Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Book review’

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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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.

 

 

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Wendie's Favourite Authors

Wendie's Favourite Authors

“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.”

Rachel Naomi Remen

Over many years of facilitating groups and being involved in workshops around Australia I often get asked, “Can you suggest some women authors I can read in addition to Petrea’s work?”

Here is a quick  list of authors I have enjoyed . They are listed in no particular order.

Pema Chodron
a Buddhist nun who is essential reading on forgiveness

Shakti Gawain
teaches similar concepts to Quest

Rachel Naomi Remen
a medical doctor who teaches health professions to care for themselves. Rachel is a must read. Rachel and Petrea know each other.

Susan Trout
runs an organisation that teaches in a similar way to Quest.

Christianne Northrop
a medical doctor who is passionate about women’s health.

Joan Borysenko
another wonderful writer who runs workshops. She wrote a comment in Petrea’s, Quest for Life 2nd edition.

Jean Houston
best to google her as she is very active on the topic of Consciousness.

Barbara Hubbard
google her as she has a lot to offer and has online courses. She has been in the field as long as Louise Hay.

Louise Hay
a legend in her time. You may have heard of Hay House Publishing.

Caroline Myss
started her career as a book publisher and look at her now!

Candice Pert
a leader in the field of epigenetics

Marianne Williamson
has a holistic Christian approach that shines through in a non-religious way.

If you have any:
Names to add to the list or questions about these authors please let us know.
If you have additional authors we’d love to hear.

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.

Read Full Post »

‘what is the book this week’ that has changed my life?

‘what is the book this week’ that has changed my life?

The book that changed my life… Is there one important book that changed your life? It is hard to choose one because I could really answer ‘what is the book this week’ that has changed my life? However, if I had to choose just one it would be: Gerald Jampolsky’s ‘Teach only Love’

From the moment I read the title, I thought to myself… “that resonates so deeply with me. I have to read that book!”

The twelve principals of attitudinal healing contained within this wonderful book capture, for me, the essence of my life purpose which is to teach love. For me, there really is no other lesson. Once this lesson is understood, everything else fits neatly into place like a jigsaw piece into a puzzle. To teach love one has to learn about love and this is not a lesson that ends with a certificate or degree. Rather it requires lifelong learning to both learn and to ‘teach only love’…

The Twelve Principles of Attitudinal Healing
1. The essence of being is love.
2. Health is inner peace.
3. Giving and receiving are the same.
4. We can let go of the past and the future.
5. Now is the only time there is.
6. We learn to love ourselves and others by forgiving rather than judging.
7. We can become love-finders rather than faultfinders.
8. We can be peaceful inside regardless of what is happening outside.
9. We are students and teachers to each other.
10. We can focus on the whole of our lives rather than on the fragments.
11. Because love is eternal, death need not be viewed as fearful.
12. We can always see ourselves and others as extending love or giving a call for help.

Thank you Jerry for your wisdom and generosity… So what is the book that changed your life? Click here to learn more about Jerry’s work

Read Full Post »

If for an instant God were to forget that I am a puppet and gifted me with a piece of life

This is just about my favourite quote in the world. Supposedly written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez after being diagnosed with lymphatic cancer but never validated by the man himself! A mystery indeed but whoever wrote it, it is beautiful and hopefully inspiring…

If for an instant God were to forget that I am a puppet and gifted me with a piece of life,
possibly I wouldn’t say all that I think, but rather I would think of all that I say.
I would value things, not for their worth but for what they mean.
I would sleep little, dream more, understanding that for each minute we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.

I would walk when others hold back.
I would wake when others sleep.
I would listen when others talk, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream!
If God were to give me a piece of life, I would dress simply, throw myself face first into the sun, baring not only my body but also my soul.

My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hate on ice, and wait for the sun to show.
Over the stars I would paint with a Van Gogh, dream a Benedetti poem,
and a Serrat song would be the serenade I’d offer to the moon.
With my tears I would water roses, to feel the pain of their thorns,
and the red kiss of their petals.

My God, if I had a piece of life…
I wouldn’t let a single day pass without telling the people I love that I love them.
I would convince each woman and each man that they are my favourites,
and I would live in love with love.
I would show men how very wrong they are to think that they cease to be in love when they grow old, not knowing that they grow old when they cease to love!

To a child I shall give wings, but I shall let him learn to fly on his own.
I would teach the old that death does not come with old age, but with forgetting.
So much have I learned from you, oh men…

I have learned that everyone wants to live on the peak of the mountain,
without knowing that real happiness is in how it is scaled.
I have learned that when a newborn child squeezes for the first time with his tiny fist his father’s finger, he has him trapped forever.

I have learned that a man has the right to look down on another only when he has to help the other get to his feet.

From you I have learned so many things, but in truth they won’t be of much use,
for when I keep them within this suitcase, unhappily shall I be dying.

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ ???

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.

Read Full Post »

Margie Braunstein

I just finished rereading one of my old favourites, a book called ‘Becoming Attached’ by Robert Karen. A bit of a weighty read but thought I would share some of the main themes because as a facilitator at Quest for Life, I often hear people searching for different ways to make meaning of their life experiences.

We often hear the words ‘attachment’ bandied about, but Karen’s work encompasses the work of some of the greatest attachment theorists from last century through to modern times. If you haven’t read the book, then have a look below for a brief summary.

Attachment Styles

The quality of a child’s early experience of parental emotional availability, security, attachment, nurturing and discipline is thought to have a powerful impact on human development and is the basis of much literature and research.

In an ideal parent/ child relationship, the child develops an organised pattern of attachment to parents and will seek proximity and protection from parent when distressed or frightened. This provides the child with a secure base to which the child can rely on and return to as he or she explores the world.

A young child does not have very complex brain development and, if the primary source of security is removed, he/she will probably experience some level of anxiety. Distress is relieved when the secure contact resumes and the child is comforted. However, prolonged physical separation and ongoing emotional disconnection have a most profound impact on the young child’s development and may lead to insecurity in their attachment relationship with the caregiver/s.

Secure                         Insecure

Secure                          Avoidant, Ambivalent, Disorganised

There are two broad categories in Attachment Theory, these being Secure and Insecure, which have been refined into four, one being secure and three of which are insecure. These four basic patterns of attachment have been recognised through the work of John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth and many other researchers in the field of attachment theory. It is interesting to note that a child can form different attachment patterns with different parents or caregivers.

Inevitably, childhood attachment patterns influence our close adult relationships because deeply ingrained assumptions are made regarding how we expect others to behave. Anxieties arise when we perceive and fear a repetition of the responses we received as children.

The good news is that many theorists and practitioners in the field believe it is possible to ‘earn’ Secure Attachment by means of having new positive experiences in our adult life, which challenge the old patterns.

Following are the characteristics of children with each of the four different attachment patterns:

1.     Secure Attachment (secure)
Relationship feels intimate – is a ‘good fit’
Misses parent when separated
Moves easily in and out of contact
Explores freely and returns to mother (or caregiver) when needed
Misses parent when separated
Allows parent to comfort on return
Resumes exploration once comforted

Parental characteristics: Accepts and helps the child regulate emotional states, relates without avoidance or resistance, attunes to child’s needs, supports child to explore but offers comfort when child is distressed

2. Ambivalent Attachment (insecure)
Has difficulty being in contact and is indecisive about moving toward parent
Is upset if parent leaves but is unable to be comforted on return
Demonstrates ‘clingy’ behaviour
Desperately seeks proximity but cannot be comforted easily
Often watchful when not upset
Does not explore freely

Parental characteristics: Parent may feel overwhelmed, behave inconsistently, lack confidence, be preoccupied with own life issues, experience child as demanding, incapable or difficult

3. Avoidant Attachment (insecure)
Does not request very much contact
Does not show anxiety if parent leaves room (although saliva tests show increased levels of stress hormones are
usually present)
Looks independent of parent
Explores freely and may not look to parent for comfort if upset or injured

Parental characteristics: Parent may feel reassured of child’s self-reliance and independence. May feel rejected or unneeded, lacking in control or see child as difficult and uncooperative

4. Disorganised Attachment (insecure)
Disconnection between parent and child
Inconsistent behaviour
Poor at focussing on a task
Goes into panic under pressure or anxiety

Parental characteristics: Parent can’t help child to regulate emotional states, can’t protect or reassure the child and is themself vulnerable, helpless or terrified. Parent may exhibit behaviour that terrifies the child (e.g. violence, alcoholism, neglect, abandonment of child emotionally or physically)

Recommended reading: ‘Becoming Attached’ by Robert Karen. Oxford University Press 1994

I hope this finds you all well and gives you some food for thought. In the end, it is heartening to know that whatever your experience, you can learn to feel securely attached again in adulthood through good relationships, good therapy and having good people like those from Quest around you!

Much love
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.

Read Full Post »