Monday, July 19, 2010

Mindfulness and The Art of Choice: Transform Your Life, 2nd Edition

Karen H. Sherman, PhD
Loving Healing Press (2010)
ISBN 9781615990320
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

I had the pleasure of reading the second edition version of "Mindfulness and the Art of Choice: Transform Your Life." Noting that it won the 2009 Best Personal Growth Book award, I was intrigued to have the chance to read it.  Having read so many of the personal growth books that are out there, sometimes I find myself wondering what there is left to write about, especially in less than 110 pages.  I am truly grateful that Dr. Sherman did not let me down.  The first thing that came to mind as I started reading was that she made me feel like she was speaking directly to me.  I could totally relate to her ideas and how I could apply them to my own life, especially in areas where I find myself feeling stuck and repeating the same behavioral patterns that do not support my personal healing and growth.

It is interesting for me to note, that just prior to reading this book, I began seeing a huge link between relationship patterns that developed from my childhood experiences that were carrying over to my adult personal and professional relationships.  Discovering this connection and feeling frustrated about it, I found myself wondering what to do to break the cycle.  "Mindfulness and the Art of Choice" could not have come into my hands at a better time.  Well, maybe 30 years ago would have been a better time, but the book wasn't written yet, and perhaps I wasn't ready for it!

Divided into two sections, Part I discusses, "How the Art of Choice Works" and Part II covers "The Art of Choice Exercises." Utilizing the tools that are provided, Dr. Sherman teaches you to become mindful of your thoughts and behaviors so that you can deal with issues by making rational choices, rather than just reacting to them based upon old patterns. Interspersed in her writings, Dr. Sherman gives examples from her own childhood, and of others that she has worked with. I really appreciated her honesty and willingness to include some of her personal information because it made me feel like she had a real understanding and could relate to what her readers might be experiencing, especially as they utilize the exercises. 

"Mindfulness and the Art of Choice" is a wonderful book to help you get started on your path to being able to transform you life by making mindful choices.  The book is concisely written, and not overwhelming.  While it will be quick to read, doing the exercises will take more time.  I think that readers will find themselves excited to be able to break out of their old frustrating patterns and start making mindful rational choices. In doing so, they will be able to free themselves from their past, and from the damage caused by the people who might have caused the negative patterns to develop in the first place.

Listen to interview on Inside Scoop Live