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Mindfulness in Action: Simple Steps to Finding Peace in Your Life Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
As such, we go through our lives many times without being able to give the proper attention to the things that are important to us.
Sharon Sayler has written a really good book that reminds us to slow down and pay attention to what really matters. After all, "authenticity" includes setting boundaries. And, this book encourages you to be truly authentic to yourself by setting the time to be mindful and aware.
In a sense, when you are mindful and aware, you are truly tapping into your intuition - which is your very own GPS for your life's path and purpose.
Right at the outset, Ms. Sayler makes clear what mindfulness is really all about: “Many people think that mindfulness is meditation. It can be, and it also involves active awareness throughout your day. Active awareness is what I call the simple practice it takes to stay cognizant, aware and conscious throughout the day AKA mindful. It is so easy these days to go about your day distracted. It seems as if being unaware of your surroundings is the new norm. How often do we see people walking down the street with their head down and eyes glued to a phone?...Active awareness is a two-part process: setting your intention and following through on that intention” [pages 4-5].
A happy consequence of reading Sharon’s book is that it has become so familiar that I keep it handy and flip through it randomly to find new pearls of wisdom to fit my mood. The author’s writing style is smooth and easy on the eyes; the material strikes me differently each time I read through a chapter. Perhaps you as a reader will have a similar experience. Sharon provides helpful tips about how to mindfully approach your day—do’s and don’ts— thereby increasing your capacity to be reflective. She says that it is the active act of increasing your levels of awareness of what you are thinking and doing which will provide you with real joy and happiness.
For instance, in a section which asks the question “Are You Late for Your Life?” she says this: “Save time to hug your kids. Pay attention to loved ones. Say thank you more often. Breathe! The human bond is more important than the business bond. Family and friends are the ultimate value in life—slow down and ENJOY. Sometimes, we get going so fast forwards towards what we want, that we forget about the most important parts of our life—our loved ones. It is easy to fall into saying, “Just as soon as...” and know that our loved ones will understand. A mindful life doesn’t work that way....Research has found that most happy people have strong ties to family and friends and that happy people tend to live longer than unhappy people....What’s that old truism: “On their deathbed nobody wishes they’d spent more time at the office...?” [page 119].
From my perspective, a key take away from this book is that becoming more aware of how you are paying attention during your normal waking state will not only boost your performance but also allow you to witness increases in the quality of your life. In a way, the active mindfulness Ms. Sayler describes is very similar to a global Open Focus state where you are paying attention to how you are paying attention while simultaneously being aware of background and foreground events [stimuli]. This can result in a stillness or still point where your ego is no longer in control of your personality. This allows you to make more informed choices—hopefully better choices—with reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
While discussing the concept of the accumulated ego, Ms. Sayler says that the awareness that mindfulness creates is a key wedge against falling victim to the weaknesses of ego when it gets inflated or out of control: “[Ego] plays an important role as one of the gatekeepers to your inner self. It sorts information and provides feedback, both positive and negative to your feelings of self-worth and self-confidence....Ideally, your ego is aware of itself and the world around it and will not allow falsehoods to enter, but often ego fails us too. It can trap us with long accumulated beliefs and outdated information that it still believes to be true. It takes mindful action to control ego and not let it control you.
Be willing to look beyond the negative labels that ego has accumulated and examine the “why” of your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, passion(s) and purposes. Unfortunately, ego often takes the path of least resistance and accepts your and others’ labels (judgments) of yourself as true. Mindfully choose new ways of talking to and about yourself and the world will follow....An ego full of feelings of unworthiness and self doubt is created through fear of loss, fear of separation....By staying in the now and mindfully looking to the positive, your negative labeling habit will die from a lack of energy. But stay aware, those labels are lurking out there everywhere, just waiting to attach their tentacles to you again!” [pages 191-192].
A heart wrenching and touching concept Ms. Sayler briefly covers in her book is the existential grieving you experience when you are involved with a person who is “emotionally unavailable.” The author explains how emotional unavailability manifests as the inability to get close to a loved one. This can occur bi-directionally since as Sharon says, often we need to learn how to get over our inner child wounding by “discovering what it really means to be emotionally available” [page 53]. Although Sharon only touches on this topic briefly, it certainly presents an eye opening doorway opportunity for exploring this aspect of intimate human relationships; her questions can cause you to ask yourself things like: “So, have I ever been emotionally unavailable in my relationships?” Alternately, you may begin to ask yourself this question: “So, was that why I could never get close to him or her? Could it be that he/she was emotionally unavailable?”
The author provides readers with a wonderful postscript. Her closing advice will leave you with an implementable path for staying fully present as you go about your day: “Committing to living mindfully is serious work. It is the acceptance of conscious choices about your life. As you have read and seen, living mindfully requires no starting over from scratch! Just subtle changes to the “how” you do what you already do—maybe a tweak here and there for the better—where you can be more effective, more present, more joyful, more aware and mindful!
Mindful living comes by detecting and eliminating limiting beliefs, disabling thoughts, those voices in your head that offer judgments, or the habit of labeling everything for efficiency. Remember, there is no one reality. Let go of your own hallucinations, conflicts and confusion....The release and healing begins as you take action and choose to physically rise up into living mindfully. Once you take mindful action, the obstacles lose their power. The actions necessary may feel difficult, embarrassing, demeaning, etc. Realize that those undesirable qualities are, for the most part, mere inventions of the mind. You are not what others label you. Your choice to take action in alignment with your positive intentions will work to override those mind inventions” [pages 214-216].
A most stunningly beautiful aspect of this book is the wonderful quotations it contains. In fact, sometimes I simply leaf through the book to read the quotes! Here are a few examples: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” –Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi [page 182]; “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought” – Peace Pilgrim [page 156]; “To understand our past mistakes and to neutralize the feelings of shame or guilt over our past inadequacies, we must understand that the acts we commit are neither good nor bad but only wise or unwise depending upon our particular awareness at that time” – Thomas D. Willhite [[page 122].
Who can benefit most from reading this book? In my view, this book will help anyone who is self reflective, who desires to be more reflective, or who is seeking answers about the nature of Being that can only be found by traveling to the still place inside. Ms. Sayler's book encourages the reader to seek an active stillness which increases your locus of control. Naturally, this will also lower your levels of stress and allow you to be more relaxed yet alert. In closing, it is with a great deal of enthusiasm and joy that I endorse Ms. Sayler’s book as one any serious reader seeking new avenues of creative growth and stress relief will enjoy reading over and over again. Highest rating possible: 5 STARS!
Robert “Bob” Wright, Jr., Ph.D., COFT
This book is different. There is an air of gentleness and consideration that seems to float off the page as you read, leaving your spirits lifted, your soul inspired and as if you’re actually doing just fine. It stands head and shoulders above many other personal development books.
The manual includes both original concepts and classic ideas all presented in a way that’s easy for anyone to assimilate.
Anyone who has stress in their lives needs to have a way to deal with it, and Ms. Sayler shares a highly effective method in the very first few pages.
Most of us have heard the term, "live in the moment", but Ms. Sayler takes the time to explain what that means and how to do it. I highly recommend this book!