Book Review: Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation by Sarah McLean

This is why we always stay open to options!I love that this book is called “Soul-Centered” as I feel it covers a lot of great ways on how to live a more soul-centered life. To me, the meditations were almost just secondary bonus material. Though I must say there is a lot of great techniques and as you explore them you are sure to find a way or combination of ways to meditate that will work for you. This book is really a discussion or “how to” about living a more soul-centered lifestyle. Something most of us could benefit from. It has lots of great information, reinforcements and reminders of good practices to incorporate throughout your day not just when you are meditating. Overall this is a wonderfully approachable book to both the subjects of meditation and living a more soul-centered life.

With any book I read there are just some thoughts though that really stick with me and are heard and reinforced at the right time (all in right timing, right?). Here are a few that were really resonating with me that I feel were well explored and perfectly mentioned by the author:

“When you’re feeling anxious or fearful, it’s a clue that your focus is likely in the future; when you’re feeling grief or depression, your attention is probably in the past. If you’re feeling ashamed or embarrassed, you are probably tuned in to an unclear or distorted image of yourself. Your emotions are clues as to where your attention is focused.”

Such a great reminder to stay in the now. The now is so much more peaceful than whatever you are dwelling on.

“If a thought causes you stress, yet you can’t break the habit of thinking it again and again, you can consciously decide to question the thought, rather than believe it right off the bat… Instead of assuming that your thoughts are true, ask yourself these questions:

– Who would I be if I didn’t believe that thought?

– How would I live my life without the thought?”

Love it! Question the thoughts you have. Don’t just accept them. Then she goes on to say…

“The fact that you can question yourself and your thoughts means there is a thinker of the thoughts, and that is who and what you connect to…”

What a great way to get soul-centered! Observe the observer.

“Thoughts in meditation are an indication that you are releasing stress… And the more stress you release, the more you can connect with your soul.”

What a great way to change your attitude about those pesky thoughts in meditation. They are releasing themselves from you. In my meditation I took up the habit of helping the stress thoughts to release. If I thought of someone who was stressing me, I wished them, “Love, Joy, and Laughter” a creative thought that just would not go away, I said, “Thank you, I love you” Acknowledging the Universe for sending me the thought, yet helping it go away until I was in a better place to think about it. After the thoughts eased I then try to requite my mind. It seems to be helping.

And you know the author, Sarah McLean, is cool when she quotes my favorite fiction writer Tom Robbins! I have leant my copy of “Still Life with Woodpecker” to someone, so did not remember this, but love it…

“[Still Life with Woodpecker says,] ‘There are only two mantras… yum and yuk’ It is binary really: something is ‘yummy’ if you like it and want more (yes), and ‘yucky’ if you don’t like it and are repulsed by in (no).”

Love it!! So simple. I used this to help me make a decision this last month. Instead of analyzing the crap out of things I just asked, “Is this more of a yum or a yuck?” I got a yuck feeling. How easy was that to tap into?

“In my study of Buddhism, I’d gotten the impression (wrongly) that the Buddha taught that desire was the cause of all suffering… I later learned the Buddha actually taught that it’s the attachment or clinging to desires that causes suffering, not the desires themselves. It made sense; how could I not have desires?… desires are naturally part of who we are as human beings.”

Oh you know I am all over this one! Desires are natural just don’t become attached!! That’s got Unscribbling written all over it – follow your desires, just don’t become attached to just one way to fulfill them!)

She also does this great exercise to realize that “what you look for is what you get” with her niece and demonstrates…

“… the mind usually finds what it is looking for and little else.”

It is so brilliant. I’m not going to tell you because you just need to get the book.

These quotes are just a few of the gems you will find in this book. Was I right when I said that the meditation practices were a nice bonus, but the good part were in the rest when Sarah is discussing the soul-centered lifestyle? She’s got it figured out and presents it in an easy to digest manner. Newbies and aficionados alike will enjoy this. Lot of good points to ponder and thoughts that will help you to become more soul-centered.

Book Discription: Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation presents a secular, mainstream view of meditation and applies it practically as a tool for personal transformation. Each week’s lesson in the 8-week program contains a key for navigating the journey of self-awareness, and each week’s meditation practice builds on those of the previous weeks, making the process accessible and enjoyable for novices and experts alike. Inspiring stories from Sarah’s own experience and from the students she’s taught in her 20-year career as a meditation teacher further enrich the text. Her approach is grounded in leading-edge brain research that shows meditating for 27 minutes a day over 8 weeks can make a huge difference by altering the gray matter in areas of the brain that govern learning, memory, empathy, and stress. 

Each of the lessons in the 8-week program is designed to provide a structure for creating a successful and sustainable meditation practice. As the readers build their meditation practice, they learn to undo stressful habits that don’t serve them, cultivate compassion for themselves and others, and listen to and trust their inner wisdom. 

The Soul-Centered journey is one of finding out who you really are; navigating your life based on that peaceful, loving, wise part of yourself; then fully and fearlessly expressing yourself in the world.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.


The “Poor Me” drama from the Celestine Prophecy (SSN)

The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield, is a spiritual fiction book, and I must say, the teachings are quite interesting. In the story, several insights are revealed. He talks quite a bit about our energy. You can think of it like a psychic energy that we both give and receive.

In the Fourth Insight, Redfield describes how people want to feel energetically strong. One way they can do this (not the healthy way) is to control other people. Unfortunately, this is at the expense of others.

Almost all of us do this in an unconscious manner. We feel the need to compete for energy, and therefore power. But once you understand your “default manner,” or “control drama,” or way of controlling others, you can begin to transcend and learn how not to use these dramas to steal others’ energy. And you will be able to receive your energy from another source. (We won’t get into all that now, but get the book.)

So, the story explains four ways people control one another and steal each other’s energy. You can do this either aggressively or passively; either way, it is your way of trying to control and steal energy. Look at the list and figure out which one is you, or your default way of controlling. (Yes, we all do this, so at least one will apply.)


Intimidator – When someone is verbally or physically intimidating you, it forces you to give them your attention/energy.

Interrogator – Finding fault and slowly undermining you.


Aloof – Withdrawn and withholding.

Poor Me – They complain and tell you everything that is wrong in their lives.

Once we are aware of our drama, we can go forward and choose to act differently.

(My control drama is “Aloof.” I am working to give and share more.)

The reason for this side note is because we discussed complainers in the book. If you are a complainer, be aware that this is your way of trying to control others and stealing their energy. So stop doing the “Poor me,” unscribble your problem, and empower yourself without stealing energy from others.

If you are listening to a complainer… well, we also talk about that in the book. 😉

Takeaway: Knowing your default control drama will help you to transcend the behavior. It will help you to transcend complaining.


Buy the Kindle version of Uncribbling Looking for a print version of Unscribbling? Click here!

There are no bad things (SSN)

We hear a lot of new-age types of people say, “it’s all good.” But what the hell does that mean? I mean, we all have crappy things happen in our lives, so how can it all be good?

Well, let’s explore this concept through some great quotes…

“Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn’t.

Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is – which is the only sane way to live – there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in life anymore. There is only higher good – which includes the ‘bad.'”
Eckhart Tolle, “The Power of Now”

“To the soul, all experiences are used toward enlightenment, regardless of our human judgements of good or bad. There are no good or bad experiences, only experiences that inform the soul in unique ways, experiences that call one deeper into one’s own being to know some greater truth. This greater truth could only be known to us by the unique combination of experiences that we draw to ourselves.”
Science of Mind Magazine, Feb 2011, Gregory Toole

“You can continue to be a victim and think,’ The accident happened, and I was a victim of it.’ Or you can say, ‘The accident happened, and I actually participated in the creation of it and I participated in turning it into something good. And I grew from it.’ As with all things in life, you have a choice about how you perceive events.”
“The Awakening Course” by Joe Vitale

“[P.T. Barnum] knew that the bottom line for him was: If things don’t work out, it was because of a higher reason that he didn’t even know at the time.”
“The Awakening Course” by Joe Vitale

Matthew Ferry teaches that (paraphrased from some of his audio seminars)

Breakthroughs are often preceded by breakdowns. What you want is coming. If it has to force its way into your life, it will bring you to your knees with destruction if you resist it. Total resistance = total destruction in order to manifest what you want. Different is scary. NEW is different. So it is natural to avoid the new/change/your desire manifesting itself. Your new manifestations will mess up your equilibrium. So you resist. Relax and roll with it instead. Resisting is choosing destruction and hardship. When you are so frustrated with life you think God has abandoned you, it is an indicator that what you want is coming and you are resisting it; you are saying no, when you need to be saying yes.

I love this last thought from Matthew as it brings up that change is inevitable, your desires and intentions are trying to get to you, BUT you have a choice as to how they come to you. If you are staying open to new ideas and people, total destruction might not be needed. BUT, if you are resisting, these “bad things” might be necessary to get you to open your eyes and see new paths to your true desires.

Either way, nothing is bad. It is all helping you to get where you truly want to be.

One last fun quote on this topic…

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” —Walt Disney

Takeaway: There are no bad things, only things that help you learn, grow, and evolve toward the life you desire.


Buy the Kindle version of Uncribbling Looking for a print version of Unscribbling? Click here!

The bigger picture of struggles & “Angelic Agitators” (SSN)

I honestly think that some struggles merely come our way to prepare us to handle something bigger in the future. The struggles are always teaching us something and they are preparing us, making us wiser, raising our consciousness, and twisting and turning us toward a better “destiny” than we could have imagined.

Here are a couple of thoughts from some great minds on the subject:

“Our challenges give our lives meaning; they help us rise to another level of enlightenment and understanding… It’s almost as if our challenges show up by design: you pick something you want to do, and then you quickly realize that obtaining it is going to require you to be more than you’ve ever been before.”
“Manifesting Change” By Mike Dooley

“It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your Personal Legend. It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission in earth.”
Paulo Coehlo – the Alchemist

“Whenever the seemingly ‘unthought-of’ unexpectedly lands in your path, it is always a  stepping stone to another place that you have been thinking about… In the traffic accident there were several long-range end results that I was thinking about that could perhaps be best achieved effortlessly, flawlessly, and miraculously through this incident…”
“Manifesting Change” By Mike Dooley

Another fun way to think about challenging people was presented by Barbara Leger in Science of Mind Magazine, September 2010. In it she talks about a “‘ruthless angel’ (meaning an angel who shakes you up to wake you up).”

Oh, what a fun way to think about people who shake you up; they are ruthless angels – or perhaps ruthless is too strong a word. What about, “angelic agitators?” I like that.

So the next time someone or something is agitating you, remember; it just might be an angelic agitator here to help you. In fact, I think we can agree that they are.


Takeaway: There is a lesson in any struggle (or agitating person). Each struggle allows you to learn and grow and become a better person because of it.


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Maybe you’re the supporting character in a struggle, not the protagonist? (SSN)

Did you ever feel like the story wasn’t about you? That perhaps you were dealing with a struggle that didn’t really feel like it “belonged” to you?

Now, I still agree with Mike Dooley’s thought in “Manifesting Change” that:

“Nothing is by chance, nothing is random; there is always meaning, purpose, healing, and love.”

We can always learn and grow. But perhaps sometimes (maybe all the time) we need to remember that we are part of an interdependent species.

Sometimes we are here to be an antagonist, instead of a protagonist.

“The antagonist never sees himself as the opposing force, but as the protagonist in his own story. The same is true for the protagonist. One takes into consideration one’s own interest and not necessarily the other’s interest, whereas God sees the highest and best for all concerned… God expresses as interacting, interdependent entities. God is a system of wholeness. The integrated whole is producing, exchanging, and distributing all the time. Everything about God is inclusive and has good for us all.”
Science of Mind Magazine, June 2010, by Celestine Frazier

Or sometimes we might choose to deal with a struggle to help the greater good.

“Sometimes a soul will choose a particularly challenging lifetime in order to accelerate its spiritual progress, or as an act of love to help, guide and nourish others who are going through a similarly difficult lifetime. A hard life is not a punishment, but rather an opportunity.”
“Messages for the Masters,” Brian Weiss, M.D.

Or perhaps we have volunteered for a struggle to help another.

“Why might a life be chosen that could end abruptly in violence? Well, with nothing to lose, since we’re eternal beings, the answer must lie in either the adventure that life would give us or the adventure it would make possible for others. Perhaps we allow ourselves to live on a stage where we MIGHT be violated if it creates circumstances in which the perpetrator finally understands the grotesque folly of their ways, and at last begins healing. Or perhaps we allow ourselves to stray into harm’s way so that other’s might not ‘have to.’ Maybe we choose it to help others and ourselves to understand the mental anguish that often leads to, and comes from, violence. Or perhaps it would be for the shocking ‘wake-up call’ it would provide to witnesses and to those distantly aware of what happened, so that they might pay closer attention to their own thoughts, words, actions, and resulting consequences. The reasons, including for the love of all involved, are endless.”
“Manifesting Change” By Mike Dooley

Sometimes you just need to take a step back and contemplate that it might not be all about you. But since we are interdependent and part of all, everything ultimately is.

No matter what the struggle and why you are facing it though, you need to remember that you always have a choice. You can choose your actions to be actions in love and inclusion or you can choose your actions for ego.

This does not mean that you should allow yourself to become a victim!

When you are facing a struggle, you still need to take responsibility for it. You still need to Unscribble it to create the life you want. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. Use your integrity, communication skills, and problem solving abilities to work through any struggles you are facing. No matter who the protagonist in the story is, assume it is you (even if it might not be) and that you are in the struggle to learn and choose your conduct wisely. Choosing to be the protagonist allows you to take back control of your own destiny. Remember, we are interconnected, so the wiser you act, the better for the whole and the better for the true protagonist.

Also, finally, just because someone needs to learn a lesson (or you think they do, or think you might be playing a part in someone else’s big lesson), it does not mean that YOU are the one who has to teach it to them.

Do what you need to do to resolve the situation to your satisfaction, but don’t be the one who tries to teach someone. Lessons come, but learning is optional. If they want to learn, they will. If not, they won’t. YOU learn. YOU clarify how you want your life to be and how you are going to go about getting your dream life. Let others deal with their own lives.

We may not be on this earth to learn lessons. Or maybe we are. Who knows? But we are here. We might as well take the opportunity to experience and to grow. Growth often comes from struggles, so welcome the struggles. They are making you into something that is better than you were before, IF you allow them to. Learn from the frustration by finding solutions and exploring paths to get to them. Focus on the solution and the path instead of the problem. The other party will learn if they want to.

Takeaway: Sometimes you are playing a role in someone else’s drama. Even so, you still need to act like you are the main character and Unscribble yourself to the life you desire.


Buy the Kindle version of Uncribbling Looking for a print version of Unscribbling? Click here!

Matthew Ferry on the Drunk Monkey (SSN)

Matthew Ferry has great lessons about how your mind is like a drunk monkey working to keep you “safe” – but you can tame it!

Did you know your mind is not your friend? Matthew Ferry and Thach Nguyen introduce you to your mind, affectionately known as The Drunk Monkey…

Takeaway: Your mind is working to make you “safe,” but safe will not help you to fulfill your desires.

P.S. Find out more about Matthew Ferry at: He is a wonderful teacher and I am so happy I have had the chance to learn from him in the past.

Sameness is not security either… (SSN)

In a previous post, we discussed how money is not the source of security (Money is not security (SSN))

The same can be said about sameness.

We often think that sameness is secure, because it is what we know. There is a sense of security in only doing/seeing/experiencing what we already know. But in order for your life to improve, you are going to need to move out of sameness and think and try new things.

Here are some spiritual thoughts on the matter:

“A lot of people don’t want to change because they are comfortable where they are… Well, it may be time for you to get a little uncomfortable and to awaken from all of that so you can have more.”
-Joe Vitale, “The Awakening Course”

“Security can only come from within. It is a spiritual trait, not an earthly one… Security derives from inner peace and a knowledge of our true essence, which is spirit. We can never really be harmed, because we are immortal and eternal… Because we are all of the same essence.”
-Brian Weiss, M.D., “Messages for the Masters”

“If you know what you are going to be doing the rest of your life there is no room for something better.”
-Deepak Chopra, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”

Takeaway: You can have a sense of security even as life changes.

Money is not security (SSN)

Ok, here is where a little secret of “Unscribbling” is going to be revealed. If you have not figured it out yet, the book “Unscribbling” is about helping you get to a different consciousness. It is about helping you to think different, to focus on what you desire, instead of your lack. To get you to stay open to ideas. So in the book, for this section, I say for the non-spiritual:

Take-away: Money is not the source of security, but your ability to solve problems (aka Unscribbling) can be. Money is just a resource.

But it is not really your ability to solve problems (aka Unscribbling) that can be a source of security, rather your solution-oriented mindset, your consciousness, and your faith in the Universe.

“The goal should not be to make money or acquire things, but to achieve the consciousness through which the substance will flow forth when you need it.”
– Eric Butterworth, “Spiritual Economics”

Ah, the two pieces of the puzzle:
1. Consciousness
2. Problem Solving

This will help the universe send you solutions. This is security. Not money. Money will fluctuate on you.

“Security can be experienced in one way only – by identifying yourself as a channel for the flow of Infinite Mind.”
– Eric Butterworth, “Spiritual Economics”

Don’t get me wrong; as I mention in the book, I love money – it is so much handier than bartering chickens! But money flows. Concentrating on your consciousness, and problem solving will take you a lot further than letting your security be determined by something external, like money. (Read Where is your mood/worth coming from? (SSN))


“Money is good! Money is God in action!”
– Eric Butterworth, “Spiritual Economics”

But also remember that it flows and fluctuates and should not be the foundation of your security. Basing your security in your solution-oriented mindset, your consciousness, or your faith in the Universe will give you a much more solid foundation.

Takeaway: True security will come when you “achieve the consciousness through which the substance will flow forth when you need it.”

P.S. For the love of Pete, just read “Spiritual Economics” by Erik Butterworth! Especially on this topic!!!

P.P.S. For more on security, read: Sameness is not security either… (SSN)


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Where is your mood/worth coming from? (SSN)

All too often we use the conditions of our external world to determine how we feel on the inside. But instead of allowing conditions of the outside (gaining the job, or losing it; watching the value of your house fall, or rise; “he likes me,” or he doesn’t) determine our mood and feelings of worth, we need to empower ourselves from the inside out. If we are empowered, fluctuations in our outside world are things we can respond to, instead of things that send us into fits of highs and lows.

For the spiritual take on this:

Thus when Jesus said, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement,” he was saying that if we live in the belief that our experience is totally dependent on what happens to us, we become tentative, cautious, even a little paranoid, and every changing condition has the power to “pull our strings,” to determine how we are going to think or feel or act. For instance, if our basic concerns are financial, then the daily Dow Jones report may well become our personal mood-meter, giving us faith or fear, joy or depression. It is a terrible way to live, yet it is probably true that it is the way most people do live.

However, if you really believe that life is lived from within-out, and if you persistently establish yourself in the consciousness of oneness with divine substance, then your perception of things will reflect an attitude that is “bullish” (optimistic). And, having seen and felt the end, you have willed the means to the realization of the end… for you. And it will work for you, no matter what happens in the world “out there.”

Erik Butterworth, Spiritual Economics

Let your inside world rule the outside, not the other way around.

Takeaway: Determine your mood and feelings of worth from within out, don’t let them fluctuate with the highs and lows of external factors.


Buy the Kindle version of Uncribbling Looking for a print version of Unscribbling? Click here!

Clearing your mind of negative thoughts (SSN)

“The Awakening Course,” by Joe Vitale, has many great points and thoughts to ponder. MANY. But if it only had this one thought it would still be worth it!

Joe met a healer, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, who taught him a technique to use called Self I-dentity Ho’oponopono. The doctor used the technique to cure every mental patient at the hospital. Joe explains how we can use this technique to clean our minds of bad thoughts.

See side note “Another’s desire to change, must come from them, but… (SSN)”  for more info.

In a nutshell (seriously, read the book, because there is NO WAY this is going to do it justice, but anyway…):

When you think a thought you know is bad, repeat the phrase:
I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you

This is you talking to the universe, saying:
I’m sorry – You’re not sure where you got this thought from (but you are having it and you take responsibility).
Please forgive me – Having accepted responsibility, you are asking for forgiveness.
Thank you – You are thanking the Universe for taking care of this and for helping you get rid of this thought.
I love you – “He’s saying it to the Divine… and by doing so, he’s going into a state of surrender.”

When I have recurring negative thoughts, I use this technique (often coupled with the rubber band flick talked about in my book), and I have seen great results from it. If nothing else, it takes my mind off the negative thoughts. I say it over and over and over again, until the thought is not dominating me, and then I say, “Thank you, I love you, thank you, I love you,” until I am “vibing” on that.

I have not done it justice; just get the book. Let me correct that negative statement. I hope I just gave you a taste of this great thought – enough to inspire you to read more. 😉

Takeaway: Get the book, “The Awakening Course,” by Joe Vitale, and learn about the clearing statement, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”

(Joe mentions the book “Zero Limits” has more info on this, but I have not read it yet. Can’t wait!)