8 Books on Creativity You’ll Read Again and Again

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I’m a big fan of creativity.

Creative thinking. Creative living. And creative mindfulness and kindness - aka kindfulness.

I love the process of creativity too - of coming up with a new idea.

Here’s my top list of the absolute best books I’ve ever read on creativity in no particular creative order. Enjoy!

1. Creative Confidence

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2CKJX1r

There’s three reasons that make this book awesome:

  1. The authors founded and run one of the more successful innovation agencies in the world - IDEO.

  2. They decided to write this book after one of the authors had a potentially terminal cancer. He survived, and the two brothers wrote from their hearts.

  3. The books is based on the experience of training thousands of people from all walks of life. The book is not just all talk, but based on solid experience and ‘success’.

2. Thinkertoys

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2CWULh2

This is up there with the above book, but very different. The similarities include the level of experience. Based on millions of dollars of research, this book is a culmination and condensation of that work. I love the writing style too. More like a reference book than a book you read from cover to cover.

3. The Mind Map Book by Tony Buzan

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2B5JIMH

I’m a huge fan of mind maps. If you’ve never used them, you’re in for a treat.

I learnt about them as a child, and have been using them ever since. Lots of great ideas, new programs and solutions have come to me from doing a mind map.

4. A Whack of the Side of the Head

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2B7aAM2

Fabulous book. Fun, simple and easy to read. And yet if you do the exercises, you’ll find yourself creatively solving all sorts of problems. A handy book to give your patterns of thinking a shake up.

5. The Artist’s Way

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2rhatOA

The one idea in this book, of writing ‘morning pages’, is one of the most popular and powerful of all creative exercises that I’ve come across.

I’ve been doing a combination of journaling and morning pages on most mornings, for about 7 years. Transformative stuff.

6. Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2EMzFhT

One of my favourite books of all time, and certainly my favourite teacher. Full of fantastic stories from one of the funniest, wisest and kindest Buddhist monks out there. The stories will stimulate your creativity and much more too.

7. The Luck Factor

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2B5XgaU

Did you know that luck isn’t actually as random as you think? 10 years of studies have found some people are luckier than others, and through specific exercises, you can boost your luck. Not luck in the sense of the lottery, but everyday luck, chance encounters and finding life going your way. I love this book. Nice, creative research and full of practical hope.

8. One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2mGwfWy

Kaizen is the ‘the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady steps’.

Most people are too desperate to improve themselves. But if you do want to make a change in your life, I think this approach works best. The book is full of examples of apply these principles. A simple, doable and creative way to make changes in your life, if you choose to do so.

And ONE extra one for you all...

9. The ONE thing

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2DhGtYp

I’ll summarise this book in one sentence.

Start everyday by doing ONE thing, which needs to be something that makes your life easier in the long run.

I do recommend you read the whole book, as it has a lot more useful tips too. By simplifying your life in this way, you’ll be less overwhelmed and more kindful.

How to Be at Peace with Yourself


I remember my belief and conditioning as a child was: ‘I must pass all my exams with a top grade’.

That was a very stressful conditioning to have!

I was scared of failing.

I had to pass.

Because I thought failing made me a failure.

But the year I discovered mindfulness and meditation was the year I let that fear go.

I saw the conditioning and let it go.

I asked myself ‘What happens if I fail these exams?’

Well, I’d probably have to just retake them.

Or I could just do something else instead.

Suddenly I felt free...and still a bit scared too. :)

I was in the third year of my degree in Chemical Engineering.

And I didn’t study at all!

I spent most of my time either reading, meditating or playing cricket.

I was scared to go into the exam hall, but I did it.

And somehow just managed to just about pass that year.

After that, I did revise for exams in the future, but with far less fear of failure.

So, what are you holding onto?

What are you scared of letting go of?

What is preventing you from being at peace?

 

Exploring Peace

I rarely meet deeply peaceful people.

But when I do, it’s like finding a sparkling diamond in mud.

In other words, people deeply at peace with themselves really stand out.

Being with them makes me feel peaceful too.

And that peace is both pleasurable and healing.

Their inner peace gives me permission to be at peace too.

So, how can you discover how to be at peace with yourself?

Let’s explore some ways together today.

Recognise Your Level of Peace

Begin with where you are.

How much are you at peace with yourself right now?

It’s not a black-or-white thing.

You can rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for your level of peace right now.

Or simply consider if you’re not peaceful, quite peaceful, very peaceful or completely at peace.

Now you hopefully have an idea of roughly how peaceful you are.

You’re being mindful of your level of peace.

I know a lot of you like mindfulness.

And so you now know if the actions you take today are making you more or less peaceful.

Ok, now let’s do some peace work!

What does your intuition tell you?

Stop and check in with your intuition.

Your gut feeling.

Ask yourself the following question:

What do you feel is required to be more at peace with yourself?

Take your time to reflect.

No need to rush.

Ask yourself again.

Say to yourself slowly:

What do I feel is required for me to be at peace with myself right now?

Give yourself some quiet time to reflect on the question....

I’m going to keep things really simple here.

According to Mr. Buddha, there is ultimately just one cause to not being at peace with yourself.

Just one.

Do you know what that is?

Craving.

Other words include: desire, wanting or attachment.

So, do you have a certain goal or desire that’s frustrating you as it’s unfulfilled?

Is your current life situation not the way you crave it to be?

Do you wish you were living somewhere else, or with someone else?

Are you desperate to feel differently?

Try completing the following sentence:

I’m not at peace with myself because….

This is not a way to beat yourself up for not being at peace with yourself!

No need for shoulds or oughts or musts.

This is just a way to see the causes of your dissatisfactions.

To find any cravings that are unknowingly taking away your sense of peace.

Perhaps to find a path for you to find greater freedom.

Letting Go

The Buddha’s fundamental teaching was that peace comes from letting go.

He used peace to mean happiness or contentment too.

Consider the truth of this statement in your life.

Look back in your life and recall a moment of letting go that led to greater peace.

Can you think of one?

I shared one, with the story at the beginning of this article.

So, your next question may be, how do I let go?

How to Let Go

The answer is awareness and kindness.

In another way, call it Kindfulness.

Let’s say you’re not feeling at peace today.

You may feel sad about something.

Or just feeling sad for no particular reason.

And you’re craving to be happy.

You’re craving for your state to be different from how it is.

So, you become aware of the feeling.

You’re being mindful of the feeling.

Stay with the feeling as best you can.

As you do so, you may notice your shoulders dropping.

Your body relaxing a little.

You keep watching.

You may notice a little tightness in your belly.

You keep watching.

You relax into the feeling.

You find yourself frowning and it seems to release by itself.

You begin to make peace with the feeling of sadness.

You let it be.

That’s letting go!

Letting things be is accepting.

Accepting is allowing.

Allowing what is, is letting go of the desire for things to be different.

And that, my friend, is peace.

And we can take things further too.

Peace is freedom.

Not freedom of desire, but freedom from desire.

The West worships freedom of desire.

And has discovered there’s no end to desire.

Endless desires destroy the Earth.

The East sees the wisdom in freedom from desire.

And they discovered the secret to inner peace, love and joy.

And now, much of the East is falling for the marketing of the West, and chasing desires.

And the West is beginning to see the silliness of chasing too many empty desires, and discovering the freedom from desires.

It’s a strange world we live in!

Summary

To find greater inner peace, find out what you are craving to be different.

See this craving, this wanting, this desiring, as the cause of your lack of inner peace.

See it clearly.

Then, either take action to fulfil the wanting, or accept the way things are.

One or the other.

If accepting, be aware and kind to your thoughts and feelings around this craving for things to be different.

Let them be.

That’s letting go of wanting life to be different, and the road to freedom in life.

Yes, it sounds simple, but not always easy.

But you can do it, step by step, (present) moment by (present) moment.

This is what mindfulness, kindfulness and meditation are all for.

5 (Unusual) Mindful Tips To Create a Healthy Mindset for 2018

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Tick...tock….tick….tock.

I was on a ‘digital detox’ and personal retreat in December, and I watched the time slowly pass, purposely with not a lot to do. I was spending 12 days on a self-retreat in the heart of the English countryside... in the middle of winter.

I wanted to see what happens if I don’t have access to a screen for that period of time.

I had little possessions: a few clothes, a toothbrush and a few paperbacks...oh, and a credit card to pay the bill! No smartphone. No laptop. No audiobooks. No music. Nothing digital at all.

I was uncontactable.

That’s the longest time I haven't had absolutely no access to a phone since they were invented.

I spent time doing nothing, going for long walks, eating food, being silent, meditating and laughing with new friends.

Was it fun? Not always. I also got bored, felt tired, heard all sorts of crazy thoughts pass through my head and was a little frustrated when I couldn’t listen to my favourite talks when I couldn’t sleep at night. That last one is my usual habit - I like podcasts.

But I also had a wonderful time and learnt so much! I had to work through my feelings to enjoy the benefits of the time off.

Here’s the things I discovered. You may like to implement some of these into your life too, if they resonate:

Tip 1: Have A Screen-Free Day...or Week

Without my phone I noticed two great things that happened: I got lost a lot, and didn’t take a single photo. And they were both joyful.

Getting Lost = More Adventures

I literally got lost much more often on my walks.

Luckily, that wasn’t a problem. If you’re goal orientated, the destination is more important than the journey. And so getting lost is frustrating.

But if the journey is more important than the destination, then getting lost isn’t really a problem. A cliche, but so true. It’s a pleasure and privilege to explore what you discover.

No Photos = Just Looking

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Several times I saw a beautiful sunset or stunning view of the rolling hills and atmospheric sky, and reached into my pocket to take a picture. Alas, no phone.

So, I spent more time just looking. And through just looking, I can still clearly recall the lonely tree on the horizon surrounded by acres of fields, whilst the sun was setting behind me on a crisp, winter’s afternoon.

Most of us nowadays spend so much time looking at screens. I think I do too much too, and I’m a so-called mindfulness expert!

Do you find yourself stare at screens all day at work, spend lunchtimes and your journey home sending emails from your phone, and spend evenings on social media or watching videos on multiple screens?

The average American spends almost 11 hours looking at screens according to a CNN report.

If that’s you, that’s over half your waking day. What effect do you think that’s having?

There’s growing research on the impact on both children and adults.

Tip 2: Try Spending Some Time in a TOTALLY Silent Space

The place I stayed at was quiet. Very quiet. In fact, at night, it was totally silent. So much so, I couldn’t even sleep on the first night!

I live in London, and there’s always a quiet background noise that I hadn’t noticed until I’d visited this centre. As I write this blog, back in the suburbs of north London, I can hear a car alarm in the distance, television or radio on and conversations. And this is a quiet suburb.

I know that our own minds are far noisier than any external sound. But if you can organise it, spend time in a quiet room, or a place far enough from a city to enjoy some quiet.

If you have children, try arranging a night or two away from them, if they’re old enough. If you can, save up some money and take a trip, especially if you feel you need the silence.

The combination of no screens and the silent vibe meant I ended up sleeping for 10 hours on one of my first nights! I obviously needed it.

Tip 3: Read More Real Books!

Since the advent of the internet, I’ve spent more and more time reading blogs, watching videos, listening to podcasts and checking emails. I also now spend quite a bit of time writing on my computer too.

I’ve found my time to read books almost totally squeezed out. I’ve ended up reading book summaries and watching short TED talks, summarising ideas.

This is part of the drive to consume more information in a short time, rather than discover the pleasure of reading for its own sake.

I wasn’t on a silent retreat. I spoke with others, mainly at mealtimes. And I had books! So I rediscovered my love of reading.

I purposely didn’t take any books directly related to business or ‘success’. I wanted a break. I’m mostly a fan of non-fiction, so the books I read were:

The Checklist Manifesto

The Book of Joy

The Compassionate Instinct

The Compassionate Mind

Deep Work

The books helped motivate me to be more mindful and kindful, and helped me to reflect on how I wish to spend my year.

I’ll be sharing with you some of the findings I discovered from reading these books in one of my next blogs, so look out for that. If you want to get my blog by email, you can sign up here.

Books do not directly grow your mindfulness, but they are a nice break from our usually busy activities.

Tip 4: Make Mental Space To Help You Focus on What’s Most Important

Quiet time teaches you what’s MOST important.

And I realised something new this time.

Compassion and kindness isn’t just a value that some people choose to cultivate and others don’t.

Compassion is hard-wired in humanity - and all mammals actually. Sharing is essential for our wellbeing and survival as a species.

Here’s one insight I got from The Compassionate Mind:

As far as I know, we didn’t choose to be born. We didn’t choose our looks, our genetic make-up, the place we were born or our early childhood upbringing. We find ourselves in the ‘flow of life’. So we don’t have to blame ourselves for our past mistakes or challenges. The difficulties we experience are not unique to us. We are born with this brain with its tendencies to feel fear and anxiety. We are both with this emotional heart that can carry hurt and pain. And we are born with this body, that can feel both acute and chronic pain.

There’s many others thinking those dark thoughts that you’ve had. Those deep emotional pains you’ve felt are not just felt by you, but probably millions of others. You are not alone. And it’s not your fault.

This way of thinking leads to greater kindness and compassion to yourself. And importantly, a greater willingness to forgive and care for others. It’s less about blaming and more about understanding how to survive and thrive in life.

Tip 5: Let Nature Be Your Greatest Teacher. And be Weird.

I went for long walks. A few hours at a time. Well, that’s a lot for me!

I loved enjoying the birds, especially the robins. So cute. :) And took a closer look at the trees and redwoods. Amazing how they combine the stillness of their trunk with the flexibility of their branches to stand tall for hundreds of years.

Here’s a weird but effective tip. Talk to trees. And the birds. Chat to the sky. Ask questions. You can even ask questions to your own body which is part of nature.

How are you doing body? How are you keeping, mind? How can I care for you, dear heart?

Go ahead and give it a try. You may be surprised at how well it works when you sense a response!

Conclusion

This is the reality of the situation we are in, as I see it:

  1. There is more digital technology, cheaper than ever, and more people than ever are on phones and tablets and computers and talking to things like Alexa and Google Home.

  2. As more people use phones and computers, humans are spending more time in front of screens rather than anything else. Much more time than they spend looking at nature, food, family or friends.

  3. This has an impact on your human brain. Probably some positive and some negative.

  4. It takes mindfulness to notice what’s happening and to question the status quo. And it takes courage to switch off, just to see what happens.

  5. If you do use screens a lot, I invite you to switch off for a while...an hour, an afternoon, a day or a weekend. See what happens. Experiment on yourself. The world will keep going if you don’t use your dumb-phone…ooops, I mean smart-phone. :)


Happy New Year everyone! Thank you so much for following my blog. Do let me know what you’d like me to write about, and how I can best serve you to overcome your challenges.

May you enjoy the peace of just being yourself, just the way you are!

 

Answering the Mindfulness Skeptics

Photo by Kaboompics // Karolina from Pexels

Photo by Kaboompics // Karolina from Pexels

Some people are highly skeptical. Like me!

I thought about meditation for a year, and looked at all the research, before deciding to give it a good try.

Here’s some common questions that one of our team members, Diana, and her friend came up with. I’ll be answering them.

The questions are:

1. I don’t have the time for mindfulness. I can do something more productive.
2. I’m too anxious to just sit and do nothing for 5 minutes. I can’t relax.
3. I’m not into religious stuff - I don’t want to fill my mind with eastern philosophy.
4. You shouldn’t have to have a process to put your mind in the right state.
5. What’s the ROI on time spent on mindfulness?
6. Does the effect last long enough for me to consider it beneficial?

I don’t have the time for it. I can do something more productive.

If you really want to be productive, you need three things.

  • Prioritisation

  • Focus

  • Energy

Without those three, you don’t have productivity. In fact, life would be a big struggle.

Mindfulness can help with all three of these. Big time!

Prioritisation.

This is soooo important.

We all have hundreds of things to do.

And for most tasks, we can do one or at most two things at once, well.

(You can multi-task walking and talking, or mindful breathing and washing dishes for example - more on effective multi-tasking another time folks!)

So, the most important way of spending your decision-making power, is to prioritise.

And yes, our decision power is limited, so we need to choose how we use it wisely.

Mindfulness has been shown to strengthen willpower, so you can prioritise more effectively. Rather than constantly checking your emails, you can chose to stop, breathe and think what is most important for you to do, that’s inline with your values, not just what happens to pop into your head.

Book recommendation: First things first - I haven’t read this one yet, but others tell me it’s awesome!

Focus

How focused are you right now? Are you able to read this sentence without your mind drifting off to something else? If so, great.

Can you hold this focused attention for hours and hours? No. There’s a limit.

The limit of focus has probably gone down to 30 seconds nowadays in society at large. And with technological distractions, it’s shorter.

Think about it fully for a moment. Without focus, how can you get anything done? Whatever you decide to do, can’t be completed.

It’s like trying to read a book with a flickering light. Tiring, frustrating and very slow.

Mindfulness rewires your brain to be better at focusing.

Book recommendation: Focus

Energy

You can prioritise and focus, but if you have no energy, nothing’s going to happen.

What drains energy? Too much activity, poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, too much thinking.

Your brain uses up more energy than any other body part. You’re thinking and worrying day and night.

In my personal experience, sometimes just one meditation can fully re-energise my brain.  And even if it doesn’t, the meditation creates the probability that my next meditation will re-energise me.

So mindfulness and meditation can give you mental rest, and thereby, more energy. Here’s an extract from one of my books on this.

I’m too anxious to just sit and do nothing for 5 minutes. I can’t relax.

Ok, here’s what you can do:

  1. Go for a brisk walk, without your phone or other distractions.

  2. As you walk, take big, deep breaths in and out, and feel the temperature of the air in your lungs.

  3. Look around and notice all the different colours, smells, sights, sounds. Feel your body. No judgements required - just notice and take it all in.

  4. The deep breaths will calm you down. Start to walk a bit slower if that happens. Slow down your breathing.

  5. Once you return back home or at work, see if you feel calm enough to just sit still for a few more breaths, without moving and with your eyes closed. Your brain will enjoy that.

Here’s a free 3 minute meditation you can try now.

 

I’m not into religious stuff - I don’t want to fill my mind with eastern philosophy.

You don’t have to!

Mindfulness and meditation do mainly come from eastern traditions, but you don’t need to study them at all or fill your mind with that stuff.

Meditation is not how much extra stuff you put into your mind. It’s how much you can let go.

Mindfulness does have a nice body of scientific evidence to show its benefits for body and mind, so you may want to do it for that reason.

Or maybe you might want to just chill out a bit more! Do something different instead of just living on autopilot, if that’s how you feel.

But if you love your life, and your work and relationships, and think you’re calm and focused and happy enough, there’s no need for you to try mindfulness.

Keep doing what you’re doing and let us know how you do it in the comments please!

You shouldn’t have to have a process to put your mind in the right state.

By asking this question, you’re implying that your mind is in the ‘wrong state’. Is that correct?

If so, what are you going to do about it?

Either you can carry on with life as you already are. In the so called wrong state, or you can try something like mindfulness. Or something else if you like.

Remember, our current society isn’t the kind of society that the human brain was evolved to cope with. Phones, internet, hours and hours in front of screens, cars, concrete jungles, big cities. I think it’s all very unnatural and a shock for the human brain. The brain is reacting back and asking for greater stability and peace. That’s why depression is our new epidemic, in my opinion.

Mindfulness is one way to survive and thrive in this new landscape.

The ultimate practice of meditation is not to do a process. It’s to stop doing all processes and let your mind rest and recharge and find its own natural state. It’s very natural and relaxing.

What’s the return on investment (ROI) on time spent on mindfulness.

The busier I am, I literally spend more time in meditation. The reason is, it makes me more relaxed and focused and energised, and less stressed.

If you’re a geek, here’s a random calculation:

If typical working day = 8 hours
If 30 minutes of meditation increases productivity by 20%
Then you work for 7.5 hours a day, and you actually get effectively 9 hours of work done in the 7.5 hours.

In my experience, prioritising is much more effective through mindfulness, so I think without mindfulness people actually spend half their time doing the wrong thing.

So, let’s say you do 2 x 30 minute meditations a day, and it increases productivity by 50%
Then, 7 hours of work a day results in effectively 10.5 hours of work.
The ROI of meditation is 1.5

Totally random stats, but was fun!

“The insurance giant Aetna measured the results of offering mindfulness-based training to team members and found that team members who participated in the training added roughly 60 minutes of productivity per week, which they calculated was worth about $3,000 per year per team member.”

Does the effect last long enough for me to consider it beneficial?

The effect of mindfulness and meditation has been shown in studies to be cumulative. That’s why monks’ brains are so much happier and more resilient than the common human being on the street.

So with every day you practice, your brain gets more and more resilient and wise.

You need to commit to the practice for a couple of weeks, and then decide for yourself if you want to carry on. In the end, you can experiment and you can decide. I’m just here to point towards something that works well for millions of people, and thousands of experiments, so could be worth a little try if you haven’t had a go yet. :)
 


Hope you enjoyed the questions and my answers. What questions do you have? Do you have some other answers to the ones that were posed above? If so, let’s share and chat in the comments below and help each other. Thank you!

 

Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017

Photo by Bich  Tran from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/writings-in-a-planner-636246/

Photo by Bich  Tran from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/writings-in-a-planner-636246/

I know you love me. But probably not so much that you read every single thing I write!

So…I thought I’d share our most popular posts in 2017 with you today.

Enjoy a summary of the content here, or click through to the posts and read them more fully. Enjoy my friends, in reverse order. Drum rolls....

10. Quantum Physics and Mindfulness.

Here’s an extract from the conclusion…
This means, for me, there is some kind of underlying way in which the whole universe can be connected. In some way, everything is connected to everything else and able to influence each other instantly.

So, if quantum phenomena is connected to consciousness, our consciousness could have an immediate effect on another person on the planet, or even on an alien on the other side of the universe, immediately.

This means, if you are 'entangled' or have a connection with someone else on the planet, and you send them compassion and loving kindness in your mind and heart, you could have an immediate positive effect on that person. They effortlessly transform in that moment.

I admit, this is a very wild extrapolation of quantum physics, but it does nicely explain some of the observations from my experience of mindfulness and compassion practice.

9. Feeling Shitty? Here’s some advice.

From the conclusion:

Open the door of your heart to your difficulties.

Have the courage to allow the feelings to enter your being.

Breathe them in and out.

Relax into them.

I guarantee you, if you’re patient, they will transform into the most beautiful flowers in your beautiful mind.

And if you are to believe the greatest teachers from wisdom traditions, within you, you have a very beautiful and luminous mind, waiting to meet you.

8. How to Practice Gratitude - The Ultimate Guide

From the introduction:

Whenever life gets me down, I turn to two things: mindfulness or gratitude. If things are so bad that I can't focus on my mindfulness (and kindfulness) practice, then gratitude works really well for me. Gratitude practice is easy to do and can certainly make you feel better.

Gratitude practice is simply taking the time, as often as possible, to think, write, talk or draw about what's going well in your life. It's about saying thank you rather taking things for granted. And gratitude practice is more powerful than you probably thought.

7. Ultimate Meditation

From the summary:

There are many different forms of meditation taught by many different teachers.

Perhaps highest form of meditation is also the simplest: do nothing.

If you find yourself getting too frustrated by this approach, you can try the more traditional meditations like awareness of breath or the body scan meditation.

But once you get used to meditating, you will probably enjoy coming back to this simple yet profound, relaxing and blissful approach to meditation.

And if you find meditation too hard, or find yourself stuck in the rut of a particular technique, try simply doing nothing and let whatever happen, happen. You may surprise yourself at how much you enjoy it.

6. 3 Ways to Enjoy Deeper, Happier Meditation

From the Summary:

Deeper meditation is not achieved by trying harder to have a deep meditation.

Deep meditation comes when you step out of the way.

When you let your experience be, you’re ‘moving’ in the right direction.

Be at peace with your experience now. Be kind to your body and mind.

You’re good enough.

You’re already home.

5. The best (and worst) Mindfulness and Meditation Jokes of all time

I’m so glad this is a popular post! Here’s one for you:

Q: What’s the most mindful bug in the world?
A: Bees. They are always in ‘be-ing mode’.

Check them all out, and please send me some more good ones to add to the list!

4. 4 Powerful Steps to Deal with Difficult Emotions

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Use this 4-step RAIN process to cope with difficult thoughts, feelings or situations.

The essence of RAIN is to empower you to gently work through the difficulty rather than running away or avoiding the challenge.

3. 10 Ways to Be More Mindful at Work

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2. 12 Books on Mindfulness and Spirituality that Blew My Mind!

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” ― Francis Bacon

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle 

This book has sold millions of copies, I think mainly after appearing on the Oprah Show. Eckhart made a major breakthrough in his life when he realised he was not his thoughts, saving him from suicide. He’s gone on to be one of the most popular spiritual teachers in modern times.

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

This is a beautiful, poetic book, and an absolute joy to read. It makes the Buddha seem almost human, and creatively weaves a story of his path to enlightenment.

Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a very popular Buddhist teacher, probably second only to the Dalai Lama. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King. This is a lovely book to introduce you to his writings and teaching. Ideal for those keen to deepen their mindfulness.


1. How to Stop Thinking

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Here’s the summary:

Here’s three steps you can take to stop thinking so much:

- Let your body be as comfortable as possible and see what happens. Don’t control your body. Remember how I let my body be in whatever position it wanted to be? Try the same.

- Treat your mind like a lovely friend. Say 'mind, what do you want to do now?'  I did that rather than trying to control my mind. My mind wanted to sleep and wander off. So I let it. Eventually the mind became very still. Effortlessly.

- Cultivate contentment right now. I didn’t try to still my mind. Instead I let it go and stopped trying to control. Then, with time, it calmed down all by itself. Be content with the way things are with your busy, crazy, agitated mind. Your poor mind is tired and stressed. Let it be.