Pause

Monday, May 28, 2018



I've been going round and round in my head about how to write this post and what to say. I thought about including funny pictures, best memories, or some clever quote. I am not sure that any of those fit the bill.

To that end, I just want to let you know that I have decided to hit 'Pause' here at He Said Books or Me. Even typing those words makes me cringe a bit. This decision was not made lightly and is with a slightly heavy heart.

But it is not all gloom and doom. The reason for my 'Pause' is that I have been accepted into a Ph.D program. I have been waiting for this my entire life! I am so excited about the journey and all that is to come. That said, I just have a number of 'unknowns' about work load, life balance and so much more. Things that I do not know the answer to right now.

To that end, I have decided to 'Pause' things over here for a bit. I don't know how long that will be or what it will involve quite yet. I do know that, I strive to bring you high quality content and to be a blog that adds value to the book world.

I appreciate all of your help and support over the years. While I work through the next little bit, I appreciate your patience. I hope that soon things will become clearer for me and soon I will have a better idea of where I go next with this blog.

Thank you for everything.

 
Happy Reading!

Book Review: Organized Enough

Sunday, May 27, 2018



Author:  Amanda Sullivan 
 
Summary from Goodreads:

This is not a book that tells you to throw everything out and live austerely. You don't need a sock drawer that brings you joy or a kitchen from a design magazine; what you do need is to be organized enough to feel in control and serene. Organized Enough offers a ground–breaking, science–driven method for maintaining organization: it addresses not just the steps of decluttering but also of developing the habits to stay clutter–free. Amanda Sullivan shares the method that has brought great success to her clients—from celebrities to hoarders. With seven concepts to help you define your goals and seven essential habits to keep chaos and clutter at bay, you will learn to reframe how you think about your space, your stuff, and your life.


Disclaimer: I was awarded this book from the publisher. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.

Personal Review:
When I was first contacted about his book, I knew that I needed to read it. Any tips and tricks that I can get for decluttering my life are always welcome. I really appreciate that the author takes the time to help you think about what it is that matters to you, what are your goals. By starting there it allows you place to begin and to expand on.

This book kept me engaged and I enjoyed the insights throughout. It was not limited to only your stuff, but also about your life and all of the complexities associated with. All in all, I enjoyed this book.

Thanks for the opportunity.

 
Happy Reading!

Book Excerpt: Everything Is Here To Help You

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Hi Everyone!

Stopping by today to share with you an excerpt about a new book that may be of interest to you! :)
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THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT HAS BEEN REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM

EVERYTHING IS HERE TO HELP YOU

A Loving Guide to Your Soul’s Evolution

As the ancient scriptures say, “In the beginning, there was the Word.”

This is a perfect way to describe my journey as an intuitive. I would find myself mentally resting in an open, blank space with the excitement of a child ready to open presents on Christmas morning. When the time was right, out of nowhere, words spoke through me as spontaneous streams of inspired wisdom. No matter how flawlessly it always worked out, each and every time, it always felt like I was standing at the threshold of one of life’s most suspenseful and exhilarating encounters, supplied only with the clear impulse of each instinct and an irrefutable will to serve the well-being of every heart—often with just one auspicious hour to radically transform the life of someone I’d never met.

This has been the vivid testimony of my daily experience that I have been so blessed to explore over the past 14 years. Since following an instinct to walk out of college one crisp November afternoon, when I boldly declared the Universe my university of higher learning, I have been guided by an irrefutable force of inner knowing. It’s an immaculate flow of insight that has used each of my personal experiences to be the teacher, empath, and intuitive healer that I never knew I was destined to become.

It always felt ironic to be a spontaneous source of clarity for others and yet totally in the dark as to where my own life was headed. In a journey that often feels like it began just yesterday, more than 13,000 healing sessions later I have become keenly familiar with how the spiritual path ebbs and flows, from one level of expansion to the next. It has provided me with a lengthy examination to understand why people who often begin a spiritual journey fail to find the true relief, unwavering peace, existential joy, and profound clarity that is here to be uncovered.

Throughout each session, I would listen with captivated interest to the feedback each person offered about various paths, transformational processes, healing modalities, and mystical approaches. It was as if the Universe was teaching me the ins and outs of an old spiritual paradigm I was here to help transform.

I remember so often hearing people talk about specific stumbling blocks or moments of confusion from their initial spiritual paths, and on the inside, most of it didn’t make any bit of sense. If it weren’t for the cascading stream of clarity that ran through my mind in response to any question or concern, I’d probably just sit across from each person in complete awe and disbelief.

As their questions and my intuitive responses provided a necessary dialogue to bring me up to speed on how most people pursued the healing, awakening, and transformation of reality, I began noticing themes emerging that revealed cracks throughout a crumbling, outdated, spiritual paradigm. This inspired an insatiable desire to provide each human being with the profound spiritual experiences I had been encountering throughout my life.

While a spiritual journey has always been a fundamental transition from ego to soul, I began to see how those in search of truth weren’t necessarily exploring it from the soul’s perspective. Instead, many facets of inner growth were explored from the ego’s point of view. In my first book, Whatever Arises, Love That, I explained the nature of ego as the imaginary identity of an overstimulated nervous system. Such patterns of overstimulation get created in our early years of development by subconsciously believing we will be more liked by others if we are more like others. This creates a psychological cocoon of human conditioning for the soul to inhabit until it is ready to awaken and expand into the light of its highest potential. Suffice it to say, the ego is the limiting beliefs, self-defeating choices, and narrow viewpoints of dormant consciousness. As consciousness begins waking up, limiting beliefs dissolve, self-defeating choices no longer resonate, and narrow viewpoints are exchanged for more expansive perspectives.

The purpose of our evolution is to shift out of ego and into the brightness of the soul, but it is often misconstrued when we are under the impression that ego and soul are separate. While the ego and soul can exist as two different experiences, they are both aspects of an omnipresent Source of Divine Intelligence.

Such a truth highlights the interconnectedness of the Universe that unites all things as one, no matter how separate they seem or how much distance exists between them. While the ego is the soul in its most dormant state of incubation, the soul is a fully embodied expression of Source energy. Between these two aspects, a spiritual journey unfolds.

In order for a spiritual journey to offer the most rewarding experiences, the question remains: Is it being explored from the ego or from the soul’s perspective?

If one pursues spiritual growth from the standpoint of ego, they are bound to remain in ego, no matter how much inner work they complete. If one learns how to evolve from the soul’s perspective, more vivid experiences of life can occur. Since the soul is a conscious expression of Source energy, it resonates with a depth of clarity that is as harmonious, inclusive, and kind as it is direct, effective, and potent.

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Thank you Matt for sharing with us!

 
Happy Reading!

Book nerd bites: The Things We Learn When We Are Dead

Friday, May 25, 2018

Book Nerd Bites is an original monthly feature created by some lovely book bloggers Becca, Cyra, Kristie, Natasha, and I as part of the Book Blogger Creativity Project hosted by Nori. Thanks to my team for coming up with a fun and creative way to satisfy both our book-- and actual appetites!   
Each month we will be sharing exciting recipes inspired by some of our favorite books. Feel free to join in, but please make sure you link your post back to us so we can enjoy your favorite bookish delights as well!

Don't forgot to use if you want to share your food inspiration with us on twitter or instagram!


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Today for my post for this project, I will be featuring...The Things We Learn When We're Dead!



Mini Review: When I saw that this one was a modern day Wizard of Oz retelling, I knew that I had to read it. The book is funny throughout and it certainly makes you think. What is about our decisions that make us who we are? How do they shape us? If we did things differently, would our lives change? In this book, we follow along as all of these are considered. I don't want to give you too many details because I think it is worth the read for anyone who is interested in those topics. This book left me wondering what would come next and wanting to read more. Thank you for the opportunity. Disclaimer: I was awarded a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. **************************
And now for an inspired treat....or two or three :)

Snacks!

Happy eating and reading! 

Recap

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hi Everyone!

Stopping by with a couple of mini reviews.

When: The Scientific Research of Perfect Timing
I have always enjoyed Daniel Pink and his books. They make me think and wonder how I can be better and do more in my days. This one was no different. I enjoyed this book.

Leah on the Offbeat
The new Love, Simon! I was happy to be reunited with these guys and to find how things have been going. I kept seeing this one play out as a movie. Hope it ends up that way!

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World
This was so filled with so much emotion. I enjoyed it, but my heart felt a million different things for Ivy. What an interesting time for her. A good, cute read.

Wonder

My niece recommended this one to me. It was a take on a perspective that I have not had much exposure to before. I know this one was recently made a movie, may have to check that out soon.

Educated
What a powerful book! I enjoyed this one and the author's vulnerability about everything that has happened in her life. For those of you who are interested in memoirs or education, you may wish to pick this up.

Surprise Me
This was okay. I didnt love it like I do some of other Sophie's books, but I didn't hate it either. I thought the characters were full of life and ideas on how to surprise your significant other. An interesting book.

Happy Reading!

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, May 23, 2018



Hi Everyone!

Excited to be here and bring you a book that I think sounds amazing! :)


Author: Emma MillsRelease Date: January 15, 2019
 
Summary from Goodreads:
For Sophie, small-town life has never felt small. She has the Yum Yum Shoppe, with its famous fourteen flavors of ice cream; her beloved marching band, the pride and joy of Acadia High (even if the football team disagrees); and her four best friends, loving and infuriating, wonderfully weird and all she could ever ask for. 

Then August moves in next door. A quiet guy with a magnetic smile, August seems determined to keep everyone at arm's length. Sophie in particular. 

Country stars, revenge plots, and a few fake kisses (along with some excellent real ones) await Sophie in this hilarious, heartfelt story

 
Happy Reading!

Guest Post with Andrea Fehsenfeld

Tuesday, May 22, 2018



Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post from Andrea. Please help me give a warm welcome!

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I’ve worked as a TV producer for many years and on set, actors are always asking directors ‘what’s my motivation?’ In other words, why is this scene important? How can it come to life in a way that’s true for the character and resonates with viewers? If its not compelling, if its not authentic, it falls flat.

When I committed to fiction writing in 2015, all I could think about was what was my motivation? How would I make a story compelling? The usual suspects of strong plot, characters and pacing were parts of that equation, but the fairy dust, the real magic, in every story comes from an author’s personal well. What experience(s) shaped us, defined us, make us unique? The raison d’etre for writing any book – the one that grips like a Chihuahua on a pant leg and won’t let go – is what makes a book special. Finding that compelling idea and rendering it into a story that resonates is the biggest task of all.

One life-changing incident triggered my debut novel Completion and you might be surprised to hear it all started with a lie, but don’t all good stories start with a bit of mischief?

It was 1985. February. It was raining, of course. Vancouver, BC is a rain forest seven months of the year. Frustrated, webbing growing between my toes, I called my friend Tim and we came up with a plan. Both our fathers’ worked for the airlines and we had access to cheap buddy passes. We could escape to Hawaii for a mere twenty five dollars. The catch? We couldn’t afford hotels. We barely had money for air fare. 

I was sixteen years old, so I did what all teenagers do to get what they want: I lied.

I told my parents we would be staying with friends of Tim’s and vice-versa. (Sound familiar, anyone?) But there were no friends. And since this was a time known as BHP - Before Helicopter Parenting - our parents didn’t ask any more questions or think twice. Go, they said. Have fun.

Backpacks in hand, no clue what we were in for, we hopped a flight to Oahu.

Seventeen hours later, my father received the dreaded phone call. A grim faced Hawaiian cop growled, “We have your daughter in custody.”

The night prior, with no place to stay, Tim and I had cased a variety of crash-worthy locations. We found low hanging fruit in the form of a pool cabana rooftop, belonging to some cheap motel. In the light of a full moon, we shimmied up a drain pipe to access it. The roof was flat, quiet and we promptly fell asleep.

The next morning, coconut fronds swaying above us, we were ordered down by two officers. A tenant in an apartment building across from the motel saw us and called us in. My parents should have been furious, but thankfully my father and I were similar. Travellers. Adventurers. Rebels. Growing up in post war Germany, he eschewed his parents’ strict rules. He hung out in sketchy jazz bars, when jazz was considered ‘devil’s music’. He smoked and drank too much. He’d travel to Paris for the weekend with friends and sleep off hangovers curled up in a ditch.

In other words, I had an ally. But it meant another lie.

Busted on a Monday, our return flight was still six days away. Scrambling, I told my father we could only get access to Tim’s friend’s apartment starting Wednesday. So he convinced the Hawaii police I wasn’t a run away, paid for two nights in the hotel and all was good. Except on Wednesday we were back in the same boat: homeless.

As the evening sun dipped lower in the tropical sky, we were lounging on Waikiki Beach, assessing the odds of being mugged if we decided to sleep there, when a dishevelled man weaved towards us. At first, he tried to sell us a collection of ugly etchings. Fast forward twenty minutes: when he found out we had no place to stay he offered us to crash with his ‘friends.’ Thrilled with our good fortune, we said why not?

At the far end of the beach, his friends - three other men, each with funny, pony-tailed hairdos – rinsed off in the outdoor shower and changed into flowing peach robes. Tim and I exchanged knowing glances but they seemed harmless enough. We all wedged ourselves into a late model Honda minivan and disappeared into the Hawaiian night. 

After an hour of winding roads in utter blackness, we finally came to a stop. Our accommodations for the night: a shack in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by farm animals. (We were unable to stay on the official cult property since we weren’t actual members.) Told we would be fetched at three a.m. for chanting, they left us and continued to their compound.

In the dark hut, we were surprised to find out our beds were literally mangers: wooden rectangles filled with straw. Pierced by the prickly shafts and chilly under thin, rough blankets, when a confused rooster started crowing non-stop, all we could is laugh ourselves to sleep.

We stayed with the Hare Krishnas for four days. We chanted, we prayed, we added salt peter (an alleged sexual urge suppressor) to chocolate chip cookies sold in nearby Hanauma Bay. The diverse members fascinated me and I peppered them with questions. What brought them here? What was missing in their lives? How long would they stay? Answers were vague and I couldn’t pinpoint the allure. Of course, Tim and I were encouraged to join, but as our departure day loomed, we let them down gently. Thanks, but no thanks. And the Krishnas, being gentle souls, let us leave.

But the experience lingered. It sparked a lifelong interest in cults and I knew one day, that would turn into a book.  Little did I know one day meant thirty years later.

My path to writing hit many detours. Careers in finance and TV took precedence. But I knew something was missing: an unfulfilled desire to write. When the story of Completion started to bubble out, it was like every cell in my body had re-arranged. A stranger coming into a cult environment brims with natural tension and when I meshed the cult concept with a supernatural encounter I had in my thirties, it was a potent premise. I had my motivation. I had my compelling.

A writer’s unique perspective is what brings a story alive. It’s the motivation behind the words. Without my vivid experiences, Completion wouldn’t ring true. Writers are always advised to write what they know. This isn’t just sage advice - it’s the best advice.

And although a lie kick started my entire process, in the end, it allowed me to write the truth.

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Andréa is an award winning TV producer and Completion is her debut novel.
It is available in paperback and e-book here: https://amzn.com/1775209105
 
Happy Reading!
 
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