• Inspirational

Waking the Spirit 

by Andrew Schulman

 Andrew Schulman, a fifty-seven-year-old professional guitarist, had a close brush with death on the night of July 16, 2009.  Against all odds and with the help of music—he survived: a medical miracle.

Once fully recovered, Andrew resolved to use his musical gifts to help critically ill patients at Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s ICU.  In Waking the Spirit, you’ll learn the astonishing stories of the people he’s met along the way—both patients and doctors—and see the incredible role music can play in a modern hospital setting.

Waking the Spirit, is an inspiring story of hope, healing, and dedication. I have always believed that music was therapeutic in healing emotions.  I have always loved music.  This book is proof that music not only heals emotions, but aids in healing the human body.   

To purchase:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble                     


Find a Way

                                                                       by Diana Nyad

When Diana Nyad arrived on the shore of Key West after fifty-three hours of grueling swimming across an epic ocean, she not only set a world record—becoming the first person to swim the shark-infested waters between Cuba and Florida with no cage for protection—she also succeeded in fulfilling a dream she first chased at age twenty-eight and at long last achieved when she was sixty-four.  

Now, in a riveting memoir, Diana shares a spirited account of what it takes to face one’s fears, engage one’s passions, and never ever give up. For no matter what life may throw at you, or how many times you may have experienced defeat, it is always possible—as long as you commit to living life to the nth degree, no regrets—to “find a way." 

As I was reading Find a Way, I was mesmerized by her courage and stamina.  And, at times, I thought she was quite crazy!  But mostly, I had great admiration for her determination and grit!  Now that I'm 64, I am in awe of what she accomplished.  The message is, "Never ever give up."  This is a great read and I highly recommend it to any woman who still has a dream that she is chasing.  

To purchase:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Into the Magic Shop

A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart

By James R. Doty, MD

Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. Today he is the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. But back then his life was at a dead end until at twelve he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. Instead he met Ruth, a woman who taught him a series of exercises to ease his own suffering and manifest his greatest desires. Her final mandate was that he keep his heart open and teach these techniques to others. She gave him his first glimpse of

the unique relationship between the brain and the heart.

Part memoir, part science, part inspiration, and part practical instruction, Into the Magic Shop shows us how we can fundamentally change our lives by first changing our brains and our hearts.

Into the Magic Shop, confirmed my belief that the heart and the brain must work together to bring about the changes we desire in our lives.  The heart is capable of quieting the brain through mindfulness and meditation practices.  This is a book worth reading, if you are looking to release past hearts, be present in the moment, or to discover what you want in the future.

To purchase:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble


The Last Lecture

By Randy Pausch

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game."

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give a last lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living. 

This book made me cry.  But, along with the tears there was the reality that life is unpredictable.  We never know what the future holds, from one day to the next, but we do get to decide how we will handle what ever comes our way.  What wisdom would you impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?  This is the question that Pausch answers and it is a good question for all of us to consider.

To Purchase:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble


Gift from the Sea

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Drawing inspiration from the the shells on the shore, Lindbergh's musings on the shape of a woman's life will bring new understanding to readers, male and family, at any stage of life. A mother of five and professional writer, she casts an unsentimental eye at the trappings of modern life that threaten to overwhelm us -- the timesaving gadgets that complicate our lives, the overcommitments that take us from our families -- and by recording her own thoughts in a brief escape from her everyday demands, she guides her readers to find a space for contemplation and creativity in their own lives. With great wisdom and insight she describes the shifting shapes of relationships and marriage, presenting a vision of a life lived in enduring and evolving partnership. A groundbreaking work when it was first published, this book has retained its freshness as it has been rediscovered by generations of readers and is no less current today.

This book is for any woman who wants to be more authentic in her life.  I have read this book several times, working at finding authenticity in an ever-changing world.

To Purchase:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble


The Traveler's Gift

by Andy Andrews

Join David Ponder on his incredible journey to discover the Seven Decisions for Success that can turn any life around, no matter how hopeless a situation may seem. 

This book is perfect for anyone who needs some encouragement! Everyone can connect to the feelings of David Ponder one way or another! Also the book is extremely entertaining and provides a neat inside to history.  I really enjoyed going through the journey with David and meeting all the historic figures.  Likewise, the book challenged me on a personal level to look at life a little different!  I would recommend this book - good for all ages!

To Purchase:  Amazon    Barnes & Noble



In Pursuit of Clouds

Stories and lessons learned from a life

lived on the ground

by Deanna Bates

Deanna shares the stories and lessons that she has learned throughout her life, with heartfelt honesty.  Daughter of a rootless family, a teenage bride, wife of a cop, mother of an adopted daughter and teacher for over 25 years have all provided the backdrop for the stories of her life.  

Deanna states that "Get your head out of the clouds" never pertained to her.  She was responsible, always watching her feet, always fearful of taking a wrong step.  She stumbled, but always managed regained her balance.  

Then in her late forties, Deanna was diagnosed with a brain tumor that caused her to reassess her life and begin looking up!  She began to change her focus from what was beneath her to what was above her - in pursuit of clouds.

Deanna also gives  deeper meaning to each of her stories with her own poetry.  You will find yourself reflecting on your own experiences as you read through each story.  At the end of each lesson, Deanna offers a Lesson Cloud.  The lesson gives you, the reader, an opportunity to reflect upon your own life and what you have learned.

To Purchase:  Amazon

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