Awakening to Mindfulness: 10 Steps for Positive Change – Richard Fields, Ph.D.
scheduled for publishing 2008 – 169 pages
From the back cover –
Mindfulness is a state of consciousness that fosters heightened awareness of the self, of the senses, and of the outside world. It is a state of being “aware.” Reaching and sustaining this state is what makes or breaks successful recovery, according to Dr. Richard Fields.
In this highly engaging and highly practical book, Dr. Fields, an accomplished mental health and addictions counselor and speaker, “awakens” the reader to new, positive, healthy life changes and possibilities. He clearly explains how mindfulness and meditation practices can help us all to a better, more enlightened life, a life of freedom from our addictions and delusions, a life with compassion for self and others.
My thoughts –
I received this book from Fields’ PR rep, who contacted me because I had done a review of one of her other clients’ books, and she thought I might want to review this one as well. Overall, this was not my favorite self-help book, but let’s start with what I did like about it. The subtitle in this book is 10 Steps for Positive Change, and one thing that I appreciated about this book was that Fields broke his theory down into ten, easy to follow steps that should be used in order to achieve mindfulness in one’s life. I also like how the book was infused with Buddhist thought and Buddhist teachings, which I’ve always been intrigued by. At the end of each step was a meditation script, so that one could understand and deeply explore that step while meditating. There was also a mantra attached to each step, so that while in the car, the store, or getting ready in the morning, one can repeat this mantra to more fully divulge into that step throughout an ordinary day.
Now, on to what I wasn’t crazy about. My main issue is that I think the majority of this book is common sense. When I read self-help books (and honestly, I don’t read too many for this reason), I expect to be wowed by some idea or principle that I hadn’t thought of before. I expect to be hit over the head with what exactly I need to do to achieve whatever goal the book wants for me – and I expect it to be new-to-me actions and practices that will help me get to this point. Maybe it’s because I have a degree in psychology, but this book was nothing new to me. For example, some of the things that Fields suggests we need to do to achieve positive change are feeling compassion for others, accepting yourself as you are, and embracing healthy habits like eating right and exercising… none of which I was shocked by. I feel like this might be a good book to have around in an addiction/recovery place (which I think is one of Fields’ intended uses of it), and maybe a prison or other type of rehabilitation center where the people there NEED to know how to make positive changes, but for the average person, I just think the tips and tools in this book are mostly common sense. Although, “common sense” isn’t always so common, so I could be wrong.
Would anyone else be interested in reading/reviewing this book? I’m thinking of giving it away…. just let me know. :)