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Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People Paperback – October 15, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Even if we wanted to, most of us will never retreat to a Tibetan monastery or Indian ashram to cultivate a spiritual practice. The majority of us live ordinary lives, largely preoccupied with routine matters. The humorous and candid narrative in this book delivers lighthearted yet significant direction for integrating traditional spiritual techniques with the imperfections that characterize daily life. Campbell calls this “choosing a path of imperfection, [which] connects you more deeply with yourself and fills those chaotic, confusing, and stressful moments with possibility and meaning.” Compelling anecdotes from ordinary spiritual seekers and informative research help to illuminate this path of imperfect spirituality, which begins when we stop trying to hide our flaws and instead “pay attention to what’s going on: to what’s working and what’s not.” Practical tips for turning ordinary moments into opportunities for spiritual growth, many of which can be squeezed in while brushing your teeth or waiting for the bus, punctuate this clear and affable spiritual guide for the rest of us."
Publishers Weekly

"The practice of Imperfect Spirituality isn't about following the rules or doing what other say you should. It is about being yourself and open enough to rediscover your authentic self."
My Journey with Candida

"Polly Campbell graciously and humorously shows us how to rid ourselves of our perfectionistic tendencies in her adorable little book, Imperfect Spirituality. Here, Ms. Campbell teaches us how to work through our perfectionism by providing us with uplifting instructions on topics such as how to cut through negative thinking, being creative even though we are feeling uncertainty, and my personal favorite, learning how to be compassionate towards yourself."
Facing North

"Popular blogger and workshopper Polly Campbell, a favorite journalist for Daily Om and Psychology Today, emerges here as a fresh and important new voice in spirituality who offers a path to wisdom we can all take every day."
New Thought

"Are you tired of trying to be perfect? Are you tired of beating yourself up because you don’t reach some standard of behavior you think you should? Perhaps you’re ready for the path of imperfect spirituality. Written with humor as well as solid mind-body scientific data, this book teaches how to embrace who you are, as you are, right here and now."
New Spirit Journal

"Imperfect Spirituality is filled with practical tips and dozens of examples that will encourage readers to boost their optimism, live free of worry, and embrace their authentic selves."
Portland Book Review

"Her message is that we can develop our spirituality while waiting in line at the grocery store or taking a shower. Realistic, inspired, the answers lie within these pages."
Retailing Insight

Imperfect Spirituality shows readers how to integrate those every-day moments with traditional spiritual techniques to experience personal growth and greater well-being all in the course of your regular routine. Any activity can be transformed into a spiritual practice. Don’t have a half-hour to meditate? Can't drop everything à la Elizabeth Gilbert and trek to Italy or India? Do a mini-meditation while stopped at a red light. Working to be mindful and present? Start by brushing your teeth.
— Reading Room Book Reviews

"Campbell describes learning more about spirituality, applying it, and accommodating it for her lifestyle, all the while dodging raisins flying out of her kid’s nose, doing sing-song rhymes, and dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The traditional spirituality discussed may not be groundbreaking for the more experienced, but Campbell’s unique perspective makes “Imperfect Spirituality” perfect for beginning seekers and seasoned travelers."
The Magical Buffet

"We can learn a lesson or two from those who are able to take failure or imperfection as creating an opportunity to do a new thing or head off in a new direction. A bad situation can be a spiritual teacher for us. Throughout Imperfect Spirituality, [Polly] Campbell shares spiritual practices which enable us to express our emotions, put our courage to the test, connect with self-compassion, build optimism, relate to the imperfection of others, and live a values-driven life."
--Spirituality & Practice

"You don't have to be the Dalai Lama to find spiritual peace. Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People is a spiritual guide for the not so spiritual. Polly Campbell presents how to approach the ideas of enlightenment in an everyday context, and find one's purpose and live up to one's goals in the process. "Imperfect Spirituality" is a must for those who want to have that peace they seek but can't even get the brief moment of meditation right, highly recommended."
–Midwest Book Review
"Imperfect Spirituality presumes you know your relationship to the Divine and shines light on your relationship with Yourself. Polly hooked me at “don’t put any more raisins up your nose.” While Campbell references a buffet of respected sources, the path is her own. It’s funny, functional guidance in the accessible voice of a good friend. Read from start to finish, or opened any where for a dip, her words reach out...and touch your heart."
–Mary Anne Radmacher, author of Live Boldly

"Grounded in Campbell's life as a wife and mother, Imperfect Spirituality left me smiling and nodding my head. This book will help any reader embrace imperfection, love more completely, and live with compassion, creativity and courage."
--Kate Hopper, Author of Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers

"Polly Campbell's Imperfect Spirituality is a welcome addition to the field of self-help and spiritual living--because her book is, above all, practical. No lofty, from-the-mountaintop sermonizing here; this is a woman who found an opportunity for spiritual practice while dealing with a raisin up her child's nose! As Polly reminds us, our ability to connect with the Divine is always possible, and in everyday occurrences--and her book is full of helpful stories, reflections and exercises for doing exactly that. There may be no such thing as perfection, in spirituality or anything else, but Polly Campbell has given us a truly wonderful resource for living our lives with more connection, compassion and calm."
–Maggie Oman Shannon, author of Crafting Calm and Prayers for Healing

"Imperfect Spirituality doesn’t shy away from the messiness of life, but embraces it by giving mothers (and others) a much-needed dose of reassuring comfort, courage, self-kindness, and self-compassion. Campbell’s touching and humorous stories from the edge of real life are filled with the kind of wisdom that can only come from a mother’s heart. No matter how hard you may have been on yourself yesterday, this book will help you find an easier, gentler, more forgiving, and better way to live today.”
—Donald Altman, M.A., LPC, author, The Joy Compass and One-Minute Mindfulness

"Imagine sitting over coffee with your best friend finally getting the whole perfectionist/inner critic demon tamed while laughing so hard you snort. Polly with Imperfect Spirituality will gently disarm those old voices and welcome you into a new world of ease and time-friendly practices you can use right now. Polly writes the kind of book you'll be carrying around to read out loud to those you care about. I highly recommend you dive into it right now."
— Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D., Co-author of the bestselling Conscious Loving

"Congrats to Polly Campbell for keeping it real! Her honest, frank, and often hilarious view of the challenges we create when we try to run from who we are is very empowering. You're sure to laugh along the way as author Polly Campbell shares her own insights, stresses, and stories en route to a more authentic life."
—Dr. Judith Wright, lifestyles expert and best-selling author of The Soft Addiction Solution and The One Decision

"Imperfect Spirituality is a beautiful, inspiring journey to self-acceptance through the lens of spirituality. Campbell quiets the mind and feeds the soul so you can powerfully embrace who and how you are and liberate yourself from standards that actually limit rather than inspire you. When Campbell guides us in embracing our imperfection what she is most telling us is to relish our extraordinary uniqueness. This luminous work will leave you resolved and new."
—Rosie Molinary, author of Beautiful You : A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance

"Is there a more perfect word for spirituality than imperfect? I think not. Perfection is hoisted as the great and mighty goal, but none of us (aside from a few mystics and saints) are there yet. But thanks to Polly Campbell and this delicious treatise on the totally perfect state of imperfection, we can be at peace with where we are—in our lives, in our messes, in our moments. And guess what? That’s where perfection lies. Bless you, Polly, for showing us the crooked road."
— Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul, My Soul Pages, The Lotus and The Lily

"In Imperfect Spirituality Polly Campbell reminds us that the path to enlightenment begins exactly where you are right now. Every moment of our lives is a sacred opportunity to be present and deepen an expand our capacity to give and receive love. Open this book to any page and allow the stories and practical tips to illuminate your path to enlightenment."
Susyn Reeve, author The Inspired Life

"Powerful and well-written."
–The Daily OM

"The world needs good work from good people on topics that really matter."
—Judith Wright, author of The Soft Addiction Solution

"Polly Campbell is doing great work."
—Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain

"Polly Campbell is the private chef of journalism. Everything she creates is good for you — filled with healthy, practical information that Polly serves in her own masterful, entertaining style — so you not only enjoy every moment reading Polly's work, you feel better for having done so."
—Kirsten Longnecker, Gaiam

About the Author

Polly Campbell is a writer and speaker specializing in personal development and spirituality topics. Her work appears regularly in national publications, and she is a blogger with Psychology Today, teacher for Daily Om, and at Imperfect Spirituality. For more than two decades, Polly has studied and applied the techniques she writes and speaks about to her own life. Polly and her family live in Beaverton, OR.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Viva Editions (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936740184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936740185
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Oh my Gosh I loved this book. As a loving wife, goofy mom, dedicated business owner and obsessed runner, I needed help easing up on myself, appreciating my life a little bit more. I had no idea how to do that. Until I picked up this book. Imperfect Spirituality has given me the "aha" moment I have been searching for. Polly gives simple steps that I have been able to incorporate in my day that have helped me become more present and relaxed in my life. Polly is so relatable. I feel like we could go out to coffee and talk for hours. Her examples and stories in the book are teachable yet so entertaining. I never thought I would describe a "self Help" book as a page turner, but it is! I could read it over and over. I no longer feel spiritually impaired. I get it. It's not about being perfect, it is about being present. Phew. Thank you for Polly for that.
Sherri Sacconaghi,AADP, NASM-CPT Certified Holistic Health Coach
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By K on June 23, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book really annoying. If you're not a harried mother looking for solace in another harried mother being cute about how hard it is to be a mom, then this isn't for you. I am not a harried mother, obviously. The book turned me off so much that I gave it to Goodwill already.
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Format: Paperback
A page turner, it is! Life can be hectic and we know we can easily fall into the daily grind. Polly reminds us that we are missing so much when we are in this state. She uses humor and examples, to help you immediately apply what you have read to your life. Opened my eyes to be more tolerrant of myself and others, see value in imperfection and grow. I am so thankful that I opened to page be, once I did I knew I couldn't put it down!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Ideas and concepts in this book have revolutionized my thinking about myself! I was in a DEEP depression looking for a way to stop beating myself up over every single shortcoming and Polly provided it! I now recognize my screw ups, admit them to myself and others, then forgive myself and move on. AMAZING!!!! I first listened to the audio book, I have now purchased the paperback copy for studying. Polly - Make a workbook for the writing exercises!
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Format: Paperback
You don't have time for a spiritual practice? Buy this book and read it. You'll probably discover you not only do have time, but you've more than likely been practicing spirituality without realizing it.

Polly Campbell has taken the path to enlightenment to an entirely new level of understanding. Through personal experience and anecdotal stories she offers practical ways in which each and every one of us can incorporate a spiritual practice into our, hmmm, oh so ordinary, daily life. No one is perfect so our practice of spirituality does not need to be perfect either. Polly points out that there is no need to have a formal practice at all. Rather, it's what works for each of us within the framework of the life we are currently living. Her style of writing is unique in that you feel as though you're spending the afternoon with a friend talking and laughing and having a most wonderful time, maybe sipping a glass of wine, all the while, learning a lot about yourself, your relationships and how to bring balance to your life.

Imperfect Spirituality is absolutely the perfect choice for anyone who is starting on their path to spirituality. However, it's also the perfect choice for those who either want to enhance their formal practice or get back into their spiritual practice after a bit of a lapse. You don't need to make time for spirituality. You don't need to continue to believe that you cannot be spiritual because you're not good enough. After all, not everyone can be Mother Teresa. Spirituality can be found in the most ordinary of tasks and smallest of moments and we are all deserving of a spiritual practice that works for our life journey and you don't need to go to India or Tibet or anywhere else to find your path to enlightenment. Polly Campbell's book, Imperfect Spirituality will give you all that you need to make your spiritual practice not just easy, but purposeful, inspiring and life changing.
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Format: Paperback
I am very pleased to say that I really liked this book in its entirety, and as such I highly recommend it as a spiritual growth resource. The author is so darned "real" and so funny, and the writing style is very conversational in nature. You get the sense that you are sitting across the table from her having a friendly conversation in a coffee shop, or even a bar for that matter.

If you were to take a peek at other book reviews I've placed here on Amazon.com, one of the key elements for me finding value in a given book is the "authenticity" of the author. Specifically, it's vital that the work comes across in a manner that demonstrates a certain level of "humanness" and humility on his or her part. Polly Campbell's work clearly meets that standard, as she openly shares both her triumphs and her foibles as well.

The reality is, spirituality is actually a minute-to-minute practice, and there are times when all of us will "fall off the wagon" and fail to stay firmly on the path. "Imperfect Spirituality" provides practical insights on how to get back on the wagon, and not beat yourself up for having fallen off in the first place. In fact, it features numerous "In the Moment Practice" suggestions, as well as other valuable recommendations based on the author's personal experiences. It also should be noted that even although the text is targeted more towards a female audience, it's definitely my experience that the content is of great value to male readers as well. The following is one of perhaps a hundred great excerpts that can be pulled from this book:

"Optimism does not mean that you feel happy every minute of the day. It doesn't mean that you're always upbeat and in a good mood.
Read more ›
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