Accomplished TMCC Authors 2017: Part 2

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
John Coles Image

John Coles, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and author.

Dr. Coles Writes Book on Personal Growth

John Coles, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at Truckee Meadows Community College who has recently written a new book. It is published by WestBow Press and was released in November.

“It’s a growth book, not only a Christian book,” Dr. Coles said. “I don’t teach religion in class—I’m about changing peoples’ lives through love.”

Both printed and e-edition versions of “Breathe Only Love: A Path to God’s Presence” can be ordered on Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. and, Inc.

There is a story behind the insight which led to his research and writing on the topic for the book. The inspiration came a couple of weeks after he led a professional development training at TMCC in HeartMath, a system for managing stress and increasing empathy.

“I did a training for the Student Services Department in HeartMath, and one person who took the training said she experienced an increased spirituality following the workshop,” Coles said. “She asked me if that was part of the intention of the training. So, I began to do more research before I dove into this.”

Coles was intrigued, and as he looked into the topic it led him deeper into connections that became surprisingly intuitive.

“I found that there is a connection between the breath and the heart,” he said. “We have a tense and a relaxed neurological state, a tense and a relaxed heartbeat system, and a tense and relaxed breathing pattern. They all work together.”

A connection between heart rate and emotion turned up in his research.

“With the coherent heartbeat pattern you have appreciation, caring and compassion—it’s experienced as profound peace,” he said. “When the heartbeat is coherent, the pre-frontal cortex is at its sharpest.”

On the other hand, an irregular heart pattern is typically present along with a range of angry emotions, and there follows an effect on the brain as well.

“When the heartbeat is incoherent, the brain is less sharp,” he added. “In this state, you sometimes ask yourself ‘Why did I do that?’ The heart is the path to a clear mind.”

Eastern methods of meditation have traditionally keyed in on breathing, because it’s the most easily changeable of the three systems.

“We can consciously intervene in the breath, and it then affects the other systems,” he said.

Coles began to find that many religions make references to changing or slowing one’s breathing—not only Eastern philosophies—and yet, Christianity has looked with skepticism or concern on practices such as Yoga.

“I don’t think people know to slow down their breathing and make it rhythmic in order to be more spiritual,” he said. “Mindfulness comes from Buddhism, but we share a doctrine of love and of breathing with the Buddhists. There are references to breathing and to the heart in the Bible.”

For more information about Dr. Coles' work, please call him at 775-674-7680.

Brianna Soloski’s Inspirational Novel is Published

“Girl Seeks Place” is a novel by Brianna Soloski, Coordinator, TMCC Foundation and Institutional Advancement.

The dedication of the novel is “For girls everywhere seeking their place in this world.” The main character, Charlotte embarks on a life-changing journey from Reno, Nevada to New York City. She moves to America’s largest city to begin her dream job, and comes across some unexpected hurdles along the way.

“I think the book will show young women that they can set out, pursue their dream and find out how to achieve it despite obstacles,” Soloski said. “Even when things are difficult, there will eventually come something to turn their life around in the direction they want to go.”

Soloski began the novel in 2010, when she decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month, an event happening every November. It is sponsored by the nonprofit organization NaNoWritMo, and has been taking place since 1999.

“A couple of friends and I did the challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days and we encouraged each other,” she said. “I put the book aside for about six months and then edited it myself, as well as a few friends who also helped edit. The work evolved into an inspirational novel.”

The printed version was first published by a small press company in New York. Soloski’s e-book is published by Amazon Digital Services LLC and is now available on

Coming up in the Accomplished Authors Series

  • Tara Connolly
  • Sione Lavaka
  • Perla Petry
  • Staci Miller
  • Viki Kappel Spain
  • Joseph G. Gonzalez
  • Chandra Healy
  • Jill Channing
  • Jill Barrett

Contributions to TMCC’s Authors Series are Welcome

Additional contributions for the authors and presenters series are welcome. If you have a recent publication or presentation to share with the TMCC community, please let us know.