Tag Archives: self-help

Rose: Future Heart by Jazalyn (Book Review)

A socially underprivileged rose witnesses unpleasant events and behaviors that threaten Her inner peace and is determined to set life and love aside in order to find Her true, pure and moral parts of character.

30 petals of MOOD and STATUS.

A society full of INJUSTICES and UNFAIRNESS.

A ROLE She doesn’t want to play.

A RAGE. A RAVE.

A PAST that leads to HATE.

A RARE SOUL.

A wishful CHANGE of HEART.

She AROSE and She ROSE.

From IGNORANCE to STRENGTH.

A FUTURE that should lead to LOVE.

But can there be LOVE?

A dark fantasy magical realism poetic novel that endures urban social issues and inequality, and challenges self esteem, self help, self improvement, self development, healing.

I never knew how to have
I’ve learned to live without love
And I can’t change all of a sudden
Something’s got to happen

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

Reading Rose: Future Heart was like riding on a merry-go-round that never stops. You go up (I want to love and be loved) and down (love escapes me, no one will ever love me). 

Jazalyn’s poetry speaks of love in different intensities, which usually piggyback on jealousy, tears, pain, feeling of shame and humiliation, and reasons why love eludes them. They speak of not becoming a lover until they find their “perfect fit” (“No Lover”). There is no perfect fit; we all have flaws. You might see these flaws as you date or move in together. Eventually, the imperfections will surface. Saving yourself for perfection is a goal that’ll be difficult to obtain.

The author discusses other reasons they can’t have intimate relations: OCD, mysophobia, and germophobia. I have OCD and am a germophobe, but “mysophobia” was new to me. Upon a quick internet search, I discovered it meant having an extreme or irrational fear of dirt and contamination. They feared disease entering their body. I get that, but unless a person with mysophobia wants a sexless life, they need to seek counseling for this condition.

 

Favorite poems:

“Entertainment Made Me Love Like That” – People indeed use many forms of creative outlets to help them cope with internal and external pain. I hope writing brings the author comfort and peace. 

“Sleeping Beauty (Life Back)” – I thought it was interesting writing about what’s going on inside the mind of the sleeping beauty. I’ve watched the movie many times, and not once did I stop and wonder what she was thinking or dreaming about. 

 

Overall impression: The collection was not my cup of tea. I was going to score it two, but upon reflection, I decided to score it based on how it would be received by others who struggle to find or retain love in their life – for those who are looking for their “perfect someone” to make them whole. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

About the Author

With 150,000+ engagements and 20,000+ followers that grow more and more across 7 social media platforms, Jazalyn is among the most-promising newcomers authors-poets.

Her books have sold in 4 Continents and have been featured on best-seller category-based lists on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon AU. Soon she will expand in every corner of the Earth.

Jazalyn attracts all cultures and traditions with an audience from all walks and stages of life as a consequence of the universal atmosphere that encircles her themes.

Her innovative and versatile writing style stemming from abstraction and absurdness captivates mystery and suspense with words swimming in surrealism and magical realism.

Her imaginative and inventive narration unites the philosophical with the psychological and the scientific elements of both fantasy and fiction that create and solve riddles and puzzles.

In what results as a contemporary genre of cinematic (epic) poetry in slice of life-vignette expression which provokes thinking and eyes new horizons.

Her latest books vViIrRuUsS, Rose, Hollow signify Jazalyn’s transition towards literary magnificence.

 

Website Link

Twitter Link

Amazon Author Page Link

 

 

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A Midlife Voyage to Transformation by Donna Roe Daniell (Book Review and Author Interview)

A MIDLIFE VOYAGE TO TRANSFORMATION by Donna Roe Daniell

 
Can You Step into Your Power and Birth a New You at Midlife?

YES! Midlife, and the major events that encompass the ages of 35-65, can be devastating or powerful for women. But we can choose to be awakened at this powerful time of life. This memoir is the story of Donna Daniell’s healing journey through the five stages of the midlife voyage-Lost at Sea; Finding a Mooring; Deep Diving; Rebirthing; and the New You-to find self-love, resilience, and feminine wisdom. It is also a roadmap for other women on the midlife journey, charting a course that transmutes challenges into inner rebirth and stepping into the power of the Wisewoman.

​FIND YOUR OWN INNER STRENGTH – TAKE THE VOYAGE TO TRANSFORMATION!

 
BUY THE BOOK:
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add to goodreads
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
A Midlife Voyage to Transformation touches upon many aspects of Donna Roe Daniell’s life: postpartum depression, divorces, ADHD, career, and family heartache.
 
First, as a mother with two ADD children, I can attest to their brightness. Some teachers see these children as destructive, but their brains are working at max speed and need continuous stimuli. Like Julian, my son picked up music. My daughter loves art. 
 
Donna was overwhelmed often, and who could blame her—she had a lot on her plate. Peter, her first husband, checked out on her (physically and emotionally). He wasn’t an active parent or spouse. How and when he told Donna the marriage was over was cold. 


When Donna married Brett, I thought she’d finally found her one true love. I was shocked at the completion of their marriage. He appeared to be the dad Julian needed and the spouse Donna deserved. 


Donna, through all her emotional turmoil, discovered how to love herself. She found strength in mind and body. Heck, she climbed Kilimanjaro, and that is no easy feat. 


I hope that Donna and Julian’s relationship continues to be close. I wish her luck in her yoga teachings and the next chapter of her life. She seems ready, willing, and able to tackle any obstacle (mentally and physically). 


In summation, A Midlife Voyage to Transformation will inspire women to find their true happiness, regardless of relationship status. It might motivate some people to test their strength and try a task they’ve only dreamed of.


 Believe in yourself. Love yourself. And remember, you control your fate.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

 

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon
add to goodreads

 

 

Meet the Author:

Author Donna Roe Daniell

Donna Roe Daniell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Colorado and has had a private practice in the Boulder/Longmont area since 2005 called Balance Your Life Coaching & Psychotherapy. She has offered family therapy and individual trauma treatment using mind/body trauma tools such as mindfulness, yoga and IFS through her psychotherapy practice. Since 2015, she has focused her coaching practice for women in midlife on unique programs to specifically empower women going through major midlife challenges to grieve and rebirth themselves through the 5 stages of her Midlife Voyage to Transformation. Today, through her website, Donna offers on-line courses, Talks and live workshops, mp3 guided practices to support this book, and adventure and mindfulness retreats in nature for women wanting support to wake up, become unstuck, and find a transformative healing path through life’s challenges.

 

 

What was the most difficult part about writing your memoir?

Figuring out how and where to end it.   I wasn’t sure how to show my “transformation” other than in showing how I lead women’s retreats for women in transitions.  But, in the process of showing and creating that, I was continuing to develop new tools for continuing my developmental process as a “Sixties Woman” which I also felt was another chapter and an important part of my rebirth into my fuller wisdom and power.  I left this out, ultimately and just showed the power of “nature practices” in the Afterward. 

 

How did you choose which stories in your life to write about?

I let my heart guide what I wrote about.  First, I wrote those first stories about my ancestors (my Great Aunt Bob and my Aunt Pat) who had influenced me to be more adventurous and find who I was as a young girl, teen and young adult.  Then I wrote about my special sister Marjorie’s death and how that impacted me. That led me to my wonderful leap-experience of moving to Colorado at 24 and meeting my Aunt Bob’s best friend Eleanor Bliss who still lived in Steamboat Springs where I moved.  Eleanor invited me totally into her life and I’ll never forget the impact that had on me.  Then, I wrote about my first marriage, the joy of raising Julian, and the divorce.  Then I had the perspective of what was missing in my childhood and how I found it in my move to Colorado.  The rest of the stories and learning flowed from this. 

 

Why did you decide to write a memoir instead of a guidebook for midlife? You say this is a guidebook and a memoir.  Why? 

I wanted to use more coaching terminology and make it more of a self-help book for women in midlife.  My editor suggested that might be my second book, but it would be too distracting to the stories as I had lain them out so far. I took her advice, but I still feel there’s so much more I want to say about midlife and what I have learned from riding the waves and learning from each painful loss.  Now, looking back, I think I portrayed more in “showing” rather than “telling.”  What do you think?

 

How did your Therapist Part come out in the writing of your memoir?  Other parts of you?

She guided me when I was writing the IFS chapter(Chap. 6) and shared her experience of learning the model and how it liberated my work as a psychotherapist.  But I wrote most of this book from my Self-Leader who compassionately was holding and tenderly inviting all my other parts to come out and share their truths.  This is the outcome of deep IFS work: To learn how to lovingly embrace, invite, negotiate with, and compassionately witness your parts daily from a deeply loving parental place (SELF LEADERSHIP) so they are free to be alive fully in your life.

 

 

How did you deal with the deeply emotional conflicts & feelings of your relationships over and over again in order to write about these events for others?  Was it healing or re-traumatizing?

It was sometimes healing and sometimes re-traumatizing.  It depended on what Part was coming forward when I was writing and how I worked with her.  In trauma therapy we learn that talking and relating the same painful story over and over again actually re-traumatizes you and drops the trauma deeper into your nervous system.  It’s better to tell your story from the actual parts who experienced the traumatic experience and now hold the pain. For example, when I was writing about my divorces, I tried to let my “angry wife”  and “mother” parts speak a bit, and then show how I worked with, comforted them or dialogued with them, from my Self-Leader.  In the first 6 chapters, I really dropped into speaking from many of my parts knowing I was choosing to give them room and attention that they needed to tell their stories.

 

 

I hear writers often say that the book wrote itself in some way, that the writing process took on a life of its own.   Did that happen for you in writing this memoir?

Yes, as I spoke about this earlier, the second half of the book wrote itself because I realized it was leading me to something I needed to learn about  my relationship with my mom.  I had to relive and re-feel my mom’s death and her experience with bringing in compassion to herself, through Melissa, her powerfully loving caregiver, so that I could find some sense of letting go or forgiveness to flow.  This process helped my own self-compassion to grow enough so I could face and allow the paradoxical grief and joy that I was feeling about so many things: choosing to end my second marriage, my son’s distance from me, and being released by my mother finally.  Each time I got stuck, I just went back to my heart and what it was showing me about how to keep loving, allowing grief to flow, and staying open to it all. 

 

What is your next project?

I think I want to tell the stories of women on the self-compassionate healing path through grief. Their stories of how grief works in and through them and how they come out on the other side.

I want to talk about how we Crones or Wise Women of this moment are called to do this grief work and how to find our wholeness through deep eco-dharma practice:  Inner and outer work.

 

connect with the author:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sometimes When I’m Mad by Deborah Serani (Book Review)

​​
Award-winning author and psychologist Dr. Deborah Serani and illustrator Kyra Teis team up again for a companion to “Sometimes When I’m Sad” that tackles the difficult feeling of anger. “Sometimes When I’m Mad” describes a child’s experience with anger and the many ways it can surface, along with ways children – and adults who love them – can use anger management techniques.
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon Walmart
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Children can and will get angry. Infants express anger through their cries because that’s the only way they know how to vocalize their emotions. 


Toddlers through tantrums. These are known as the “terrible 2’s.” Preschoolers and older children will succumb to anger and react in their own fashion. Some kids scream, throw objects, break things, cry, or get physical. Adults have been known to react in the same manner. 


It’s important to teach children how to handle their anger, so they grow up with a healthy understanding of how to cope and react when the emotion builds up inside them. 


In Sometimes When I’m Mad, Deborah Serani, Psy.D. gives “Caring Adults” tips and tools to help them “spot anger in children of various ages,” and “ways to encourage healthy anger expression.”


It’s okay to get mad, but it’s how we deal with that anger that defines us. 


Together, Deborah Serani, Psy.D (author), and Kyra Reis (illustrator) show different scenarios that might elicit an angry outburst from a child. As you read Sometimes When I’m Mad, ask your child what’s the appropriate or incorrect way to handle upsetting situations. 


For adults, I encourage you to read and use all the resources provided by Deborah Serani, Psy.D.


To Kyra Reis: Great job on your illustrations. We particularly loved the cats. We also have a cat who loves to sniff shoes. 😀

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:  

Author Deborah Serani

Deborah Serani, Psy.D. is psychologist in practice over 30 years. She is also a senior professor at Adelphi University and has been published in academic journals on many psychological subjects. Dr. Serani is a go-to expert for psychological issues. Her interviews can be found at ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post and USA Today, and affiliate radio station programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. She is also a TEDx speaker and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her. Dr. Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres.

 

Connect with the author: 
 ​​website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ goodreads
 
 

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Sometimes When I’m Sad by Deborah Serani (Book Review)

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“Sometimes When I’m Sad” is a sensitive and supportive story to help young children recognize and cope with sadness. Written by psychologist, Deborah Serani, Psy.D. and illustrated by Kyra Teis, this award-winning children’s book is also an invaluable resource for parents, teachers, caregivers and other mental health professionals. “Sometimes When I’m Sad” has been endorsed by Jo Frost, The Supernanny and pediatric depression expert ,Dr. Joan Luby.


Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Indiebound ~ Walmart ~
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Sadness is not an adult issue. As Deborah Serani, Psy.D. (the author) and Kyra Teis (the illustrator) depicted, sadness can strike people of all ages. The author is correct – when someone is sad, sometimes nothing helps alleviate their sadness. 


While this book was intended for children, parents can significantly benefit from the last portion of the story. Deborah Serani, Psy.D. gives insightful clues on “How To Spot Sadness In Children of Various Ages,” “Ways To Reduce Sadness In Children,” “When To Seek Professional Help,” and “Resources For More Information And Support.” In the last-mentioned section, there are websites and helpline numbers. 


When your child is feeling sad, I encourage you to share this story with them. Use the powerful images created by Kyra Teis and ask if they ever feel sad and, if so, how do they handle it. 


Sometimes When I’m Sad would be a beneficial tool for child therapists, counselors, or social workers. 


In conclusion, the story is simple to understand and read, so it’s a perfect fit for young readers — whether they are currently experiencing sadness or not. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:  

Author Deborah Serani

Deborah Serani, Psy.D. is psychologist in practice over 30 years. She is also a senior professor at Adelphi University and has been published in academic journals on many psychological subjects. Dr. Serani is a go-to expert for psychological issues. Her interviews can be found at ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post and USA Today, and affiliate radio station programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. She is also a TEDx speaker and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her. Dr. Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres.

Connect with the author: 
 ​​website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ goodreads

 
 

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Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten (Book Review)

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​Maria Hopfgarten’s son Jacob was born on January 31, 2006. He was the most perfect baby boy she had ever seen. But Jacob had devastating health issues, culminating in a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, a fatal condition. In the ten short years of Jacob’s life, Maria found strength in blogging about Jacob’s life. Her raw, honest posts from the year after Jacob’s passing have been gathered into this book along with Maria’s tips for parents coping with their their own grief after losing a child. “If you have lost a child, you know you’re weathering the largest storm life can bring you. I hope that my words of loss, tears, punches, smiles, friendships, and renewed happiness can give you a sense of not being along on this journey.”​
 
Buy the Book
Amazon
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
No story has ever hit me as hard as Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten didThe “Introduction” did not just bring tears to my eyes; it had me sobbing. I had to lay the book down several times because I could not see the words through my tears. 


Each “letter” to Jacob touched my heart deeply, and I felt the family’s pain and their love during and after his departure from this world. At the end of each letter, Maria Hopfgarten (the author and mother to Jacob) gave helpful and thoughtful tips/pieces of advice in “Coping with Grief.” Since there are over 100 in all, I don’t think Maria Hopfgarten will mind if I share a few with you. 


 

  • Transform pieces of your loved one’s clothing into blankets or pillows.
  • Plant a tree or bush in memory of them.
  • “Cherish your family who is still standing by your side.”

 
Through the sadness, many touching moments will make you smile and possibly cry some more. I don’t want to divulge too much, but certain events recapped will emphasize how one little boy touched so many hearts, and his story will continue to do so for many years to come. 


After the “Epilogue,” I thought my crying time was over. I was wrong. “Mom” didn’t just make me cry a little — it caused me to sob. Throughout the story, I thought of my children, especially at this point, and the tears would not stop flowing. Even now, as I write this review, I’m wiping tears off my cheeks and stopping to blow my nose repeatedly. 


Maria Hopfgarten, thank you for sharing Jacob’s story with us. It was sad, beautifully written, and I’m forever changed for reading it. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
(deserves a million more)

 

Buy the Book
Amazon

 
 
Meet the Author
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Maria Hopfgarten began her blog Moments with Jacob in 2009, writing about Jacob’s life with mitochondrial disease. She had followers around the globe. Maria continued to write blog posts to Jacob after he passed in 2016 to make sense of the loss of her son. Jacob was 10 years old. She has now turned part of the blog into the book “Letters to Jacob,” sharing her raw, honest first-hand experience on grieving the loss of a child.

Maria is the President of the non-profit Miracles for Mito and has been supporting families living with mitochondrial disease for over a decade. She has also been an active Parent Partner at Children’s Hospital Colorado and has been a Parent voice for many chronically ill children. Maria also sits on the Patient Safety Committee of the Board at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Originally from Sweden and with a degree in Journalism from Stockholm University, Maria lives with her husband Joakim, daughter Sarah, and rescue dog Max in Colorado. Her favorite thing to do is to share a good cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend. Maria loves the outdoor and is always up for a bike ride or hike.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 
 

 

 

 

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