The Mindful Woman: Gentle Practices for Restoring Calm, Finding Balance, and Opening Your Heart Paperback – Mar 15 2008
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About the Author
Sue Patton Thoele is a psychotherapist, former hospice chaplain, and bereavement group leader. She is author of several books, including The Courage to Be Yourself .
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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
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.