Dreamy Days and Random Naps

“On the Importance of Dreaming”:

A review by Joey Madia

Comprising heartwarming photos of stuffed bears, costumed and posed with fun props and interesting, engaging sets, Dreamy Days and Random Naps recalls the wisdom of JRR Tolkien and Maurice Sendak, who said that they did not write books for children—it was the publisher and others who said they did.

While visually appropriate for children as young as three or four (and, having raised children of my own, that is an interesting time when it comes to the politics of napping), the deep wisdom of this book will be appealing to parents, grandparents, teachers, and others who need a reminder that dreaming and imagination are, as Albert Einstein said, more important than intelligence.

Not that Mawson the bear and his friends are in any way UN-intelligent. Although ready comparisons can be made to the giants of literary beardom, such as Paddington and Winnie the Pooh, Mawson and his companions are more ambitious, curious, and just plain inspiring.

The koan-like opening statement, “Why is it that the best that one can be is always one more nap away… from what one is being?,” cues the reader that this is not your average Teddy Bear. Like The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet, Dreamy Days and Random Naps celebrates the core necessities of a life well lived—Companionship, Vision, and the Will to Make Things Better for yourself and those around you. Continue reading

Ananda: Poetry for the Soul

A review by Joey Madia

Award-winning writer Lali A. Love, who typically writes “visionary fantasy and metaphysical thrillers,” has written an engaging and soul-provoking collection of poems on a number of spiritual and metaphysical themes, each of which is accompanied by a quote from a well-known writer, philosopher, thinker, or spiritualist. In addition to her writing, Love is an “intuitive, alchemist, and energy healer.”

First, the title. Ananda is a Sanskrit word for “extreme happiness” or, as comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell defined it, “bliss.” He was known for promoting the idea of “Follow your bliss,” or Sat chit ananda.

The quotes that open the collection and accompany each poem are far-ranging, coming from the likes of Albert Einstein, Edgar Allen Poe, Carl Jung, Rumi, Swami Vivekanada, Marie Curie, and Joe Dispenza.

The poems themselves are equally far-ranging. The first, “The Rise,” explores other dimensions and magical realms. The next poem, “Loving Fearlessly,” evokes archetypes with its line, “Healing your childhood wounds.”

Advice for how to do so comes in a later poem, “Metamorphosis,” which opens:

                              I AM star dust plucked from the Cosmos,
                      Consciously transforming the realms of my bounds.
                           As I illuminate my divinity to heal old wounds, Continue reading

Möbius: Meditations on Home

A review by Joey Madia

The best books, the ones with deepest meaning—the ones we know upon our first engagement with them that we will go to them over and over again—invariably have an interesting genesis.

Möbius: Meditations on Home, by first-time writer W. David Hubbard, is no exception. Born of a question asked after the celebration of Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday at the Kennedy Center, as a group of participants stopped to look at an exhibit of displaced peoples from around the world, this collection of reflections and meditations on the meaning of home is timely, profound, and, in my case, cause for misty eyes.

I have been a longtime fan of poetry and other writing that functions as a meditation. My longtime friend and subject of several of my reviews, the poet Ed Baker, who left us for the eternal home several years ago, wrote meditations on home restorations, and, even in his more traditional work, there was always a sense of searching for, celebrating, and marking the boundaries of home.

Why Möbius? As the back cover tells us, this is a book of “minimal meditations [that] is a circular quest that seeks to explore the common subject of home.”

Common indeed. Unavoidable. The search, the sense, the unsurety and insecurity for many when it comes to that deceptively simple one-syllable word: home. Continue reading

The Soul’s Twins: Emancipate Your Feminine and Masculine Archetypes

“An Essential Integration of Opposites”

A review by Joey Madia

Eight years ago, in 2012 (a year that the Mayan calendar made many of us pay close attention to, as we did again with 2020), I read a book that I predicted would become a treasured friend that I would return to time and time again.

That book was Healing the Sacred Divide (subtitled “Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World”), also by this author.

That prediction proved to be true.

I am going to make the same prediction for this one.

With the same alchemical mix of stunning visuals by a variety of artists, inspirational quotes, a deep exploration of myths, inspirational biographies, and complex concepts made understandable through the deft use of language and a teacher’s touch for explanation, Raffa has given motivated readers an opportunity to work with four pairs of Archetypes at work in our souls, split into Lunar and Solar energies: Mother and Father, Queen and Warrior, Mediatrix and Sage, and Beloved and Lover.

Honestly, there is no time better time to engage with this important, essential work.

Akin to the exploratory work in religion, myth, folklore, the collective unconscious, and philosophy undertaken by such brilliant pioneers as Carl Jung, Caroline Myss, Robert Bly, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell, Raffa takes us on a journey to integrate our masculine and feminine energies—engaging the sacred marriage (hieros gamos) in the cooperation of inner opposites and forsaking the tendency to suppress the undesirable energies, called quite aptly, The Shadow. Continue reading

Bank on Self Investment: Belief Deposited—Triumph Withdrawn

“Youthful Inspiration”

A review by Joey Madia

If the current pandemic has highlighted anything, it is that the Economy is a Machine that must be fed. It is a national and global preoccupation. And, as much as it is spoken about in almost reverential terms and is sold as requiring our dedicated participation, we now know thru this pandemic that it overshadows equitable, quality healthcare and limits the ability of society to adjust to major crises.

Like any aspect of human experience, though, positives can be made of any situation. In this case, humanity’s preoccupation with the financial system affords an opportunity to draw a powerful parallel to apply the principles of healthy financial practices to the many other aspects of one’s life.

Caroline Myss—motivational speaker, intuitive healer, and teacher of archetypal and other principles—cautions that our daily energy is like a bank account with a limited balance, so we should spend our savings wisely.

An author, entrepreneur, and young lion with serious goals and an admirable track record, Michael D. Lewis draws on the same starting metaphors and expands them into a prescription for daily living that is bound to yield appreciable dividends. Continue reading