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by John Calabrese and Erica Settino, Huntington, NY

YOUR ULTIMATE LIFE PLAN: How to Deeply Transform Your Everyday Experience and Create Changes That LastYOUR ULTIMATE LIFE PLAN: How to Deeply Transform Your Everyday Experience and Create Changes That Last
by Dr. Jennifer Howard
The Career Press, Inc.

Dr. Howard wastes no time getting to the point: Why aren’t we happier? asks the title of her provocative first chapter. But before you can be truly happy, it’s essential to understand – deeply, for yourself – what happiness actually is. Thankfully, Dr. Howard provides the plan that helps you go deep without tripping over more confusion.

Simple to understand, and profound enough to help move you through those stubborn issues standing between dissatisfaction and the experience of genuine happiness, Your Ultimate Life Plan presents a scope of information that’s tremendously thorough yet extremely accessible, with an appealing format, interesting exercises, and supportive quotes.

This “workshop in a book” posits the kinds of questions that will gently wash away the dirt of denial, ignorance and fear, nudging you into a better, clearer place, “... the art of conscious living – being more awake, aware, and alive in every moment.” Starting with a penetrating foreword by Lama Surya Das, “Life is time, and time is life. Squander it at your peril...”, Dr. Howard takes you on the journey of a lifetime. So go ahead and sign up. You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Note: www.YourUltimateLifePlan. com features recordings of numerous meditations that are downloadable or available on CD.


by Judith Diana Winston
Chewut Press

“... every day more Hu-mans wake up to the knowledge of who they truly are. And as they do, they are joined synchronistically with others who slumber no more.”

Cassie, a young photographer in a financial hole, is compelled to accept an assignment in Egypt. In the spirit of Larry Darrell, W. Somerset Maugham’s protagonist in The Razor’s Edge, her experience overseas turns out to be very different from expected.

With the sudden appearance of a diary, Cassie is drawn to its mysterious content – a “push-pull sensation” she can’t explain but gradually feels as truth. Eventually, her increasing affinity for the diary’s writer becomes so strong that she’s compelled to explore further, extending her trip without fully understanding why.

Moving on to ancient, sacred sites, Cassie’s purpose becomes clearer as something within her begins to awaken, tapping into an ageless, universal stream of knowledge with the potential to redeem the very world Cassie has so much trouble understanding. The sense of connection grows, and she ultimately finds herself on a mission to find and save the diary’s author, David.

To accomplish this, however, takes more self-examination and guts than she has ever known – overcoming doubts and fears, while forcing her to accept and use the gifts she was born with. Readers will find a wealth of intrigue in these pages, along with copious amounts of sympatico for the struggles and triumphs of both main characters.


101 RELATIONSHIP MYTHS: How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness
by Tim Ray
Findhorn Press

101 RELATIONSHIP MYTHS: How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness

Essentially, Tim Ray’s book, 101 Relationship Myths is a self-help guide to cultivating healthy relationships. What makes it both entertaining and evocative is the author’s awareness that one must first have a healthy relationship with oneself before s/he can succeed in cultivating greater clarity, joy and love in a relationship with another.

Ray’s approach is lighthearted and gentle. His tone draws the reader in and allows for the heavier material, that of which there is plenty, to be digested more slowly. His insights into the obstacles many people face in relationships provide a deeper sense of understanding, which will ultimately help those who are grappling with certain patterns of thought and behavior, so that they may begin to make the changes necessary to experience more happiness and acceptance, rather than suffering and resentment.

Although the book focuses mainly on our primary relationships, one can see how the insights and principles offered throughout would benefit each of us in any of the relationships we might be struggling to maintain.

Reviewed by Erica Settino


Armageddon: To Save the Animals
by Donna Roitstein

Armageddon: To Save the Animals

Armageddon is defined as “The last battle between good and evil before the Day of Judgment.” In other words, it is the end of the world, as we know it. And sometimes, especially in circumstances that call for widespread, global change, it is that very ending that is necessary in order for us to forge new beginnings.

Though most often associated negatively with death and destruction, Roitstein’s approach is one that illuminates the positivity of Armageddon when it is not looked upon as our collective death, but instead as an opportunity for our collective rebirth. Written in an adolescent-friendly voice, Armageddon: To Save the Animals is a passionate and thoughtful tribute to the interconnectedness of all beings. At its core, it is a story of equality and oneness, and does much to denounce the notions of superiority and dominion.

To many, the messages in this book may seem extreme. Yet, we live in a world where billions of animals are hunted, farmed, abused, exploited, tortured, and killed. What is that if not extreme? Roitstein’s messages aren’t of violence and anarchy. They are a call to raise our collective consciousness in such a way that only peace and kindness for all beings will prevail. 

Reviewed by Erica Settino


John Calabrese is the Editor-at-Large at Creations Magazine and has a private counseling practice in Huntington, NY.