As we sense the beginning nudges toward the holiday season (and all of its attending feels), I thought that with this Book Report I would share a gathering of new tarot decks for intuitive support, and a couple of gems on the importance of pausing on the path...
“Eventually we must take our life into our arms and call it our own. We must look at it squarely, with all its unbecoming qualities, and find a way to love it anyway.
Only from that complete embrace can a life begin to grow into what it is meant to become.”
As we sense the beginning nudges toward the holiday season (and all of its attending feels), I thought that with this Book Report I would share a gathering of new tarot decks for intuitive support, a couple of gems on the importance of pausing on the path, a few strong offerings on the sacred experience of embodiment, a sweet “pack” of books on the healing power of dogs, a small taste of our 2022 calendar list, some cool gift books and treats, a handful of delightful books for the young and young at heart reader, and a poem by Mary Oliver.
Wizards Tarot from tarot master teacher Barbara Moore is a gorgeous deck filled with adepts, spellcasters, abundant power, and deep mysteries. Raise your sword, wave your wand, tip your cup, and draw your pentacle with this terrific Rider-Waite-Smith-based deck and full-color guidebook.
Alexandra Eldridge and Tony Barnstone have created a beautiful deck in The Radiant Tarot: Pathway to Creativity. I love the mythic, dream-like quality of the artwork and the text draws powerfully from the themes of the interconnectedness of all life.
The Wanderer's Tarot from Casey Zabala is crafted with the modern witch in mind, centering on earth-based wisdom for spiritual practice, self-care, ritual, and personal magic. The suits of Moons (Cups), Stones (Pentacles), Knives (Swords), and Feathers (Wands) will lead you to a deeper awareness of your personal power - emotionally, materially, mentally, and energetically.
Rounding out this impressive group is The Relative Tarot: Your Ancestral Blueprint for Self-Discovery by Carrie Paris, featuring vintage 19th-century photographs of ancestors from a diverse array of ethnic origins and walks of life. Plus, this deck includes multiple versions of select cards in the Major Arcana so that readers can choose those that best represent their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that: “If we’re not calm, we can’t listen deeply and understand. But when our mind is calm, we can see reality more clearly, like still water reflecting the trees, the clouds, and the blue sky. Stillness is the foundation of understanding and insight.” I can’t express it any better than that, so I won’t even try. But I will offer a couple of books to help support and guide you should you find yourself inspired to explore how pausing with intention could serve you well.
The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by travel writer and novelist Pico Iyer considers the unexpected adventures to be had while staying put, revealing what might seem a counterintuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect in our modern technologically-driven world, the more we can benefit from slowing down, unplugging, and giving ourselves full permission to ‘do nothing’.
All the Time in the World: Learn to Control Your Experience of Time to Live a Life Without Limitations by meditation master Lisa Broderick draws upon physics, quantum law, and psychological theory to craft a path forward from a constricted sense of time to one with a more fluid, open, and malleable nature. She writes, “Our ability to influence our experience of time is the key to doing what we are here to do. As you liberate yourself from the illusion of time as we know it, you will become a confident creator of your own reality. You have all the time in the world.” It’s hard to think of a more fitting book for this holiday, end-of-year season when so many of us are operating under the belief that ‘time is running out’.
“To walk in the world is to find oneself in a body without papers, not a citizen of anything but breath.”
These days there are so many different approaches to learning how to consciously be in our physical experience with greater fulfillment that, in some ways, this bounty is both a blessing and a curse. When presented with a great multitude of options, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed and even more confused.
Somatic Internal Family Systems Therapy: Awareness, Breath, Resonance, Movement, and Touch in Practice by psychotherapist and master bodyworker Susan McConnell blends principles of somatic therapy with the traditional tools of the Internal Family Systems framework, originally developed by Richard Schwartz. McConnell helps us to learn how to recognize different facets of our rich internal family and reconcile the needs of subpersonalities - like the inner child or internal manager - to bring greater harmony to our emotional and physical experience.
Body-Centered Psychotherapy: The Hakomi Method by Ron Kurz is a must-read from anyone interested in the growing body-centered movement in the fields of modern psychotherapy. The Hakomi Method is an integration of mindfulness, nonviolence (toward self and other), meditation, and other more holistic approaches to healing.
Psychologist and meditation teacher Rick Hanson offers us Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom and Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time - two books blending neuroscience and mindfulness with much practical wisdom to share. Here we learn that the oft-used phrase “it’s the little things” is more than a reductive platitude. Through a process called experience-dependent neuroplasticity, we can increase our sense of security and worth, effectiveness, well-being, resilience, and inner peace. I’m in - how about you?
A Hundred Thousand Welcomes by Mary Lee Donovan with illustrations by Lian Cho is a lovely invitation to visit homes around the world, featuring the word ‘welcome’ from more than fourteen languages to illuminate a universal message of hope, inclusivity, and acceptance. The book wisely includes a pronunciation guide, a note from the artist, and information about the languages featured in the text.
I couldn’t possibly endorse Loving Kindness by Deborah Underwood more fully. With messages such as: You are a blessing. You are beautiful just as you are. You are loved, and you love. You make mistakes, and it’s okay to make mistakes, because that’s how you learn. we are gifted with great wisdom in beautifully accessible forms. And the illustrations by Tim Hopgood are the perfect accompaniment. This special book is destined to become an instant favorite in your household or classroom.
I Am Courage: A Book of Resilience by Susan Verde is as wonderful to read aloud as it is to listen to. Here we find a celebration of everyday kinds of courage; believing in ourselves, speaking out, trying new things, asking for help, and more. I love this book for so many reasons and am confident that you will, too.
For those of us lucky enough to be able to visit Paradise Found in person, we know how the presence of dogs provides a very special healing balm for whatever may be troubling us. Through the years the shop has been blessed by the company of three Ambassadors of Goodwill in dog form and we are all of us the better for it. What follows is a collection of books about dogs - variations on the theme of what just might be at the core of our human journey - noticing, giving, and receiving love.
I encourage you to click away on the book links below, follow your ‘nose’, trust your instincts, and dig deep for maximum joy!
Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved My Life by Julie Barton
A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie by Dean Koontz
A Dog's Life by Peter Mayle
It’s fun to explore the full list, and, trust me, it was hard to tease out these few, but here they are. I whole-heartedly hope that they inspire good cheer and great optimism for your path ahead.
“Almost all of my many passionate interests, and my many changes came through books.”
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