Review: Living a Spiritual Life in a Material World

Living A Spiritual Life in A Material World –
Four Keys to Fulfillment and Balance

Author: Anna Gatmon, PhD
She Writes Press
2017
ISBN #978-1-63152-256-7

Living A Spiritual Life cover

“The goal is not

to lose oneself in

the Divine Consciousness.

The goal is to let the

Divine Consciousness

penetrate into matter

and transform it.”

~ The Mother

It is probably the hardest thing that any of us can do – trying to live a spiritual life in a material world. I admire Gatmon for all that she has accomplished in her life – overcoming a dysfunctional childhood, accepting the offer to become a model and live in Paris, traveling internationally as a model, marrying and raising two children, becoming a transformative counselor, and being willing to share her insights through this book.

The voice that comes through in this book is one that strongly reminds me of people like German philosopher/spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, Indian physican/spiritualist Deepak Chopra, Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and Mexican author don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements). What all of these individuals have in common is that they present us with ways of living our lives that bring our spiritual life into alignment with our daily life.

The system that Gatmon presents us with is that of the Four Keys to Fulfillment and Balance. These keys are: (1) Expansive Presence: The Key to Sacred Awareness, (2) Attentive Listening: The Key to Inner Wisdom,  (3) Inspired Action: The Key to Manifesting, and (4) Faith-Filled Knowing: The Key to Ongoing Co-Creation.  In following these four practices in our daily lives, we bring our own spirituality into the material world.

The Four Keys are meant to help us improve our intuitive decision making, empowering us to become our own spiritual guide. The aim is to allow us to live a spiritually meaningful life while remaining connected to our daily lives in the material/physical world. Some of the benefits of what we learn in “Living A Spiritual Life in A Material World” include:

  • Get out of a dispirited mood within minutes
  • Shift from feeling alone in the world to feeling that you are cared for and guided by a loving Universe
  • Enhance your impact on daily situations
  • Develop your intuitive decision-making skills
  • Gain practical tools for manifesting your true and authentic self
  • Feel passionately engaged in expressing your unique divine purpose
  • Find a greater sense of harmony, intimacy, and connection with people
  • Lead an overall healthier physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual life.
  • Make a conscious choice to actively seek out the Divine and the Sacred on a daily basis and you can truly alleviate your suffering and find happiness.

Each chapter includes commentary on the energy model being discussed, as well as how to place this action in our daily lives. For example, the chapter on Expansive Presence includes thoughts on expansive sensations, expansive emotions, and expansive thoughts. Gateways to expansion that Gatmon discusses are breathing, experiencing gratitude, expanding through language, and engaging in authentic self-expression. At the end of each chapter is a summary of the principles discussed in that chapter.

The narrative flows well, and includes stories from Gatmon’s personal life, as well as insights and testimonials from her doctoral research. I cannot say it better than Gatmon says it herself in her epilogue: “Practicing gratitude and conscious breathing, engaging in authentic expression, and spending time in nature are some of the ways you can expand your consciousness and enter into union with  this spiritual existence. In this state of mind, you can listen attentively and decipher subtle, intuitive information that can guide your choices and actions. All that remains for you to do is to act upon this guidance with inspiration and determination, allowing the spiritual reality to penetrate and transform your ordinary, mundane life. As you do that, your faith will deepen and you will find that you have become a channel for wisdom to come through transforming your world and the people whom you touch.”

I highly recommend this as a tool of personal empowerment.

© Bonnie Cehovet May 2017

We Are Here – Love Never Dies

We Are Here –
Love Never Dies

Author: Jane Smith Bernhardt
Burnham Press
2009
ISBN #978-0-615-34131-6

Jane Smith Bernhardt is a professional portrait artist, author and performer. In her work, her focus is on using creativity as a vehicle for human transformation. She is a graduate of the Guild For Spiritual Guidance, and has spent years in training in spiritual guidance, meditation and energy healing.

Within a very short time period Bernhardt lost her father, her children’s father, and her step-mother. Prior to her father’s death, they had spent a great deal of time one spiritual studies, including the works of Dr. Raymond Moody (“Life After Life”), Yogananda, Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh. Jane’s first thought on her father’s passing was that he went in his sleep, in a peaceful manner.

On the plane from where she lived on the east coast to her father’s home in California, Jane began to receive communications from her father. He assured her that he was in a good place, and that he was happy. His concern was that he never intended to leave his wife, Angelika (Jane’s step-mother) alone. He asked Jane to be there for Angelika.

Jane’s relationship with her step-mother has, at best, been an awkward one. Yet, she knows that she and her sisters need to be there for her. And she, Jane, will be the one to pass on communications from her father, Angelika’s husband of forty years. Angelika looks forward to the communications, and this forges a bond between her and Jane.

The book is written in the manner of a journal, with her father’s communications, Angelika’s responses, and Jane’s thoughts. One of her first thoughts was that she would only receive the one communication, the one she got while on the plane. Her father assured her that he would be able to continue communicating, which was the case.

A sample of the communications from Jane’s father right after he crossed over:

“Don’t worry about anything, Jane. I mean that. It’s harder to speak to you now. I’m kind of further along with this thing. It’s so beautiful … I really get caught up in it. I’m learning such wonderful things. It’s pur flight, and I’m becoming part of it … so wors are harder now. But I’m sending energy to Angelika, and they assure me that she won’t be alone. You know, we’re still together … that’s the amazing part.”

“Angelika, honey, you’ll be here soon. Don’t worry about it. It’ll be fine. I know that. And now you won’t be alone either. You’re never alone! That’s what I was starting to feel before I left … it was all so peaceful. The shifting is really pretty easy. You just let go. And they take care of the rest. I mean it. It’s just the way I hoped that it would be … only better.”

“Jane: I have assurance here that you’ll really be taken care of. All you need to do is focus on this work … and what great work it is! I’ll help too.”The communication continues on this way for some time. The Jane’s children’s father suffers an aneurysm, and is hospitalized in a coma. The messages that she receives from him are about his concern for his botched relationships with her and two of their three children – one of which is Jane’s from her first marriage. (He and Jane were married for eighteen years. After their divorce he remarried and started a second family.) He is in a coma for four weeks, after which he is conscious, and able to talk to his children. He mends his relationships, and then suffers another sever brain hemorrhage, which is fatal.

Right after her children’s father crosses over, Jane receives word that Angelika has peacefully crossed over.

Jane goes on with her work. While the messages from her father spoke of confirming the afterlife, hope, and angelic guides, the messages from her children’s father had been about the importance of forgiveness. At the end of the book, Jane states that the lasting lesson for her in all of this was that spiritual help is available to any of us at any time. There is a host of unseen spiritual helpers surrounding us, waiting to be called on.

The messages in this book are meant for all of us – it crosses the boundaries of culture, nationality and race, and binds us together as children of Spirit. It is a book of encouragement and reassurance, that there is an afterlife, that we can communicate with our loved ones, that thee is a reason for this life, and that we do have choice.

From her foreword: “Imagine that all things are possible in Love.”

© April 2010 Bonnie Cehovet