The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous
Wisdom for Modern Times
By Anita L. Sanchez, Ph.D.
Enliven Books, 2017, $24
Information is everywhere, but wisdom
can be scarce. Leadership consultant
Anita L. Sanchez has tapped her Aztec
roots for indigenous teachings resonating
in the modern age. She begins with the story of the Eagle
Hoop Prophecy, where elders from around the globe met
in ceremony to provide four gifts to join the world’s people
together as “one race, the human race.”
Gift 1: The power to forgive the unforgivable. Sanchez tells
how forgiveness transformed her life after her abusive father
was murdered when she was 13.
Gift 2: The power of unity. Sanchez recommends practicing
gratitude and empathy and communing with nature.
Gift 3: The power of healing, which encompasses listening,
building supportive relationships, loving unconditionally,
and committing to creative, positive action.
Gift 4: The power of hope, “a constant and dependable
source of energy.”
Using these four gifts, Sanchez writes, allows you to be “a
life-giving connection to others and yourself as we, together,
move into the next phase of life’s evolution.”
Overcoming Your Difficult
Family: 8 Skills for Thriving in
Any Family Situation
By Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
New World Library, 2017, $15.95
You can’t always avoid difficult people,
especially when they are members of
your family. “Because of the intimacy
and interconnectedness of family living,
Maisel has devised a family survival tool kit with advice
for being smart, strong, calm, clear, aware, brave, present,
and resilient. Maisel identifies 10 types of difficult families,
including those that are sad and anxious, loveless and
distant, demanding and critical, compulsive and addictive,
and dramatic and chaotic. He shares stories of how clients
he has worked with have overcome family struggles.
Maisel concludes with 12 tips for improving emotional
and mental health. “Many circumstances are completely out
of our control, but many are within our control,” he writes.
“Reducing our emotional distress requires taking real action
in the real world.”
The Beautiful Not Yet
By Carrie Newcomer
Available Light Records, 2016,
$11.99; MP3, $9.49
With her warm, rich alto and thought-
provoking lyrics, Carrie Newcomer
has made a name for herself in folk
music circles. True to her Quaker faith, Newcomer penned
lyrics that explore themes of God, nature, and social justice.
Her latest collection, The Beautiful Not Yet, contains 12
songs reflecting on spirituality, relationships, and change.
The disc begins with the rollicking, bluesy, “Lean in Toward
the Light,” and quickly shifts gears to the contemplative “A
Shovel Is Prayer,” an eloquent look at all the “prayers” in
our lives, such as friends who “laugh at your jokes and they
don’t ask for proof.”
The title track was inspired one early spring day when
Newcomer noticed trees still waiting to bud. In that moment,
she became enthralled with the “quickening”—“the almost
but not yet.” Other standout tracks are “You Can Do This
Hard Thing” (“It’s not easy, I know, but I believe that it’s so”)
and “Where the Light Comes Down” (“In the hollow spaces
and the quiet places”).
THE POWER OF LIVING WITH
A WIDE-OPEN HEART
“I look to Scott for wisdom
and leadership, and he has
delivered both with Big Love.
This book opened my heart
and mind, and I’m forever
— GLENNON DOYLE, author
of the #1 New York Times
bestseller Love Warrior
“Scott Stabile is a wonderful
presence of love, advocacy, warmth, resilience, and
grace in our world. I adore
and admire everything he
— ELIZABETH GILBERT,
bestselling author of
Eat, Pray, Love