Recommended Reading


I love a good quote

Quotations are wonder-filled for me. You get so much from a quote. You get a truth, pithily packaged and delivered so that you can remember it. You are spoken to in the voice and words from the mind of another human being living and dealing with the challenges of their life, often in a far different place and time which still resonates to you with recognition of your similarities.

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.” Albert Einstein

Einstein, an acknowledged genius, has expressed uncommon observations that I can totally understand because we share our humanity if not our IQ!

John Dryden who lived in a far distant world spoke down through the ages to me about the confusing misery and ambivalence of breaking up. His words have sustained me in some very challenging circumstances.

Quotes are ideas that you can use. Getting through a torrid cancer journey which swept away the successful glossy life I had built and deprived me of bonds of love that I had earned in a hard school was survived by endless repetitions of that testament to a life lived with courage, patience, trust and truth Kipling’s If

“Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.”

With a quote you can find yourself laughing and playing in illustrious company even though your social circle does not provide all you need in terms of intellectual stimulation.

When I write my book ICBV An Anthology of Laughter Quotations, an idea I’d conceived with my friend and collaborator Rhonda Blunden, I got to thinking about the each of the quotes we used professionally, what kind of life might that unknown name have lived? My research was like a golden thread which led me to discover extraordinary people whose choices and the lives those choices had created. And the truth they expressed in those far distant lives somehow, by illuminating my own struggles, connected me with amazing people in a very personal way.

“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.”

The quote that inspired my logo is taken from the conclusion of Walden, published by Henry David Thoreau in 1854.  He says,

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours… In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

Of course, the concept of following our dreams is part of popular culture today because it is the theme of many songs, films and plays. But during Thoreau’s time, this was a pretty bold and revolutionary statement. The zeitgeist of his time was more about forgetting your unrealistic dreams and conforming at all costs. Thoreau moved out to live in the woods so he could do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.

This fridge magnet has been on my fridge since 1998 and has served to reminded me daily to stay in touch with my dreams.

I am living the life I’ve imagined.  That does not mean that my life is free from pain or challenges but that I am in the right place to make sure that my reality is one where problems can be solved or managed, where hope springs eternal and I am in an internal state of being happy, carefree, in touch with nature and, all in all,  floating in a pink cloud.

Some people who visit my website come looking for help and direction. Here is a list of books that may be of help to you in your journey. They have provided clarity and direction for me and many others. Remember, if you think that the help and direction you are looking for may be working with me personally, you can always request a free introductory telephone conversation to establish if you are right. Go to my Contact page here

Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus –  A Practical Guide for Improving Communication & Getting What You Want in Your Relationships.
by John Gray
Mars and Venus Starting Over –  A Practical Guide for Finding Love Again After a Painful Breakup, Divorce, or the Loss of a Loved One.
by John Gray
Mars Venus On a Date – A Guide to Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship.
by John Gray
The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth.
by M. Scott Peck
Your Body Speaks Your Mind – Understanding how your emotions and thoughts affect you physically.
by Deb Shapiro
Molecules of Emotion – Why you feel the way you feel.
by Candace B. Pert. Ph.D.
The Astonishing Power of Emotions – Let your feelings be your guide.
by Esther and Jerry Hicks
Ask and it is Given – Learning to manifest your desires.
by Esther and Jerry Hicks
Gods In Everyman – A new psychology of men’s lives and loves.
by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
A Return to Love: Reflections on the principles of a course in miracles.
by Marianne Williamson
Frontiers Of Health – How to heal the whole person.
by Dr. Christine Page
Shift Happens! – Powerful ways to transform your life.
by Robert Holden
A Course in Miracles – Text workbook for students, manual for teachers, foundation for inner peace.
Heal Your Body A-Z – The mental causes for physical illness and the way to overcome them.
by Louise L. Hay
Energy Medicine – Use your body’s energies to: Boost your vitality and stamina, strengthen your immune system, relieve pain and common complaints, sharpen your memory and mind, keep yourself healthy and balanced.
by Donna Eden
Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen – The essential guide to powerful, nourishing affirmations.
by Patricia J. Crane, Ph. D.
Pearls of Wisdom – For living a richer life, Inspirational stories of personal transformation, healing, and growth.
by Patricia Crane Ph. D. and Rick Nichols
Pearls of Wisdom: A second strand, Inspirational stories of personal transformation, healing, and growth.
by Patricia Crane Ph. D. and Rick Nichols
Chicken Soup for the Soul – 101 Stories to open the heart and rekindle the spirit.
by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
The Key – The missing secret for attracting anything you want.
by Joe Vitale
Peace Love & Healing
by Bernie S Siegel M.D.
Love Medicine & Miracles
by Bernie S Siegel M.D.
You Can Heal Your Life
by Louise L Hay
Ordering from The Cosmic Kitchen
by Patricia J Crane Ph D
An Anatomy of an Illness
by Norman Cousins
Energy Secrets
by Alla Svrinskaya
Cancer as a Turning Point
by Lawrence Le Shan
Cancer Ward
by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment
by Isobel Losada
Icon Magazine
from Cancer Active
The Cygnus Review
from Cygnus Books
It Could Have Been Verse – Laughter Quotations for Those Struggling with Stressful Situations.
collected by Kit Hammond & Rhonda Blunden

Lotus FlowerSelection from THE DHAMMAPADA (A collection of 423 verses containing the Buddha’s essential teachings)

What we are today comes from Our thoughts of yesterday, And our present thoughts Build our life of tomorrow; Our life is a creation of our mind, If a man speaks or acts with a pure mind, Joy follows him as his own shadow.

Invisible and subtle is the mind, And it flies after fancies wherever it likes; But let the wise man guard well his mind, For a mind well guarded is a source of great joy.

Those who make channels for water Control the waters; Makers of arrows make the arrows straight; Carpenters control their timber; And the wise control their own minds.

Even as a great rock is not shaken by the wind, The wise man is not shaken by praise Or by blame.

Better than a hundred years lived in ignorance, Without contemplation, Is one single day of life lived in wisdom And in deep contemplation.

Better than a hundred years lived in idleness And in weakness Is a single day lived with courage And powerful striving


A Final GoodbyeA poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up
and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child
and you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye,
you learn…© 1971 Veronica A. Shoffstall


Emerging ButterflyI The Importance of the “Struggle”

I wrote this story to illustrate the importance of the “struggle” and how it makes us stronger.

Early one morning just as the sun was rising a good man walked in prayerful silence as the dawn illuminated the countryside. On his way he was transfixed by the sight of a butterfly battling to emerge from its chrysalis. As he watched its struggles with the compassion of the spiritually aware he noticed that the hole through which it was trying to pass was far, far too small. During one of breaks the tiny creature took from its unequal fight, he used his pocket scissors and, with great delicacy, snipped a few strands of the cocoon. When the butterfly began its next assault on its task the man was momentarily gratified to see that it slipped out easily. But it was a pale and shrivelled thing, neither caterpillar or butterfly that lived for a few minutes and never flew.

The truth that applies both to butterflies and to us is that it is the struggle, the doubt and all our fears that effect our transformation into the glorious beings we were put on earth to become. Just as the butterfly’s daunting task of forcing its body through a tiny aperture into the unknown is the very thing that forces the fluid through to create its fantastic wings our human struggles to release the ties that bind us and fly are the very things that train and condition us to evolve into Joy.
by Kit Hammond



Midtown Manhattan Meditation

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn