Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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

In the interest of full disclosure: I'm a guy, but I did get a lot out of this book. I've heard many male authors and guru types speak of the Divine Feminine, but always as something that's making a comeback or soon to be re-ushered in. Never many details offered other than, religious history has treated women horribly, but that's changing. What I particularly enjoyed were the feminine goddess stories like Ishtar and Isis and several others. The author's pilgrimages to holy sites, also make the book worth reading. They can best be described as adventures. Her authenticity and frankness in speaking about her diagnosis with General Anxiety Disorder is something I found brave, and inspiring. Too often our spiritual teachers are expected to be perfect, it's nice to see an author admit they're human for a change. There's a lot to study here, fascinating on many levels. I had no idea there was an entire language created, and only spoken among certain women in our past. I don't want to give too much away, it's a cool story. Meggan Watterson has written a great book. I received a copy of this book for free, for review purposes from Hay House. I was not paid for my opinion, and it's my honest assessment.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A healthy amount of skepticism when dealing with so called channeled material isn't a bad thing. There's lots of junk out there. Mostly, the junk ones, rehash trite platitudes while taking a really long time to deliver the same old new age message of oneness and all you need is wuv. That said, when the message can resonate so deeply with you, that you don't care who wrote it or how; well then it stands on its own.

The concepts presented in Solomon Speaks, while not necessarily new to anyone following the consciousness movement, new thought, new age, whatever, are presented in a unique light. Perhaps light isn't the best word to use, as Solomon shows no mercy in dealing with gurus and healers of the white lighter variety who "do it for the applause." I love the idea he speaks about, that the very word "healing" implies that one is somehow wrong or bad, and needs to be made better. If you are interested in energy healing, Qigong, or Reiki, I think you will love this book.

I also think anyone in any of the healing arts could enjoy this book if they can get past the channeling and the energy work stuff. At the risk of sounding trite, this book requires you read it from the heart and not the head. I received this book free, for review purposes from Hay House, was not paid for my opinion, and this is my honest assessment of this book.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I found Jean Haner's new book Your Hidden Symmetry: How Your Birth Date Reveals the Plan for Your Life very interesting and Insightful. Her system is based in ancient Chinese medicine, a unique combination of dates and cycles of life that isn't quite astrology and isn't quite numerology either. It takes a little getting used to, but is absolutely fascinating. I quickly found myself figuring out the numbers on my family and friends, and often stunned at the accuracy. Reading my own 3 numbers in the Nine Star Ki System, I was blown away. This personally revealing reading cleared up a few issues I've never quite gotten a hold on until now. I'm beyond intrigued, and feel a deep enough gratitude to the author, that I plan on reading her other books as well. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Reverse Bench Press

Here's another example of an exercise I discovered within the pages of Iron Man Magazine that has helped me tremendously. The reason the regular barbell chest press "The Bench Press" destroys so many shoulders (specifically the rotator cuff), is because the more the elbows dip below the body, during the bottom portion of the exercise, the more weight shifts from the chest muscles onto the most sensitive parts of the shoulder joint. The trick is to go only as low as is comfortable for you personally, and Never bounce the bar off your chest. Cracked ribs from that dumb idea is one of the most common bodybuilding related emergency room visits.

When I injured my rotator cuff a few years back, I quit benching, and used machines (facepalm, shame, horror.) What saved me from that awful fate was something rather unexpected. I was getting into yoga at the time, and I ended up aggravating the injury again. A good teacher pointed out, that when I was going from Downward Dog to Upward Dog, I was going too low, sweeping the floor with my chest as my shoulders dipped way below my elbows.

Every body is different, so it's a good idea to work with your body rather than against it. The best exercises are the ones you enjoy and will execute consistently, not necessarily the ones that build the most lean muscle and burn the most fat. (Apologies if you've already heard that speech 81 times.)

The lower pectorals are traditionally built with the flat bench press, while the often neglected upper chest muscles are strengthened and made more amazing with the incline bench press. Some trainees can perform inclines without any shoulder issues, and some lucky lifters can perform both without any shoulder pain, no matter how low they go. As the old saying goes "An athlete should pick their parents carefully."

Symmetry is making a comeback these days, so weightroom residents are starting to have equal lower and upper chest development. A female trainee with a smaller breast size, can enjoy the additional benefit of more cleavage created by upper pectoral work. I'm not being insensitive, and I hope I don't come across that way. I've seen Dana Linn Bailey brag a few times on facebook that she "made her cleavage in the gym. That's the great thing about weights. It's an opportunity to sculpt your body in whatever way makes you happy.

My lower chest was always a little more developed, because when I was in the Army, I was constantly doing push-ups. It was a form of reprimand for my - ahem- less than good behavior. Guess I was kind of a jackass. So when I do work my lower chest, I tend to do dips, and not many, lest I'm mistaken for a clothed and shaved gorilla.

My new fave exercise in my toolbox is the Reverse Bench Press. It targets the upper pecs without much strain on the shoulders. It's beautifully simple. It's just a regular flat bench press with a reversed grip. It's vital that you wrap your thumbs around the bar. Open fisted gripping technique is another potential ER trip. I'd also suggest utilizing a trainer or a spotter, as it's a little tough to get the barbell off the rack initially. Alright, let me proof read this crap, and make sure I used enough big words I never use in everyday conversation. If my secret gets out that I'm just a meathead who'd rather exercise than train clients I'll be finished!

~Happy Heavy Lifting~

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

You definitely want to read this book. Life's Operating Manual is so engaging I read it in one sitting. I'm finding it hard not to gush over this one, it really grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Mr. Shadyac makes an incredible argument that competition is not our natural state. If we were hardwired for fighting, then he points out, our systems would flourish under those conditions. Of course the opposite is true, and stress is the number one killer of modern man. We never truly own anything, so why do we strive so hard to get more and more? To lead a simpler, more compassionate life makes a lot more sense than the direction most of us are heading. The fear/truth dialogue technique at the end of each chapter is pretty darn cool. It's an amazing way of taking each idea further, and bouncing it back and forth, while viewing it from every possible angle. I first heard of Tom Shadyac when he was a guest on my favorite internet radio show, Whitley Strieber's Dreamland ( That interview led me to see his film "I Am", which was absolutely brilliant. This book goes much deeper into his philosophy, and his amazing story of how he went from directing blockbuster motion pictures to finding true happiness. Even though I have slightly differing views on God and "The Secret", I have to say this book blew me away. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rajiv Juneja, M.D. is a deep thinker, and a great storyteller. This book is overflowing with excellent ideas on how to empower your life. It's optimistic while being realistic. The Dr. offers tools to help you "fail forward" when you hit the inevitable stumbling blocks, and how to successfully maneuver the purpose driven highway and achieve a more meaningful life. This book is a great read, but I think its real worth lies in rereading it, and journaling along with some of the exercises. The tools Dr. Juneja teaches can be utilized to drastically improve your life; not in a "keeping up with the Jonese" way, but in a way that's personally meaningful and profound. FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D.

The intriguing title Mind Over Medicine scared me a little at first. I'm a big believer in taking responsibility for one's health, but I worried that the book would take a blaming pointing finger approach. I stopped worrying after visiting the website and read more about Lissa Rankin, M.D. This book is fantastic, she takes the reader along on her personal journey as a medical doctor who came to understand deeply the link between our emotions and our health. She does a wonderful job of clearly proving that "we store our issues in our tissues" isn't just new age woo-woo, but a physiological fact. There are case studies presented that will inspire, as well as some that will just plain tear your heart out. The minds important role in healing is thoroughly explained, and many different recovery options are explored. This book is full of valuable information about the dangers of the stress response and the necessity of the relaxation response, as it relates to a long, healthy life. The ideas presented by Dr. Rankin are profound, empowering, and could very well change the way medicine is practiced. Let's hope so. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Positive Vibes by Gordon Smith

Positive Vibes by Gordon Smith is a book filled with brief yet profound insights. The ideas he presents can help you to slow down and go within; not in a trite fortune cookie kind of way, but in a stop you in your tracks and make you really think way. Positive Vibes is divided up into several sections, each dealing with an aspect of life's journey. Staying calm and centered during life's storms can be tricky, these short meditations can be helpful, and inspire some fire inside you to create a more powerful life for yourself and those you love. If you enjoy being peaceful and grounded despite the hectic world around you, or that's something you want, then this is the book for you. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stuart Wilde Passed Away May 1st

So utterly sad right now. I just heard the news that Stuie passed away of a sudden heart attack on May 1st. Of all the authors and teachers I've studied, nobody pushed the boundaries more. His contribution to the consciousness movement is vastly underrated. His work is directly responsible for the failure of my Athiesm, my leaning more towards a Taoist philosophy, and the most bizarre, mind blowing mystical experiences I have ever been through. I feel very fortunate that I got to attend one of his final seminars in '07. Stuart was one of those rare souls who had totally integrated his dark and light qualities. He was a beautiful, peaceful soul who could spin on a dime and scare the living shit out of you any second. I highly, highly, highly recommend you read his classic Silent Power. It is an amazing book. He angered a lot of people in his later years, but he always followed his heart and walked his talk more than any other teacher I've ever heard of. His final blog entry sounds suspiciously like goodbye. He will be greatly missed, but like all energy he will never be destroyed, but live on in different forms. I'm very grateful for the life this man led.

At the Window of Tomorrow | Stuart Wilde | The Official Author Website

Monday, May 6, 2013

Being of Power by Baron Baptiste

The 9 practices to ignite an empowered life contained in this book are simple, profound, and doable. Baron Baptiste writes from the heart and does a great job explaining how we can dig deeper, drop our stories and masks while developing authenticity and the empowered kind of life most only dream of. He shows how we are not only responsible for what shows up in our life, but who shows up and how. That may sound a little extreme to some, but the author does a better job of laying out that concept than I can. What's nice about the 9 practices, is that it isn't set up as steps you go through, learn and just put on autopilot. These ideas will show up over and over. I found the individual examples provided to be very helpful. Nobody's perfect, but to be of power is to be more flexible and know how to find your alignment when you need it most. This is an inspiring book. I found it easy to absorb. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.