Foreword Reviews

Being Here

Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment

2007 INDIES Finalist
Finalist, Self-Help (Adult Nonfiction)

When Shya Kane stopped trying to improve himself, focusing instead on just “being here,” he entered a different realm. He also stopped trying to improve his wife, Ariel, and she followed his lead. Based on profound life shifts from this seemingly small change, they contend that full attention in, and engagement with, each moment—the essence of “Being Here”—can lead to the heights of enlightenment. They have even trademarked the term “Instantaneous Transformation®,” the intended result.

The Kanes are seminar leaders, consultants, and catalysts for personal transformation, as well as authors of Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work and How to Create a Magical Relationship. Their latest, Being Here, imparts life’s lessons through stories reflecting everyday events transmuted by meticulous attention. The book’s eight sections cover forgiveness and compassion, dissolving mechanical behaviors, helping yourself and others, following your heart, upsets, engaging in life, communication, and being here. Brief introductions to each section set the stage, offering guidance, insights, and context for the stories that follow.

As the narrator’s voice shifts from story to story between Ariel and Shya, readers are invited into intimate worlds. While many of the stories are based on the authors’ personal experiences, they do include examples from clients, with names changed to protect privacy. Some of the stories are deeply moving and highly emotional, as Ariel recounts the decline and passing of Ida, Shya’s mother, or when a cancer patient and her daughter come together at one of the authors’ workshops.

Some stories provide their illuminations with seemingly simple observations—a pheasant spotted on a drive, a groundhog that found its way, incongruously, into the branches of a mulberry sapling. Others offer lighthearted commentary on paying close attention, as in the miscommunication in the story about a “topless bar.”

Introducing the section on following your heart, the authors observe, “[W]e open a window into the world of your intuition, your natural knowing and following your heart…you will see how unimaginable and profound moments are simply waiting to be experienced.” The story “That Small Not So Still Voice” illustrates that the power of listening to intuition, is important even for a practical man, a farmer who does not consider himself the least bit intuitive. He takes action from the message in a recurring dream and experiences the power of healing a rift of many years.

This little gem of a book injects all the “how to” directly into the reader’s bloodstream, engaging the imagination, illustrating what is possible, and encouraging a sense of mindfulness in everything from organizing a workspace to surviving an undertow. Its deceptively simple format—stories—cracks open amazing possibilities for transformation.

Reviewed by Bobbye Middendorf

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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