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Beyond Forgiveness: Spiritual Alchemy by Bonnie Starr Mandell-Rice

A Review by Colin Whitby


I’ve been reading Bonnie Starr’s lovely book Beyond Forgiveness:Spiritual Alchemywhere she shares some wonderful and intimate learnings from her own experience.


Having just read about her issues with dogs (read the book for more details) I began to ‘get’ this forgiveness thing, and did not have very long to wait before I experienced a deep healing through going beyond forgiveness, by going beyond and looking at my own behaviour and attitudes.


For some time I have been observing my wife and daughter standing in their own way (my judgement), each of them are so big (their energy field, and love) that they can only let small bits of themselves through at any one time (this is just my observation and opinion clearly). This manifests in many different ways which I will not go into here, as I was to discover this was not about them at all, it was about me!


So I’m reading Bonnie’s book on the train and as I change from one line to another I sit in a coffee lounge where I order (automatically) an Americano with milk (this will be number 2 for the day!). A quiet voice was saying I should choose something like a calming tea, but this was overruled by the person who was in control of all body functions, like voice, movement and so forth. I watch as my voice orders the coffee, and then as I consume the coffee satisfied.


Later on the next train I tune into myself and notice, as always, that the coffee has had it’s usual effect. Instead of my energy running effortlessly through my body giving me a feeling of bliss and contentment, it felt a bit sharp and edgy, like water flowing over a rocky river bed, the lumps and bumps in the river bed (or my cells) trying to stop the smooth flow and creating currents and eddies.


Then I asked ‘what does this mean?’ as Bonnie suggests, and I saw myself hiding behind a slightly open door. It was like I was looking out to see if it was safe, but always ready to close the door quickly lest someone saw me.


Mentally I reached out through my heart and asked for forgiveness ‘I am so sorry to hide myself away, so sorry, please forgive me (I love you). Then I had the realisation that it was myself behind the door and myself looking on who were both forgiving each other. At this point I saw a line of slightly open doors snaking out into space where aspects of myself were sneaking a look through slightly open cracks. At once I felt them all open, each one was a reflection being held for me by my loved ones and people in my life. Each one bowed and waved as then opened their doors wide and stepped through (it makes me cry just typing it).


Then as the end of this snaking image of doors was a bright bright light, as each door opened more of this light became visible. This was my own God self that I was opening to and allowing in, to shine without hindrance or sabotage, to be here fully, now.


What an amazing shift, because up to this point I had the view that I’m fine, I’m on my path and am shining out for all to see, it’s the others that need to connect and ‘get on with it!’.


Now I can see they were lovingly reflecting back to me that although I have come a long way I still have quite some way to go. Now I know much more clearly how to ‘see’ or ‘hear’ my messages, how to see my reflection in all around me, and how to begin to forgive myself more deeply than ever before.


Thank you Bonnie Starr, so much.


Postscript:- I since drank a further 3 cups of coffee, this habit is really established – and deeper and deeper I went – yet more forgiveness, yet more insights. Phew!


If you would like to buy a copy (it would make a great Christmas or Hanukah gift!) after October 31, 2009, please email Bonnie Starr at:  She still has a limited number of the books on hand at the $14.95 (plus applicable taxes, S&H) price, which is $10 off the retail price set by the publisher.