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on May 2, 2008
I dived into The Mindful Woman, and whipped through part one, admiring the writing and synthesis of LOTS of information presented elegantly and simply. I slowed down in part two, where she offers practical examples, savoring each sweet bite of advice and wisdom. I honor the brilliance of what Sue Thoele has accomplished. It is not merely a book about mindfulness: Sue has created a mindfulness experience for every reader. This book will live on my nightstand. In just a few minutes, I reclaim gentleness and compassion toward myself and others. The most magical aspect of Sue's approach is that anyone can find support for their beliefs, whether Christians, Buddhists, Jews, or agnostics. It is all about seeking peace of mind.
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Are you a recovering drama queen? Is it difficult for you to avoid being sucked into the stimulation vortex to which society as a whole seems addicted? According to Sue Patton Thoele, mindfulness is a wonderful form of rehab.

In The Mindful Woman, she first explains how the practice of mindfulness--consciously living in the moment--can enrich our lives. "When consciously and kindly focusing awareness on life as it unfolds minute by precious minute, you are better able to savor each experience." For those who are so over-obligated that they feel as if they are being "nibbled to death by ducks," choosing to focus only on the ducks nibbling in the moment helps alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed.

I have spent way too many days running on autopilot and wondering where the hours went. Now I realize that this kind of "automatic living" is essentially the opposite of mindfulness. Thoele believes there are four basic elements necessary for becoming more mindful: paying attention, living in the moment, simplifying, breathing. I found that her breathing exercises were a wonderful way to rein myself in to the moment and to tame my "monkey mind." Since reading Simple Abundance by Sarah ban Breathnach some years back, I have been on a quest for my authentic self. Therefore, Thoele really grabbed my attention with her assertion: "All you are and can be is within. Your assignment is to pay attention and gently coax your unique authenticity into expression."

For most people, it would not be practical to spend most of their time away on retreat, or to spend hours each day in meditation, in order to achieve a Zen-like state of mindfulness. However, Thoele feels that even a few mindful moments can make a world of difference. With her book and its myriad exercises, I think anyone can create "minutes of mindfulness and oases of awareness amid the hustle and hassle of everyday activities."

by Becky Lane
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
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on December 12, 2008
Going through life on automatic is no way to live. "The Mindful Woman: Gentle Practices for Restoring Calm, Finding Balance, & Opening Your Heart" promotes a more mindful approach to life for women, in which every act they do begins to have more meaning. With much wisdom and advice throughout for sprinkling more thought onto life, "The Mindful Woman" is very solid and recommended reading for any woman who wants to break out of cruise control.
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on July 6, 2013
I am so grateful for finding "the mindful woman". It has proven to be one of those rare books that changes your life. I have shared from it with a small group I've led on personal growth, and it has been invaluable. Not only does Sue Patton Thoele have an easy style, and great sense of humor, more importantly her insights are amazingly clear and helpful. I would highly recommend "the mindful woman" for anyone who feels they are stressed, unsatisfied, or disconnected. My copy has become my morning routine...starting off the day positively with mindfulness.
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on November 29, 2008
Sue Patton Thoele has done it again! I am a big fan of Sue's and have read nearly every book she's written over the years. Her work is always beautifully crafted, insightful, funny, and just plain practical. This book, in particular, may just be my favorite.

If you are a woman like me who often finds herself harried and hurried, this book can be a soothing balm in a very hectic day. Once you learn how valuable it is to live mindfully, rather than mindlessly (which Sue relates very well), any one of the practice sessions she presents will predictably deliver you to a more peaceful state of mind and heart. Mindfulness does take practice and commitment, but it is not difficult to engage at all, as the author demonstrates through delightful vignettes from her own life. Once you get the hang of mindfulness, life takes on a whole new hue. There is so much more joy and appreciation to be found--not to mention fewer stress-filled days!

I really loved this book. I would recommend it to women of all ages, lifestyles, and spiritualities. It has the word "classic" written all over it. I know I will read it myself again and again. I am so glad Sue wrote this for all of us.
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on January 14, 2014
Becoming "mindful" is a requirement for successful, not stressful daily living. I love this book is written by a real woman, with a busy life. She makes being "mindful" a wonderful journey for all woman to start. Grab this book and your best friend and get started on becoming the woman you want to be. Most importantly, the wonderful woman you were created to be.
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on August 13, 2013
This book provides a great way to get back to a place of balance in the life a busy woman.
There are ways to obtain peace in the midst of a hectic life and not miss out on the most
important moments you have, the present!
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on May 11, 2015
I've read several of Sue Patton Thoele's books and always love her writing and down to earth-ness! She allows for our "humanness" while at the same time gently prods us to discover and explore more of who we really are....when being mindful and present in our daily lives. Great bedtime reading, as it gives me the best mindset to fall asleep in!
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on September 15, 2009
I am not all the way through this book, so with that caveat I will say that the material is as helpful as I thought it would be. I read a few pages and then close it and think about what I have read. I am trying to change some behaviors that are adding to my stress levels, and it is a slow process. I do recommend the book to anyone trying to take care of themselves in the face of tough situations.
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on October 28, 2014
This book contains some useful information, but it is very repetitious. I felt the author says the same thing with different words. (e.g. There is a practice on "choosing a positive attitude", then "keeping hope afloat", "cultivating cockeyed optimism", "expecting good" and "expecting the best". I felt all of them could have been combined into one practice. Same with "enjoying everyday beauty", "activating awe" and "noticing singular beauty". And there are many other examples.) This 200+ page book could have been cut in half. Would have made for more enjoyable and interesting reading.
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