Sparks

Books, Music, and Art that Ignite the Spirit

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Positive Energy

September 20, 2016


positive energy
POSITIVE ENERGY by Dr. Judith Orloff is packed full (352 pages worth) of positive solutions to help remedy the fatigue and sometimes, helplessness you can experience navigating the inner and outer workings of being human. I love that the first “prescription” is to “Awaken Intuition and Rejuvenate Yourself.” Of course, you have to be able to listen and respond to the wisdom, those subtle, and often, not-too subtle, messages that drift into your consciousness that are there to guide you to a more calm and directed life. Dr. Orloff is a specialist in “Energy Psychiatry” and even though this book was written some ten years ago, she clearly is on the cutting edge of awareness about how avoiding “negative” energies and embracing positive ones can promote wellness and a peaceful, purposeful life.

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Be Here Now

July 12, 2016


be here now
BE HERE NOW was (and still is) a bridge that leads the reader from skepticism and despair into a more hopeful, brighter world where one can be present, can experience life as joy, as a journey to transformation. The telling of Baba Ram Dass' story and "awakening" is personal and inspirational and the photos, graphics, and "cosmic" layout of the book are so of the time that it can take you back, whether you're 17 or 70. If you've read it before you might want to pull it off your bookshelf and browse through again. If you've never had the pleasure, pick one up at a used bookstore or order a fresh copy of this "cookbook for a sacred life." Peace!

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Love is Letting Go of Fear
I probably read Love is Letting Go of Fear 15-20 years ago. It's a classic and is now on it's third edition. I think for me it's all summed up in one of the initial statements in the first chapter: "With Love as our only reality, health and wholeness can be viewed as inner peace, and healing can be seen as letting go of fear.” The author, Gerald Jampolsky, is the founder of The Center for Attitudinal Healing and has written several other books, all of which encourage us to let go of what holds us back from being our authentic, generous, and loving self.

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from vegetables with love
This is the third edition of this gem of a cookbook, which not only includes a major portion of the original recipes, but is greatly expanded (360 pages!) with additional recipes, tips and tools for your kitchen, as well as tons of “how to’s” like “How to Make Turmeric Paste.” And for extra seasoning Siri Ved has sprinkled a dozen “Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen,” where she shares precious stories of moments when she was in the kitchen and in the presence of Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga. This book is a testament to the dedication of Siri Ved to healthy yogic eating and to bringing these unique and healing recipes and stories onto your table and into your heart.

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Daring Greatly

April 26, 2016


daring greatly
Vulnerability has gotten a bad rap in pretty much all of the societies that exist in the modern world. It is equated with weakness and a lack of self-reliance. You are not allowed to be seen as needing or needy, cannot allow others in to your pain, your loss, reveal the mistakes and “shames” that you hold deep inside. It’s just not cool. The author of DARING GREATLY, Brené Brown, sees it otherwise.

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Darshan Sacred Jewelry

April 12, 2016


Darshan Sacred Jewelry
About a month before the holiday season comes around in December, I start fretting (just a little bit) about what gifts to give to the beloved ladies who work at our healing center. Sometimes it’s a gift certificate to their favorite store. Sometimes it’s a grab bag of little, cutesy items that connect to their particular “loves,” like music, or cooking, or a particular sports team. This past holiday I knew exactly what I wanted to give them—a piece of beautiful, charming, and individually designed jewelry from Darshan Sacred Jewelry. I’ve known Darshan for many, many years. She wrote several articles for the first iteration of Yogamint about the history and properties of various gemstones.

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Buddha Doodles

March 29, 2016


Buddha Doodles
As you know, a consistent practice of meditation and yoga, service to others, and an attitude of gratitude and kindness are powerful forces to buffer you from the winds of negativity and fear. What you feed your mind will be reflected in how you perceive the world you live in. The music you listen to, books you read, and environments you expose yourself to, play a vital part in nourishing the good in you, so you can do the same for others. That’s why it’s so important to keep feeding yourself loving, supportive food for the soul every chance you get. This little book is just that—a kindness to the eyes and to the heart.

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Morning Mantras

February 24, 2016


Morning Mantras
In the early morning hours, preferably before the sun rises, is the ideal time for meditation. It is a time when the world around you is quiet and the connection between your consciousness and the Universal consciousness can be more easily accessed. It’s like when you make a call and all the bars on your phone are at the maximum. The channel is open and the communication comes through loud and clear. It’s not that it’s the only time to meditate, it’s just that for the time spent, you’re likely to receive a whole lot more value.

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The Wisdom of Insecurity

January 27, 2016


The Wisdom of Insecurity
It’s late and tomorrow is just about here, yet I am awake, tossing and turning, finding it difficult to stop my mind from reeling out all the must-do’s awaiting me in the morning. You know the feeling—caught in a monkey-mind cycle projecting into the future or worrying about the past that sends you spiraling into overwhelm, bordering on despair. Knowing there’s no way I’m going to sleep now, I get out of bed and sit down with a book I’ve been reading by the Zen Buddhist philosopher, Alan Watts titled THE WISDOM OF INSECURITY.

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The Hero's Journey

January 06, 2016


The Hero's Journey
I’m a big fan of The Ted Radio Hour on NPR. It’s a great podcast to listen to when you’re walking the treadmill, driving a long distance, or just want to sit and tune into what’s going on that’s positive and uplifting in the world. The show is an hour long with 4-5 short pieces, featuring speakers from all over the globe being interviewed by the narrator, Guy Raz. It also includes snippets from the speaker’s Ted Talks, which you can download in their entirety if you want to go more in depth.

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