Book Reviews

Book Review: “At The Broken Places” by Mary Collins and Donald Collins

This is a powerful book. It’s not violent, not exciting, but powerful. I really enjoy books about the queer experience and this one was no exception. At The Broken Places by Mary Collins and Donald Collins is written by a mother and her son who is trans.  They share their painful experience of transformation that started when Donald was a teenager. 
 This book opened me up to a new perspective on being the parent of a trans kid. Mary shares how she grieved and felt unsupported in her grief for the daughter she had birthed and raised for fifteen years. The idea that a parent loses a child when that child transitions has never crossed my mind. But wow does it make sense. I know grief from many experiences. It is an emotion we should talk more about. It appears so differently for each individual, but has a power that can be overwhelming and exhausting. It can be a weight lifted or a devastating blow that deathly sorrow.
I highly recommend this book if you are interested in Trans issues, grief, and the relationships between parents and children.

You deserve to love yourself completely, totally, fully as much as anyone does. Keep healing and I will hold your heart in my heart. If you desire extra support to stay on top of your self-care practice, check out my 30 day challenge Dive Deeper Into Self-Care.


I’m an artist and writer with a focus on art therapy. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month*, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

*You can also receive also receive art in the mail for a higher contribution.

Book Reviews

Book Review “Awkwardly Awesome” by Jason Freeman

 “Life presents us with opportunities to love ourselves breath by breath, hour by hour, day by day.” Jason Freeman.

This quote resonated with me so much.  After years of hating myself because I thought I was simply a flawed, broken being with no hope of being different, practicing self-love saved my life.

Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best, by Jason W. Freeman is worth a read. There don’t seem to be many books that encourage men to practice self-love. At least I haven’t seen any. Usually I see books for men on topics of succeeding in terms of money, careers or romance. It is refreshing to read about Jason’s experience with learning to love himself, find his passion in life, take risks, transform his life and not see his disabilities as bad. Instead he embraces his imperfections so much they have become his strengths.

I bought Jason’s book at his book launch last summer. But I didn’t read it until this summer because I was traveling for the last 9 months. I didn’t have room in my backpack for books which was a painful decision since I can easily read a few books each month. I was pleasantly surprised to see his book when I returned home and unpacked my box of books.

It is an easy read with journal questions and pages with each chapter. I recommend this for any man who feels awkward, unloved, apathetic and ready for a transformation. If you know a man who is searching for more from life, this might be the best gift you can give him. Personally, I am saving this for my nephew, when he graduates high school.

Visit Jason’s website Jasonwfreeman.com, by his book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble,

 

Thank you for subscribing to my blog. I hope you find the content worthy of your time.


 

I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Book Reviews, Poetry

Free Preview of My Upcoming Book “Start From The Root”

I’m SUPER EXCITED to share a preview of my upcoming book with you.

I will be publishing my book in October. In this preview, you can enjoy twelve of my original poems and illustrated poems plus bonus illustrations in this free preview. If you want to help me publish this book you can make a one time donation or become a monthly patron. If you give $60, I will send you a signed paperback book one it is published and a complimentary e-book for Kindle or Nook. Visit my Books page to download and give.

Peace and hugs, Leah


I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Book Reviews

Book Launch: “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers”

What is radical self-love? It’s a letting go of the idea that your worth is tied to your future accomplishments. It’s being accountable for your actions. It’s choosing your own path.

Self-love manifests itself in different ways for different people. By cultivating radical self-love, you are choosing to believe in the radical idea that you are whole and valuable as you are. Loving your imperfections is one of the bravest things you can do.

Featuring work by Michelle Minero, Kiyoshi Shelton, Jaz Gray, Corry Lang, Natalie Small, Rae Lawrence, Jason Freeman, Jasmine Farrell, Anaid Garcia, Donovan Cheney, Vidya, Katrina Mendoza and Leah Oviedo. These amazing people are different genders, skin tones, sexual orientations, abilities, spiritual beliefs.  What they all share is knowing that self-love is an important aspect of everyone’s journey.

This is a free e-book. You can choose your preferred format; EPUB for most eReaders, Mobi for Kindle, or PDF at Patreon.com/Loviedo

 


I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon. For as little as $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and support future creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Book Reviews

A Radical Collaboration of Artists, Writers and Healers

I’m stoked to share that I’m collaborating with 11 artists to create a new book “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists and Writers”.

This collaboration features work by a dozen amazing people. Anaid Garcia, Kiyoshi Shelton, Jasmine Gray, Corry Lang, Jodi Onyx Austin, Natalie Small, Rayne Ibarra-Brown, Jason Freeman, Jasmine Farrell, Donovan Cheney, Michelle Minero and myself, Leah Oviedo.

The book is a collection of art, writing and practices to inspire readers to create a radical self-love journey. Each contributor will be sharing their own heart-work in how they use tools to create more balance in their life.

In the words of Nayyira Waheed, “’I love myself.’ The quietest, simplest, most powerful revolution ever. – from “Salt”.

This book will be a free E-book and .pdf available from collaborators through their various platforms, such as my Patreon page.

> If you’re on Facebook, join the book release event (https://www.facebook.com/events/1755255884776774) on Thursday, December 28th, to grab your copy of the book! <

Learn more about the artists below:

Natalie Small – http://www.groundswellcommunity.org

Jasmine Gray – https://www.facebook.com/JazsJammies

Anaid Garcia – https://www.anaidgarciagallery.com

Jason Freeman – http://www.jasonwfreeman.com

Corry Lang – https://www.corrylang.com

Kiyoshi Shelton – http://kiyoshimusic.com

Michelle Minero – http://www.lovewarriorcommunity.com

Jasmine Farrell – https://www.facebook.com/JustBreatheJasmine

Donovan Cheney – http://www.donovancheney.com

Leah Oviedo – https://www.patreon.com/loviedo

Once the book is published I will post again. Or you can follow my Patreon page (link above).

Book Reviews

Book Review: “Choosing Happier” by Jem Friar

This Book Brought Me Many Smiles! (this is not a paid review)

The tile of Jem Friars book, “Choosing Happier” resonated with me because we need to consciously choose to be happy in a world that can be so painful and challenging. Experience has shown me that happiness is not an end goal, but rather a process on my individual journey.

This book offers guidance on creating a 30 day happiness practice that includes creating a morning routine. having a morning routine has been very helpful for me. I didn’t want to wake up earlier, but 10 extra minutes for the exercises I chose, gratitude and journaling, has created a more positive attitude for my work commute.

Having this book is like having a really positive, encouraging friend who you can bring just about anywhere! I’m grateful for the request to review this book because the pages empowered me with good feelings. One of my favorite exercises in the book is acknowledging my character strengths. As Jem writes, “A character strength is potentially a bit like your superpower…” . One of the ways I healed from depression is by using my skills and love of self-defense to empower others. When I started teaching self-defense I felt a sense of rejuvenation like I hadn’t felt before.

There’s a great section on self-compassion, which has been vital to my own healing practice. The author describes self-compassion as, “learning to be emotionally responsive to our own suffering from a place of kindness.” I’ve learned that you can do all the happiness work in the world, but if it doesn’t include compassion for yourself and others, it doesn’t have much of an impact.

I recommend this book for anyone who needs structure and guidance in their effort to create more happiness. It would also a good book for someone who is experiencing mild depression.

What are you waiting for? Request this book from your local library or order this book at:

https://books2read.com/choosinghappier

Find more information & inspiration at:

www.choosinghappier.com

https://www.facebook.com/choosinghappier/

https://www.instagram.com/choosing_happier/

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Diy therapy book cover

 

“D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression” is available through Amazon; available as both an e-book and a paperback.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.

 

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Want more creativity and play in your life? Print my FREE COLORING BOOKS!

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Find art and gifts at my boutique store, Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle

grief and gardening
Book Reviews

Jody’s Garden: A Book on Grief and Gardening

Jody’s Garden is a book about using the power of nature to heal your grief. A portion of each book sale will be donated to cancer research.

grief and gardening

Book Summary:

“Grief is a changing of seasons in our own garden.”

Gardens are a space for healing. With the cycle of life and death so close at hand, we have an opportunity to learn many lessons. In the garden, we can see the interconnectedness of our own life. We learn how the soil, once seen as nothing but dirt, reveals that it is teeming with life. Plants remind us the importance of self-care as we must give them just enough, but not too much, water and be on the lookout for toxins and insects that might cause harm. The beauty of flowers that only bloom once or twice a year teach us patience. When plants die we can better understand that nothing is permanent and remember to live in the present.

In this book you will find meditations, journal prompts, poetry and coloring pages. I hope you will also find a sense of peace and balance in your grief.

The book is available as a paperback and e-book on the following websites:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075FLW47B  -Get the e-book FREE until September 27th!

Paperback available on Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jodys-garden-leah-oviedo/1127010867

E-book available on PayHip: https://payhip.com/b/dpzc

(Not on Amazon, but you recently lost a loved one? Contact me for a free PDF of this book.)

Giving Back!

This book was inspired by my mother’s battle with cancer. She fought long and hard to heal herself, but ultimately was unable to heal completely. In honor of her, I will donate one dollar ($1) from each book sale to the following cancer research organizations:

Breast Cancer Research Foundation: https://www.bcrf.org/

Prevent Cancer Foundation: http://preventcancer.org/

Resources

Find a grief support group in your area: https://grief.com/grief-support-group-directory/

Learn more about how we can eradicate cancer-causing toxins and pollution with these resources:

http://www.safecosmetics.org/

https://earthjustice.org/healthy-communities/toxic-chemicals

http://saferchemicals.org/

Peace and hugs, Leah 🙂

Book Reviews, Travel

Book Review: “Gender Outlaws – The Next Generation”

Outlaws have always piqued my interest. Moving constantly as a child caused me to often feel like an outlaw. Also, my family was certainly different than any of the families I knew. I’m very grateful that one of those ways, was having an attitude of love towards the parts of our family that are interracial and homosexual. If only we could all grow up with that acceptance.

Image result

“Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation” by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman “essays, commentary, comic art, and conversation from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.”

I really enjoyed the variety of stories in the book. Almost every essay had me either laughing, feeling loved or downright stymied by the unhealthy negatives which continue to plague our society in regards to being trans. Each story is so different so I’ve chosen to keep this short and share a few quotes from the book that really stand out to me.

“And what’s coming is only you and I can create. So let’s make it with mercy and compassion and kindness and beauty and amor. We’re all of us going to need it” – Sam Peterson.

“To me being transgender is so much about the hope of change, of transformation” – Micha Cardenas.

“It’s no wonder eating disorders are rampant among women. Women are conditioned to take up as little space as possible in the world.” –Kyle Lukoff

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys outlaws, for anthropologists and all who want to learn more about living trans.  You can buy a copy of the book at https://sealpress.com/books/gender-outlaws/ or check it out from your local library like I did. If you’re library doesn’t have it, request them to order a copy!

If you read this book, what is your favorite quote or essay?

Diy therapy book cover

“D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression” is available as an e-book on Amazon.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.

Book Reviews, D.I.Y. Therapy

My New Book is Here! “DIY Therapy: Healing Depression” is Finally Published

For several years I have been working on healing my depression. It’s been a bumpy journey, but is slowly bringing me home to my true self. For a few years now I have been sharing my healing process through my DIY Therapy posts, which are free to read, here on my blog. I’m elated to finally share how I have healed in book form. Hopefully this will help me reach more people who are in pain.

Have you ever wondered what you could do -what possibilities would open up- if you didn’t feel overwhelmed by depression?

I published through Amazon so it’s available as both an e-book and a paperback.  This is not my first book, but it is my most personal. I share my struggles and pain honestly. Openly and honestly sharing healing is my gift to the world. With 1 in 4 people in the USA suffering from mental illness I hope my story will help others to start their own journey to better health.  Unlike a broken bone which heals in a matter of weeks or months, healing mental illness takes much more time and a whole lot of self-love.

For seventeen years I suffered in silence because the fear of a mental illness stigma is SO strong. I hid it even from my closest family and friends, “knowing” they would not understand. Well as it turns out, my family and friends and event complete strangers, care a lot about my mental health. It is with their support and encouragement that I was able to openly share my own pain and the struggles of depression.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan. You’re life only  has value if you decide it does.

And it’s okay to stumble and fall along the way. Healing takes time so BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF!

Peace and Hugs, Leah

 

 

Want more? Print and enjoy my FREE COLORING BOOKS!

Book Reviews, Writing

From Dove to Phoenix; a Journey by Guest Writer Jasmine Farrell

I first found work by Jasmine on Instagram and immediately fell in love with her words. She has definitely risen from the ashes to grace the world as a phoenix and I hope you enjoy her guest post as much as I did.

My book, Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is about my journey to self-discovery, self-love, letting go of habits and passed down traditions that hindered me from reaching my core.  PGAGD has poems that highlight my outlook on society, friends, family, and the realization of my new vision that I am a phoenix. Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves is a long title, I know. So here’s the deal:
After leaving Christianity, beginning my journey to self-discovery, self-love and delivering myself from the opinions of others, I realized something- I was groomed to be one way but I was destined to be something else.
I was a pretty little genesis dove. Avoided dancing to secular music (even though I love dancing) hid my voice and avoided addressing my wounds. I hid my heart’s desires in exchange for “God’s desires.” I denied natural desires and what my soul wanted which eventually caused internal damage.
I let go.
The need to please a God who wants me to deny my essence and my core was not it for me.
I’m like a phoenix. I have constantly gone through trials and tribulations, been burned by loved ones, life and my own insecurities. Nonetheless each time, I rose up from my own ashes and started again. I’ve got vibrant wings that make me a bit peculiar and I am boldly living out the best me that I can be (and I’m still growing and learning) without apologies.
However, the road to loving me and self-discovery is a new one.
Since I was a child I loved dancing, music, crystals, gem stones, being inquisitive and freely creative.  As I got older, I added storytelling, erotic novel writing, un-muzzling my voice and speaking out against society’s nonsense through my poetry. The aforementioned statement may sound normal to some of you. However, for those of you whom have a story adjacent to mine: Obtaining confidence and self-love is a no-no. I searched for those two things anyway.
I’ve been following my heart and my gut for a year and a half now.
Following my heart is the reason why I ran out of my comfort zone as though a roach were on my leg. I grew up believing that my heart was deceitful and should not be trusted. I was to trust elders first before trusting my own instincts. However, once I reached 23 years old, I had enough.
I let go of the religious rhetoric and society’s view of how I’m supposed to be. Began to trust my gut and look within for answers.
I am still dealing with cognitive dissonance concerning scriptural passages that pop every now and then (No, it isn’t God. Look up cognitive dissonance) I faced my issues with assistance and found me. I’m a damn phoenix.
I burn brightly through various tribulations and rose up from my own painful ashes, again and again… and again. I will not be silent about it. I will soar boldly in the sky with the other phoenixes. I know there are many of us.
Our hearts were born to be something completely different, yet we were groomed to be something else. Maybe you were raised to be a phoenix and you were meant to be a genesis dove. Maybe you were told that you were supposed to be a lawyer but you knew in your heart that you wanted to a doctor or a painter.
Maybe you were groomed to be a phoenix and you’re really a genesis dove?
Return to yourself and live at peace!

Jasmine Farrell

Purchase your Copy: https://www.amazon.com/Phoenixes-Groomed-as-Genesis-Doves/dp/0692678662/
Facebook.com/nezrasopiate
Instagram @JustBreatheJasmine
Poetry Blog: www.nezrablog.wordpress.com

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