HALTED – Photography by Mary Mikawoz – Click on image or link to see the bigger picture.

This is a digital design of some important words and thoughts. I have been using HALT as an acronym to help me decide when to make decisions. It stands for waiting if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Personally, I think the psychological world and the counselling worlds have done well with this acronym but I thought more was needed, so I added the ED to make HALT into HALTED. The E stands for Emotional and the D stands for Depressed. In either of these cases, I think it is important to put decision-making on hold until you have calmed down and are not in the grips of any of these elemental emotions and feelings.

I feel like I am adding my two cents worth to an already good concept and making it even better. I feel is an improvement to letting your logic and intuition cohabit together. I have put in images of Arrêt, Stop and Halt.

With my art, I am often in a zen-type of mood and with my photography, I feel as if I am inspired by God or the Universe to capture these moments in time.

Thanks in advance for liking commenting, sharing and purchasing. Check out my other images and collections. Thanks for all positive feedback. 


Check out all my collections by searching Mary Mikawoz on FineArtAmerica or Pixels.

For bigger and fuller image, click here.

For a portfolio of creative work including art, photography and mixed media by Mary Mikawoz, click here.

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Happiness Now!

Happiness Now

Book: “Happiness Now: Timeless Wisdom for Feeling Good Fast” by Robert Holden

Book Review by Mary Mikawoz

After finishing this book, I took some time to reflect upon it. It is a good read. It makes a lot of common sense. Ultimately, it is important to love yourself now – not in the past or some time in the future but now. It is the sacredness of loving yourself that makes you more loveable and special. The world is a mirror. You only can see what you are prepared to see. If you have guilt in your life, you will see guilt. If you see failure, you will see failure. If you see goodness, you will see goodness. To find joy, you must uncover the guilt, the fear, the doubts, past conditioning and your history. True happiness, on the other hand, is an inner power which is “…natural, healing, abundant and always available.”

Interestingly, the EGO can be seen as Edging God Out or Everything Good is Outside. The ego or the conditioned self sees you as being in the wrong; as having something inherently wrong with you. One way of thinking about the ego is to think of a bird flying high in the sky trying to find the sky. Thy are already in it. It is like a fish in water being thirsty.

Robert Holden mentions a lot of psychological schools from Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Fritz Perls, Roberto Assiagolio, R.D. Laing, Janov, Eric Berne and Dr. J.L. Moreno. He indicates what the schools calls the ego and the unconditioned self or spirit. Even Sigmund Freud changed his mind towards the end of his life and said “In the final analysis, we must love in order not to fall ill.” Psychology is finding its soul.

Robert Holden further looks at Eastern Mysticism for enlightenment. He even searches Christianity Sikhism, Islam and Buddhism. He quotes “Search not in distant skies; in man’s heart God lies” and so forth. “Ye are Gods,” Jesus said to the people.

During Robert Holden’s Happiness Project, they did everything to elicit emotion and to deal with it. They remember the truth and let go of the pain. Robert indicates that you need to be able to spend time by yourself and love yourself while doing that.

Mr. Holden, however, has the belief that you can’t do the healing by yourself. I disagree. He thinks you need a counsellor or some sort of way of releasing the emotion. He says “…a true healer helps you to remember and reconnect consciously with your inner light.” Your inner light being the unconditioned self that is loving, free of fear and creative.

He indicates that there are a lot of positive things that happen when you are happy. People will gravitate towards you and will not know why. To be happy, you must first undo your misperceptions, false conditioning and fearful beliefs. It is a road that people can and should travel. It is the journey that matters and not the destination.

The book has a number of poems and sayings that are positive and helpful. The book is a reminder to be happy now instead of a prolonged time afterwards. It is a call to action. I recommend this book for those who wish to pursue more happiness in their lives. It is an anniversary book put out by Hay House.

Tags: Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Fritz Perls, Roberto Assiagolio, R.D. Laing, Janove, Eric Berne and Dr. J.L. Moreno, psychology, self, love, soul, inner light, Happiness Project.



Book: “You Were Not Born to Suffer: Love Yourself Back to Inner Peace, Health, Happiness & Fulfillment” by Blake D. Bauer

Book Review by Mary Mikawoz

This book is extensive. I took the maximum time to read this book before it left my computer due to time restrictions. The practical questions are worth their weight in gold. They are very in depth and inquisitive. They make you really wonder about your past and how it has affected your current status in life. I particularly liked the letters written from your current age to your 5 year old, 10 year old, 15 year old and 20 year old stage and so forth. It continues to your current stage of development. In exchange, you also write from a younger age to the current age a letter. It is very informative what comes out of your mind.

The beginning is good but is indicated as an introduction. It should not be that as it is already an intimate part of the book. It should have been chapter 1 and continued onward.

Blake write about the butterfly scenario. I love this story because it says so much. A butterfly was trying to get out of its cocoon and a person thinking they would be kind in helping it out cut it out of its cocoon. Not realizing that blood runs to its wings and that the butterfly comes out exactly when it is strong enough and ready enough to come out. The person did not help the butterfly but hindered the life path of the butterfly. The butterfly was bloated and could not fly. That is with us people. We need to deal with the difficulties to deal with the good things afterwards. It builds strength.

Blake indicates that we become depressed or unwell because we have not learned to express our emotions. We need to remain healthy and happy throughout our lives but for this to happen, we need to be aware of how we are feeling and able to bring out the good and the bad. We need to be authentic to ourselves.

In fact, no one is a bad person for wanting an authentic life. It is simply a desire that each human being has and should have. If we are not reaching our potential it is because we don’t know how to meet our needs. We don’t even know how to ask for what we want or need.

Our egos are not wrong. If we do make our egos wrong, we effect our psyches in a negative way.

According to Buddha, it is not to live in the past or the future but it in the present moment that counts and makes all the difference. There are many good quotes from many good sources throughout the book. I also liked the affirmations that are included after the chapters.

We do need to realize that negative experiences from the past were there to teach us a lesson for leading towards our true purpose. “Everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.”

With that, I will close my review and recommend this book for anyone who is suffering. Read the book and enjoy the insights. Take the time to do the questions as they bring much insight that you would otherwise would get from a counsellor but this way you can do it on your own. Best of luck.

Tags: younger age, younger self, past, butterfly, cocoon, Buddha, ego, suffering, psychology, insights, counsellor, potential, extensive.

The Fear Cure

The Fear Cure

The Fear Cure

Book: “The Fear Cure” by Dr. Lissa Rankin

Book Review by Mary Mikawoz

In reviewing this book, I found the concepts quite sane. Dr. Rankin covers a number of medical studies. She differentiates between “true fear” and “false fear.” Essentially, a real fear is being chased down by a brown bear whereas a false fear is carrying on a belief system or fear in areas that don’t make any more sense but affect the same part of the brain. These are areas including fear of losing your job even though you just got a promotion. Believing that something bad is going to happen when there is no indication that it will. It is that constant worrying and fear that brings a lot of grief to your life.

It is normal to grieve the loss of your parents, but to think everybody else important in your life is going to die tragically and leave you alone is taking it a step too far. Fear has its purpose when it is a true fear, it is part of our defence mechanism that we needed as lived long ago in primitive times. Today, we get fearful and we signal the brain to produce the same fear triggers that put us into action, however, it is not needed and causes us problems to constantly be in a state of fear.

The author discusses the Small Self or ego which is concerned about your image and how things should be done according to societal expectations. Then there is the Inner Pilot Life which is basically the Higher Self and is run mainly by your intuition. This is a skill that you need to develop. We are inter-connected and so the oneness that we feel with the Universe puts us in a good position of listening to your intuition in all times, not only in fearful times. How many times have you had a hunch to do or say something but did not do so or fell silent? Did you not take that right hand turn driving home and proceeded straight only to find that there is a traffic delay due to an accident, whereas had you listened to your intuition, you would have by-passed the entire accident? Listening to your intuition can make your life easier and more fulfilling.

If you challenge yourself with things that scare you, you can become more desensitized to it and act from a position of courage. It takes courage to deal with your false fears. By being able to “win” over your fears, you will feel stronger and more able to deal with other fears. You can start by beginning with baby goals that are not as fear inducing. With each step, you will find that you are able to do more and more. In essence, it is more important to choose soul alignment instead of security and comfort to continue to become more aligned with your Inner Pilot Light. You can always pray when fear is hitting you between the eyes.

In reviewing this book, I particularly liked the Appendices as they seem to tidy up all the main concepts of the book and put them into actionable bits. As well, throughout the book, Dr. Rankin has placed Courage-Cultivating Exercises which make you think of how and why fear is dominating your life and what you can do to change it. I think this book is good for anyone who has excessive amounts of fear in their lives which could be almost everybody. I think it is especially good for people dealing with depression, anxiety and panic disorders. It helps to create some sanity over the illogical excessive use of fear. In the end, Dr. Rankin pushes the envelope of what “medicine” can be and how it is to be interpreted. I reviewed every part of the book and found it quite interesting and so recommend it highly.

Book Review: The Seat of the Soul

Seat of the Soul

Seat of the Soul




Book: “The Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav

Book Review by Mary Mikawoz

I read the “Seat of the Soul” many years ago. I remember liking it very much as I remember having a lot of “Ah Ha” moments. I did not have my copy with me so I borrowed somebody else’s copy to read again. This time I found myself less impressed. I am not sure if it is because I have read many books since and I dealing with this subject matter from an entirely different perspective or that the points he makes are not new to me. Nonetheless, I found myself more critical this time.

It did not help that the person who owned this book wrote in the margins comments and added question marks to what they did not know or understand. This made me more critical too. I began to wonder what exactly was Gary Zukav trying to say.

The book covers many great areas such as evolution, karma, reverance, heart and so forth into intuition, light, relationships, souls, power and trust. It is though provoking and I am sure it would make an excellent book or literature circle book. I came to challenge a few concepts. One of the first ones is Gary Zukav’s use of the word “personality” which I personally would change out with the word “ego.” This to me, is a better indication of what he was more likely saying although perhaps this would be too much of a psychological word for him.

The second thing that I take issue with is his assertion that pets and other animals don’t have personal or individual souls. He believes that animals belong to the group soul. So, a cat or dog does not have his own personality or soul. From my observation of our pets, they definitely have their own personality and are able to tell if you are sad. There is cognition on the part of some animals because they do have the ability to understand what is going on. Maybe they do not understand everything but they are certainly capable of more than we give them credit for. I understand that many religions and thought processes would agree with Gary Zukav but I do not.

There are many fine points such as that there are five-sensory people and there are multiple-sensory people. He talks about karma, reincarnation and illusions. He indicates how the law of attraction will bring to you that which you are exhibiting. If you are being negative, negative situations and people will appear in your life. He talks about the only thing that is real is to be loved and loving.

Finally, Zukav makes the point that we are a soul with a body not a body with a soul and that we are struggling to achieve authentic power in our lives. Spiritual psychology will be able to explain psychological problems in terms of a splintered soul and not only from a strictly medical model.