Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I was a little concerned, after reading the introduction, that the word God would distract from my enjoyment of this book. I'm one of those guys who grew up around Us vs. Them Christians, and even as a middle aged man I find the idea of an externalized God/redeemer off-putting on my best days. However the poet Em Claire is so talented and skillful, and her poems so mysterious and beautiful, I didn't mind in the slightest. I found myself identifying with the deity she spoke of, as more like the oneness you feel in meditation, rather than the separation preached by fundamentalists. Matter of fact she's so skilled at pulling you into her magical wording, it becomes easy to let go of preconceived notions and just explore where she's coming from. There's certainly a healing power in these poems. The cut and feel of the pages, also add to the mystical quality of this book. I'd recommend this book to any hopeless romantic regardless of religious persuasion or denominational inclination. This review represents my honest opinion of the book. I was given a free copy for review purposes from Hay House, and wasn't paid or coerced in any way.

You can buy a copy of Em Claire's Silent, Sacred, Holy, Deepening Heart directly from the publisher by clicking on the picture link above.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Brave and beautifully written, the poems in Nancy Levin's Writing for My Life speak on her personal experience, while managing to inspire and teach at the same time. Some of the lessons are easier than others. Many are lifelong themes we all go back to and revisit occasionally. Some of the poems come across as painful and amazing in a way that only poetry possibly can. But it's not a gloomy collection. The underlying theme is about overcoming, and coming back to who you really are. Being true to yourself without finger-pointing. The writing is done through the eyes of the author as she went through a divorce after 15 years of marriage. However, her pain and separation become the reader's pain and separation. Writing for My Life...Reclaiming the Lost Pieces of Me is a deep, intense work of art. It will get under your skin and teach you some things if you give it a chance. There is great value in her words, and I look forward to reading more of Nancy Levin's work in the future. I received a free copy of this book for review purposes from its publisher, Hay House. I wasn't paid or influenced in any way for this review. It is my honest assessment of the work.
I've recently rekindled my love of poetry. I've found it works really well with my mindfulness meditation practice. It also helps me deal with the stress of being a stay-at-home dad of 4, very loud, boys, and also the demands of being a personal trainer. On the surface it wouldn't seem a subject that has anything to do with health and fitness, but like I always say 'bodybuilding is a mental process.' So anything good for the mind, is good for the gains. I'll be posting the occasional poetry review on my blog, mixed in with all the other empowering books I find helpful. Keep your head up. Today is a great day to be great.