Author Archives: Nyx

About Nyx

Podcaster, baker, zine reviewer and maker.

New Book for Review: Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry by Dr. Laura A. Maciuika

Concious Calm by Dr. Laura MaciuikaDr. Laura A. Maciuika will be touring mid-March to mid-April 2012 with her self-help book Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry.

Stressed out? There is plenty of real external stress, sure, and a serious stress epidemic going on. Then there is what we do on the inside, often without even realizing it. Conscious Calm focuses on the internal patterns of stress creation we may not even notice, and describes how to get free of these patterns for good to find lasting calm.

Integrating psychology and neuroscience, and combining practical wisdom from both East and West, Dr. Laura Maciuika explains the inner stress traps that so many of us fall into. She reveals 9 Stress Secrets that can keep us stuck in cycles of feeling more and stress, and describes 9 Keys to Conscious Calm and simple, step by step ways to use them for lasting stress relief, deeper calm, and greater happiness.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 1:For stress reduction, it’s natural to focus on where and how we do have control over outside stress. Some people try to organize themselves better, or to break the To-Do list down into smaller pieces to get more done. You probably have heard about or even tried tips and strategies for organizing the tasks and To-Dos in your life, and doing that can be helpful. Those tips and strategies take one common approach to focusing on stress reduction. They look at the outside challenges and strategize ways to deal with them better. And that can be a useful and worthy exercise.

It can become a problem, though, if outside solutions to stress are the only focus. It can feel like you’ll have to get a handle on everything in your life before your stress will go down and you will feel calmer and happier. Or, it can seem like you’ll never get less stressed and worried, because the To-Do list and the serious outside challenges just aren’t going away anytime soon.

One reason some people feel both helpless and hopeless about stress is that their focus is only on the outside. Without addressing inside stress directly, without a better understanding of its dynamics, causes, and possible solutions, it’s hard to find real and lasting calm. Without learning more about the internal contributions to stress, it’s more likely you will stay stuck in some of the very patterns that can be making your stress worse.

While there are real ways to control some of our outside stress, INSIDE is where we can have the most control. Even with the real outside challenges and pressures, moment-to-moment we have all kinds of internal choice.

180 Pages

Check out for more information.

If you would like to review Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry, please email Jaime McDougall at Please mention which date(s) would work for you. Deadline for inquiries end February 29th or until the tour is filled.

Thank you!


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Interview with Chamed – Author of My Heart Stopped Beathing

Chamed is not the registry office name of the author, yet it is not a pseudonym. She lives in Tuscany, she works mostly abroad, as a painter on canvas and porcelain. Some of her porcelain works are displayed in exhibitions in Italy, Sweden and Poland, France, Portugal and Brazil. My Heart Stopped Beating is her first novel. A second novel by her is forthcoming.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Chamed. Can you tell us what your latest book, My Heart Stopped Beating, is all about?

A:  In the book I deal with emotions and affection, that is of life, but I also deal with death, abandonment, absence. This book is a memoir about my life, focusing a lot on my time in a madhouse in Italy.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A: I based it all on my memories and on the journals I used to keep as a teenager to remember them. I couldn’t stand this feeling anymore – that is present in every day of my life – of not being able to be understood in my present condition as well as in my past condition. I was tired of explaining all the time.

I tried to explain my condition many times. I wasn’t understood. Instead, I was judged. The past is the stock of my pain. When I look at the time that passes, the journey of my life, nothing changed: the things that we leave behind us, sooner or later, reach us.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: “Why am I here? I am in a mental hospital! Dad, would you have thought it? Help me.”

I dragged my body out of that mortal icehouse.

With great effort I started walking, but my energies abandoned me and I ensconced myself on the ground.

Don’t remember where, but I was out, in the garden.

A man approached me, staring at me and crying. In his eyes I could see his soul shining.

He said: “You fell from the sky. And men have cut your wings!”

Weeping, I replied: “I’m afraid! Tell me why I’m here. How do I go?! Can you help me?”

“Angels are not afraid.” And he went away.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: I get up after seven o clock, I prepare breakfast, I read emails. Then I go in my workroom. I paint and draw while listening to music. Art and writing are my passion. I think I don’t have much spare time, but it’s the price I pay for finding the time to do everything I want.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I wish my book could be published in Italy too.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A: The importance of fighting for social freedom and for human dignity for people that, like me, have lived horrors in horror; the importance of understanding, of listening, of giving moral help, in a word, Love.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Chamed.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you.

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