Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Posts tagged ‘relationships’

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




Wake Up and Activate Golden Energy to Improve your Life: #BookReview of Golden Age, Golden Earth and #AuthorInterview

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 6.15.27 PMHow can we best cooperate with our own energy so that that everything in life goes quicker, easier and smoother?

Author Anni Sennov is a renowned Scandinavian clairvoyant advisor who shares her supernatural gifts of sensing energy and auras in an enlightening book, Golden Age, Golden Earth, on how we on earth now fit into the bigger spiritual picture.

According to Sennov, the Golden Age began with the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, with humans ready to use their power in a constructive and positive way for the benefit of the Earth and mankind.

“…spirit energy is beginning to take form and become visible for all to see, feel and sense and even hear, smell and taste. This is going to be very significant for the future development of planet Earth.”

The new Golden energy is described as the current height of human spiritual development here on Earth, higher than other energies in a human’s aura, including Indigo and Crystal energies.

To better understand Earth’s role in the overall cosmic development, the author examines the influence of the planets in our solar systems on consciousness here on Earth and on those born with particular planetary influences.

“Earth consists of many different entities and individuals who come here from virtually the whole of the Cosmos.”

Golden Age, Golden Earth then explains how to use this information and how to help manifest integration and cooperation here on Earth. 

Sennov shares insights that were a revelation to me, and will be to others who haven’t read any of her previous books or taken her workshops. This book offers a greater understanding of our human potential, explains how to make better choices, and shares knowledge of how to create a better future.

Here, Anni Sennov answers my questions about her remarkable book, Golden Age, Golden Earth:

Q. What would you say is the major theme of your book?

The major theme of my “Golden book” is my favorite spiritual topic in life, the Golden Life Force of Planet Earth.

I love the spiritual materialization power and Golden life force that is found here on Earth even though not all people show interest in the spiritual part of the Golden energy. Most people with a physical approach to life are usually mostly attracted to the material part of Earth’s energy where the money is. In their world money is the solution to everything.

On the opposite side, most spiritual people look to the Cosmos, away from Earth, for answers to all big questions in life, but as I see it, all physical and spiritual answers are found within our own body, which represents the densest part of our spiritual energy. Our “Golden body” always knows what is right for us, if we allow ourselves to listen to it.

In the book, I have also shared information about the other planets in our solar system and about the future of our planet seen from an energy perspective. It’s my main goal to make the reader understand that the highest creation and creative power is found here, and that they can use their free will and power to test out all sorts of amazing and crazy ideas in the physical sphere as well as change their own life, if they want to. There is no reason to accept everything as it is.

Q. In these stressful global times, why do you write that we should be optimistic about the future?

In my books and work I try to motivate people to “fight” in a positive way for what they believe in and at the same time cooperate with others with a similar vision. Don’t sit down and do nothing, unless you are ill or very old and thereby excused from acting. Stagnation is not what the Golden energy is about, as stagnation can be compared to death. The Golden energy is a flowing, spiritual, intelligent materialization power and life force that allows people to breathe, relax, have fun, love and be dedicated.

Every time I teach people how to approach the Golden life force in Planet Earth to better succeed and change their existing life conditions, new possibilities always show up in their lives based on their inner needs and their trust in the Golden energy. People simply wake up and suddenly understand that there is a much bigger life force and power in Planet Earth than any president or guru can ever control. Paradise is here for those who believe in it and make the right decisions in life based on their inner needs, balance and love – not on outer physical, material and mental needs and wishes.

Q. What message would you like readers to take away from Golden Age, Golden Earth?

Even if my readers have not had a happy start in life, they always have the opportunity of changing their life conditions, if they are willing to cooperate with the Golden life force in Earth.

We all know that there are many bad places on Earth, and many bad people who are selfish or survival-focused in different ways. But in all bad places there are also kind people, even if you don’t see them. So, whenever you start cooperating with the Golden life force in Earth and you accept the terms of not being selfish and greedy, and you show to the world that you can cooperate with others without judging them and feeling superior, you will always get help in a way that you can’t imagine.

You will get help from the biggest Golden creative source in Earth that is in contact with all existing energies on Earth. Do you get the point? The Golden energy can make all things happen, simply because it has the biggest spiritual and physical network ever.

Q. Can you explain how an AuraTransformation™ assists one’s personal development?

An AuraTransformation™ is for adults only, as all children and young people born since 1995 do not need it.

It’s an energy upgrade of the soul aura structure that will be transformed into a Crystal aura with a much stronger radiance and magnetic protection, that matches the frequencies of today’s children and young people. You will be better able to attract what you need in life even without knowing what it is, you will be faster in acting out your inner thoughts and be true to yourself and others, be more intuitive, prefer balance and pick your fights, try to influence your own life as well as the life of those you care about, you will think of yourself and the whole, and be more patient, and you will no longer fuel hidden agendas and programs that you dislike. Best of all is that your timing will be optimal – especially if you listen to the Golden energy in the body.

Today more than 700 Aura Mediators are educated around the world and more than 100,000 people have had an AuraTransformation™.

Q. What is the relevance of December 21, 2012, to changes occurring both in our galaxy and here on Earth?

December 21, 2012, was the day when the Mayan Calendar ended, and it was the day when Planet Earth took over the full responsibility for all human and spiritual development here on Earth. Until then all development was predetermined into detail in all people’s lives as a part of an overall soul-based reincarnation plan for our solar system. All decisions related to things taking place here on Earth were therefore a compromise between powerful energies residing outside of Planet Earth, which is about to change. Therefore, there is chaos in many places around the world until a new Golden balance is reached.

Q. How is Golden energy different than the other energies we have experienced on Earth?

The Golden energy has been here all the time, but most spiritual, mental and intellectual people have thought it was primitive and not spiritual at all, which is why they have underestimated and belittled it. So now when the New Time Crystal energy is present in the auras and bodies of today’s children, the frequency of the Golden energy can be raised from survival level and greed to a much more balanced level with focus on taking care of one self and others as well as of the environment of our holy planet.

Q. You write that “Deep in the interior of Planet Earth, the Golden energy of all mankind lies waiting for each individual person to be ready to activate his/her personal Golden energy.” How can one increase their level of Golden energy?

All people can increase their level of Golden energy – connect with nature, eat healthy food, rest, try not to live a stressful life, be happy, cooperate with others, don’t be judgmental, set reasonable boundaries in life, listen to your body’s needs (and not just to the brain or heart). Focus on having balance on all levels in daily life, do balancing energy exercises and move your body, feel love and be grateful for what you have, etc.

In my Golden workshops and Transformational webinars, I guide the participants through exciting and powerful energy exercises where they learn how to connect with Planet Earth in a very profound and different way, so they end up getting in contact with their own inner Golden source and dharma.

Q. How does Golden energy affect one on the soul and spirit levels? 

On the soul level it’s more difficult to act out things in life that are not part of your karma and destiny. However, the Golden energy will always cooperate with you if you have positive, and not egoistic, intentions.

On the spirit level where you find all today’s children and young people, as well as those adults who have had an AuraTransformation™, you have the possibility of changing your own life according to your own inner needs, as long as you fulfill your dharma and life tasks that are the reasons why you are born on Earth.

Q. Can you explain what you mean when you say “Earth is positioned on a development belt in the Cosmos?”

Many universes in the Cosmos are very spiritual – their energies are evolving in a very balanced and predictable way. That is not how things are in our solar system, where Planet Earth, due to its combined spiritual-material energy, expands extremely fast in many ways. Just have a look at how things change in society every day.

Q. Does this book stand alone in your mind, or is a follow-up to others that readers should process first?

Golden Age, Golden Earth can stand alone. However, if readers prefer to better understand the differences in the aura structures that today’s children are born with, which I refer to in the “Golden book”, I recommend that they first read Balance on All Levels with the Crystal and Indigo Energies.

Q. What is the best way for readers to connect with you?

The best way to connect with me is probably by signing up for my newsletter on my website Here you will find information about the 25+ books I have written (published in 10 languages), and about my workshops, webinars and AuraTransformation™. Furthermore, you can read articles and comment on/follow my Golden Blog.

Golden Age, Golden Earth is available on


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

The Chakra Blog



A Deeper Meaning Behind Colors – The Color of Cold and Ice #BookReview and #Author Interview


Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 9.21.42 AMThe Color of Cold and Ice is exceptionally creative, weaving the many facets of colors and their chakra associations into the story. Author J. Schlenker beautifully writes of intriguing characters who cross paths throughout the novel, and in the end, become important bridges to balance, passion, health and love for each other.

The novel opens with Sybil, a wife, sister, the owner of a New York City coffee shop, having another of her prophetic dreams. A dream she could not analyze easily, but at least not one like the nightmares that she had seen come true… like the one in which her sister Em’s husband was hit by an object hurtling down from a crane while he and his young son were walking down the street. But this latest dream was pleasant… strange, but pleasant. Nothing foreboding, but indecipherable. She’s standing next to a canal on a bright summer day with her sister, both in orange t-shirts and jeans, then there’s a shift in the weather to a wintry day with chunks of ice floating down the canal, and a man immune to the cold jumping out of the water to kiss her sister.

As The Color of Cold and Ice progresses, we see Sybil’s dream(s) come true and wonder if our own dreams should be paid more attention, to see into the future or just into our selves.

Between the narrative chapters in which we become connected to the characters, Schlenker interweaves short chapters titled from black to white, with all the colors of the rainbow, and the chakras, in between. And the characters then exemplify some of the traits of those chakras, so we learn how they affect our day-to-day lives. What better way to learn about the chakras than to hear them speak for themselves? Here is a sampling of the intriguing way Schlenker helps us leap into the world of color and chakras:

RED: “I am the subdued light that makes the flesh appealing, an urban area of brothels… a district in Amsterdam. A narrow piece of silk, that says ‘power, strength, wealth – with this you can’t go wrong,’ the over enthusiastic salesman, clearly fueled by commission, says. I am life itself, pulsing, oozing, erupting from inside the womb…. I am the base chakra. It all starts with me. I govern the material world, the physical body, and the social position in life. If I’m balanced, I will radiate good health and high levels of energy.”

ORANGE: “You can find me crackling and popping inside a hearth…. Hollywood tries to add romance to my situation and calls me the new black. It couldn’t be further from the truth…. I am a pumpkin pie with whipped cream. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I am a scary jack-o-lantern. I am both yin and yang. I am the ten thousand straws of the Tao…. I am the sacral chakra. I am both sensual and sexual. When I’m balanced, I give grace to movement and pleasure without guilt.”

YELLOW: “I am optimism, spontaneity…. I am happiness. I can be cowardly, envious and jealous. I am a character flaw, the trait of Judas Iscariot, the lion in the Wizard of Oz…. I am the third chakra and can be found in the solar plexus. I deal with many issues: self-esteem, confidence, energy, and inner power. When balanced, I am sunny and bright, exuding confidence, a bright ray of joy, the light in the room. When I’m lacking, I’m passive and meek, seeing myself as a victim and easily manipulated.”

GREEN: “I am the fourth chakra, radiating from the chest… I am the heart, compassionate and loving, empathetic and altruistic, peaceful and balanced. Deplete me and I will be critical and judgmental. I may be depressed or withdrawn Too much of me may cause clinging and a co-dependence. I am the breath. Breathe. Take me in fully.”

BLUE: “I encompass the earth, above and below. I splash, crest, fall, and recede, turn windy and violent, throw pellets of water, and become calm once again…. I symbolize wisdom and truth. I am the celestial. I’m a stone called lapis. I am scarabs, pendants and jewelry, the rich inlay of the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen. And yet, I’m practical, stimulating good judgment and intellect…. I am the fifth chakra, that of the throat. I am communicative and creative. When in balance, I speak with a resonant voice and clear communication. I can listen as well.”

INDIGO: “I am the mind’s eye, your guide to deeper consciousness. Behold me above. I hold the stars in place. Behold me within. Travel on a magic carpet through the corridors of your mind. I am intuition, imagination, your dreams and insights…. I am the sixth chakra. I am visualization, the forte of artists. I reside in your brow. My imagination is endless…. I am vision, your sight. Guard me well…. I am your dreams. Dare to dream big. I am your intuition at its highest.”

VIOLET: “I’m the union of body and soul. I am the link between heaven and earth, the purple irises of Van Gogh. I am the end of the rainbow, the personification of the rainbow. I am royal, imperial…. I am the seventh chakra. I rule understanding. I am the connection with God and the divine. When in balance, I have an open mind, an open heart. I am both thoughtful and wise. I am connected to spirit.”

Throughout the drama of the novel, we see the doctor who attended Em’s child after the crane accident lose his passion for both his profession and his wife, then find it again through cold therapy and then other alternative, holistic practices that he integrates into his Internal Medicine practice.

No more spoilers as to the novel’s ending, as I think you should read it for yourself. But I will end my review with words spoken by Sybil: “I don’t know that life is so strange. I think the universe has a plan for us. It works out better when we listen. We’re on a divine trek.”

Here, Author J. Schlenker answers my questions about The Color of Cold and Ice:

1) Is there an underlying message you’d like readers to take away from reading your novel?

I want people to take away whatever message will most help them. Everyone brings their own stuff into play when they read a book. Maybe my muse is directing me to write just one individual sentence that might resonate with someone. I try to stick with what I get myself from writing it and hope those reading it will get what is intended for them. Writing is cathartic. I figure whatever I’m working on is some kind of life lesson that I’m working through.

2) Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I wrote poems in high school. Then forty years later my husband finds the poems I’ve written and says why don’t you write? That was in 2008. The writing becomes more intense with each year. And, I meet more writers and hopefully learn more as I go. And, I learn from my readers.

Also, my intention when I began this endeavor was to write about Sally, a woman I met when I was eight. She was born in 1858 into slavery. She was 103 when I met her. And, now, I’m finally, after three books, writing about Sally. It will be fictional, but is based on my research on her. I think I needed the three books I’ve done for practice in getting to Sally. This project is keeping me really busy.

3) What did you consider the most challenging part of writing this novel?

The most challenging part might have been writing the higher chakra colors. Maybe I’m not there, yet. And also, the workshop (on Cold Therapy), as I’ve only taken the Wim Hof  online course and haven’t been to Poland.

4) I love how you gave voice to colors… what inspired this?

I was taking a writing course and we were given an assignment to write as if we were a color. I chose orange. Having an art degree, I loved this assignment. Then when NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) rolled around, I thought why not incorporate this into a book.

5) What sparked your interest in the chakras and holistic healing (delved into by the doctor in the book)?

I know it was in my twenties that I started devouring everything about Edgar Cayce. Perhaps it stemmed from a past life. Hard to say. But I believe in anything natural. I just heard a podcast on the healing of nature. I grew up playing in the woods. I got away from it for a long time, but in the last decade I’ve returned. I love doing yoga barefoot on the grass. Too, I think overall, the medical establish doesn’t take the emotions of the individual into account. I’m a strong believer in we can heal ourselves in most instances.

6) The chakra colors correspond to challenges your characters are facing in the first half of the book… then it’s just the story until you reach white. Do you see the resolution of their problems as a result of a balance of their chakras?

The short answer would be yes. I tried to keep the colors relevant to the characters, but at the same time, a person is all of the colors. If not, we would be so unbalanced. Maybe one more than another, or maybe a person is working on a particular problem at a point in their life represented by a color. There was a time when all the walls in my house were white. My house was basically bland. Yet, I mostly wore red. That was the color that looked the best on me. Then I went through a change. My house is a salmon color on the outside. The inside walls with the exception of one bedroom which is green, are all stucco orange. And, there is a lot of red, rugs, couch, etc. There is no longer any red in my closet. It’s more varied, but mostly deep blues. I feel colors can really influence us. And as we change, our colors change.

7) What advice would you give to new indie authors?

I don’t know if I’m one to be giving advice, but I would say:  Write from your heart!

8) What ways can readers connect with you?

My Facebook page:


The Color of Cold and Ice and J. Schlenker’s other books are available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.


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

The Chakra Blog




Repairing and Releasing Energetic Ties – The Karma Chronicles #BookReview and #AuthorInterview

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 4.59.14 PMThe Karma Chronicles is a unique story with lots of fascinating elements, from drama to angelic interventions to poetic musings, all with the gift of healing in them.

If we believe in karma, then it’s logical that we are all born into a family, a lineage, a tribe who have set our course by their actions and reactions. Now, it would be great if the family we’ve landed into is brimming with nothing but love and light. However, for Kate, the protagonist of The Karma Chronicles, this is not the case.

Kate carries on her karmic back the scroll of destiny signed by her ancestor, Lord Hadrian. She has to deal with karmic shadows including abuse, violence, betrayal and abandonment before she is able to heal the feeling of unworthiness cast upon her.

Kate is helped in her karmic challenge by her twin, a sister who died at birth and is in the Divine Realm, trying to protect her from the world she had been able to escape. She is assisted by Archangels who reach Kate through her dreams. They feed her spiritual tools such as writing poetry, journaling, and meditation to help her escape her fate, and to realize that she is destined for something greater than she can imagine.

The Archangels guide Kate to write as therapy:

     Torn between two worlds I cannot reach and with only prayer to guide me, I thirst for each. In search of my life, I try again to figure out the past of why and when. In search of my life I take the tests. To make it on my own I have bequest. A childhood of hopes that no one knew. Once I saw in a dream-state that most come true. – Age 16

As The Karma Chronicles, Part 1: Hadrian’s Seal concludes, Kate’s drama-filled life shifts and there is hope for her future. The reader is not only drawn in by the story, but also by the knowledge that if there is hope for Kate, there is hope for all of us… the possibility to change relationships we thought would never heal. Yes, it will make you want to delve into the karma of your own family line and will cause you to shift the way you think about your own family members and their relationship to you.

Thanks to author Pepper Carlson, C.Ht., for answering my questions here:

1) Is there an underlying message you wish to relay through your novel?

You are never alone and should never give up hope.

2) Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My grandfather loved to write poetry and he would share it with me. I wrote my first poem when I was 11 or so.

 3) In the Prologue, Lord Hadrian signs the scroll of destiny, understanding the energetic capacity of “when karma meets fate.” What do you mean by that phrase?  

What comes around goes around, so whatever we put out will come back on us ten fold.

 4) As a hypnotherapist, do you have experience working with clients to connect with the spirits of their ancestors?  

I don’t do regression therapy in the true sense of the word. The way I work with my clients is a current reality based approach. We explore the recreation of familiar experiences. And how even though we may say we want something new and different and we really mean it, we keep finding ourselves still repeating the patterns of the past (which goes back through the ancestral lineage). This is because the thoughts and words that come out of our mouths are not congruent with the feelings deep within us that were formulated in childhood.

We approach and visit the subconscious mind as your internal safety deposit box. It is literally a memory bank full of defined childhood experiences. Our deposits are made in the form of experiences, thoughts, and cognitive behaviors. As we grew up, these emotional deposits became a collective of stored perceptions. And it’s these insights that developed into our very personal model of the world. Getting the two parts of your mind to be congruent with each other is when your actions and reactions are aligned with your current belief system and values. This occurs when your conscious mind trusts and consolidates the wealth of information the subconscious mind has to offer and this payoff will literally change our life. This is the ultimate win-win situation and harmony in your life will prevail. This is how we chisel away at the karmic debt repayment plan.

5) Can you describe how one can repair and release the energetic strands in their family’s karma?  

I get so excited when asked to talk about the subconscious mind because I’ve spent most of my adult life performing what I call experiments. Trying to delve deeper into the psyche. As I got older, I was like wait a minute. How come I keep doing that? How come I keep saying this? It can’t be a coincidence that my last three relationships resembled one or both of my parents. And when I say relationships it doesn’t just mean intimate relationships. This philosophy extends to friends, colleagues, and even bosses. Have you ever heard the expression, you attract that which you know? We tend to surround ourselves with what is familiar and we’re not the only ones. Our parents did the same thing, as did their parents and theirs… back even further through the ancestral lineage. In my novel, The Karma Chronicles, which will be Book One of a trilogy, I take a good look at how often certain patterns and habits get repeated and quite possibly passed down through the ages.

Pepper Carlson, C.Ht. is a creative visionary, certified hypnotherapist and personal empowerment coach. When not at her writing desk, she is working with clients to help them unleash their personal power and live up to their true potential. A long-time volunteer as a tutor for School on Wheels, she also works daily to defend her 2012 title as a Good News Ambassador for the Good News Network, an honor granted to individuals who work to improve society and demonstrate notable goodwill towards others.

The Karma Chronicles is available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback. To request a signed copy of her book, go to:


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

The Chakra Blog







FILL THE SKY #BookReview and #AuthorInterview


Have you ever taken ayahuasca? Danced a chakra meditation? Stepped into the unknown to uncover your true self? Been a faithful friend despite perceived betrayal? Worked with shamans and healers foreign to your understanding?

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-1-43-31-pmFill the Sky is a totally engaging novel that dramatically pulls you into these situations, and has you right in there, experiencing these new realities with the characters, feeling what they’re feeling, testing your own reactions.

Author Katherine Sherbrooke encourages readers to think and feel in new and refreshing ways. Her tale is one of  facts vs. intuition, mind vs. heart, action vs. being, a safe persona vs. self-discovery, Big Pharma vs. ancestral medicine and, above all, the healing power of love.

We journey to Ecuador with Ellie, who is left without hope of recovering from cancer by the medical establishment, and the two friends who accompany her for shamanic healing, which seems like her last option.

These two friends are polar opposites. The trip is planned by Joline, a life coach who looks to spiritual or ancient solutions for health and wellbeing and believes that the shamans will heal Ellie…

“I’m trying to help her find life again. Find a way back to life. Nature will support.” ~ Joline

Ellie’s other best friend, Tess, a biomedical businesswoman who is all about control and planning, has nothing but doubts about shamanic healing. She goes along just to support her friend, her only hope that the “placebo effect” may come into play.

“If Ellie believes going to Ecuador will help, maybe it will…” but “How could ‘nature’ possibly justify any of this? Ellie simply didn’t deserve to be sick.” ~ Tess

What promises to be a peaceful week in a beautiful mountain retreat turns into a dramatic,  difficult transformation for the three women as the shamans work on them all in their mysterious ways. Each woman is in the midst of personal conflicts and is in need of a return to peace that may actually be found with the shamans in the “sacred mountains.”

Can a group of medicine people, with no visible medicine, help all three women heal? What is true healing in the end? Share in their unique, magical experiences and insights as they reconnect with Pachamama, or Mother Earth, and their authentic selves.

Author Katherine Sherbrooke, answers my questions about FILL THE SKY:

What message you would like readers to take away from Fill the Sky?

Each of my three main characters in the book grapples with a complex question in her life that has arisen because of the choices she has made in the past and some level of confusion about the path she has before her. As someone approaching fifty myself, I think we too often live under the misconception that we should have everything figured out by this time in our lives. But actually I think our middle years is a poignant time to stop and ask ourselves very basic questions about the labels we have been wearing (wife, mother, business person, lover) and who we want to be in the next act. I hope women who read the book will find a bit of themselves in one or more of these characters and perhaps be a little more gentle with themselves for not having charted the perfect course, and for not having all the answers going forward. In the end, self-discovery is a wonderfully hopeful exercise. We need not be stuck in old patterns that don’t serve us well. I truly believe we all have the internal wisdom, even though it is sometimes buried very deeply, to heal old wounds and find the joy in what comes next.

What spoke to on your travels to Ecuador there that you needed to share in this novel?

I was in transition in my life at the time. Having recently left the company I had co-founded, I was struggling with whether or not I should continue down an entrepreneurial path or devote more time to writing.I was simultaneously struggling with the process of losing my mother to Alzheimer’s. The opportunity to spend a week way outside of my daily routine, including working with shamans, which was something I knew nothing about in advance, weirdly just felt like something I needed to do. What I didn’t expect was the constant presence of and reverence for Pachamama, or mother earth, that informs the work of the shamans and the culture of the people we visited. I gained an almost immediate appreciation for her very powerful and feminine gifts. It was like the opening of a lens I had never looked through before, and changed my orientation to the world around me. I wanted to share that sensation by writing a story told through the eyes of three (very different) American women who are forced to get off the treadmill of their various lives for a week and listen to nature, and by association, to themselves, to better understand the most important issues of their lives. It was a powerful experience for me, and one that I hoped would translate well into a dramatic situation for my characters.

What inspired you to move from the memoir genre of your first book to a fiction genre?

My first and longest held dream, since I was a child, has always been to write fiction. But I started with a family memoir because my parents happened to have a wonderful, turbulent love story that had long intrigued me. I was gifted a cast of characters and a great plot in that story and wanted to capture all the detail and nuance of it while I still had my father, who has an impeccable memory, as a source. That experience reignited my long-held passion for writing, and so I knew the time was write to finally tackle a work of long-form fiction.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given as a writer?

To write every day, if even for thirty or sixty minutes to keep the subconscious thread of a story intact. In attempting to approach my writing like a job, I had mistakenly been taking weekends off. It made the work much harder than it needed to be. As soon as I started writing seven days a week, the writing was easier and the result was much better.

Can you tell us more about the work of GrubStreet, the literary arts organization you work with?

GrubStreet is a creative writing organization in Boston that welcomes writers at all levels, offering classes for beginners up through master classes for experienced and published authors. It joins the rigor of craft with a wonderful community of writers who are incredibly supportive of each other’s work. In making the transition from business to writing, GrubStreet quickly became my life line. Any kind of art can feel solitary and terrifying at times. GrubStreet gave me the tools I needed to improve my craft and the confidence to even consider sharing it with the world.

Many thanks to Katherine Sherbrooke for her beautiful storytelling and insights into her writing process. Fill the Sky is available now on Amazon and is a perfect read for the New Year and an inspiration for new ways of thinking. For more information, please see


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

Chakra Blog


Win at Life with a Happy Mood, Positive Attitude and Good Relationships

Win No Matter WhatWin No Matter What: A Guide to Hyping Up Your Life by Nihar Suthar is a gem of wisdom compiled by a college student! Nihar Suthar offers sound advice for happiness and joy in life in this short, entertaining read. He wrote this book to demonstrate how awesome every day can be for each one of us, regardless of what he calls the terrible trio (mood, attitude and other people).

Suthar provides quotes and anecdotes showing how to adjust your mood, attitude and perception of others so that nothing can bring you down. For instance, he recommends “faking” a good mood – smiling and maintaining a strong posture until it becomes a habit. A fan of Paulo Coelho, I love this quote he includes from him: “You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.”

He also suggests greeting and talking to as many people as you can each day… creating a better mood for you and the people you talk to. Other tried and true measures he suggests are thinking about what you are grateful for as you wake up each morning, and actively choosing to focus on what will brighten your mood.

Once you’ve made it a habit of being in a good mood, Suthar recommends changing your attitude to change your life… He recommends figuring out “why” you are doing something before you act, because it will help you achieve your goals. He writes that attitude can also be improved by actively seeking fun – making your day into a game, thinking positively, and living it up – taking advantage of all opportunities offered. He also recommends visualizing your perfect future and adjusting your attitude to get you there.

The third concept Suthar covers is changing your perception of others to change your future. For instance, focus on others’ positive qualities, put others before yourself, stay united with your family, and respect others.

Following Suthar’s advice, you can choose a more limitless path for your life, following your dreams. None of what he suggests is new, but age-old wisdom compiled in a very readable, entertaining way by this young motivator.

NiharNihar Suthar, in addition to his college work, is the founder of Hype Up Your Day, a company that designs packages for business motivation and productivity, and simultaneously provides inspiration to people around the world. He is also donating most book sale profits to Acumen, a charity investing in solutions to global poverty.

Here he answers my questions about his writing:

Q. What is the underlying message of your book?

A: My book is made up of several powerful inspirational stories with tips on how to improve your daily mood, attitude, and the perception of others. It is straight to the point, and meant to be like a guide on everyday living.

Q. What inspired you to write the book?

A. As a freshman college student in New York City last year, I often rode the subways in order to get around Manhattan. Usually, I thought nothing of the subway system. One day though, I was in such a good mood that I had to socialize with someone. I tried talking to lady on my subway car, but she just stared at me blankly. She looked like she was bored and also pretty stressed out with her day. That moment got me thinking about humans, and how we often do not live to the fullest or notice all the bright life around us because we think we have insufficient time, are preoccupied, or even tired. I wanted to help as many people as possible, so I decided to write a book from there!

Q. What do you hope readers will take away from your book? What changes do you hope they’ll make?

A. I hope readers will simply implement a few of the important strategies in my book into their everyday lives to be happier and live better. The biggest changes I hope they make are: Finding the reason behind why they are doing something first, finding 1 or 2 positive things out of every event that occurs, and putting others before themselves.

Q. Where do you find your inspiration to write?

A. I find the inspiration to write from my family and friends – they know that I enjoy writing and always support me. I also get inspiration from the people I interview for the motivational anecdotes in my book. Their stories are often so amazing that it really makes you think. I just love writing inspirational books!

Q. Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share?

A. Definitely share your inspiration with as many people as possible and follow your dreams! We all give inspiration to one another, and we can all accomplish whatever we dream.
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, and Balance Your Chakra – Balance Your Life

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