I've finished a couple more books that need to be reviewed and am currently reading The Mindful Woman by Sue Patton Thoele. I'm reading this one slowly as it is not the kind of book to read whole. I think of Bacon often as I'm reading (not just this book) because so many of the books I read are simply swallowed for entertainment but others, especially nonfiction, require a slower and more thoughtful approach.
I'm about half way through this one and am enjoying it and trying to take the time for the exercises. Thoele places great emphasis on breath and begins many of the exercises with the idea of paying attention to breath. This is a concept with which I entirely agree after nearly 8 years of tai chi & qiqong and a mere 6 weeks in yoga.
Being conscious of your breathing, taking the time to draw deep breaths into your belly, using your breath to calm and center yourself are huge elements in tai chi & qiqong; after tai chi classes I was always so relaxed and so alert ( wonderful combination) as a result of conscious breathing. I'm finding a similar effect in yoga.
When Thoele talks about taking cleansing breaths before beginning her exercises, she is preparing the ground by encouraging the awareness of breath and its calming effects.
This book is tailored to women, but is simply a good guide for finding balance and a sense of calm for anyone who is interested. And mindfulness is something I very much want for myself. On my other blog, I've mentioned my desire for mindfulness several times, so when this book was offered, it seemed like perfect timing--that wonderful sychronicity that life frequently offers.
"Sue Patton Thoele is a psychotherapist, former hospice chaplain, and bereavement group leader. She is author of eleven other books, including The Courage To Be Yourself, The Woman's Book of Soul, Growing Hope, Freedoms After 50, and The Woman's Book of Courage." Her website is http://suepattonthoele.com
I'm not sure when I'll finish, but even after finishing, I intend to go over these daily practices. They fit nicely into some of the lessons from Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be by Lama Surya Das.