Review: Ordinary Mystic – Practicing the Presence

Ordinary Mystic
Practicing the Presence

Author: Curran Galway
Balboa Press
2016
ISBN #978-1-5043-4952-9

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The primary character in this novel is thirty-five year old Bridget McGuire. She is in a dysfunctional marriage, tied to the day to day care of three children under the age of five. She felt invisible until she went on one of a series of retreats in the Santa Cruz mountains of California, which is where she fell in love with God.

The premise of the novel is that Bridget McGuire is an ordinary mystic, feeling the need to tell her story to others, so that she could awaken other mystics. I have a problem right here, with individuals who call themselves mystics. Yes, Bridget calls herself an ordinary mystic (i.e. someone functioning in the ordinary, physical who has mystical experiences). While this does not take away from the story itself, it does clash with my beliefs, and whoever reads this review should know this. I certainly believe in mystical experiences, I just have difficulty with people identifying as mystics.

The backbone of this story is about how Bridget struggles to integrate the extraordinary into the ordinary in her life. With not enough time in the day, she manages to start each day in meditation, reaching out to form a connection with God. She tries to carry that energy with her throughout the day.

Bridget is a stay at home mom, with a marriage that is unraveling, and a husband who has issues with alcohol. She is disconnected from her biological family, which is fairly dysfunctional stemming from issues within both of her parents. Her husband’s family is also dysfunctional, with the added issue of alcohol problems. The dysfunction within both families is what led to Bridget and her husband marrying at an early age – for both of them it was an escape from difficult home environments.

At the retreat, which Bridget returns to several times, she begins to fall in love with the priest that is doing the teaching. (Bridget and her husband were both brought up in the Catholic faith. The retreat is a Catholic retreat.) Through her discussions with this priest (Father Christian Mann), Bridget begins to see a bigger, clearer picture of life.  She finds, to her shock, that Father Mann is questioning his faith. (In his fifties, Father Mann has served the church since he was very young.)

Bridget builds a picture in her mind of forming a life with Father Mann, as she sees her life with her husband disintegrating. There are good times, and difficult times, as Bridget comes to realize that Father Mann has more issues than just the questioning of his faith.

An important thing to remember here is the time in which this story takes place – the 1980’s. If we remember this, we can keep a clear perspective on the issues within both families, and the issues within the church. The issues within both families revolve around strong, autocratic fathers who see themselves in charge of everything within the family, and the final word on everything. The issues within the church revolve around whether priests should be allowed to marry, on alcoholism within the priesthood, and the church’s views on the place of women.

The writing in this book is fluid, and the story flows. There are high emotions across the scale that grab the reader and hold them riveted to the story. The characters are well defined, and stay true to themselves. It is of note that this fictional story is based on Curran Galway’s true life story.

I found this book to be important because it made the lives of the characters seem real. The decisions that Bridget McGuire had to make were a logical progression of where her life was heading. I found a bit of discrepancy in some of Bridget’s actions, based on her financial foundation, but the life story held strong. Readers who have had mystical experiences, but have not come out with them for fear of being judged, will find wisdom in this book. I recommend this book for those wishing to understand mystical experiences, as well as those wishing to form a personal connection with God.

© August 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

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Review: Dreams of Heaven – Two Realities – One Divine Truth

Dreams of Heaven
Two Realities. One Divine Truth.

Author: Elizabeth M. Herrera
Blue Gator Inc.
ISBN #978-0-9903492-3-5

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Dreamtime is a time of healing, but sometimes our dreams can haunt us. This is the case for Savannah Watkins – she dreams of losing her husband and children in a horrific car accident. She, however, survives. Or does she? As she struggles with the two realities, Jesus Christ appears to her. Not only to her, but to her entire family! Her children are excited to be talking to Jesus – her husband does not want to believe that Jesus is right in front of him. It bothers him to the extent that he keeps fainting whenever Jesus appears.

This book is written in a very pleasing format – alternating between one reality and the other, and bringing in other family members, and pets. Jesus sits and chats with Savannah about all sorts of things. He walks with her on the beach, and he takes an incredible trip through a grocery store with her!

Savannah is on very much a fantasy journey with Jesus, as he tries to get her to understand who she is in relation to God (indeed, who we all are!), and what powers she actually has. Savannah asks questions about life, and Jesus answers them – in his own manner. What he actually wants is for Savannah to come to her own answers.

As Savannah comes to know herself better, she begins to feel the love emanating from spirit, the love that we are capable of gifting to each other. She see that love emanating from herself, her husband, and her children. It fills her with peace and joy. Knowing this, she makes the decision on which reality is hers. No spoilers – I won’t tell you what she decides!

It is interesting to note that the inspiration for Dreams of Heaven came from a vivid dream that Herrera had. In the dream, Jesus Christ appeared, and showed her four scenes. This became the foundation for this book. Jesus acts as a guide in one of the most wonderful stories that I have ever read. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

 © July 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review: Find and Follow Your Inner Compass

Find and Follow Your INNER COMPASS
Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload

Author: Barbara Berger
O-Books
2017
ISBN #1780995105

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I have been an ardent fan of Barbara Berger for many years now. Her style is real, personal, and down to earth. She is there to help the reader help themselves, to define and lead a quality life. She cares. In “Find and Follow Your INNER COMPASS”, Berger addresses the fact that we are continually being bombarded with information on what we need to do, as well as what we shouldn’t be doing, to live a happy life. The bottom line here is that we need to decide what is right for us as individuals, and follow that path.

In her foreword Berger talks about how plugged in we are to each other, how we have constant online access to what everyone is thinking, saying, feeling, and doing. I read these words, and think about my younger years. Rotary dial phones (only came in black, and the repairman did come inside the house), typewriters (and the advent of erasable typing paper), and hand written, snail mail letters. (Loads of perfumed letters were sent through the mail!).

Berger states that we are continually bombarded by what we “should” and “should not” do to live a happy life. She posits that how can anyone know what is best for themselves in any given situation? Is there a way to take into consideration each individual’s wants, needs, and desires?  This book is all about finding one’s internal guidance system – one’s Inner Compass. We all have an Inner Compass, and it is always sharing information with us. How does it do this? Through our emotions. What a thought!

In this book Berger talks about our emotions, and why they are important. When we live a life aligned with our Inner Compass, and our emotions, we are aligned with who we truly are, and with what is most suitable for us. Part One talks about what our Inner Compass is, and how it works.  Part Two addresses the challenges of working with our Inner Compass, such as what sabotages our ability to listen to and follow our Inner Compass. What is the true significance of our emotions? Are we being selfish in doing so? How can we constructively deal with the fear of other people’s disapproval?

Throughout the book Berger presents, in terms that we can all  understand, what our emotions are, and how we can use them to guide our lives. What I really liked was when she connected our Inner Compass with the Great Universal Intelligence. Now we are rocking! When we are aligned with this very basic yes/no system, we are happy and content. When we are not aligned, we feel discomfort and uneasy. Bottom line – we feel better when we are aligned with ourselves, when we are being our true selves. Our Inner Compass basically tells us how we feel about life, how we feel about our decision, how we feel about what is going on around us.

Berger gives us two basic reasons why we may not be in contact with our Inner Compass: (1) a lack of awareness that our Inner Compass even exists, and (2) most of us have been trained from childhood to make most of our decisions with an eye to pleasing other people. Another biggie that Berger addresses is that we may have been taught that our feelings did not matter. (My immediate thought here was that as women enter various professions, they distance themselves from their emotions so as to appear to make “logical” decisions. A corollary to this is that most boys are taught from day one not to cry, not to express their emotions. No wonder we have not connected with our Inner Compass!)

There is an excellent exercise in Part One that helps the reader to connect with their Inner Compass. In doing this exercise, it is very evident that Berger relies not only on what she has studied, what she has been taught, but what she has learned in working with her clients. Win/win!

Berger advises her readers to check in with their Inner Compasses regularly. Life is ever evolving, we are always having to make decisions – so yes, connect with your Inner Compass as many times a day as you need to! In conjunction with connecting with our Inner Compass is the thought that we have to deal with our own personal fear of our emotions.  Berger suggests that we start slowly when connecting to our Inner Compass, so that we do not overload ourselves with anxiety. We are told that change will happen naturally and automatically. Whew!

One of the really nice little “add ins” that Berger gives the reader is an emotional scale, running from high, good feeling energy, to low, bad feeling energy. This is both an interesting and helpful scale.

I also loved the examples given in the book, such a dealing with a job offer, and a marriage crisis. Examples of what each of us can face in life at any point in time. Berger also addresses what can happen when we do not pay attention to our Inner Compass, and that negative emotions can actually be our friend. I love the breakdown of life activities into “Survival”, “In Between Stuff”, and “Your Passion”. A good way to give ourselves a heads up on where to put our energy.

Part Two deals with dealing with our fear of disapproval and other challenges to following our Inner Compass. Berger talks about our concern that if we follow our Inner Compass, we will make someone else unhappy. She talks about our thinking determining our experience, and that happiness is really an inside job. She also reminds us that different people react differently to the same situation. I love the section on taking our power back – that in reality we are the only ones that can make ourselves happy. Berger also references very real issues, such as other people being out of alignment, and wanting us to fix them, and arbitrary standards of behavior (standards of behavior set by people or groups outside of ourselves). Berger shares a wonderful map on assertive rights by Manuel J. Smith (from “When I Say No, I Feel Guilty).

I am not going to state what her experience was, because that would be a spoiler, but Berger shares what her Inner Compass told her at a significant time in her life, and how it changed her life.

This is a fantastic book! If you are willing to work with it, your life will flow freely, and you will experience anything that you have the ability to envision! Definitely a resource book for personal growth!

 © July 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review – Angel Reading Cards

Angel Reading Cards

Author: Debbie Malone
Artist: Amalia I. Chitulescu
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
2016
ISBN #978-1-57281-862-0

angel-reading-cards-cover

Angel Reading Cards is a 36 card deck and 92 page guidebook, based on working with the energy of the Angelic realm. The cards and book come in a sturdy box, with the same light colored bubble background as the backs of the cards. The box has a magnetic closure along the right hand side. There is a silver insert for the cards. Very nice presentation! The concept is to work with Angels in specific situations – to understand that you can always call on them.

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In her introduction, Malone reminds us that angels are only a thought away – that we are never alone. The cards are meant to remind us of the spiritual beings that we always have around us. We are reminded that we have a personal Guardian Angel that is with us for life, but that throughout our life we have had access to Angelic energy as needed. We simply have to ask for it. Angels are there to help us, but they need to be asked first. Malone also talks about our ancestral angels and spirit guides. The messages in this book are channeled messages, channeled through Malone.

 

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In the section on how to use the cards, Malone talks about dedicating them, dealing with cards that jump out, doing one card daily readings, and presents templates for a three card Angel Guidance Layout, a seven card An Angel For Everyday Layout, a three card Angel Encouragement Layout, a four card Angels of Purpose Layout, and a six card Resolution Layout.

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Each card is presented with a full page color image, card title, card purpose, a description of the cards energy, and how to use it, and an affirmation. For example – The Angel of Inner Peace shows the purpose of “Surrender your worries to the Universe. Reconnect today and feel inner peace.” The affirmation is: “I am grateful for the assistance that I receive from my Angel of Inner Peace. Whenever I feel inner turmoil and stress, I allow my Angel of Inner Peace to help me to re-center and find peace within myself.”

 

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The cards are 3 ¾” by 5 ½”. The backs show a light colored bubble pattern, with a pair of white wings centered in the middle of the card. , The back is not reversible. The card faces show a gold outer border, with a thin white inner border. The card title is centered at the bottom of the card, with the card number above it.

 

 

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The card imagery is a combination of photography and digital painting, superimposing the real world over a dreamy world. It shows a juxtaposition of light and dark which works very well. The choice of Angelic energy, and the modern nature of the imagery, will appeal to many people. It does not to me. Rather than working with known angels, we are working with “concepts”, such as the Angel of Parking, the Angel of Stress, the Angel of Strength, the Chakra Balancing Angel, and an angel for each of the clairs (Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, and Claircognizance). There is even a Career Angel. I understand that lightening things up will reach more people, but this was a bit too light for me.

 

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The cards are beautifully presented, and their purpose is attained – helping the reader connect to a higher real, and seek the assistance needed to do our best in everyday life.

 © November 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

FREE KINDLE GIVEAWAY!

Can I Give You A New Kindle Fire?

Kindle Fire

I need a quick favor, and to encourage you to say yes, I have decided to give away a brand new Kindle Fire next Monday (11/03/14). Do you want it?

Yes, it is a $139 value, and someone reading this post is going to win it.  Will this be you?

Here’s the deal.

In order for my books to become an official “Bestseller” on the Amazon Kindle platform I need real customers … with real sales and real testimonials posted on the Amazon website. What’s surprising is that it doesn’t take a million orders to become a best seller. If just 50 people buy my latest Kindle book at (at just 99 cents this weekend – Friday, 10/31/14 through Sunday, 11/02/14) it has a great chance of being at or near the top of the list of holiday self-help books.

NOTE: I MESSED UP WHEN I SET THE PRICE FOR THIS CONTEST. IT IS UP ON AMAZON FOR FREE! BECAUSE THIS IS MY ERROR, I AM HONORING THE CONTEST, AND THE KINDLE FIRE WILL BE GIVEN AWAY! 

What better way to motivate you to help me than to create an “ethical bribe” so you and a few other buyers will buy my updated Kindle book for just $.99 … then just write a nice testimonial. (Really – this is less than a dollar!) If you like it … please rate it five stars!

I don’t know if two people will do this favor for me, or 100 people, but the odds of you winning the Kindle Fire are far better than winning the lottery!

Top_Hat_Pin

Next Monday (11/03/14) I am going to take all of the testimonials directly from the Amazon page. Then I am going to toss them in a hat, and I am going to randomly pull out the winner of the new Kindle Fire.

Then I am going to have a new Kindle Fire shipped to your home … no matter what country you live in … just for buying a $1 book and writing a nice testimonial.

NOTE: I MESSED UP WHEN I SET THE PRICE FOR THIS CONTEST. IT IS UP ON AMAZON FOR FREE! BECAUSE THIS IS MY ERROR, I AM HONORING THE CONTEST, AND THE KINDLE FIRE WILL BE GIVEN AWAY! 

Oh, remember, if you don’t win you still get to download and read a really great book on surviving the holidays that will truly keep your stress level in check!

After this promotion, the price of my book will be raised back to the original price ($9.99).

Some of you may wonder why you have to purchase this book to take part in this promotion. After all, you can leave a testimonial, even if you don’t own the book. <Ahem!> There is some logic here!

Book buyers are given more credibility than non-buyers. If you write a testimony  on a book that you don’t own, Amazon doesn’t think it’s very credible. But if you actually buy it with your Amazon account, they think it’s highly credible, and place your testimonial higher on the page. This helps new people discover “Surviving The Holidays”, which will help give them a handle on their holidays.

So if you are willing to help get the newly revised version of “Surviving The Holidays” to a best seller status, use this link:  “Surviving The Holidays”.

Please download it this weekend (10/31/14 – 11/02/14) and post your testimonial before 11/03/14.

WE HAVE A WINNER!  MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT ENTERED THIS CONTEST! OUR WINNER IS CARMEN WATERMAN!

Bonnie Cehovet

Author of “Surviving The Holidays”, co-author of “Seek Joy … Toss Confetti” on Amazon Kindle.