“My dad’s advice to his children was, ‘hold your form’. Those bestowed bellwether words were integral to embracing my faith, finding joy within (and without!), allowing ‘true’ love, giving in peace and empowering others to rise to their own best form.” Reading this from Everything And A Happy Ending was enough to get me right into Tia Shurina’s deeply personal and authentic memoir.
Tia certainly held her form through her journey through reconciling with her father, coming to terms with the fact that her marriage wasn’t working, giving her son the freedom to be himself, discovering a deep, emotional love that she had to let go off and most importantly learning the greatest lesson – self-love. I could identify with her writing, and how she moved from floating around without purpose to learning to treasure herself. Finding faith and hope in life and the Universe, learning from books and events, going out on a limb for love, being authentic and learning to risk and dare are all aspects of my own journey that the book echoed for me.
Here’s a true story that made me sit up and think about my own and revalue the quality of my life and living.
This book comes highly recommended from me.
Everything And A Happy Ending
EAAHE, a memoir published by Mascot Books, details the journey & soulful shift of her story as Tia shares her holy grail & trail she took to transform her life. After moving through her own metamorphosis she then helped an old friend, Ray Romano, move through his own transition, going with the flow very privately, but most profoundly.
“My journey almost destroyed me. Almost. Boy have I come to like that word. What a pleasurable word almost can be. You may almost be ready to buy my book. You may almost be ready to begin an amazing new journey of your own. You may almost be over that rainbow Judy Garland sings about. What great potential almost can hold if you can flip your way of thinking. Just imagine, controlled pessimism, doubt & fear flipped into blind optimism, faith & love.”
That flip helped Tia move to a place where heaven meets earth…the pearly gates of her own happy ending. Changing the ending for her story brought a pure, precious, peace of heart, but kicked her butt a bit as she made her way…committed to keeping her faith. The book was a Plan C, maybe even D, but Tia was determined, after a dedicated intention & divine decision to start swimming more with the current of her life, instead of bucking that flow. Her ordinary, relatable story took an extraordinary, fantastical turn when she showed the Universe she was committed to her intention & her desire to be given an opportunity to make some new, different choices. EAAHE is a memoir that shares the “how’d that happen?” & the “how’d she do that?” in a holy hope of helping others to see life in a new way.
EAAHE recounts 3 inter-connected relationships & love stories that enabled Tia to love truly, deeply, & most of all, love herself. Three special circles she rounded with Ray, her dad, & her ex-husband. A true woman’s full circle journey to learn how to really trust, how to “thine own self be true”, & then, the real & true love it led her ‘round back to. It shares how the power of love & a journey to intimacy helped her make a faithful flip which began a sacred circle & new chapter…one that would allow a different ending for a story she had begun writing for herself when she was much younger. One that Tia feels strongly will inspire other women of a certain age to keep faith that it’s not too late to write a new ending for their own, as they embrace their history, not try to re-write.
Tia is, most days, filled with joy. She is, every day, filled with peace. She looks forward to a happy ending each new day now, however it unfolds, whomever it holds, & whatever way the Universe molds, as she continues to create a new “happily ever after”, staying committed to rising above her fears, moving out of her comfort zones, and going with the flow of her life.
This is a sponsored post. Some of the links in the post may be affiliate links which means that the blog you are reading it on may receive a small percentage of compensation if you decide to purchase the book on this site.
If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you about a book I’ve been hearing about over the week. I find the name and what it talks about fascinating – Option B is a book about facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and current COO of Facebook, felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.
Here are some of the lessons from Option B.
The Importance of Resilience
Resilience is the strength and speed of our response to adversity. It’s a skillset we develop over the course of our lives, and there are concrete steps we can take to build resilience long before we face any kind of difficulty.
Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.
The Elephant in the Room: Talking about loss and hardship
We often have a hard time talking about adversity—but staying silent can make our loved ones feel even more isolated after loss or hardship. The book offers simple ways to speak with empathy and honesty when our friends are suffering.
After loss or trauma, we all hope to bounce back. Some of us manage to bounce forward. Learn how helping others gives our suffering meaning, allowing us to grow from the most difficult experiences of our lives.
We all live some form of Option B. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m certainly going to get myself a copy. Click on the image for the link to the Kindle version of Option B.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that today is World Book Day and it’s important to reiterate the fact that reading changes lives.
Reading Changes Lives
I’m a testament to this fact. I can’t begin to tell you how important reading has been to me. It has saved me from getting depressed. It has opened new worlds to me. It has allowed me to travel around the world across time, sitting in my quiet corner at home. It helped me to dream and grow.
Reading has challenged me, inspired me, comforted me more times than I can count.
To find charities you can donate to allow books to change more lives, please visit Love to Read on Amazon.com and on Amazon.in
My Love Affair With Books
If you know me already, you would know that a way to my heart is to present me with a great book. My husband found that out early. His first gift to me before we were married was a book. Thankfully he’s a book lover too.
I love to buy books, receive books, present books and generally to be surrounded by books. I read loads of books – over 150 a year, at least. My Kindle is my constant companion and my husband laughs at me when I sometimes walk around the house with it.
Our flat in Mumbai has lots of book shelves and that’s something we miss here. Our well-loved books are lying there waiting to find a new home.
My childhood dream was to own a book store. This February, I was so happy to visit a book store owned by friends of mine in Goa. The Dogears Book Shop is such a wonderful space that I came back and started talking about making my dream come true. You never know, I just might!
I’d love to hear about your relationship with books.
Having showcased Jae Ellard’s The Five Truths about Work-Life Balance here, I was eager to look at her latest book, Success With Stress, and review it. Jae was kind enough to send me a hard copy of the book.
Believe it or not, stress isn’t all bad; in fact, it’s an important part of the natural world. Stress helps us survive as a species – because of that we want the ability to be stressed. That said, being able to manage stress with greater success is the difference between surviving and THRIVING. Success with Stress explores five simple ideas to spark your personal power to change the level, duration, and frequency of the stress in your life. With workplace stress being linked to quality of life, health, and workplace morale, this is a must-read for any team looking to improve morale and individuals looking to improve their quality of life.
Jae Ellard is an author, speaker, and expert on developing the skill of awareness in the workplace. After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems. In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program to generate intentional conversations to disrupt patterns and create awareness, accountability and action at team and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness in more than 50 countries to thousands of employees at multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia.
Jae is a columnist on workplace awareness for Mindful Magazine, as well as the author of 7 books on the topic. She contributes to the Healthy Living section on Huffington Post as well as the Simple Intentions blog. In 2013, she founded Seattle Wisdom, a community organization working to create and support conscious conversations in professional spaces in the Pacific Northwest. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching.
I was pleasantly surprised with the workbook style book, with lots of white space for my thoughts and reflections.
The best part of the book for me was the clarity of thought of the author, expressed with so much simplicity, and how it strikes at the root of stress very early on. Sample this powerful statement:
Most stress can be traced to communication – or lack of it – back to the conversations we are not having or are too scared to have about what we value, and/or a lack of boundaries to protect those values.
It brought to mind a quote of George Bernard Shaw’s I came across for the first time the other day. He said, in his own inimitable style : The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. And I found both this statement and the book resonating so strongly for me. Much of my stress used to come from dysfunctional relationships – the ones in which I assumed that the other would understand me. Now I’ve learned to communicate more clearly and it makes relating with people so much easier and less stressful.
The 5 strategies that Jae suggests we can beat stress with call for reflection on our values, invite us to be authentic and above all to honor ourselves. Since authenticity and honoring myself are areas that I have long being working on, I could see the value of this.
I am completely in agreement with Jae’s philosophy of succeeding with stress and would recommend this book to anyone struggling to reduce stress in their lives.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.
Win a print copy of Success With Stress with a companion notebook (open to USA & Canada – 10 winners total)
Bringing a new dog into the household should be one of life’s happiest events. The process always starts with excitement and high expectations. Too often, though, it ends in disappointment. The new puppy wakes everyone three times a night, gnaws on furniture, piddles everywhere, knocks the children down. The new adolescent dog is too wild. The new adult dog growls at your neighbors. And where did all this dog hair come from?
Most people spend hours researching a new mattress, days researching a new car, and weeks researching a new home or job. Yet for a new dog, a companion for the next 10-15 years, the most they do is visit the nearest shelter or pet shop and buy whatever looks cute and appealing. It’s no wonder they end up disappointed.
Whether you are looking for a purebred puppy or a charming mixed-breed, the type of dog you bring into your home matters. A quiet owner will struggle to keep up with a high-energy labrador mix, for instance, while an active outdoor family will be impatient with a snoozy bulldog. And finding the right kind of dog means becoming the right kind of owner—a task that takes some forethought and planning.
How To Find Your Dream Dog is here to fix the disconnect of dog ownership. It walks you step-by-step through the process of choosing the right type of dog for you—not only exploring the canine qualities that can determine your perfect puppy, adolescent, or adult dog, but also assessing your lifestyle to make sure you’re a good match for the dog, too. The book also looks at good (and bad) sources for finding healthy and sound pet dogs, gives guidelines for evaluating individual puppies, and warns of some red flags to watch out for during your dog search. With this guidebook in hand, you can be confident that the next puppy or dog you bring home will be the right companion and friend for you for the rest of its days.
Dixie Tenny is a Certified Training Partner with the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training and Behavior. During her 30+ years spent working with people and their pets, she has seen again and again how mismatches between dog and owner can create “behavior problems” that never would have happened if the right dog had been matched to the right owner in the first place. She wrote this book to help puppy buyers and dog adopters start out on the best possible foot with their new pet dogs, and stay on that path for years to come.
How to FInd Your Dream Dog
Author: Dixie Tenny
Category: Adult Non Fiction, 139 pages
Genre: Pets & Animal Care
Publisher: Authors Unite
Release date: October 2016
Content Rating: G
Dixie Tenny, author of How to Find your Dream Dog realized her author bio was too long and has asked if we would use this shorter version instead. If you have yet to post or you’ve already posted your review or spotlight would you kindly consider changing the bio to this one instead?
Dixie Tenny has been helping people and their dogs find each other and form successful partnerships since the early 1980s. She founded two rescue organizations: Purebred Dog Rescue of Saint Louis in 1984, and Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, Inc. in 1987. Dixie was the Director of Training for the Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc., for five years, creating classes and overseeing the work of 40 head and assistant trainers. In 2003 she and another experienced trainer created Dogs Unleashed, LLC. They traveled to clients’ homes and worked with behavior and training issues.
Dixie’s professional credentials include trainer certifications from the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, and the Association for Pet Dog Trainers. Dixie formed her own business, Human-Animal Learning Opportunities, LLC (HALO) in 2013. HALO hosts continuing education seminars for dog trainers.
Dixie has lived with a wide range of dogs over the years including mixed breeds, Australian Shepherds, Welsh and Cairn terriers, and more. While in Seattle, Dixie raised a labrador puppy for Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. (CCI). Currently Dixie lives with a Beauceron and an elderly Papillon, as well as four cats. When not doing things related to animals, she reads widely, enjoys the company of her three grown children, follows baseball and English Premier League football, and travels the world.
It’s true that our choice of dog is going to affect our lives. We had that experience when we got Pablo. Don’t get me wrong, we love him to bits. But while we lived in Mumbai, his life and ours was pretty bad. He was stuck in an apartment with not much stimulation – that’s hard for a big dog like him. And we hadn’t realized that boxers are prone to separation anxiety. For us to go out as a couple, leaving him alone became next to impossible. I guess we resented him and he resented us. That he’s a changed dog now is another story. If we had read this book before that we might not have got him. As hard as it is to imagine life without Pablo, he and we may have been happier. I’ve had dogs almost my entire life. And yet, this book was an eye-opener.
At a time when people are busy returning or abandoning dogs because they don’t realize just what they’re taking on, Dixie’s straightforward writing, will make people think twice. The book helps you to match a dog with your lifestyle. It helps you set realistic expectations about how that cute little puppy that’s calling your name, might turn out to be when she’s fully grown.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone thinking of getting a dog.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
More than 15 million adults and their immediate families in America today must cope with a patient suffering from severe mental illness. In too many cases, these families cannot or do not know how to get help for their loved ones. SANDY’S GIFT WALKING WITH THE LIGHT (Cedar Forge, 2017, softcover) by William P. Dunn IV is an intimate and shocking true story that tells of the tragic plight of Sandra Dunn, a mother and loving wife whose life takes a tragic turn when she suddenly falls victim to severe mental illness; how the healthcare profession and the law prevented her from getting the treatment she needed; how it destroyed her family and nearly got them killed. By sharing his story, Dunn hopes that people will have a better understanding of the ravages of mental illness and know how to cope with them better.
Sandys Gift Walking With The Light
Book Title: Sandy’s Gift: Walking With the Light by William P. Dunn IV
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 316 pages
Genre: Memoir / Spiritual / Psychology
Publisher: Cedar Forge
Release date: February 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (This book is rated PG+M because of mature subject / mental illness. No obscenity or sex.)
William P. Dunn IV worked on Wall Street in the U.S. Government bond market where he worked his way up from the back office to the trading desks. After twenty years on Wall Street, he became a financial advisor in northern New Jersey. He continues to work as an investment advisor. He is a graduate of Thiel College where he earned a dual degree in Economics and Business Administration. Today he lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and is a proud grandfather.
My review: 3.5/5
I think that one of the hardest struggles for a family to face is to see their loved one’s mental health deteriorate. This is especially hard on spouses who gradually watch their partner morph into another person and must stand by and watch helplessly. In sharing the story of his own family, William Dunn has allowed us to get a close insight into just how hard that can be.
This is a hard story to write and the author’s seems to struggle a bit to give facts and yet make it personal. However, the style doesn’t take away from the essence of the story.
Dunn shares how they met and married and began a life together, started a young family with two daughters, and then gradually he began to admit to the fact that all was not well with his wife. How he struggled to keep it all together, working, looking after his wife and raising his young daughters, is very moving.
What is heartbreaking is how author had to fight the mental health system, who turned down his request for residential care for Sandy. The court ruled that she should get care at home. However, the home care service did not follow through. That the people who need care are not supported by the system in America, even in these modern times is rather shocking. The book does well to bring attention to the drawbacks in the system, so that action can be taken that more families do not have to face similar difficulties and patients not get the care they deserve.
“Come with me to India! From gypsies to princes, from monkeys to peacocks, I invite you to join me on my latest journey to this fascinating country.”
- Debra Schoenberger
India Book Spotlight and Giveaway
Book Title: INDIA by Debra Schoenberger
Category: Adult Non Fiction, 164 pages
Genre: Photography / Travel / Culture
Release date: January 2017
Format available for review: ebook (PDF & ePUB)
Will send ebooks for review to: International
Tour dates: March 6-24, 2017
Content Rating: G
I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. “Sensory overload in a glance” is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really “see” her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.
From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food and love of all that is beautiful.
“My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.
I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor’s favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC. I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I’m always looking for the unusual.
Book Description of Lessons from a Difficult Person
Elliston is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who offers wisdom learned the hard way—by experience – as well as through rigorous study and certification in many areas of professional training that aid her in her work — Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist and developer of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy that teaches people they have a choice in how they choose to behave.
The methods Elliston offers in her book end the trauma and the drama, and minimize the possibility of confrontation. She gives YOU, the reader, the ability to take a strong, positive, confident—yet compassionate–stance with the “difficult person”—whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children or anyone else for that matter.
Elliston demonstrates how to:
• Identify the ways to talk to a “difficult” person
• Incorporate true incentives to help people change
• Make real the consequences of the “difficult” person’s action
• Increase success through acceptance and belonging
• Avoid being triggered by the “difficult” person allowing you to neutralize those hot buttons and communicate without judgment
Elliston lays out a proven script for peacefully transforming the difficult person’s behavior and the environment. She gives you the tools for successfully initiating and engaging in a conversation with a difficult person that would lead to change.
Sarah (Sam) Elliston is an expert in the art of Dealing with Difficult People. She is a top workshop leader and a member of the faculty of the William Glasser Institute, which espouses “Reality Therapy” to foster behavioral change.
But her instructional career began long before she even became aware that she was herself a “difficult person,” traits that began in Lincoln MA, where she grew up. For more than 30 years she has been teaching and training, first as a high school teacher in Ohio and Cincinnati—and then as an administrator in the not-for-profit sector.