Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Posts tagged ‘inspirational reads’

Spiritual Lessons from the World of Horses – WORLD IN A SHOE #BookReview and #Author Interview

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-4-08-56-pmIn World in a Shoe: My Journey with Horses, Nicole Lawrence takes us inside her childhood obsession with horses and her career working with them. I was entranced by the many spiritual lessons to be learned from working with horses.

As Nicole shares what goes into caring for horses, the reader gets an inside look into a world that many of us will never enter. She beautifully shares what she both taught and learned from her students and the horses she worked with, as well as the gruff lessons from a “horse whisperer,” who helps her through a difficult childhood, and then a difficult transition after a beloved horse is injured and put down.

Now on my bucket list is to try horseback riding again to experience Nicole’s artful description: “It was like sitting on a living wave of powerful effervescence.”


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

I’d like people to understand that horses have very different personalities. They are living beings that deserve respect.

2) Can you explain how horses were some of your greatest spiritual teachers?

When you work with a horse it is important to listen to them, and you use more than just your ears. You develop different ways of listening – for instance, watching their emotions and body language. Listening in different ways than with my ears was a good skill to have when it came to meditation and listening to my inner guidance.

Horses pull you out of self-centeredness. It isn’t always about you. You learn the give and take necessary for a good relationship with your animal. If you take care of your horse, he’ll be there for you. It is a good lesson in caring for another living being.

Being around horses helps you to be in the present moment. They are spontaneous creatures of nature and you need to stay aware of what is happening with your horse. Present-mindedness is also another good spiritual skill to have.

I was lucky to have Mr. Heffner as my mentor. He insisted on integrity and attention to detail, qualities that have assisted me on my spiritual journey as well.

3) You write of Mr. Heffner, a “horse whisperer” of sorts. What was the greatest lesson(s) he taught you?

The lesson I wrote about in the book – the one about not being ashamed of my fear of jumping high fences. There was plenty I could do with groundwork with horses. The thing with forcing yourself into your fear to accomplish something is that horses feel our emotions. They will pick up on the fear and may react because of it. Like what happened with the horse refusing the fence and my falling because he felt my fear. He knew I wasn’t confident about jumping the fence, and if I wasn’t going there, he wasn’t either.

4) You mention having a psychic connection with horses – how did this play out?

This showed up in many ways. For example, one night, while working for Lee, I woke and knew one of the horses was sick. I just had a feeling. I walked to the barn in the dead of night and sure enough one of them had developed colic – kind of a stomachache that horses can get.

Another time, I had an experience with The Chestnut Pony. The barn was long with a sliding door that opened out to a grassy area, with the driveway beyond. The Chestnut Pony was in the grassy area, grazing. As I walked past the open door I saw him lift his head, with his ears pointed, listening and focused on something in the distance. I was curious what he was looking at, but didn’t want to go out there to look. It could have been deer in the trees on a distant hill and I might not have seen them anyway. I thought in my mind, What are you looking at? Immediately, I saw a picture in my mind of the farm owner, Mr. Dixon, driving a tractor up the hill. I stayed and watched, while The Chestnut Pony remained focused. I didn’t hear any noise, but within a couple minutes I could hear the distant sounds of a tractor. And then came Mr. Dixon driving up the hill on the tractor.

5) What life lessons did you learn by working with horses?

Horses teach us about our own power. Symbolically, in society horses are associated with horsepower – strength, power, and at times speed. One of the early lessons I learned was that I couldn’t use force of will on horses.

Mr. Heffner showed me this early on when I’d first met him. He asked me to put my hand on the horse’s flank to move his hindquarters over. The horse immediately leaned his body into my arm. Then Mr. Heffner showed me you have to move the horse’s head in one direction to move the hindquarters in the other. You had to move the horse’s head to control his body. Force wasn’t going to work. In my life I’ve translated this lesson into working with other people. You don’t get very far if you try and force your will on someone. You usually meet with resistance. If you bring their thinking around to what you are trying to accomplish with inspiration and motivation, you have a lot more success.

I’ve noticed this even in myself. If I knuckle down and force myself to do something, I usually get tense. But if I can inspire myself, and shift my point of view, things flow more elegantly.

6) You write of “the greater connection – the breathing in your soul that horses are.” Can you explain that further?

At that time in my life I lived for horses. They were a spiritual connection for me. I had a troubled childhood and horses were “safe” for me to connect with emotionally. They didn’t judge, and they didn’t punish. I believe, as Souls we come into this reality and need to connect and anchor ourselves to the world around us. We grow and mature, and find connection to people around us and, for most, a connection to and relationship with some form of Divinity. It was difficult for me to trust my early human relationships and horses were the way I anchored to this reality.

7) For others who want to experience a connection with horses, how would you recommend they begin?

If someone feels drawn to, they could begin by taking some riding lessons. Look for a reputable stable. The horses will look well fed, their coats sleek and bodies free of injuries and sores from ill-fitting tack.

There are also farms that offer guided healing retreats with horses and the opportunity to just be in connection with them. Here are a few:

Equinisity Retreats –

Unity with Horse –

Horse Journeys –

There is a very special program for Veterans run by the Saratoga War Horse Foundation. The program helps them heal and overcome traumatic experiences and PTSD by working with horses –

8) What propelled you on a spiritual journey that took you out of the world of horses?

When Cosnav passed away, the deep connection I experienced with horses broke. I believe that my Soul and the Divine had a different purpose for me than a life with horses. At the time, I could happily have spent the rest of my life working with horses. With the severing of that connection I had no strong attachment to this world. To find some sense of purpose and meaning to my life I began an inner search. In that seeking I began exploring different spiritual paths and started transferring my sense of purpose from the outer world to that of the Divine.

World in a Shoe: My Journey with Horses is available on Kindle and in paperback. Nicole Lawrence is also the author of the memoirDoors To Transformation: My Mother – My SelfFor more information or to contact Nicole, go to

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Healing, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

Chakra Blog




Evolve to Fulfill Your Life’s Purpose with Monica Ortiz

PrintIn Universe 101, Monica Ortiz helps us answer the questions: Why are we here? How can we be better people? How can we relieve ourselves of any spiritual baggage carried forward from the past – whether a past life or our childhood? How can we truly love ourselves, those we are in relationship with, and the world in general? If you’re ready to be truly honest with yourself, take a look at any past errors you have made, give up judgments of others, and evolve into the best you can be, please pick up Universe 101: Learn, Grow, Evolve.

Monica Ortiz says that we come into this life with our Core imprinted with who we are supposed to be in this life and what we are supposed to achieve. However, life circumstances can pull us away from our true path and happiness. If you feel this may have happened to you, Ortiz offers a way to reconnect to “The Core of Your Being.” She offers concrete advice, as if she were your personal life coach, advising that you answer these questions with complete honesty: Who am I? and Who do I want to be? Then, you must find and dig out the roots of any damage that has kept you from your destiny. She believes that with honesty, love, good communication, and deep understanding of yourself and the others involved, you can move forward in your path of evolution. Ortiz explains how you will find inner peace and better health once you get through your Spiritual Baggage and reconnect your mind, body and spirit.

I like Ortiz’ strict guidelines on learning to love yourself, first of all by not doing things that make you dislike yourself. She gives great advice on how to be a righteous person who keeps to your word and shares the goodness inside of you with the world as part of your universal responsibility. She asks tough questions and delivers thoughtful advice and specific steps you can take to develop into a better person and progress on your spiritual path. She shares secrets learned from her Grandfather, and his spirit after he passes, as well as lessons she learned growing up in a difficult family and surviving several difficult relationships.

Whatever form of spiritual or religious beliefs you may have, this book will touch you with its wisdom. Whether it’s how to forgive, or how to pray honestly from your heart, Ortiz’ advice will help you lead a happier, healthier life. The interesting stories woven into each chapter make the life lessons easy to relate to.


Monica Ortiz is a writer, life coach, lecturer, a self-described “seer” and spiritual guide who has assisted hundreds of people with their healing path. Here, she answers my questions:

Becca: How would you describe your “spiritual gifts” and how do you use them in your work?

Monica: I have a gift of future vision, I have a gift of past vision (being able to see into someone’s past) and present vision. I can look into someone’s past to identify significant events that have affected them in a negative way, keeping them from their happiness. While I am assisting someone in working out their current issues, my gift of sight also allows me to take a glimpse into their future and guide them along the best path for them while taking into account the adjustments they are currently making in their life. If I see a course for them that is unhealthy, I am able to make them aware of it and this allows them to make healthy choices and achieve success in their life.

Becca: How do you help people get “unstuck?” What initial advice would you give the reader who felt this way?

Monica: There is a myriad of reasons why someone becomes stuck in their life… parental pressure, societal pressure, peer pressure, one’s own expectations of oneself, a build up of many mistakes that leaves you in a painful place of not knowing how to unravel it. I help people get unstuck by targeting the issue in a clear way and then slowly peeling back all of the layers, exposing the root of the issue and then assisting them in rebuilding something that they need in their life. The first question I recommend people ask themselves is “Why am I feeling stuck?” because it starts there.

Becca: What is the underlying message of your book?

Monica: There is hope for a better life. A life filled with happiness, success (finding the perfect job, finding true love, having a good relationship with parents, etc.), good health, inner peace, and fulfillment are all achievable.

Becca: What inspired you to write the book?

Monica: The Universe, as it was my calling and it knows there are so many people out there who need help. Also, my friends and prior clients who have benefited from what I teach and who are now living their dream lives.

Becca: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Monica: I hope people will understand the book and understand that the journey to a better life can start any time they choose. On page vii, I wrote “When you read this book and then sit and ponder all that is in it, if you learn even one thing, grow, evolve, and find peace in one aspect of your life then this book will have served you.” I still want that for everyone. In the beginning, I hoped that the book would help people. Now that I am getting such positive feedback from people who have read the book and have attended my lectures, it has changed to a hope of reaching more people so they can get the help they need.

Becca: Where do you find your inspiration to write?

Monica: From the Universe. I am very purposeful in my writing and feel I need to be that way because people are relying on me to really help them. I truly want this for everyone. I wholeheartedly believe Peace within oneself is absolutely amazing and can lead us to Peace throughout the Universe.

Becca: Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share?

Monica: We all have stories of love, and pain, of despair and hope, of loyalty and mistrust, of resentment and forgiveness.  I say “share” and remember to be mindful of your motivation for sharing and your intent of what you want to achieve by your sharing.  Be mindful of what you are putting out into the Universe and how it will affect others.

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life

Power Up Your Chakras

CHAKRA POWER! How to Fire Up Your Energy Centers to Live a Fuller Life by Harriette Knight is a beautiful introduction or reminder of the importance of the chakras to our health and well-being. She explains the chakra energy system so well that no one who reads this book will ever forget that the “chakras are the wheels of the bus that get you where you need to go.”

Harriette shows how chakras affect everyone’s daily lives and are not just esoteric Eastern concepts for the yogi. She uses entertaining tidbits from the Wizard of Oz – likening the ruby slippers that guided Dorothy home to our own red Root Chakra, the base of safety and security. And she likens the Yellow Brick Road that took Dorothy to the Emerald City to the Solar Plexus Chakra, our personal golden path to the green Heart Chakra of love and compassion… brilliant analogies that make the chakra system so easily understandable.

Along with her colorful explanations of each of the seven chakras, Knight offers tips to heal each chakra, as well as a bonus section on “The Meanings of Stones You Wear,” describing the healing properties and chakra activation of gems ranging from abalone to zircon. This book is a great addition to any library of books on chakras and one I’ll refer to over and over again.

Harriette Knight, Master Healer & Psychic-Medium is also the author of GEMSTONE POWER! 52 Meanings and Meditations from Abalone to Zircon.

You can hear her Psychic & Healing Hour on Blog Talk Radio every Wednesday from 3:00-4:00 p.m. PT at

Here, she enlightens us on her writing process:

Becca: What inspired you to write the book?

I have been in love with the psychic arts since I can remember. As a child, I had vivid past life memories, and envisioned my loved ones who had passed over floating around watching over me. At age 14, I started to fix up my friends according to their astrological signs. It wasn’t just the psychic arts that I loved, I loved art itself. I have been an artist my entire life.

If anyone told me that when I grew up I would be a psychic-medium or healer, I would’ve thought they were crazy. I always knew I would be an artist and a writer, but going from point A to B had a lot of detours.

In the early 90’s, after I divorced my husband, I dove head first into my spiritual practice. I was like a vacuum for information about everything from channeling to energy clearing to meditation. At the time I was searching for a book on chakras that was easy to understand and user friendly. All the books I found had a lot of big words and esoteric philosphies that did not resonate to me. There was one Chakra meditation tape that I tried and tried to listen to but the women’s voice grated on me like nails on a blackboard. I thought, “Where is an easy to understand book about Chakras??”  Fifteen years later my book, CHAKRA POWER! How to Fire Up Your Energy Centers to Live a Fuller Life was born.

Becca: What is something no one knows about you?

What most people don’t know is that for 12 years I was in an abusive marriage. This is shocking to many since my personality is independent and strong. I met my (ex) husband while working on the movie “Porky’s.”  He was one of the stars of the movie, and I was the Production Coordinator. It was love at first sight.

As time progressed, what began as flattering attention turned into controlling and mentally and verbally abusive behavior. Over the course of the relationship, I felt as if I was slowly dying, and the only thing at that time that kept my spark alive was my artwork. It was something I never gave up and, on one level, I believe it saved me.

One of the things I love most about the chakra work is its alignment with the colors of the rainbow. To me, it’s a beautiful weaving of my art background and spiritual practice.

Becca: What is the best thing anyone has said about your book?

I am very proud to say that I have heard the following words more than once. “Your book has changed my life.” Having had that experience from other authors, I can’t think of a higher compliment.  If I have been able to inspire even one person, I feel as if I have done my job well.

Becca: Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share?

Yes! Share it!! I believe that everyone is gifted with abilities that NEED to be shared. We are all teachers and students at the same time. Sharing inspiration often defies logic.  Listen to your intuition. Let your heart lead you. You will be shown the way for your messages and gifts to be shared. As long as you come from a place of integrity and honesty, you can never go wrong.

For healing sessions & healing jewelry, visit:

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries and Chakra Secrets

An Eye-Opening Look at Nature and Nature Spirits

Jeannie Ruman has shared her intimate connection with nature and nature spirits in this beautiful book, Window Into Nature. After reading it, I will never be able to walk in the forest or by the seashore without feeling a connection with the glory all around me, without seeing the faces of the spirits in the trees and mountains and rocks. Jeannie’s book is entertaining as well as informative, as she explains her way of communication with nature as an entry for everyone’s own abilities to communicate with nature and finer realities.

Jeannie is a poet and she sprinkles the interesting stories of her adventures as a nature guide with prose that reminds us to care for the earth and remember that everything in nature is alive, aware and responsive. As she says in her poem, Nature’s Call, “Open your eyes and answer the call, to the wonder of life awaiting us all. Open your heart to the treasures of life. Let nature surround you in magical flight…”

The photographs range from the beautiful Stargate on the cover, to the Lady of the Forest and the White Lady Goddess appearing in a wave on Kauai, to Greeting Trees in Sequoia National Park and Teaching Trees in Muir Woods. You’ll be inspired to pick up your own camera to see nature spirits and fairies appearing to communicate with you.

Author Jeannie Ruman is a Reiki Practitioner, Energy Healing Therapist and Shaman Healer. She has taken all of her training and experiences, focusing them on healing with nature and the nature people.

For more information on her photographs, writing and a companion Window Into Nature DVD, visit


Becca Chopra, author of  The Chakra Diaries


Have you gone through life’s tough experiences and come out the other end with wisdom to share? My friend Peggy has gone through chemical injury, breast cancer, broken bones and more. And she’s learned methods of coping, plus inspiration to help others as well. So, she’s starting to write. You may have a story to tell as well, and it’s cathartic (which can be good) to get your words out.

Creativity is linked to the second or sacral chakra, which gets strengthened as you flow with the inspiration in your life. As you shout out your message to the world, even on paper, you’ll also be strengthening your throat chakra, which is linked to speaking your truth.

Whether you are writing a self-help work, like I am with Balance your Life, or fiction, as my colleague R. R. Harris is penning with Double Take, it pays dividends to be organized. “An outline is crucial and saves so much time. It tells you where the story is going.” John Grisham

Harris and I are both writing our new books, in a month!, using the program NOVEL IN A MONTH.

So, how should you start?

TITLE: Give your work a name, or something that can reference your project.

GENRE: Be flexible as this may change as the plotline and characters and your thoughts morph and develop. List all of the genres that your story might fit into.

POINT of VIEW: Will it change from scene to scene or will the main character narrate in first person throughout? An author friend of mine said that when she began her autobiographical “coming of age” novel that her original intention was to have the first-person voice change as her character grew and matured. However as she drove further and further into the hinterlands of her work, she realized how maintaining that direction complicated her writing and de-railed it from flowing freely from her consciousness. For example, she would have to ensure that her teenager was not speaking with the voice of a worldly and wise, middle-aged maven or vice versa.

Some authors choose voice from scene to scene by weighing what character stands the most to lose. Although unless skillfully written, this approach can leave a reader wondering what is going on and especially, who is talking.

WHO wants, WHAT do they want, WHY do they want it and What/who stands in your character’s way? Not sure where to begin?

“What if X happened? That’s how you start.” Tom Clancy

“Don’t wait to be struck by an idea. If you are a writer, sit down and damn well decide to have an idea. That’s the way to get an idea.” Andy Rooney

SETTING: Can make a story gel into a dish fit for the Queen or alternatively turn it into cold tasteless soup that even hungry flies shun. Of course, there are endless possibilities. You can create memorable characters as at home in the book’s setting as a well worn slipper, but who enliven it and blaze brightly at the slightest provocation. Perhaps others triumph despite all odds or seemingly invincible villains meet their match in a unforeseen avalanche of choices that could not have been forecast.

“Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.” John Updike

HOOK/SPARK: Yeah, the night was dark and stormy and she came to the door with nothing on but the radio, but then what? What will I write in the second paragraph and on page 87 that will keep my reader into the book? Will the last sip of my book be as satisfying as the first, or even more so?

As an author I must constantly ask – have I set-up conflict, created suspense and action and left the reader panting for more? Am I solving a problem the reader has, conveying knowledge or fulfilling a need?

“I want the reader to turn the page without thinking that she is turning the page. It must flow seamlessly.” Janet Evanovich

DON’T QUIT: “Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

If you want to join me in the challenge of writing a book in a month, try the program along with me….

Learn how YOU can write your own book in just ONE MONTH, by visiting the official website:

For help with your book, see

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries,


Do you want your story to inspire people around the world?

Visit to find the best publishing option to help you reach your desired audience.

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