A comprehensive guide to achieving greater mindfulness in life.
In her latest book, Nadrich (Says Who?, 2015), a life coach, meditation teacher, and founder of the Institute for Transformational Thinking, urges readers in a busy, modern world of worry to stop, take deep breaths, and embrace a greater degree of mindfulness. The author characterizes the latter as a state that will help them to return to their “conscious homeland.” As the centerpiece of her method, Nadrich advocates a regular practice of “living our truth in the present moment,” and this theme runs throughout the book—specifically, the notion that now is the most important moment of all, and one must live it consciously and lovingly to give one’s life meaning. In such moments, she asserts, people get an opportunity to decide who they truly are and may alter their consciousness accordingly. The book’s brief, highly readable chapters are organized as a sequence of broad concepts, such as “The Future,” “Self,” “Consciousness,” and “Perception,” and each includes meditations that concentrate primarily on its specific concept. Every chapter ends with a koanlike “Note to Self,” as well, usually consisting of just a handful of words. Along the way, readers are always encouraged to focus on the present rather than worry about lost possibilities: “Happiness will continue to elude us,” Nadrich writes, “if we are constantly longing for what ‘could be’ rather than accepting ‘what is.’ ” Readers on the path of self-realization, she says, should always be working to lift “the veils of the inauthentic self” even if, in the process, they end up confronting unwanted truths about themselves. Readers who are already familiar with mindfulness guides will find much of what Nadrich writes in this one to be reassuring. In our path to self-knowledge, she writes in a typical passage, “we strive to meet our full potential, and live true to who we really are”; it’s very comforting to assert that one should strive to be perfect while simultaneously acknowledging that one already is perfect. It’s a win-win scenario and one that readers may have encountered before. That said, not everything in this guide is as hand-holding; for example, Nadrich also warns readers that it’s very hard to lie to yourself when you’re in a state of true mindfulness, and her frequent acknowledgement of the importance of love (“If love is not what sends you out in your day, you will feel something missing, and not know quite what it is”) adds a welcome note of compassion to the book. That said, it does sometimes lean a bit too much on New Age clichés, and readers may feel that some of the author’s statements, such as, “Love is all there is” or her description of Bob Dylan as the “modern version” of William Shakespeare, are a bit overenthusiastic. Overall, though, the tone of the book is one of endearing optimism.
A readable and wide-ranging compendium of New Age nostrums, all presented with a cleareyed vigor that aficionados of the genre will find appealing.