1. Looking for a shortcut to enlightenment, creativity, and longer, healthier living? Power up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment, by neuroscientist David Perlmutter, MD, and medical anthropologist Alberto Villoldo, PhD, is a six-CD set offered by Hay House that takes you through a five-week program which is supposed to assist you in overcoming toxic emotions and awaken the power of your “higher brain.” The CDs offer a regimen of nutritional advice, dietary supplements, fasting and physical exercise guidance that helps repair sections of the brain affected by stress, anxiety and depression, allowing new brain cells to grow, turning on the genes responsible for longevity, immunity and enhanced brain function. While Perlmutter opens the door to the science of the brain and how what we do in our daily lives can affect and strengthen its power, Alberto Villoldo guides you through shamanic practices, meditations and visualizations that assist in creating space for inner peace, compassion, creativity and lasting happiness.
2. BrainPOP, an app for the iPhone and iPad, is a useful educational tool that quizzes you in over 750 subjects in the fields of science, math, social studies, English, engineering and tech, arts and music, and health. Your kids pick a subject, watch a short animation and then are quizzed. The animations are closed-captioned, so its easy and simple to read along. The basic feature is free, but there are a variety of upgrades ranging from $1.99 to $6.99 a month. The app also comes in Spanish. This is a very simple and fun tool for your kids to use for studying topics relevant to their schooling, as well as for exploring and learning new areas. Because the short animations are engaging and lively, it makes what might otherwise be tedious seem exciting and new.
3. In An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, released by North Atlantic Books, allows you to unravel the spiral that trauma can become in our lives, our bodies, brains and minds, creating a new and revolutionary treatment for what has long been diagnosed mainly as a condition that needs to be medicated and suppressed, but which is in fact, according to author Peter A. Levine, an injury caused by fright, helplessness, and loss that can ultimately be healed through self-regulation of high states of arousal and intense emotions. One of the key components is how to move our trauma-filled bodies from a state of being stuck in the instinctual mode of fight-or-flight, causing a continual state of discontent and anger in our relationships, back into a healthy, healing, positively expressing form. Trauma is a natural part of our lives, but it does not have to be so continually destructive, and it does not need to be treated with medicine as an outside disease or disorder. Seen as a natural reaction in the world at large, using the tools presented in this well thought-out and deeply researched book, we can begin to live healthier, happier, less stressful lives.