WWB Announces the Spring 2017 ‘Book Wise’ Pick in the Non-Fiction Category and it’s a Contemporary Throwback Worthwhile Revisiting…

May 12, 2017 by



BOOK WISE Spring 2017 Pick: Beauty and the Soul–The Extraordinary Power of Everyday Beauty to Heal Your Life


CATEGORY: Wellness/Spiritual/Non-Fiction


THROW BACK SELECTION: Book was published in 2009


CULTURE SPOTLIGHT: Author From Italy, content is universal


AUTHOR: Piero Ferrucci is a psychotherapist and a philosopher. He graduated from the University of Torino in 1970. He was trained by Roberto Assagioli, the founder of psychosynthesis, and has written several books including the bestseller The Power of Kindness in 2007.



WWB OF NOTE:  I wish I had introduced this book earlier in WWB’s history, because it looks at beauty the way I always intended to do with World Wise Beauty, from the inside out and wholistically. This is a beautiful and thoughtful book about appreciating beauty of all  kinds and discovering the healing capacity of beauty not only for ourselves, but for the planet. It’s simple ambition would be to have us all ‘stop and smell the roses’ so we can be fully present and in the moment. On a deeper level, the book offers ways to counteract the ugliness of life with beauty manifesting in all it’s life forms ~Lauroly, Founder of World Wise Beauty

              Author Excerpt: Chapter –Love of Life

‘In a story from the Jewish tradition, the human soul before birth roams about the universe, collects a great deal of knowledge, sees much beauty, and thus is endowed with great wisdom. But just as birth is drawing near, the angel of death approaches and with his sword touches the soul on the forehead. At that moment, when the soul incarnates into the mass of nerves, organs, and muscles which make up what we are, the drama takes place: The baby being born forgets all it knows. Yet an inkling remains, a vague feeling of what is lost. This, the story tells us is why human beings are born crying, and why they seek, everywhere and all their lives, in confusion and desperation a beauty they feel they have lost. Is there really a soul before birth? I cannot say. And I do not know if we have a past life on other planes or in other worlds. But what interests me here is the experience of this life and this world. The Jewish myth seems to allude to a feeling many, perhaps all of us have; the impression of not belonging to this world. The feeling that makes us wonder ‘What am I doing here?”. Like the alien from the film ‘ The Man Who Fell from Earth” , who came to our planet from a faraway star and landed in an amusement park, we find the world around us strange, and bizarre, and sometimes absurd. And perhaps like him, we feel homesick for a cleaner, simpler, brighter world. Luckily we can see the opposite of what the Jewish story tells is also true when we observe children…’
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Weekly Wisdom Wrap: From Stress to Serenity… Discover the ‘Contagious Movement’ Inspiring Wellness Culture

May 29, 2015 by




Psst…have you heard about the latest trend in wellness culture? To sum it up in one word it’s creativity! Over the last year I’ve been sharing all kinds of posts on my Facebook page about the healing power of art and your creative spirit. In fact just today I shared a wonderful piece from Spirituality & Health magazine entitled ‘Color Your Way to Peace’. It might seem a little childish at first, but using art to heal and soothe our spirits has been used for hundreds of years. Below is a bit from the article mentioned, and as you can see drawing and coloring is ‘serious’ therapy!

EXCERPT: The prominent psychiatrist Carl Jung would notice a distinct calm come over his patients as they drew mandalas during therapy. He frequently used mandala art as a form of treatment, as he believed that the process helped his patients work through the outer chaos of their lives and get in touch with their inner being.



Coloring Books for adults are the hottest selling items in wellness culture right now. The one artist that really put ‘coloring books’ on the map is Johanna Basford, a young woman from the UK who has gone viral internationally with her beautifully illustrated coloring books. I also shared her story back in March on WWB Facebook from Bored Panda a great digital site I just love that will surely get your creative juices flowing.



Since we are on the subject of art therapy, I also shared a WWB ‘Ideal Find’ on this very blog last Christmas which is called the ‘ Buddha Board‘. You have probably seen this special gadget in a Barnes & Noble store here in the states, but you can also easily find it on Amazon. When I interview founders of mission oriented companies for my ‘Ideal Finds’ department, I always ask them to define their ‘authentic dedication’. Below is the Buddha Board’s dedication and I just love their mission and concept. It’s a different kind of therapy from the coloring book, because it helps us practice the stress reducing art of ‘letting go’, which is the basis of ‘Zen’ philosophy.  Zen essentially means experiencing fully the present, and delighting in the basic miracle of life itself. We can all use more Zen moments!


Original Buddha Board


Authentic Dedication: Buddha Board is dedicated to the Zen concept of living-in-the-moment, we believe in the importance of doodling, creating, and having fun. Enjoy! You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind, ready to create a whole new masterpiece. Buddha Board is environmentally friendly as it only uses water – no ink, no paint, no chemicals – and it will last for years with proper care.  


Mona Lisa Smile Poster



Besides all the fantastic things creative endeavors do for stress management, there is also a lot of research that shows art and nature ( we chatted about nature in last weeks wrap) can truly be a healing power and boost your immune system. It does this by  lowering levels of chemicals that cause inflammation that can trigger diabetes, heart attacks and other illnesses. It gets better because what they are finding, is you don’t actually have to be creating art yourself, you can also just experience it! The study came from the California University of Berkeley and it’s another ‘report post’ I shared on Facebook. Follow WWB on Facebook as well as this blog because you will truly be up to date on all things beauty, health and wellness!

EXCERPT:Psychologist Dr Dacher Keltner, of California University in Berkeley, said: “That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests the things we do to experience these emotions – a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art – has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy.”


I hope you enjoyed my romp across the highly contagious ‘creativity’ movement in wellness culture. There is so much to explore when it comes to art & creativity and so many ways to incorporate them into our wellness lifestyle. To quote the wise genius Albert Einstein again, “Creativity is Contagious…Pass it On.” To honor his wisdom, below is a printable coloring book page I am passing on to you, to help you get you started on coloring. Right click on image, save image, and select PRINT. Hope your weekend is filled with fun, play and healthy creativity…

P.S  If coloring is not your thing…Pass It On!







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Ideal Find: ‘I AM A WOMAN’ –Not Just Another Pretty Face, Country Star Celebrates the Multifaceted Woman with Healing Music, Tributes, & Photography

Jul 2, 2014 by




Ideal Find: ‘I AM A WOMAN’ Book and CD Duo



Founder: Mary Sue Englund. ( co-writer of song Thom Shepherd)



Authentic Dedication: To celebrate courageous woman from all walks of life with healing music, words and photography.




Lauroly Opening- Welcome to World Wise Beauty Mary Sue! You are the first musician I have interviewed at WWB but I must say it is hard to put any label on you because you are really such a multi-faceted creative artist. The ‘I am A Woman’ project is a book and cd combo and what a beautiful artistic endeavor it is. You basically wrote and recorded a song and then brought the song’s lyrics to life with beautiful photographs of inspirational women in a book. For example one line from your song is ‘and I am a diary full of dreams’ and there is a lovely photograph of Anne Frank with a small dedication about her legacy. The selection of women is very eclectic. From Eleanor Roosevelt to Dolly Parton, you present the many faces of strong women. I love the creative selection and how perfectly each woman fits your song lyrics. While each selection is amazing I personally love the photograph of you and your Mom which accompanies the lyrics ‘but most times I am still that little girl’. Just so sweet…

You have been a harmony vocalist, pianist and violinist for Pam Tillis the celebrated country legend for 10 years and in your spare time have produced 5 self-penned albums of your own. We are already very impressed! But let’s begin with your wonderful ‘I am A Woman’ project. Can you share with us how you were inspired to bring it to life? Did it all start with writing the song? 

Mary Sue Englund: Lauroly, thank you for your kind words, and for taking an interest in I AM A WOMAN. It did start as song, and the title came from my co-writer, Thom Shepherd, who is pretty fantastic. He wrote country #1s, such as ‘REDNECK YACHT CLUB’ and ‘RIDING WITH PRIVATE MALONE.’ He wanted to write a song to celebrate women. So, we started compiling a list of qualities of the women in our lives who we love: our moms, sisters, and dear friends. During the time that we were writing the song, my mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hence, we wrote the line about the pink ribbon. It was an honor to write this song. After performing it a few times in concert, I realized what a profound affect it was having for our audiences. I wanted to make this song tangible, so I started the journey of creating the book. My mother is a book publisher, and I design all of her books (my other job!), so putting it together seemed like an obvious journey. Finding the women for the book was a privilege and a pleasure.


New CD, Mary Sue Englund

Lauroly Q- After the success of the ‘I Am A Woman’ book/cd project you were inspired to write a complete album of healing songs and will take this album on the road as a ‘healing concert series’. I can imagine how rewarding it must be to bring your beautiful music to cancer patients and caregivers. What I love about your new album “The Beat Goes On’ is the lyrics aren’t schmaltzy and nor are they dark. The sentiment of the album speaks to resilience and hope. All women can relate to managing the trials of life and tapping into the inner strength it takes to survive the hills and valleys. What kind of facilities do you tour and what has been your personal experience performing for this particular audience? 

Mary Sue Englund:  Thank you for listening to the album and I am so glad that you like it! I truly enjoy performing “healing concerts,” which is simply a concert of “healing songs” that I have written. I have gone through a lot of crazy challenges in my lifes’ journey, such as losing my sister to violence and watching my own mother fight cancer. Music is the thing that saves me, so I knew that it must be important to others as well. I play any kind of venue, from living room to a hospital waiting room to a community center or a theater. I go where folks need the music!


Mary Sue Englund/Healing Concert/Hospital


Lauroly Q- In your promotional material you are quoted saying “We go where the music is needed’. How do you envision the ‘healing concert series’ developing? You can take your concert to small intimate setting like a hospital waiting rooms or large music venues and theaters. How will you package your concert series moving forward? You have already performed at the Grand Ole Opry many times–how thrilling was that?!


Click For ‘I AM A WOMAN’ Music Video


Mary Sue Englund: Standing on the Grand Ole Opry stage is always a thrill. I have been honored to perform there regularly for the past 11 years. It is truly exciting every time! As far as my healing concerts developing? That is a question that I am leaving up to God. I take a little step every day and see where the journey takes me. I was asked recently to give a motivational talk to a group of attorneys for their retreat. That wasn’t what I expected to be asked to do, but it was quite a privilege. It will be wonderful to watch it all unfold. So, if you know a group who would like a healing concert, please send them my way!


Lauroly Closing: Attorneys are human too and I am sure they will love your work! Thank you so much for joining me at World Wise Beauty Mary Sue. I am honored to share your beautiful and sensitive work with my readers and happy to promote your project in any way I can. YOU are truly a ‘Ideal Find’ and I am sure everyone will agree with me once they see the book and hear your music. The “I Am A Woman” book/cd is a lovely gift for any woman who needs encouragement and inspiration. And that would be all of us! For more information on purchasing her book or booking a concert with Mary Sue, please visit her website to learn more. 

Truly Herself,

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Wellness Culture or Power Culture? A Question for both Patient and Doctor…

May 23, 2013 by

I share the following  article from WELL not to instill fear about our medical community but to illuminate important cultural behaviors and how “systems” can go wrong.  The doctor who wrote this article was wise and brave.  She had to step out of her own “professional culture” which she was “steeped” in to question whether the processes and unspoken rules followed were in place to protect “the system” rather than to heal the patient.

While this article is very specific to how doctors treat each other and allow hierarchy to overrule what might be best for the patient,  it also is a wake up call for us as individuals to ask questions. What does wellness culture look like? What does wellness culture feel like?  Am I being listened to? Is this hospital, doctor or medical group doing what’s best for them or doing what’s best for me? Is this a place of healing or is this a place to make a profit and sell procedures and treatments.  Wisdom comes from always asking questions and perhaps also from understanding we are continually learning.  Something to keep in mind as we turn turn to experts, specialist and gurus for miracles, cures, healing and advice is they too are still learning…


Afraid to Speak Up to Medical Power



Silvia Otte/Getty Images
Doctor and Patient

Dr. Pauline Chen on medical care.

The slender, weather-beaten, elderly Polish immigrant had been diagnosed with lung cancer nearly a year earlier and was receiving chemotherapy as part of a clinical trial. I was a surgical consultant, called in to help control the fluid that kept accumulating in his lungs.

During one visit, he motioned for me to come closer. His voice was hoarse from a tumor that spread, and the constant hissing from his humidified oxygen mask meant I had to press my face nearly against his to understand his words.

“This is getting harder, doctor,” he rasped. “I’m not sure I’m up to anymore chemo.”

I was not the only doctor that he confided to. But what I quickly learned was that none of us was eager to broach the topic of stopping treatment with his primary cancer doctor.

That doctor was a rising superstar in the world of oncology, a brilliant physician-researcher who had helped discover treatments for other cancers and who had been recruited to lead our hospital’s then lackluster cancer center. Within a few months of the doctor’s arrival, the once sleepy department began offering a dazzling array of experimental drugs. Calls came in from outside doctors eager to send their patients in for treatment, and every patient who was seen was promptly enrolled in one of more than a dozen well-documented treatment protocols.

But now, no doctors felt comfortable suggesting anything but the most cutting-edge, aggressive treatments.

Even the No. 2 doctor in the cancer center, Robin to the chief’s cancer-battling Batman, was momentarily taken aback when I suggested we reconsider the patient’s chemotherapy plan. “I don’t want to tell him,” he said, eyes widening. He reeled off his chief’s vast accomplishments. “I mean, who am I to tell him what to do?”

We stood for a moment in silence before he pointed his index finger at me. “You tell him,” he said with a smile. “You tell him to consider stopping treatment.”

Memories of this conversation came flooding back last week when I read an essay on the problems posed by hierarchies within the medical profession.

For several decades, medical educators and sociologists have documented the existence of hierarchies and an intense awareness of rank among doctors. The bulk of studies have focused on medical education, a process often likened to military and religious training, with elder patriarchs imposing the hair shirt of shame on acolytes unable to incorporate a profession’s accepted values and behaviors. Aspiring doctors quickly learn whose opinions, experiences and voices count, and it is rarely their own. Ask a group of interns who’ve been on the wards for but a week, and they will quickly raise their hands up to the level of their heads to indicate their teachers’ status and importance, then lower them toward their feet to demonstrate their own.

It turns out that this keen awareness of ranking is not limited to students and interns. Other research has shown that fully trained physicians are acutely aware of a tacit professional hierarchy based on specialties, like primary care versus neurosurgery, or even on diseases different specialists might treat, like hemorrhoids and constipation versus heart attacks and certain cancers.

But while such professional preoccupation with privilege can make for interesting sociological fodder, the real issue, warns the author of a courageous essay published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine, is that such an overly developed sense of hierarchy comes at an unacceptable price: good patient care.

Dr. Ranjana Srivastava, a medical oncologist at the Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne, Australia, recalls a patient she helped to care for who died after an operation. Before the surgery, Dr. Srivastava had been hesitant to voice her concerns, assuming that the patient’s surgeon must be “unequivocally right, unassailable, or simply not worth antagonizing.” When she confesses her earlier uncertainty to the surgeon after the patient’s death, Dr. Srivastava learns that the surgeon had been just as loath to question her expertise and had assumed that her silence before the surgery meant she agreed with his plan to operate.

“Each of us was trying our best to help a patient, but we were also respecting the boundaries and hierarchy imposed by our professional culture,” Dr. Srivastava said. “The tragedy was that the patient died, when speaking up would have made all the difference.”

Compounding the problem is an increasing sense of self-doubt among many doctors. With rapid advances in treatment, there is often no single correct “answer” for a patient’s problem, and doctors, struggling to stay up-to-date in their own particular specialty niches, are more tentative about making suggestions that cross over to other doctors’ “turf.” Even as some clinicians attempt to compensate by organizing multidisciplinary meetings, inviting doctors from all specialties to discuss a patient’s therapeutic options, “there will inevitably be a hierarchy at those meetings of who is speaking,” Dr. Srivastava noted. “And it won’t always be the ones who know the most about the patient who will be taking the lead.”

It is the potentially disastrous repercussions for patients that make this overly developed awareness of rank and boundaries a critical issue in medicine. Recent efforts to raise safety standards and improve patient care have shown that teams are a critical ingredient for success. But simply organizing multidisciplinary lineups of clinicians isn’t enough. What is required are teams that recognize the importance of all voices and encourage active and open debate.

Since their patient’s death, Dr. Srivastava and the surgeon have worked together to discuss patient cases, articulate questions and describe their own uncertainties to each other and in patients’ notes. “We have tried to remain cognizant of the fact that we are susceptible to thinking about hierarchy,” Dr. Srivastava said. “We have tried to remember that sometimes, despite our best intentions, we do not speak up for our patients because we are fearful of the consequences.”

That was certainly true for my lung cancer patient. Like all the other doctors involved in his care, I hesitated to talk to the chief medical oncologist. I questioned my own credentials, my lack of expertise in this particular area of oncology and even my own clinical judgment. When the patient appeared to fare better, requiring less oxygen and joking and laughing more than I had ever seen in the past, I took his improvement to be yet another sign that my attempt to talk about holding back chemotherapy was surely some surgical folly.

But a couple of days later, the humidified oxygen mask came back on. And not long after that, the patient again asked for me to come close.

This time he said: “I’m tired. I want to stop the chemo.”

Just before he died, a little over a week later, he was off all treatment except for what might make him comfortable. He thanked me and the other doctors for our care, but really, we should have thanked him and apologized. Because he had pushed us out of our comfortable, well-delineated professional zones. He had prodded us to talk to one another. And he showed us how to work as a team in order to do, at last, what we should have done weeks earlier.

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