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Archive for the ‘Book review’ Category

51G892R42XL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_The following passage is a favourite of mine. It is from a beautiful children’s story ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ and is about love and becoming wise.  I recommend the story for children and adults alike to foster compassion and understanding that life is a process and we all have lessons to learn. It has helped me to develop patience as I have made my way to love and forgiveness (mostly for me). I hope you like it too and would love you to share your favourite children’s stories with us all too.

“Real isn’t how you are made…” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become”.

“It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept”.

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand…”

~From “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams

Love for now…Margie

Margie Braunstein

Margie Braunstein

Margie Braunstein

Margie is a somatic psychotherapist and counsellor providing psychotherapy services to the people of the Central Coast and Sydney.  Margie lives on the beautiful Central Coast with her husband, two children, two dogs and a cat.

Over the last 12 years, Margie has also been engaged in the design, delivery and marketing of transformational learning programs. During this time she has regularly facilitated personal development programs for up to 50 people on weekend workshops, week-long intensives and advanced programs of 3-4 months.

Margie has a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from UTS, Diploma in Psychotherapy from the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy and qualifications in somatic therapy, executive coaching and relationship counselling.

Margie has a passion for personal development and regards people with respect, empathy and compassion in the belief that while we all do the best we can, a little bit more kindness and care can lead to even greater peace and joy in life.

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Sometimes Hearts Have to Break

Margie’s bedside table. Sometimes Hearts on top

Book Review

It is part of the good fortune of my life to be a facilitator with Quest for Life and one of the great aspects of my job is to have been introduced to Petrea’s books.

Up until recently I had read all of Petrea’s books bar one. ‘Sometimes hearts have to break’ was sitting there on my bookshelf but with a stack of half read books as my constant bedside companions; this one had not yet made its way from the bookshelf to the stack.

As I age, I find myself increasingly fascinated by the prospect of death and all the societal and personal fear that surrounds the passing from our physical bodies. I have been reading ‘A Year to Live’ by Stephen Levine and his other book ‘Who dies’ and enjoyed both very much as they offer the gift of insight about appreciation for life and spiritual connection. I can also recommend ‘Dying to be me’ by Anita Moorjani which is another amazing book about her near death experience and subsequent healing from cancer.

So it was a natural progression for me to read Petrea’s little gem, who was waiting right there for me! Just when I needed it, this little book beckoned me over to find her on the bookshelf. And I am so pleased that she did!  Of all the books I have read on life, death and finding peace, ‘Sometimes hearts have to break’ is my new favourite.

What a wonderful book of inspirations. Petrea writes with deep respect about the intimate and touching experiences she has had with all kinds of people as they have lived with a life threatening illness and transitioned into death.

We travel with her and these ordinary (yet extraordinary at the same time) people and their loved ones as they wrestle with, make meaning of and come to peace on their paths towards death (which by the way we are all on).

I cried with tenderness when reading about people who have found forgiveness for others and those who died with such dignity and peace. Old and young, rich and poor, man, woman and child. No matter what the circumstances, Petrea supported these courageous people with compassion and love as they travelled on their very personal journeys.

Their stories really helped me to find inner peace around my own fear of death. I will treasure this book and no doubt add it to the list of books I give to others. Thank you Petrea.

I hope you also find peace and solace through Petrea’s beautiful words and the generosity of the people and families who gave permission for Petrea to tell their heartfelt stories.

You can buy your own copy from the Quest for Life shop online or phone Quest on 02 4883 6805 or email shop@questforlife.com.au

Love for now…Margie

Margie Braunstein

Margie Braunstein

Margie Braunstein

Margie is a somatic psychotherapist and counsellor providing psychotherapy services to the people of the Central Coast and Sydney.  Margie lives on the beautiful Central Coast with her husband, two children, two dogs and a cat.

Over the last 12 years, Margie has also been engaged in the design, delivery and marketing of transformational learning programs. During this time she has regularly facilitated personal development programs for up to 50 people on weekend workshops, week-long intensives and advanced programs of 3-4 months.

Margie has a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from UTS, Diploma in Psychotherapy from the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy and qualifications in somatic therapy, executive coaching and relationship counselling.

Margie has a passion for personal development and regards people with respect, empathy and compassion in the belief that while we all do the best we can, a little bit more kindness and care can lead to even greater peace and joy in life.

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Live Your Dream

Live Your Dream

How often have we followed our ‘dreams’?

Too often lack of time, lack of finances, so many responsibilities, etc stop us from taking the steps to achieving our dreams.  Is there something that you have always wanted to do?  What stops you?  Is that realistic, or is there a fear of actually having/achieving what you want?

There is a little book in my library called “Living Juicy. Daily Morsels for your Creative Soul.” By Sark

I love what she has to say about dreaming.

“Dream on …

Each of us has a dream – at least one!  Not living that dream ever, can be an unfulfilled path.  What could be better about being human than living our dreams?

My father didn’t exactly understand my creative spirit while I was growing up, and would sometimes sarcastically say to me, ‘dream on, kid’ about various ideas and plans I would talk about.  Well, I took it literally, and I did keep on dreaming…

Let dreams surround you …

Move to Alaska; Be a Mom; Be a Painter; Change the School System; Invent a new Ice-cream; Publish stuff …….”

What is your dream? Share it! Give it wings!

Shared by Alexia Miall

Alexia Miall

Alexia Miall

Alexia’s career began in banking and then moved via advertising to a major career change in 1980 to Adult and Transformational Education.  She has been privileged to share this incredible journey with 1000’s of like minded souls through her extensive experience as a facilitator, trainer, life coach, therapist, and mentor.  She managed her own training company in Victoria during the 1990’s, and during this time was the Course Leader for a training program from which the Banksia Environmental Foundation formed.

Alexia has acquired further education in Adult Education in Training; Somatic Psychotherapy; Life Coaching; Conflict Resolution; plus Accreditation in many behavioural and culture change models. She is an Associate of EcoSTEPS, a niche Sustainability consultancy, which supports her love of the natural environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review of The Essence of Health by Craig Hassed

Review of The Essence of Health by Craig Hassed

I’ve known Craig Hassed for many years and he and Petrea often present at the same conferences.

What we appreciate and admire about Craig is his absolute authenticity and commitment to his work as a medical doctor and a senior lecturer at Monash University Department of General Practice. Craig introduced meditation into the medical curriculum at Monash as an examinable subject throughout the entire training of medical students and has also introduced it into Harvard Medical School.

Dr Hassed’s teaching, research and clinical interests include:

  • Mindfulness based stress management
  • Mind body medicine
  • Meditation
  • Health promotion
  • Holistic health care
  • Complementary therapies
  • Medical ethics

The Essence of Health is Craig’s 4th book.

If you are interested in your own health and changing your attitude to health this is the book for you.

It provides a practical and systematic approach to health that empowers you to take a more active role in your own health and wellbeing.

The secret, it seems, is to learn to change our own attitudes and healthcare practices, which is what the program, the Heart and Science of Healing being conducted in June by Craig and Petrea, is all about.

Craig’s approach is to lay the foundation of what he calls, “The Seven Pillars of Wellbeing”.

About 15 pages later you have covered:

  • Education
  • Stress Management
  • Spirituality
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Connectedness (one of the 4 Cs that are the basis of Quest programs)
  • Environment

The next 2 chapters explain how to put these “Pillars of Wellbeing” into practice.

The last chapter is devoted to Prevention and Management of Chronic Illness.

There is a complete outline of an 8 week course if you’re looking for a clear guide to follow.

Also included are useful Health Websites for you to browse and pages of References that reassure you that Craig Hassed knows what he is talking about.

This book is essential reading as a handbook for achieving wellness and as a guide to preventing and managing serious chronic illness.

It is indeed The Essence of Health.

Join Craig and Petrea for a 3 day program on the Heart and Science of Healing 14th – 16th June, 2014. Further information can be found at http://www.questforlife.com.au/heart-and-science-of-healing

Wendie Batho

Wendie Batho

Wendie Batho

Wendie has co-facilitated residential programs with Petrea for more than sixteen years. Prior to that Wendie spent over 25 years as a teacher, school principal and was involved in educational leadership and facilitation of school executive groups.

Ten years of this time was spent in PNG where she taught and worked for the government. Wendie has been travelling since the early sixties and is especially attracted to Asian cultures. She holds degrees in Anthropology, Education, Sociology, Theology and Political Science. Her current passions are her grandchildren, travel biographies, exploring Asia, 4×4 driving, reading everything she can get her hands on, and watching movies on the big screen at home.

 

 

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Spirited Women by Petrea King

Spirited Women by Petrea King

Spirited Women – Journeys with Breast Cancer by Petrea King

Spirited Women provides a wealth of practical information and support for women with breast cancer. It addresses the emotional and psychological reactions to diagnosis and treatment as well as focusing on the practicalities of living well, once you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.

It is packed full of information, suggestions, skills, tips and techniques and many refer to it as their ‘bible’ during their breast cancer journey. It is also a handbook for men and women who know someone with breast cancer.

Petrea has allowed women to tell their own stories in this inspirational book. She has conveyed the thoughts, hopes, feelings, joys and frustrations of the many thousands of women who have sought her counsel, either personally or in retreats during the past three decades.

In Petrea’s words

“My role with the women in this book has been one of friend, counselor, nurse, meditation teacher, group facilitator and naturopath. My function has been to minimise their emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical distress and to provide information and guidance about how to regain control over their lives and actively participate in their healing process”.

“Breast cancer can precipitate us into a journey of self discovery, self healing and self accomplishment. In this way, regardless of the outcome of the illness, the destination can become deep and profound peace. To achieve this peace is a victory beyond words”.

Spirited Woman was the first handbook for breast cancer published in Australia and it is equally relevant today.

It is a resource packed with information on the following areas and more:

Reactions to diagnosis

Choosing your healing team

Decision making

Support from family and friends

Work related issues

Peace of mind – what it is and how to get it

Relaxation and meditation – how and why to meditate/relax

Finding support in the community

What to eat and why

Reducing symptoms of disease and side effects of treatments

Managing issues around body image and sexuality

Women who love women

Children – what and how to tell children, rituals which help, understanding children’s behavior

What if I die?

Creating an environment for healing

Talking through the difficult issues in relationships

Unlike other available resources on breast cancer this book focuses on what women can do to help themselves when they are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Gentle, honest, informative and moving, Spirited Women is an essential resource for any woman whose life has been touched by breast cancer. It is also a valuable read for anyone who knows someone who is living with breast cancer or has had breast cancer.

If you are living with cancer you may like t attend Spirited Women An inspiring, practical, educational and experiential residential program for women living with cancer. The next program is in Bundanoon from 8th – 12th April, 2013. Visit our website for more information.

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The science of EPIGENETICS

The science of EPIGENETICS

Book Review: The Biology of Belief  by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.

Here is a science based book that is not only accessible reading but has the potential to radically change the way we think and ultimately the way we live our lives. That’s quite a claim! If you’re not interested in changing your life for the better right now, don’t read any further as it takes a bit of time to read and absorb all the science. My first read admittedly was a scan to see if I wanted to really get into it. As I had a science background in my early life, I found it compelling and illuminating. And I don’t often go overboard about books, especially when my main genre of reading is travel stories.

Back to the topic of how our thinking and beliefs affect our lives totally. It’s simple, but not easy.

We’ve been taught that we are like machines, run by bio-chemicals and DNA. As a world renowned cellular biologist, Bruce Lipton has discovered that it is actually the opposite. Our entire biology is shaped by the intelligence of each of our 50 trillion cells. And the single most important way to influence them is through the energy of our beliefs. Some of the areas included in this book are:

The science of EPIGENETICS – what it is and why it is important and revolutionary.

Bridging the gap between QUANTUM MECHANICS and biology. This is the key to knowing how your cells listen to the energy of your thoughts

The chemistry of STRESS and LOVE. How your body, mind, and immune system change with each emotional state.

Turning the immense power of your MIND into your most valuable tool for health and well – being.

“Since the publication of Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton has been widely embraced as one of the most accessible and knowledgeable voices of new biology”.

I can’t really say more than that.

We would love to get your feedback if you have already read it. If you haven’t read it yet but do later, please let us know what you think.

 

Wendie Batho

Wendie Batho

Wendie Batho

Wendie has co-facilitated residential programs with Petrea for more than sixteen years. Prior to that Wendie spent over 25 years as a teacher, school principal and was involved in educational leadership and facilitation of school executive groups.

Ten years of this time was spent in PNG where she taught and worked for the government. Wendie has been travelling since the early sixties and is especially attracted to Asian cultures. She holds degrees in Anthropology, Education, Sociology, Theology and Political Science. Her current passions are her grandchildren, travel biographies, exploring Asia, 4×4 driving, reading everything she can get her hands on, and watching movies on the big screen at home.

 

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Rachel sees the practice of medicine as a spiritual path.

Rachel sees the practice of medicine as a spiritual path.

Rachel Naomi Remen is an honoured physician and a long time teacher. Her early professional life was spent immersed in the world of science. After four decades of working with cancer patients, medical academia, and her own chronic illness (the reason she doesn’t come to Australia) she has come to see that life is defined not by science, but by mystery.

She was one of the early pioneers in the mind/body holistic health movement in the US.

And like Petrea, she recognised the power and the role of spirit in maintaining health and the recovery from illness that can sometimes happen when this was not expected.

Rachel sees the practice of medicine as a spiritual path.

Teaching health professionals to remember their calling is her passion. Her holistic curriculum enables her participants to strengthen their commitment to serve life. That commitment can turn their practice around.

These same principles apply to her work with people with chronic and life threatening illness.

You can find part of this journey and revelations about her work in her two main books: Kitchen Table Wisdom and Stories My Grandfather Told Me. Both are best sellers, even though they have been in print for years. For a full list of her publications check out her website above.

Rachel has also has an audio presentation called The Will to Live and Other Mysteries which can be a good start to come to terms with her overall philosophy on life and how this applies to her teaching. If you are keen to get started try getting it on www.soundstrue.com

Her basic premise is that science cannot fully explain how we heal, and people who open to the mystery of how we heal, often against all odds, do actually heal. Healing is not always physical but in the stories she tells, many actually find peace and physical healing. Exploring the power of mystery of how we heal actually switches on the physical power to heal. “The source of wonder and hope is available to us all at any time.”

If you want to be more up to date visit her Facebook page: Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

One of her presentations asked the questions:

What if the world is not broken?
What if fixing is too small a strategy for making a difference?
What if our power to make change is greater than the sum of our skills, our training, our education, our politics, or even our wealth?

These are great existential questions that can lead us to question the purpose and meaning of our individual lives. Whatever the questions or our path to engage with them, programs that give us a safe place to consider these questions are offered at the Quest for Life Centre on a regular basis. Those of you who have experienced a program may like to make some comments about your experience and what happened to change your view on your own life.

We welcome all contributions.

Wendie Batho

Wendie Batho

Wendie Batho

Wendie has co-facilitated residential programs with Petrea for more than sixteen years. Prior to that Wendie spent over 25 years as a teacher, school principal and was involved in educational leadership and facilitation of school executive groups.

Ten years of this time was spent in PNG where she taught and worked for the government. Wendie has been travelling since the early sixties and is especially attracted to Asian cultures. She holds degrees in Anthropology, Education, Sociology, Theology and Political Science. Her current passions are her grandchildren, travel biographies, exploring Asia, 4×4 driving, reading everything she can get her hands on, and watching movies on the big screen at home.

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