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"Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity.
Want a happier, more content life? I highly recommend the down-to-earth methods you'll find in this book. Professor Mark Williams and Dr. Danny Penman have teamed up to give us scientifically grounded techniques we can apply in the midst of our everyday challenges and catastrophes. (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence)
Peace can't be achieved in the outside world unless we have peace on the inside. Mark Williams and Danny Penman's book gives us this peace. (Goldie Hawn)
This is an inspiring program for anyone caring about his or her own health and sanity. (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
About the Author
MARK WILLIAMS, PhD, is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford and a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He is the author of the best-selling Mindful Way through Depression, which has so far sold over 250,000 copies. He lives in England.
DANNY PENMAN, PhD, is an award winning feature and comment writer for the UK's Daily Mail. After earning a PhD in biochemistry, he worked for The Independent and the BBC. He has won two investigative journalism awards from the Humane Society of the United States and one from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). He lives in England.
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Dr Danny Penman is a feature writer for the UK's Daily Mail, having formerly worked for the BBC, New Scientist and the Independent newspaper. He holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and specialises in reporting on science, health, the environment, and animal welfare. He is a commentator on these issues for BBC Radio Four and Five and has made a number of documentaries for BBC One and Channel Four News.
In 2009 and in 2011 he won the Humane Society of the United States Brigitte Bardot International Print Journalism award for his investigations into animal welfare abuses around the world. The award was presented in front of an invited Hollywood audience that included Ellen DeGeneres and the stars of CSI Las Vegas, Bones, and the film 'W'.
In 2011 he won the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) 'Special Investigation Award'.
He has been a keen meditator since his teenage years. He discovered Mindfulness Meditation in 2006 following a terrible paragliding accident that left him temporarily crippled and in constant pain. Danny was so surprised by how effective a painkiller (and stress-reliever) the meditations proved to be, that he sought out Professor Mark Williams of Oxford University, the co-developer of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. The pair then wrote Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.
Danny recovered in record time and is now a keen long-distance hiker.
Let me begin by saying that I have always been a huge skeptic about mindfullness, meditation, and anything else along those lines. That is until I began seeing all of the new scientific research on the subject and the new theory of brain plasticity...how people can literally change their brains no matter how old they are. This research was enough to convince me to give mindful meditation a try. Staying with the theme of the science of meditation, I chose The Frantic World book because the program was created by a team of phD scholars from respected universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge, UMass, etc. Interestingly, the main author of this book, Mark Williams, was a skeptic when he started researching the subject as well. Not any more.
I am currently on week eight of the plan and I can tell you that I absolutely have noticed a difference. Not only do I feel calmer in situations that used to bother me the past physically, but I am also learning how to treat myself with more compassion, get out of autopilot and break many of my bad habits, and how to face my fears head on rather than avoiding them and actually making things worse. I have gone from a complete skeptic to someone who plans to continue to practice mindfulness for the rest of my life.
I'm not going to sugarcoat things and say that it's easy to find the time to meditate. It's not. One has to work hard to make sure that they find the half hour or so per day that they need to dedicate to the practice. That's not easy with work, kids, and life in general. I promise you though that it's definitely worth the time that you put in. I've never written a product review about anything on Amazon or any other site for that matter before.Read more ›
In my life I have had a tendency to over think things and have found that often the simplest solution is the answer to life's problems. For years I have struggled with ADHD and a mind that races 900mph all the time. I have suffered from numerous bouts of depression, restlessness, anxiety, and a general sense that most of my life has been wasted waiting for something good to happen. Despite a high degree of intelligence and creativity, I have felt unable to make any progress son the projects I know would change my life for the better. After repeated attempts to discuss these issues with my doctors I had almost given up hope when I heard professor Mark Williams on the public radio program Science Friday discussing his book. I ordered the book and have begun to follow the 8 week plan and already I can see major changes in my mood, attitude and general happiness regarding my life. I am better able to focus on my work and get much less overwhelmed in public. Things like wild, loud, obnoxious kids at the grocery store, crying babies in restaurants or inconsiderate people in public amplified by my ADHD would cause me to become angry to the point I would freak out in public. This has not been the case since I have started the 8 week program.
I HIGHLY recommend this book as a means of not only calming your thoughts and to help you focus on your life and the things that truly matter, but more importantly to maximize your happiness and enjoyment of the years you have left to you. This is truly the easiest way I have seen to change your thinking and turn you from someone who is "pre-living the future and re-living the past" to someone who can effectively live in the moment.
My only complaint is that I purchased the book and it did not come with a CD of the guided meditations.Read more ›
I've always been somewhat of a spiritual person, and I've tried numerous meditation programs. Most of them worked for a time, but many of their benefits seemed to be lacking. There was just something that I didn't fully understand. After reading Mindfulness, I feared that any benefits I might gain would be lost in short order. But, thankfully, I was wrong. This book provides clear and deep messages about the benefits of mindfulness meditation. It uses a theory based in scientific studies of cognition that have shown meditation to be effective at mitigating anxiety. I have suffered from anxiety for years, and I'm glad to say that much of my anxiety has been limited through the use of meditation. I tend to think more clearly and things that had been stressful before are becoming increasingly easier. My mind is finally at peace.
I've coupled Mindfulness with 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. This is a book that provides simple, actionable advice on how to let things go and become happier in the process. This isn't about dropping everything and throwing all your material possessions into a bonfire. Instead, it details the ways in which negative thought processes often hinder our progress and promote stress rather than happiness. I've used a great deal of the advice found in 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. In conjunction with mindfulness meditation, it has made me a much happier and calmer person. I am no longer paralyzed by fear in situations that require action. I am also more capable of pursuing and meeting my goals than ever before.Read more ›
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