Like him, but not so much the book

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Keep Moving by Dick Van Dyke (and Todd Gold)

Summary:  Beloved Hollywood icon Dick Van Dyke will celebrate his 90th birthday in December 2015. He’s an established legend, having starred in Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. And yet he’s still keeping himself busy, entertaining America on television, movies, the stage, and social media. Everyone wonders, “How does he do it?” For the first time, Van Dyke will share his secrets and tips on old age: Just keep moving.

In a fun and folksy way of addressing readers, Keep Moving will serve as an instruction book on how to embrace old age with a positive attitude. The chapters are filled with exclusive personal anecdotes that explore various themes on aging: how to adapt to the physical and social changes, deal with loss of friends and loved ones, stay current, fall in love again, and “keep moving” every day like there’s no tomorrow.

Recommendation: Mixed feelings (in Amazon stars, maybe 2 stars)

Review:  It’s true that the narrative is fun and folksy, and I could hear Mr. Van Dyke’s voice throughout. I also enjoyed the snippets of biography that were included, such as how he and his current wife met and dated, and the relationship between him and his brother, Jerry.

However, the instructional part was less than useful to those who aren’t as well off as the celebrity author. This also made it difficult for me to relate to him and his ‘advice.’ For instance, his instruction to get up every day and have a sing-along with your spouse while enjoying birds and sunshine on the patio are a lovely idea. But it’s not something that most people can relate to, because most people (even elderly people) get up before the sun so that they can spend their mornings fighting traffic to get to a job that they may or may not enjoy.

I don’t begrudge Mr. Van Dyke his more than adequate retirement funds, he worked hard for them. However, most of us don’t (and didn’t) get paid millions; also, many of us got hit pretty hard when the stock and housing market collapsed. That means that many of us are struggling while just hoping we don’t get laid off because we’ve reached a certain age.

So, while I appreciated his happy attitude, I found the information rather Pollyannaish. I really wished that his ‘advice’ applied more to those of us living in a ‘normal world’ rather than his more rarefied and exclusive group of the rich and the elderly.

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Bring Dying Into the Light

psychopomp-3d-dls-8pxls-2We need to stop being so afraid of death and dying that we can’t even talk to each other about it. Tip-toeing around the subject will not make it go away. It is part of the cycle of life.

To hear more about why we need to rethink the way we handle discussions with those facing imminent death and those left behind, watch this video:

Mastering Meditation–Now in Paperback

I’m proud to announce that my Mastering Meditation book is now available in paperback. Because the images included in the book are (to me, anyway) important, the book will be printed in color. While this does push the price a bit higher, I believe it is worth it.

Take a look, just go to Amazon.com for your copy.

 

We’ve All Lived Before

pexels-photo-346796.jpegI did a review on a book regarding children and past lives, and while the book wasn’t all that great, the topic is still one that interests me.

One of the reasons it interests me is because of my own remembrances of past lives (some from when I was young and other memories that have occurred at different moments throughout my life). Another reason why the subject interests me, though, is because of several occurrences I’ve had of coping with the spontaneous recall of other’s memories.

The first time I had to help someone else cope with such a spontaneous memory was when I was in my late teens/early 20’s. I was babysitting my nieces and nephews (ages 9 to 4). This was a typical request and I wasn’t expecting anything unusual.

The kids (3 boys and 2 girls) were outside playing in the backyard, the dog was lying in the shade of the big ol’ oak tree, and I was just trying to make sure that they didn’t kill themselves or each other with their antics. Two of the boys were trying to climb the tree, while the two girls were having a tea party with their dolls over by the swing set.

52205_soarSuddenly, the third boy, and the youngest, burst into tears. Thinking that one of the other kids had done something, I raced over to see what was wrong (the other kids continued to play, paying us no mind).

Donny (not his real name) was squatting near the tree, tears just streaming down his face. When I got there, he appeared inconsolable. I got down next to him and wrapped my arms around him. As his tears slowed down a bit, I asked him what was wrong.

He choked out the words, “I did it.”

“Did what?”

He pointed at the dead bird at the base of the tree.

I hadn’t seen him hurt anything, but then I was trying to keep track of five energetic and crazy kids. So, without thinking, I asked, “Why did you kill it?”

“Because my dad told me to.”

I stood up, surprised, because I knew his dad would never do such a thing. After a moment, I squatted back down. “Are you sure it was your dad who suggested it?”

“Oh, he didn’t just suggest it; he insisted.” (Insisted was the word he used, speaking at a level above his age of four.)

Still puzzled, I pushed for more information. “Do you know why he insisted you do this?” And I indicated the dead bird.

Continuing to speak in a way that was older than his four years, he responded, “He said I would be considered a pantywaist if I didn’t.”

Okay, I knew something was odd, because who says ‘pantywaist?’ That was definitely not a term his father would use.

“Your dad told you that?”

He blinked, then said, “Not this dad. The dad I had before.”

“You had a dad before this one?”

“Sure. But that was when I was Robert Aikers.” (Again, not actual name.)

That got me. I plopped down on the ground and stared at him.

“My dad at that time thought it was manly to kill things, but I didn’t approve. So, he mocked me until I finally went hunting with him. We came across a partridge nest in the west field.

“I didn’t want to do it, but I finally pulled the trigger, killing the mother partridge.

“I felt so badly afterwards that I snuck out for weeks to take care of the babies. When he found out, he went out to the field and stomped the nest flat. Then, he made me leave the babies to the barn cat.

“I hated him after that.”

To say I was surprised, is a gross understatement. But I pulled myself together and tried to help him through the experience. I explained that he had taken responsibility for his actions back then by trying to help the baby birds, and it wasn’t his fault that his father had killed them. I also told him that hating his father from back then was a waste of energy. His father had had different values at that time, and eventually he would come to understand that killing for the sake of killing was harmful to himself and the environment. Until then, Donny/Robert needed to forgive himself and his father and move on from that life.

I then explained that the dead bird now was not Donny’s fault. That he hadn’t caused the bird to fall from the tree. I then suggested that we dig a grave for it and bury it along with his anger for his past father.

Once we buried the bird, Donny went back to being Donny and he never mentioned Robert Aikers again (at least, not to me).

So, while some people need help to remember and use meditation, hypnosis, or regression therapy; others, sometimes spontaneously remember. While these spontaneous memories can lead to catharsis, they can also (sometimes) trap the person in a mental time warp loop. The person can get caught up in the memories and emotions from the past and find it difficult or impossible to move forward in their current life.

What they need is someone to help talk them through the memory so that they can let go of whatever emotion or fear is holding them back. Even if they can’t work through the memory (especially if the fear is too great), if they can just let it go it can be enough to help them get back to their current life.

So, sometimes the best way to help someone when they have a spontaneous past life that threatens to take over their current life, is to tell them to let it go. Let it go until another life or until they’re between lives.

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Available at most online book vendors.

Rejecting Rejection

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Rejection is a way of life for an author…or for any artiste, for that matter. It’s one of those things that you either learn to cope with or you spend all your time depressed. My coping mechanism has always been to tell myself, “Well, that’s just your opinion. I happen to think my [book/story/article] is pretty darn good.” And then I move on to the next step in my path—writing something else, submitting the book/story/article somewhere else, or just taking a nap. I always try to ensure that when I do move on, though, that is in a positive way.

However, the first time my esoteric talents (I’m extremely intuitive) got rejected, I wasn’t quite so aware, nor was I quite prepared to deal with it. I took the rejection of my talents as a rejection of myself. And I believe that’s the trap many people also fall into when their writing is rejected.

I’ve always had a touch of intuitiveness, and after my car vs. bike accident this ability became even more pronounced. For instance, I could ‘hear’ thoughts, perceive emotions leftover in a room or house, or get an inkling of what was about to happen. However, since the accident, I’ve become pretty good at reading someone’s entire aura, including their previous lives—their histories, if you will. I can see the correlations between their current life, their health, and their past lives, and I can usually see (and understand) what lessons they want to learn in their life by having those past lives so prominent in their auras.

When I met ‘Phil’, it was just an ordinary day in my rather ordinary life at my rather ordinary job. We were introduced, he told me a bit about himself, and then he and the boss moved on to the next cube to meet the next person. For the next few hours, I didn’t give him another thought.

The team went to lunch to welcome Phil to our group, and everything was still normal. However, as we prepared to leave, I had difficulty with my coat and Phil reached over to help. When his hand brushed my skin, I got a rush of information, including the connection between us. This ability was still new to me, and in my joy at having this talent, I assumed everyone would want to know what I discovered. I was wrong.

Back at the office, I wrote down everything I could remember. And that night, I did a reading to fill in the gaps. Proud of what I had done and thrilled with this new information, I typed it up and presented it to Phil the next day. He looked confused, asked me what it was, and I told him just to read it and that I would answer his questions later.

I waited all day for him to say something, but he didn’t. So, I thought, okay…he’s digesting it. After all, it was a lot to take in. I told myself similar platitudes all week. Finally, Friday I could wait no longer. I asked him what he thought, and he scrunched his face in thought. Then he looked at me and said in his politest manner, “I don’t believe in that kind of stuff.”

I was crushed. I tried to argue with him, I tried to reason with him. I tried to convince him that it was real; but the hardness of his eyes never changed. He didn’t believe in past lives, he didn’t believe in what I had written, and (overall) he thought I was a kook.

He moved on to another part of the company soon after that (I hope it wasn’t because of me), but I learned two lessons that day:

  1. Not everyone is going to like what you do.
  2. Not everyone is going to believe in what you do.

For those who don’t like what you do, well, that’s on them. For those who don’t believe in what you do, it doesn’t matter, because you believe in what you do.

And for both sets of people, never force your products on anyone, but always make them available to anyone who wants to them.

Most of all, remember rejection isn’t about you. It’s about the person doing the rejecting. Psychopomp 3D - DLS - 8pxls - 2

A review of “How to Self-Promote…”

BK_bookcoverHow to Self-Promote Without Being a Jerk by Bruce Kasanoff

Summary: This book purports to help you promote yourself and your service or product by showing you how to be the best you you can be.

Recommended: Yes

Review: the book is primarily a collection of insights based on common sense. Yet, even common sense isn’t always common or easily recognized when it pushes you to step outside your comfort zone.

This book holds your hand as you step beyond your self-doubts and venture into that world of “I am worth it.”

Unlike most similar books, Mr. Kasanoff actually explains how to take these baby steps. He doesn’t just tell you that you need to be generous, he explains some of the ways you can be generous and still end up promoting yourself. For instance, his first chapter (which is entitled, “Help This Person”) explains how you can help yourself by helping others (really helping others, not just going through the motions). He makes it seem so easy that you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it yourself. In fact, I found myself nodding along as I read, while thinking, “I can do that.” One of the examples he gives of helping others to help yourself is this: when the phone rings on a busy day, don’t get frustrated by the interruption. Instead, think about how you can help the person who is calling…really help them. When you help them, they remember you (in a positive way). Then when you need help, they want to return the favor.

All his chapters are like this. Each one helps you determine how to be the kind of person other people want to help, want to promote, and want to remember.

It’s a fast read, but one read-through isn’t enough. This is the type of book you will find yourself referring to over and over again.