The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mindfulness
by Anne Ihnen, MA, LMHC and Carolyn Flynn
Mindfulness is being talked about seemingly everywhere these days; it’s an idea that resonates deeply with people. I have experienced as well as witnessed the power of mindfulness practice to bring healing and peace to one’s life, and in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mindfulness, I share what I’ve learned about mindfulness both as a meditator and through my work as a therapist. It is my hope that readers of this book find it to be a friendly, helpful guide to bringing mindfulness into their lives.
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The Perfect Moment
In this present moment, filled as it may be with pain and fear, there is also peace and ease. We don’t often see it because our stories blind us to the whole experience of each moment. When we live in the past or future, we’re trying to capture a quality of experience that’s actually happening right now, if we can allow ourselves to see it. The fleeting happiness that comes from re-living the past or dreaming about the future pales in comparison to the joy that can be found in this very moment.
Perhaps you picked up this book because you want to correct something about your life. You might be facing something difficult, a physical illness or a psychological condition that bedevils you. You may have read news reports about the effectiveness of mindfulness with chronic pain, cancer, depression, or anxiety — and you want to fix that.
Or maybe you picked up this book simply because you want to enrich your life. You want more contentment around your relationship or your work or your finances. If that’s the way you came to this book, you may be acutely aware of all the ways your life isn’t what you want it to be. Mindfulness won’t take away the truth of your circumstances. It isn’t a magic fix that will solve your problems for you. Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” When we open ourselves to the present moment, we open ourselves to the rich resources we all possess to respond to our lives with wisdom and care. We find ways to live with meaning and ease, regardless of our circumstances. In this way, we become free. Each moment is perfect; each moment is filled with limitless possibilities; each moment is filled with joy and peace along with the pain and sorrow we all experience.
Anne Ihnen, MA, LMHC Psychotherapy and Consultation
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