your attention to any messages from your own inner voice.

The book’s design is so well thought out – I found that answering the questions and using this space to journal my emotions and thoughts on the Oracle message made it so much more powerful for me than just reading the message. This personal writing is therapeutic, helping you let go of the things that are holding you down, inviting you to freely express how you feel – which will make you feel better.

Spinx Darity with copyright

Love and Trust, my dear ones … Love and Trust! ~ Darity Wesley, Modern Day Oracle™

At the end of the 52 Oracle messages, there is a guided Personal Transformation Journal template that takes you even further, offering inspirational prompts for your writing. I think you will be amazed at how far you’ve come on your personal journey by the time you reach the last journal page, which prompts, “Free yourself from what is holding you back! Be who you truly are!”

For those seeking to go even further on their journey of transformation, Darity Wesley has designed a Companion Workbook for You Can Transform Your Life, that provides more in-depth questions for each of the 52 Oracle messages, bonus exercises to help increase intuition, spiritual strength and inner balance by exploring such topics as Tuning In, Gratitude, and Forgiveness, as well as practical advice on how to apply these tools of transformation to all areas of your life. It will be available on December 26.

What a great way to start 2018 with one or both of these books in hand or gifted to others!

Many thanks to author Darity Wesley for answering my many questions about her work here…

Can you explain what Oracle messages are?

I feel that the Oracle messages are communications written to stimulate and encourage thoughts and feelings that will support and assist us in our personal and spiritual development. I think of the Oracle messages as signposts. They point the way for our own consciousness, our own Soul self to discover, guide and change our behavior, our way of thinking, our way of feeling. Everything is possible and Oracle messages support whatever resonates with the heart of its reader.

What inspired you to become an “Oracle?”

In the late 1980s early 1990s I enjoyed a book by Shakti Gawain entitled Reflections in the Light. This book contained inspirational messages for every day of the calendar year. It felt good to think about or contemplate whatever she had written for that day. I liked it very much and thought it may be of value to others.

In 2006, I heard of the social media site called MySpace which was gaining in popularity in the tech industry I was working in. I put up a profile on MySpace and began posting what I called ~The Daily Oracle~: Inspirational messages by Shakti Gawain, Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass and many others. I allowed my spirit to be my guide in picking what to post for each day. At some point in the postings, someone asked if they could receive the messages by email and I said “Sure” and began the email subscription service. I stopped posting on MySpace somewhere along the way but continued with the email subscription service sending the messages of others.

In August of 2012, my treasured friend of many years, Cristina Smith, suggested I might like to write the Oracle messages from my own spirit as opposed to using the work of others. I was flabbergasted and immediately rejected the idea that I do that on my own. “Who, me?”

That “suggestion” was a seed that grew and blossomed, so I faced my fears and decided to do exactly that. Well, to at least give it a try! So, on September 5, 2012, I launched Oracles from the Spirit of Darity. While that space was always there, within me, it was my friend Cristina who inspired me to become a Modern Day Oracle™.

How do you access these messages or divinations?

Having been on the path of self-discovery and inquiry for over 50 years, I have experienced much support from my angels, guides and Spirit. Because I have “tuned in” for so long and “turned up the volume,” I feel I recognize and, therefore, trust, the voice within me. So what I do is just tap into that place where I hear Spirit and say “What?” “What are the energies and directions for …?” I then write or type the words or directions that come through.

How can the reader best use your Oracle messages?

Each Oracle message focuses on some area of self and/or spiritual discovery. Since inner work is very personal, the Oracle message will simply help the reader’s own intuition look at what they need to look at in that area or what they can focus on as a tool, a process, a step to work on, integrate or a practice to include in their life to support them along the way. As I said earlier, Oracle messages stimulate thoughts and feelings for us to investigate or assimilate or even relegate to another time if it causes us any resistance when we are reading it.

That is what the companion workbook: You Can Transform Your Life – Go Deeper (available on Amazon on December 26) will add to the process. It is intended to help us navigate these changing times and facilitate our journey to becoming our True Authentic Selves.

What are the benefits of using the affirmation mantras?

Affirmation mantras are the seeds of our intentions. We use them to support us. The main benefit of an affirmation mantra is its ability to bypass the “monkey mind,” the “ego,” the “personality” … that part of ourselves that is “rational” and “controlling” and caught up in the illusion of the way it really is. That part of us which will surely tell us why it won’t work or why it is something other than “love and trust,” for instance, or “I firmly stand in my determination to …” or “I am kind to others and myself.”

Another benefit of affirmation mantras is their support of the transformational energies of self and spiritual discoveries. They help us access higher levels of awareness. No matter how you use them, affirmation mantras have the ability to bring the seed of your intention into full bloom to support what it is you are wanting to do, be or have.

What are the different ways readers can use your book?

A reader can use the Oracle messages in the book however they feel drawn to use them. The book, and its companion workbook, is structured as a 52-week program beginning any time you want, however, they can be used and applied randomly, you can skip around, and let your very own spirit be the guide. Mix and match or go in order. It is all up to the reader.

You write of the New Reality – can you explain that and offer an example of that in action?

The New Reality is a term that comes up a lot in the Oracle messages. Quite simply, it is a shift in focus. This shift is from an external focus, which has been the way of life on this Planet for a very long time, to an internal focus that is a new way of life. The New Reality is a focus on an internal, higher level of consciousness. That “higher level of consciousness” may be your own creative sovereignty or that of a higher power or energy or just All That Is, the Universe, God, depending on your particular belief structure. When we step into consciously allowing that creative power to move through us, rather than resist it or not acknowledge it, we find such things as fulfillment, balance, happiness. What you need, what you want, comes from within, not “out there.”

As more and more of us step into the New Reality, as often as we can, we will feel there is more to be discovered about ourselves and our world. That can bring a calm joyousness and excitement to our lives.

An example of that would be my personal experience when I came to the realization that nothing “out there” was really responsible for my happiness. Not money, not things, not relationships. No. Nothing outside of me. I realized I was responsible for making me happy. I am the creator of my own reality and I choose, from inside, my happiness. That is stepping, a wee step for sure, into the New Reality.

What brought you to the decision you say you made, “to wear my heart on my sleeve and the world can just get over it?”

I will never forget the experience so many, many years ago. I was 33 years old. At that time I was a person who wanted everyone to love her. Mostly because I felt so unlovable. I had no real sense of myself. My need for love and approval was so great that I was like a chameleon. I had no opinions of my own. I would assume the likes and dislikes of whomever I was with. I was a Republican with Republicans and a Democrat with Democrats. I went along with whatever was happening. God forbid I would say what I thought or felt in a social setting.

Having been exploring myself and growing spiritually for many years prior to this, I was not totally devoid of self-inquiry, self-discovery and spiritual growth and so this was, evidentially, my next step.

At that time in my Buddha year, 33, I had a life changing experience at the foot of Mt. Shasta in California. Part of that life changing experience was “I am going to wear my heart on my sleeve, allow myself to be vulnerable, people will like me or not like me but they will like me or not like me as I am.” No more pretending, no more affectation, no more not saying what I think or feel. Nope! I began to step more and more into my True Authentic Self.

What would you most like readers to take away from this book?

Whether someone desires a complete life makeover or just wants to learn new ways to feel more in harmony with themselves and their world, this book and the companion Workbook, provide processes, tools and practices to take your life to a new level. Self-discovery and self-awareness are critical tools for these changing times and absolutely support our evolution as conscious beings.

As we evolve as conscious beings, we not only change ourselves, we change the lives of those around us and as that change energy moves out to world, it changes the world. That is my desire for my readers. To grow and change. To feel better, to feel more alive, to feel more at peace with themselves and all that is going on in the world. To become more self aware and to grow spiritually. To become more and more who you really are.

How can one subscribe to your Modern Day Oracle™ messages?

If someone would like to subscribe to ~The Weekly Oracle~™ they can email me at Simply put “Subscribe” in the Subject Line or go to our website and subscribe there.

You Can Transform Your Life is available now on Amazon, and the You Can Transform Your Life – Go Deeper Workbook will be available on December 26.


Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

The Chakra Blog








Mind and Soul Satisfying Puzzles: The Word Search Sage, Yoga for the Brain #BookReview and #AuthorInterview

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 10.32.21 AMThe Word Search Sage is the second book in the series of word puzzles, known as Yoga for the Brain, that offer a creative, fun, meditative respite from the busy chatter of the mind… while flexing your brain.

You can read my review of The Word Search Oracle, which won the 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, and download a sample puzzle here.

The Word Search Sage takes you a little deeper into your thoughts and spirit, as the solutions to these word puzzles are called Meta-Thoughts, providing insights and deep wisdom.

I like to open the pages at random, and undoubtedly, Cristina Smith’s introductory comments on the topic of the puzzle and mystic Ingrid Coffin’s Meta-Thoughts are always relevant to my life at that moment in time. In fact, each word in each of the clever puzzles put together by Rick Smith relate to the Meta-Thought and help you discover your own truth, your own purpose in life.

For example, the puzzle on Love is introduced with a note that includes:

“Affirm your love for yourself. Shed all of the self-negatives that life has draped over you. When we fear criticism, we are not free to be ourselves. If we feel less than, our lives reflect that.”

The Love puzzle on page 30 is a little harder than those in the beginning of the book. You’ll see that after you’ve found all the applicable words in the puzzle, the letters remaining make up this Meta-Thought:

“Be thankful for being yourself.”

These puzzles sound magical and mystical and they are. I’m amazed at how they are both relaxing and good exercise for the mind, while providing inspiration and profound introspection for the soul.

MT Puzzle
Strewn throughout the book are also beautiful photos with words of wisdom from Ingrid Coffin, like the one above, “You are the finest puzzle in your life…. Enjoy putting yourself together.”

Enjoy this book whenever you need a little time to yourself, a break from work, to keep entertained while waiting for someone or something, or as a daily ritual to give you food for thought and inspiration.

INTERVIEW with Ingrid Coffin, author of the inspirational Meta-Thoughts you reach at the end of each puzzle in The Word Search Sage

The solutions to the word searches in these puzzles are called Meta-Thoughts. Can you explain that term?

Meta-Thoughts are broader, more abstract thoughts that address life from a higher level than the thoughts we might have about what to have for lunch.  They are intended to be a bit cheeky.  Kind of like a sassy Jiminy Cricket reminding us that we create our own world and that much of what we create begins with our thoughts.

Where do you get the inspiration for the Meta-Thoughts?

I communicate a lot and hear myself saying Meta-Thoughts almost every day while working with other people. The trick is to catch them before they float away. I’m finally getting pretty good at that after more than 15 years of practice.

How can the reader best use these Meta-Thoughts?

I use Meta-Thoughts in a variety of ways.  Often I write them in my journal. Sometimes I just print them from my computer and post them in strategic places in my home and office. Of course, they are also there every Monday waiting for me on my phone.  The secret is to place them as a constant reminder of what I am working on.

For instance, if I am starting a new venture, I might post “First Feet. Then Wings” to encourage myself to start at the beginning and carefully navigate my way to successful completion.  Or I might choose “Have I left myself out of my schedule?” to remind me of my priorities.

The way you can use them is limited only by your imagination.

What do you think is the most important benefit of the Yoga for the Brain puzzle books?

Keeping your brain sharp and active is crucial to enjoying a long life.

Exercising the mind is the way to do that, and Yoga for the Brain provides the exercise it needs.

Personally, I use the word puzzles to help me relax at night and get to sleep, to keep me occupied in waiting rooms and on airplanes and just generally to enjoy a pause that refreshes.

Cristina Smith, author of The Word Search Sage, describes you as a “mystic.” What does the description mean to you?

Everyone is part mystical and part magical. The right-brained people are more mystical. The left-brained more magical. I am a right-brained, mystical person, which means I create the image of the result I desire in my own imagination, using my intuition as a drawing board.

Fortunately, I have been trained to work magically as well as mystically. I am able to take the vision from within my imagination and craft it in the physical world. In my opinion, a cooperative relationship between mystical and magical is what works best for everyone in all aspects of life. This is what I teach to those who work with me.

How can readers learn more about Meta-Thoughts?

It’s easy to subscribe to my weekly Meta-Thoughts.  Just go to and provide your name and email address.

What other ways can readers connect with you and learn about your work?

In addition to my love of Meta-Thoughts and The Word Search Sage, I am an evolutionary astrologer, a teacher in the western esoteric tradition and the founding director of Blue Sky Ranch in Lakeside, California.  More information is available at

The Word Search Sage and The Word Search Oracle are both available on Amazon.


Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

The Chakra Blog


Surviving Undiagnosed Illness – A Few Minor Adjustments #BookReview and #AuthorInterview

A Few Minor Adjustments front coverA Few Minor Adjustments is the tongue-in-cheek title of Cherie Kephart’s memoir of surviving undiagnosed illness. Her beautifully written yet brutally honest story starts with her time as a young Peace Corps volunteer in a remote village of Zambia where she has to adjust to absolutely no sanitation (she’s sent there to help build community latrines) and where she contracts malaria as well as a variety of grotesque ailments.

After recovering back home in California, her adventurous spirit and desire to know more of the world and its people take her to graduate studies in New Zealand. Once back home in San Diego, she works as a technical writer until a severe, mysterious illness lays her at the door of death.

Her persistent health challenges (ranging from unrelenting neck pain, seizures and tachychardia) led to years of suffering, during which her symptoms were continually undiagnosed by medical doctors and alternative healers who were sometimes competent, sometimes careless, sometimes absurd, and always baffled.

She was cared for by faithful friends and a mother who showed her unconditional love and kept her from simply giving up and ending her life – although she came close. But, having lost so many people in her life at a young age, she wrote:

“I had to find a way to alleviate my mental anguish, and live, if not for me, for all of my friends who were no longer able to experience the wonders of this world.”

A Few Minor Adjustments is an astonishing story of how many of our modern diseases (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Epstein-Barr virus and Lyme disease) can easily go undiagnosed or disregarded.

Kephart’s account of her own incredible journey to find life-saving answers should inspire anyone to continue to fight on all levels – physical, mental and spiritual – to heal.

Here, Cherie Kephart answers questions about A Few Minor Adjustments

What transpired during your time in Africa, and how has your experience as a traveler influenced your personal journey on the road to better health?

When I traveled, I was forced to open my mind, to pay attention, and to be adventurous. I had to learn to be comfortable with my fear of the unknown. Living in Zambia taught me that. I stayed with a local Zambian family, ate dishes such as boiled millet and fried-caterpillars. I built makeshift wells and latrines near a crocodile-infested river close to the border of politically unstable Zaire. Each day was an adventure, especially when it came to my health. I had giardia, dysentery, a putzi fly infection resulting in maggots in my butt, and almost died from an uncommon case of malaria. Almost dying in Africa was a pivotal point for me. I realized I needed a fierce will to live if I was going to survive. Now all these years later, that has never changed. It’s the one constant that has kept me going.

After you returned to the United States from graduate school, you had to cope for several years with dramatic, mysterious health issues. What were some of the high and low points of that time when you were first struggling to figure out what might be causing your symptoms?

The worst part was the not knowing why I was so sick, if I would ever heal, or if I was going to die. Every day I woke with the same questions, and each night I went to bed with no answers. It was terrifying. And it went on for years. I saw hundreds of doctors, healers, and therapists: rheumatologists, cardiologists, integrative medicine specialists, neurologists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, and eccentric healers such as a Russian ex-physicist who waved fertile chicken-eggs over my chest to try to reset the rhythm of my heart.

I came close to committing suicide. But that’s the miraculous part. We don’t realize what we are capable of until we are faced with enormous challenges. I learned to respect my inner strength, to know how much I could endure and how much I could rise above. I kept finding ways to change myself and my situation, like changing my attitude, changing the foods I ate, trying new therapies and treatments, including an exploratory heart procedure. I stayed open and stopped looking back. What a magnificent lesson.

There are many individuals, including medical personnel, spiritual healers, therapists, family members and friends, who helped you along the way. What impact did these people have on your attempts to both live with and diagnose your illness?

That was one of the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever been given; to see how much people cared and feel their compassion and love. My family and friends never gave up on me. That kept me strong. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. I’m certain of that, especially with regard to my mother and my grandfather. Both of them helped me financially, since I lost the ability to work. They were also there for me emotionally. My boyfriend Alex, the one I dedicated the book to, was amazing. He went to doctor appointments, did research on my health, cared for me while I was bedridden and unable to walk unassisted. I will never forget it. People often tell me how strong I am. I always reply the same way, “I’m only as strong as my support system.” As horrendous as my physical health was, I always had love.

During the course of documenting what was happening with your health, you decided to turn your personal story into an inspirational memoir. What do you find the most fascinating about the memoir genre, and how has writing this book helped with your own healing?

I’ve always been fascinated with memoirs. Reading a memoir, I get to dive deep into someone else’s world, to understand their most intimate struggles and triumphs. I got to know them. It’s like I get to live another life for a little while. I also feel that memoirs connect us, bridging the gaps between different aspects of our humanity.

Writing a memoir is deeply cathartic. I believe we write a memoir twice. The first time we write it, we write it for ourselves. We write to release emotions and energy surrounding everything we have endured. Then, when it is at the point where we feel clarity around it, we re-write and fine tune it to make it accessible and ready to release to the world. We prepare the story in such a way that enables people to easily come along our inner and outer journeys and gain insights from them. Ernest Hemingway said it best, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” That’s what I did.

It’s difficult to explain how writing this memoir contributed to my healing. I certainly don’t think it made the process go any faster. But it made me go deeper into the crevices of pain where I didn’t necessarily want to go. So the healing I’ve experienced is more profound and lasting.

What would you like readers to remember most about your story?

We all have pain and suffering, but we all have joy and beauty. It’s really about perspective and choosing each day to show up in a positive way and to have more compassion for each other, and for ourselves. If we don’t understand something, like an undiagnosed illness, then it is our duty as human beings not to turn away, or reject the unknown, but offer compassion, even if it is something we don’t understand. Actually, especially if it’s something we don’t understand.

You’ve often said that you would like to give a voice to those who are also struggling with an undiagnosed illness. What would you say to those who are on a similar path as yours?

If I could survive all that I have, and it’s a lot for one person to endure, then anyone else can, too. Even when we feel like ending it all, we have to find a reason to live for just one more sunrise and then one more sunset. Because we never know what is around the corner. There were so many times I was ready to end it all. I was barely alive. Now, I look back, and I’m so glad I didn’t give up. As long as we have the will to live, you can heal.

Are you working on a new book and, if so, what can you tell us about it?

Absolutely! My next projects are companion books to the memoir: The Healing 100 and The Symptoms 100. The Healing 100 is the top one-hundred things I did to heal, and The Symptoms 100 is the top 100 symptoms I had and what helped me. I also have a collection of poetry, Poetry of Peace, which chronicles four stages of life, Seeing the World, Through Darkness, Into the Light, and With Peace. It’s really about the emotional and spiritual aspects of healing. Lastly, I am creating a cookbook filled with allergy-free recipes: The Cookbook for People Who Can’t Eat Anything. I’m excited about these projects since the goal is to provide insight, a touch of humor, and ideas on ways to heal. I believe people can learn from my experiences, be inspired, and have some tools for their own healing journey.

For more information on the author, see

A Few Minor Adjustments is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback and hardcover.


Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

The Chakra Blog






Magic Realized: #BookReview of Poems on the Human Spirit and #AuthorInterview with Louis Alan Swartz

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 7.50.09 AMHow can a book of poetry bring magic into your life? Louis Alan Swartz has done this, writing of life and death in a way that stirs your soul and makes your heart sing in Magic Realized and Other Poems on the Human Spirit.

Reading this volume from beginning to end, you feel like you’ve had a glimpse of a blessed life, as the author touches on Love and Marriage; Children; Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Mothers and Fathers; Human Sanctity; Aesthetics; Ideas, Images, and Places; and Death, the Spirit and Immortality.

Each section has an intriguing note under the title. For instance, Love and Marriage is subtitled, “I intend to make you ridiculously happy.” Under the section title Ideas, Images, and Places, are the words: “Living is the finest art.”

I found all of the poems uplifting, even when I skipped ahead to read about Death, as I mourned the loss of a dear friend. In Eulogy, I resonated with his words: “I do not mourn a loss. I protest an interruption.”

All of the poems gave me another way to look at things, “An idea of what living could be. A small inkling of infinity.” ~ from Claire at the Piano

The poems in Magic Realized are accessible, their meaning, their message, instantly clear and full of color and feeling. The author even provides definitions of words at the end of some poems to make sure they are not misconstrued. And the beautiful poetry is embellished with beautiful illustrations throughout the book by Diane Woods.

Here, Louis Alan Swartz answers my questions about Magic Realized:

What message would you like readers to take away from this book?

My overall intention in writing is to draw out the magnificence in individuals. It is my firm certainty that each person is an immortal spiritual being. I also believe that each human is possessed of abilities much greater than they have been permitted to believe. Their ability to perceive, understand, create, love, help, know and do good is for each one beyond our current earth imaginations. There is a Hindu myth about the god, Shiva and the goddess, Maya. In short, they had a loving relationship for 9000 years and then they ran into some trouble and things got a bit rocky. First of all, I believe that story is true and second of all, I believe that a “regular human being” here on this earth is capable of a love of that duration and magnitude. I won’t go into all the other legends and myths. Suffice it to say, it is very real to me that these things really did happen and that we can return to that level of intensity of life.

What I want the reader to take away from this book is that he is wiser, kinder, more loving, more creative, more useful and more beautiful than he ever imagined. I want to help him regain his capacity for amazement, astonishment and awe. My purpose in writing this book was to speak to the miracle each person reading it is.

Is your poetry based on your own life experiences?

Definitely. I have travelled widely to South America, Europe, The Middle East, Africa, India and back and forth across the U.S. countless times. I saw many things. I learned many things. I know that each individual, living being has great value because I observed them at their work and lives. I listened to them. I eagerly heard their stories. I witnessed their suffering and their elation. I tried to save a young boy from dying for no reason along the Nile in South Sudan. I saw a food riot in India. I ate with the farmers in Madhya Pradesh in India. I told them about the miracles of America. They brought a child to me and asked me to cure her of polio. I could not.

I have been married for 30 years. I have a joyous marriage. My children are walking miracles. It is all there in the writing.

Why did you select the title – Magic Realized?

It is my belief that there is vast magic in each individual. By magic I mean able to create things not explained by nature, even able to create miracles. I am talking about the outrageous expression of genius. I do not believe this is limited to a gifted few but that each person walking this earth has these abilities inherently. I use both definitions of realized in the title. The first one is to become aware of. I want them to become aware of their own personal magic, such as He realized he could sing. The second meaning is to accomplish or achieve as in He realized his goal to be a concert

pianist. I am looking to accomplish both meanings in the reader. I want him to become aware of his personal magic. Then I want him to accomplish magical things in his life. Thus – Magic Realized.

Why do you think people these days need to hear that “You matter.”?

I think that in the main people have lost belief in themselves. I found this by listening to people. I have been told too many times to count things like “I used to have a dream but I lost it and it’s too late now.” That is plain not true! And it pisses me off. They might as well tell me that they are dead and would I please close the coffin. Each individual on this earth does matter! You cannot tell them that too much. My tenth grade English teacher, Miss Helen Hilliard, got up in front of the class with a paper I had written and said, “This kid can write.” That changed my life forever.

Why did you select poetry as your means of expression?

I believe poetry is a concentrated, fine language with which, if you make yourself very understandable, you can communicate directly to the spiritual being.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get it by looking and listening. I look at wild flowers like the bright yellow California Poppy or the blue Mountain Lilac. I look at the Maple trees and Birch trees in the New England Fall. I listen to the old man from Italy in the restaurant telling me about the Second World War as if was yesterday. I devour what has been said and written whether it’s good or bad. I do not wait for inspiration. I go find it and eat it up.

How would you recommend someone read your poetry?

It doesn’t matter to me in which sequence they read my books. Sometimes they may have need of a poem about love or loss or death or immortality. I am thrilled if they find the one that helps them. It is important to me that they understand the words in the poems. I recommend having a dictionary at your side and using it.

Can we expect a Volume 3 of your Magic poetry?

Yes, there is a Volume III in the works. I am well into it and very excited about it. It goes deeper down into the themes of the first 2 volumes.

Do you have a favorite writer or poet who has influenced you?

The poet I most admire is Rainer Maria Rilke, a German poet who lived at the end of the 19th Century, beginning of the 20th Century. My favorite work by him is The Duino Elegies. It was from this book that I got my first inkling that a spiritual world existed. By the way, the best translation I have read is by Stephen Spender and J. B. Leishman.

What advice do you offer to aspiring poets?

Write! Write a hell of a lot! Don’t worry if it’s good or bad to begin with. Just write, write tens of thousands of words, even 100,000 and more. Read, live, see, hear. If you’re going to be a poet read all kinds of poetry. See what you like, what you understand and most importantly what moves you. Listen to the people, children, old people, people of all ages.

What I feel is most important is to make your poetry very understandable. It is my personal viewpoint that cryptic, obscure, vague and esoteric poetry is garbage and has given poetry a bad name and turned people off to it. MAKE YOURSELF UNDERSTOOD!

Magic Realized and Swartz’ s first volume of poetry, Constructed of Magic and Other Poems on the Immortality of the Human Spirit, are both available on in Kindle and paperback.


Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

The Chakra Blog















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