Reviews and Recommendations

Books: mBraining: Using your multiple brains to do cool stuff

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The latest scientific research shows you have three brains! You have complex, adaptive and fully functional neural networks or 'brains' in your heart, your gut and your head. Becky Walsh (author of 'You Do Know') talks to Grant Soosalu about these brains and mBIT, a suite of tools and techniques for communicating with, integrating and harnessing the power of your multiple brains (head, heart and gut brains).mBraining: Using your multiple brains to do cool stuff on Amazon

Book: E-Squared Pam Grout

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Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. I was sent this book by Hay House UK because the team their love it, of course its published by them, however every so often they get really excited about a book. I also think they wanted me to start manifesting my book into a best seller!!!

I have read a stack of books on the law of attraction. However this one is written down to earth no-nonsense humourful style that simply says 'lets get it done' and 'I can prove it works'. I like the fact it invites you to proves that your thoughts create your reality before it sets you out to create it. I of course love the chapter on how intuition aids your manifestations.

The chapter which asks you to 'test God' triggered me. I realised I still had a whole load of beliefs about living under the stiff rule of a judgmental God who would hate me for asking for proof. a very interesting insight and consciously that's not how I think I think!!

I have found this book the most useful for clients who have never heard of manifestation and I am having to explain that much of what they are experiencing in terms of patterns could be coming from their belief structure.

Nice little book for proving a point! E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality on Amazon

Book: Way of the superior man David Deida

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There have been lots of books for women to understand men and vise versa such as ‘Men are from Mars women are from Venus’. Way of the superior man is a book written by a man for men, yet reading it as a woman I have found it to be a powerful tool to aid women to understand their own attractions and reactions to men, and also for women to understand men and their drives. In addition it’s a wonderful book to help men find their purpose. I meet many male clients who reach a point in life where they think ‘there must be more to life than this’ and often more importantly ‘there must be more to ME than this’. I found David’s book to be a great reference for men in search of more. One of the parts of the book I use time and time again in sessions is when David explains that women want a man who is serving a purpose greater than his serving of her.  So many relationships break up and so many people stay single from the lack of understanding of this fact. A wonderful book.

In The Way of the Superior Man David Deida explores the most important issues in men's lives from career and family to women and intimacy to love and spirituality to offer a practical guidebook for living a masculine life of integrity, authenticity, and freedom.

Way of the Superior Man on Amazon

Reveal: A Sacred Manual for Getting Spiritually Naked by Meggan Watterson

Meggan Watterson is asking you to reveal your soul, in fact in her book Reveal she calls you to it, demands it of you. Beautifully, poetically and poignantly she reveals her own story of fear and anxiety. Her journey to freedom was not to control or change her external world, but to become even more vulnerable by removing the vales we as women have developed that separate us from remembering our divine soul. Like walking into a relaxation centre that you have been to many times, and the mere smell of the space makes your body relax even before you’re on the massage couch, this book made me feel really calm and chilled out simply by reading it. Reveal is a page turner and I found I skipped though it. Within every of the seven veils Watterson talks about removing I thought of a female friend I would love to give this book to. The write up for this book is a little too fluffy for my taste, so if your more of a ballsy bird, do not be put off by the tone of the blurb, this book isn’t talking to a defensive ego, it slips in unnoticed right into your very soul. A must read for all women.

Reveal: A Sacred Manual for Getting Spiritually Naked on Amazon

http://www.hayhouse.co.uk/books/184850893X/reveal

Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved - Robert Holden

If I was to nail down one underlining reason clients come to see it’s to answer a question they don’t even know they are asking ‘how can I be loved?’ Loveability shows you how to feel love-able.  Holden explains that loving yourself is not purely about self-acceptance but understanding that you are love, love is your nature. Self-love is about identifying yourself with love. Anyone who has read self-help books or stuck their nose into a course in miracles might be aware of the idea that we have two sides of ourselves: the ego and our loving divine self. I have always been fully behind this in my head, but also I had a mixed mind about it. How can I love humanity with all of the terrible things humans do, therefore as a human, how can I love myself when I know I have that nature in me too? I listened to the audio of Loveability whilst on a few long car journeys. I like Robert’s voice and there is a feeling in how he speaks that he is talking just to you. I caught myself answering a few times, but don’t tell anyone! About three days after finishing the audio book, about 3.30am I woke up and something had clicked. I can’t even put it into words all I can tell you is my understanding of what it is to be loveable and to love others, moved from a head based concept and into my heart. Days have passed now and I keep checking in with myself, and no I’m still not sweating the small stuff, and no I am not nagging myself, I am more in the moment. Holden has put into words something I now see to be un-wordable (If he can make up words so can I) . This book opens you into a personal inquiry which just might be the final dot you were looking for in the picture of your own loveablity it was for me. http://www.hayhouse.co.uk/cds/1781800642/loveability Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved on Amazon

The Meaning by Steve Taylor - Poetry and Spiritual Experience

A few years ago whilst living in San Francisco I was taken to see an Irish poet called David Whyte, I was expecting a dingy art centre with a few solemn looking intellectuals having a moment of existential angst. What I found was packed out vibrant theatre with the same emotional hype of waiting to see any large named inspirational speaker. In the US poetry is the new black. It was a wonderful evening where I felt I was taken into a sedative trance by his words.

The UK is a little behind the poetry revolution, but when we catch up, as we always do Steve Taylor is our man. I have just read his book of poems called The Meaning, highly endorsed my Eckhart Tolle and now myself.

Taylor say’s: “Poetry is the natural medium to communicate higher states of consciousness, or awakening experiences”. There may be something a little lost in reading poems in a book, for me they are an oral tradition and best read by the author. Yet without that opportunity currently, and I do hope this is something the author would consider, I will share with you one of the poems in the book:

Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved on Amazon

The Trick

The trick is to trust yourself

not to try to trap your prey

or seduce your lover

If you feel frustrated

the animal will scent your anxiety

and veer away

your lover will sense your desperation

and spurn you

Your soul is delicate

you can’t shake and squeeze her

or scrape her sides

for a few last crumbs of insight

She needs time to collect herself

to gather her dissipated power

Too much force will break the mould

of invisible patterns and potentials

which give birth to beauty

She may seem barren now

but she’s not dead, only sleeping

New life is slowly seeping through

from that deep underground source

making her moist and rich again

 

until she’s ready to release

strange new joys

Your soul has never you let you down

and never will

as long as you are patient

as long as you are still.

 

©The Meaning Steve Taylor

A book well worth having on your shelf just to dip into when searching for meaning.

Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved on Amazon

Out of darkness – Steve Taylor

This is the second book I have read by Steve Taylor. The first book I read was titled ‘Waking from sleep’ in which Steve Taylor talked about awakening experiences. An awakening experience is also known as a spiritual experience. You may have felt this experience for yourself but perhaps didn’t have the words for it. It’s a moment when everything feels perfect, you are completely in the moment, not thinking of the past or the future, but you feel at peace and at one with everything. In ‘Waking from sleep’ Steve Taylor explains these experiences perfectly. He explains the many ways they come about and goes some way into explaining how to keep them.

In his new book ‘Out of Darkness’ Taylor has picked one of the ways awakening can take place such as: near death experiences, being diagnosed with a terminal illness, extreme suffering, and other great life traumas. In this book he creates a kind of anthology of stories from many people that not only had awakening experiences but also had a shift of consciousness that made them permanent. Perhaps the most famous person who has achieved this awakening is Eckhart Tolle. In this book there is a beautiful interview with Tolle in which he explains how thoughts of suicide lead him to master his ego and the thoughts in his mind.

To understand the idea of awakening you must first believe that when we are in a form of unconsciousness. It’s the belief that what we know as reality might not be. Awakening experiences often feel more real than normal life; certainly there is a feeling of intensely loving life. If you haven’t come across this idea before I would encourage you to read Steve Taylors book ‘Waking from sleep’ before this book. Although he still makes the subject accessible it’s easy to get caught in the personal stories.

What I took from reading this book is that no matter how difficult life gets, not just for us as individuals but globally. You never know just how far we are from an awakening. Those difficult situations are not an indication of how far we are away from love, but just guiding us to choose love. The darkest part of night is just before the dawn.

Out of the Darkness: From Turmoil to Transformation on Amazon

Be Happy - release the power of happiness in YOU. By Robert Holden

Robert Holden has not written of one those average books that gives you the steps to find happiness; he says his goal in writing the book Be Happy is to help you listen to yourself. He scores that goal right where it matters, in the heart. His writing style is charming, humorous and disarming; his words have the capacity to unravel the knots of unhappiness you may have tied up in yourself without even realising. In the book Robert gives you exercises from his highly successful workshops on happiness he has conducted for many years. He insists you do the exercises that are cleverly woven into the book for the power of the work to unfold. I am one of those people who don’t do excises in books, even though I put them into the books I write. However for anyone who loves self-development, Robert’s exercises are seductive. By taking the time to complete them you unfold and have insights into yourself that make you change perspective.

As Robert says in one of my favourite quotes in the book:

Most people don’t need therapy; they need clarity.

I have had the honour of meeting Robert twice, he exudes happiness. He and his book make happiness contagious.  If you ever need a reminder of what life is really all about this book smacks it between the eyes, a must read for everyone.

Sandy C. Newbigging – In a boy band

I’ve had a brilliant idea! You know that boy bands mostly sell CD’s to screaming females and gay men who fancy them? Well, the Mind Body Spirit arena shares the same audience, so how about setting up events with only good looking male speakers! Oh come on its genius! It would be like catnip to the spiritual singles! If I ever was going to set up such a blatant marketing strategy Sandy C. Newbigging would be in my top 4 boy speaker line up (I’m not sharing the other 3!) Sandy came on the MBS scene whilst I was living in San Francisco, so when I got back from the US he seemed to be a somewhat overnight success. I got the chance to hear him talk at Mind Body Spirit Cheltenham this year. He has a laid back sit down approach, greeting late comers coming in through the doors whilst not missing a beat in his address to the audience. His book Thunk published by Findhorn might give an explanation on how he stays so calm.

Sandy delivers a number of take home tools in his talk, but the one that stuck with me was this – Compromise corrodes. Now I like what he did there with the use of the double C. Yet it jarred with me, you have to compromise, it’s a valuable part of life. But Sandy went on to say, ‘Not the kind of compromise when you want Chinese, your partner wants Indian so you get a pizza, but the one where you stop being authentic’. I’m authentically kind and so I compromise, but then Sandy landed it right between the eyes ‘You compromise away from your authentic self, when you don’t believe you can have what you want.’ There it was, I saw a room of people got smacked in the forehead all at once.

I haven’t read Thunk yet, but if it reads as he speaks I am sure it will be an inspiring and somewhat charming book ;)

Sandy will be at the Isbourne Centre in Cheltenham 18th November with his workshop ‘Being Calm’ go along with clean pants just in case you decide to throw them at him. http://www.isbourne.org/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=60&extmode=view&extid=58196&date=2012-11-18

Make music, sweet music

Everyone knows that music can shift your mood, yet few of us understand exactly why. Daniel Bowling a cognitive neuroscientist suggests that it is the distance between the notes that determines how music makes us feel. This is because it is characteristic to the way we use our voice. To test his theory he collected speech samples from 20 English speakers and 20 Tamil Indian speakers and looked at whether the changes in frequency predicted the emotional content of the words. He found the same pattern he did in written music, the sadder the speech the more monotone the delivery.

As an intuitive, I hear the world as sound; to me every person has their own theme tune. I can hear when a person is or isn’t in harmony, with themselves, their job, relationship or anything else we put under the heading of life. I decided that using music was a great way to teach people to become intuitive. I have been using music more and more in my workshops and lessons with fantastic results.

The idea was something I had for a long time, but was stuck on the right music to use. Until I stumbled across Tom Fortes Mayer http://www.freemindunlimited.com who gave me permission to use some music he had written with ‘intention’. Intention is a very powerful tool, it is possible to put the energy of intention into anything, including your day and have amazing shift patterns off the back of simply setting a decision. Using Tom’s powerful music I am finding many students reporting having altered states of consciousness during meditation much more deeply than during a visualisation. Often with visualisation as soon as the teacher says ‘and now you find yourself at a door, open the door, what do you see’ the student sees nothing. Guiding the student and then dropping them at the crucial moment of realisation isn’t good for students who think more in parts and words than in pictures. Using music shifts emotions and allows blissful states of awareness to emerge.

I am also enjoying having much more movement for somatic intuition as part of my class room. Who wants to just sit in a chair listening to a person tell them how they should feel? It’s time to get up and feel it!... Baby!

Ref:

Morgen E.Peck – Scientific American mind magazine.

Tom Fortes Mayer http://www.freemindunlimited.com

Awakening experiences, and how to watch them

Love Love Love this film created by Tim Freake. Many of you who read this blog on a regular bases, (FYI many of you...right) will know that I often talk about awakening experiences. One of the problems is its so darn hard to put them into words. Simply by trying to define them you some how belittle the experience. The great joy of film is that you can 'show' rather then 'tell' and Tim has used film in such a way that it is possible to 'get it'. Last week at my retreat in the Isle of Man, I asked the guests/students/wonderful bunch if they ever felt they had had a spiritual or awakening experience. They didn't think they had, but when I went on to describe it they could all remember more than one moment in life. This isn't a thing for the spiritually enlightened (what ever that means) it's for everyone!

My on-line course 'Intuitive awakening' www.evolutionaryintuition.com show's how to use intuition to bring about these experiances. Maybe one day, it's how we will feel all the time :)

Intuition - a scientists perspective

I have been a fan of Scientist, author and speaker - David Hamilton’s work since I interviewed him on my radio show on LBC 97.3 a number of years ago. At the time he was relatively new in his career and since that time I have watched him pop out books like he only needs two hours sleep! According to one of his latest blog’s he has been finding himself becoming more and more intuitive. Many of us have also been feeling like this, as the energy of the earth is quickening our intuition is starting to feel super charged.  Since I cut gluten out of my diet, mine has gone off the scale.  I’m finding myself wanting to jump in over what my clients are telling me as my insights are bursting out of me. I find I have to cut one hour appointments down to 30mins as the answers are just so unbelievably clear, and as ever I talk too fast!

So David’s not the only one finding this change. Like me David Hamilton wants to know how things work. As he is a bit of an expert in how the mind works, here is what his blog had to say on intuition:

 

Intuition 1) Spotting Visual and Auditory Cues

On a really obvious level, most people would agree that we tend to be more intuitive when we are in a good mood. Psychology professor, Barbara Fredrickson’s ‘Broaden and Build’ theory suggests that positive emotion increases creativity and that it also makes us more alert to opportunities that present themselves.

In this creative, alert state we pick up more of the visual cues around us. If you have a goal, and you are creatively alert in this way, you are more likely to spot signs and pick up snippets of conversations that can help you in the pursuit of your goal.

2) Mirror Neurons

The second route of intuition is present when we are in someone’s company. The human brain is highly adept at reading emotions. It’s also highly adept at telling when someone isn’t being truthful. This is facilitated by an interconnected network of cells in the brain known as mirror neurons.

When a person shows emotion it is written all over their face, as they say. Happiness can be recognised as smiling, anger or sadness with a frown. These displays of emotion move particular muscles. Happiness flexes the zygomaticus major muscle (it pulls your lips into a smile) and theorbicularis oculi muscle (at the sides of the eyes), while anger flexes the corrugator supercilli(between your eyebrows). This is where mirror neurons come in.

The MNS (mirror neuron system) mirrors the muscle movements we see in others. Being with a happy person is a sure fire way to get stimulation of your happy muscles. So how does this relate to intuition? Well, if a person is pretending they are happy but actually they’re sad inside, your mirror neuron system will mirror not only their (pretend) smiles but also the subtle facial muscle movements that reflect how they really feel.

When a person says an untruth, flashes of emotion appear on their face but they might only last for a few milliseconds, too fast for the human eye to detect. But not too fast for your MNS though! It mirrors the expression and feeds back into the emotional circuits in your brain, causing you to gain a subtle (intuitive) feeling of how they are feeling. When you sense someone is sad, even though they are acting happy, you might be getting an accurate picture of how they really feel.

Some people are very sensitive in this way and others are less so, which isn’t surprising as we all have innate differences in skills.

Lie detector tests work on the same premise. When a person says an untruth their nervous system shows subtle levels of stress. This can be detected using devices that measure skin conductance, which changes with micro amounts of sweating.

3) Entangled Minds

The third route of intuition is the one that might invite a little scepticism from people but I’d suggest that it is a very real mechanism, perhaps predominantly masked by the other two.

A body of scientific evidence suggests that we are connected through some levels of our minds. One of my favourite pieces was where researchers at Bastyr University in Seattle worked with ‘emotionally bonded couples’ – couples who shared a strong emotional bond.

One was placed inside an MRI scanner while the other was in a separate room. When the one in the room was startled with a visual stimulus, the MRI picked up a ‘flash’ in the visual cortex of the partner in the scanner. Similar experiments with EEG have suggested that the ‘interconnectedness’ is stronger between people who share a strong emotional bond, which correlates with a lot of people’s personal experience. Many people feel connected to loved ones no matter how far apart they are, and would agree that they get a sense when something in wrong.

This kind of thing is even apparent with some animals. In his compelling book, ‘Dogs that Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home’, Rupert Sheldrake describes experiments where he had sent a text to a dog owner and asked her or him to now make a decision to leave the office and head home. At the instant they made their decision, a video camera set up in the home showed their dog becoming excited and moving to the window.

This kind of evidence suggests that there is some form of communication that takes place from mind-to-mind. As well as emotional connection being a factor, it’s likely that the effect is more pronounced under some conditions than others and also that some people are naturally more ‘in tune’, so to speak, than others.

Intuition, regardless of what path, is likely wired in us. It would have undoubtedly served an evolutionary advantage to our ancestors if they had a hunch that danger was near. Acting on that hunch would save their lives and thus increase the likelihood that they would pass their genes onto the next generation. In this way, nature would ‘select’ genes that are linked with intuition.

So maybe the lesson in this is that it might be a good idea to trust our hunches, but maybe only if we’re in a good mood. And of course, we also need to be a little discerning. I guess it’s all about balance. – David Hamilton

David has given some great evidence here for something I discovered intuitively. There are two kinds of intuition, one which is known as the ‘gut instinct’ works with our ego and fear. The other works from our heart and our love, for that David is right; it helps if we are happy.  Sadly we often need intuition most when we are worried.  But learning to use it when you’re in a good space means you know when you are getting intuitive insight.  One of the many reasons I use a lot of humour in my groups, classes, talks and consultations. Life is always better when you can be joyful. One thing I’ll always remember about David when he first walked into the studio at LBC, about from him being REALLY TALL is the bright light that shines out of his eyes, with a little sparkle of humour sitting right behind.

For more about David Hamilton’s work and available books see: David Hamilton