Soul Pursuits

Official Blog of Visionary Author Lianne Downey

Posts from the “Books I’ve Reviewed” Category

Book Review: “The Five Elements” by Dondi Dahlin

Posted on January 24, 2017

The Five Elements: Understand Yourself and Enhance Your Relationships with the Wisdom of the World's Oldest Personality Type SystemThe Five Elements: Understand Yourself and Enhance Your Relationships with the Wisdom of the World’s Oldest Personality Type System by Dondi Dahlin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For years I’ve been struggling with the notion that I am supposed to be, in the ancient Chinese “five element” system, an Earth element (or rhythm) person. This was indicated by a quick muscle test method that should have worked.

I hated the idea. I kicked and screamed over it. How could I be?? But by others I was convinced. Still, I don’t have children and never wanted them: I’m not the “earth mother” type that’s sometimes described for Earth element people, but I do like to encourage people to become their best selves through my books and healing practices. Is that nurturing? And I have suffered from uterine fibroids, a typical Earth rhythm ailment, making me (when younger, before they shrank a bit) look like a Mother Goddess statue from antiquity, as one young man pointed out. So I’ve been living under this idea ever since, reluctantly.

Well, this book has liberated me!! I am ecstatic! The thorough descriptions helped, but more importantly, the comprehensive self-tests, questionnaires, and checklists nailed it. I took the tests, read the descriptions, and was able to definitively declare that my rhythm–my true, happy, quirky self–moves first and primarily in the flow of Water, and shockingly next with the stomping confidence of WOOD! (secondary rhythm), followed by the enthusiastic combustion of Fire (tertiary or third rhythm), with only the occasional drift into the deep compassion of Earth nurturing (fourth).

I’m still reading and absorbing the wonderful stories from the author’s colorful life as belly dancer, actress, mother, and daughter of a world-famous healer (Donna Eden). And I haven’t yet made my way to the rich storehouse of info about children’s rhythms. But I now know why I have always walked like a Wood (not an Egyptian).

I thought I simply learned that from my mother, who loved to start wordy, shouting fights. She was the Wood, thought I, trying to force myself into the “Earth” mold years ago. (That takes on new meaning — earth mold — but that is indeed how it felt to put myself into the wrong psychological box, moldy!!) I am not one who backs down easily, and I will always speak up for my rights, or others’. It’s odd because I love to dance, and my kinds of dancing are graceful, not stomping. But moving off the dance floor? Stomp, stomp, stomp. Haha! Wow, even my secondary element explains so much about who I am. I’m so grateful to this book!

Understanding that Water is my primary way of relating to and moving in the world has answered so many other questions and dilemmas for me. I feel like someone opened my cage and said, “Yes! Be yourself! It is a very legitimate way to be! You are not crazy! You simply move through life in a way that others may not.”

Second to understanding myself is the breaking light of “Ah ha!” regarding friends and family. “No wonder!!” I keep exclaiming. I will be forever grateful to Dondi Dahlin for sharing her own stories of discovery and for completing the painstaking work to accurately depict the Five Elements of ancient tradition. And to come up with self-tests that have proven, in my experience, far more effective than taking someone else’s word for it.

If you love to discover what makes your own heart tick, you’ll love this book!

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Tuning *MY* Human Biofield

Posted on October 18, 2014

Eileen's book coverEileen McKusick’s exciting new book represents the pioneering forefront of the new bio-electric science that will soon profoundly affect how we go about healing the human body.

Joseph and I were fortunate to snag healing sessions (two for me, one for him) from one of the innovators in this field, sound therapist Eileen McKusick, author of the recently released Tuning the Human Biofield.

I won’t speak for him, but I will say that I was stunned, illuminated, and profoundly affected by the results of my bio-tune-up. My life is taking a dramatic turn for the better as the effects are still resonating with me. I’ll give you some details in a moment, but first an overview of the principles that made this happen.

Remember, I am an Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) practitioner and I frequently write about the human energy anatomy from both the EEM and the Ernest L. Norman (ELN) perspectives. One treats primarily the local energy systems (EEM); the other affects the entire interdimensional human biofield, what we might term the Extended Biofield (ELN calls this the psychic anatomy).

The moment I saw Eileen’s book, which unbeknownst to me was the first day of its release, I knew (a) I had to meet this author and (b) I wanted to book an appointment for her tuning-fork facilitated sound therapy. That is so rare for me! I am uncomfortable with even the most highly skilled EEM practitioners working on me, and was never able to relax into someone’s Reiki or other healing touch therapies. Moreover, Eileen lives in Vermont and I live in San Diego, opposite ends of the country. Nevertheless, I knew I would meet her. I was absolutely confident. And within days, I discovered that she was coming to San Diego imminently!

Quick work and I had an appointment, despite Eileen’s hectic schedule of speaking and attending conferences. She would be staying at the home of Cristina Smith, who has facilitated so many of my happy Subtle Energy community experiences in San Diego in recent years (Lessons from the Labyrinth). I felt no fear, reluctance or resistance to this kind of sound treatment—only excitement to become part of the future-science on this planet, which will do so much in the future to alleviate human suffering.

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Book Review: Life in Motion by Misty Copeland

Posted on September 6, 2014

Life in Motion: An Unlikely BallerinaLife in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish she’d been able to write in her own words, but thankfully Misty kept a journal so the ghostwriter was able to capture some pivotal moments in her life. I sped through this book so quickly, captivated, that I had to give it 4 stars. It should inspire many young people!

I had no idea that Misty’s breakthrough as a black ballerina was so late in coming to our society. Until I saw her as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance in 2014, I didn’t even know of her existence, living as I do on the West Coast. But in 2004, when I needed an inspired ballet-teacher character in my novel Cosmic Dancer: An Interdimensional Fantasy, one who taught in the anti-gravity classroom in the celestial worlds my character visits between lifetimes, the character came to my mind in beautiful chocolate skin, dressed in a firey red costume very like Misty’s Firebird! But I never knew about or saw her in that role until I read this biography.

It never occurred to me, a white writer, that my own dark-skinned ballerina–the epitome of dancing in my novel–was anything unusual. (Well, except that she can levitate as high as she wishes and spin midair.) While reading Misty Copeland’s biography, I couldn’t help but wonder if SHE is the one who visited me in my imagination and inspired that character from her own celestial studies, prior to her present incarnation. Don’t laugh! Ms. Copeland’s rapid acceleration in the ballet world is, to me, further proof of reincarnation. She already knew, and merely had to train her new body’s muscle systems. (Okay, “merely” might be inappropriate for the amount of effort that required.) Prodigy? That’s how I spelled reincarnation.

This is a quick-to-read, inspiring book. I can’t wait to see the movie version now in the works. And my heartfelt applause to this wonderful dancer! I hope to see her dance in person one day.

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Goodreads Book Review: Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil

Posted on November 8, 2013

Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia
by Jean Sasson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you care about the treatment of women in any country, read this book. If you want to know more about harem cultures (which even modern Saudi Arabia still reflects), read this book. It may tear at your heart a bit, but you’ll walk away glad that you’ve educated yourself. And perhaps wondering how this sort of cultural influence or gender bias might still be affecting even so-called “free” women in the United States.

And how many lives have you lived in such cultures as this? Do you carry an echo within you? Does your relationship with either gender reflect this subtle influence? I know I have a strong, past-life connection to harem lifetimes, as both man and/or woman, proven by my flashbacks and experiences in the present life, as detailed in my own book. It’s important to ferret out any leftover imbalances in attitude in the present, and this book will help you do it. We live such lives to learn, but now’s the time to discard the less useful elements through our objectification and analysis.

The sad aspect is that both men and women in such a restrictive social world are suffering from the lack of equal partnerships, or, as I like to call them, polarity relationships, which could otherwise do so much for their happiness, peace of mind, and productivity.

Do I think the Princess of the title is a real person? Hard to say. What a risky thing these two women did by creating this book! I waited two decades to read it, after my own close call with an opportunity to live in Saudi Arabia. From all I’ve learned from insiders about life in that country, I believe every story told in the book is true or as close to truth as could safely be conveyed. Since identities needed to be so securely hidden, some of the stories may have been many times repeated, but I didn’t sense a lot of exaggeration, based on my knowledge of the customs.

It’s a highly readable book, and you may find yourself compelled to keep turning pages, even when the situations are so shocking you’d like to quit.

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