In this self-help guide, an
occupational therapist/yoga teacher shares personal reflections and meditation
exercises on achieving a fuller, more conscious life.
For King, a “starting point” in her life, and a central theme in this book, was the value of meditation. “From that first class, I was hooked,” she recalls about her exposure to meditation in college and her commitment to practicing it thereafter. Initially working as a traveling computer consultant, she listened when “a quiet voice gradually grew louder and more insistent” to move to Colorado. Later, as part of a transformative healing journey intended to extend the life of her beloved dying dog, King decided to change careers and work as an occupational therapist and yoga teacher. “The essential process was accepting where I was, identifying my own authentic path, and then living it with compassion and disciplined attention,” she says. “Simply heading in a more authentic direction generated deep feelings of peace, happiness, and fulfillment.” Including such musings as well as discussions of chakras and other mind/body topics, King offers a series of “personal exploration” exercises, 22 in all, within a nine-chapter narrative detailing how to chart one’s own authenticity path. She starts with grounding exercises, including finding your “meditative seat,” or best pose by which to meditate, then moves on to guided activities focused on gratitude, forgiveness, and more. For King, striving for such mental “competence” is more joy-producing than the kind of dwelling that leads to less progressive thought. While this isn’t a memoir per se, King’s autobiographical details add a wonderfully engaging element to the how-to guide, because they showcase a relatable and achievable journey to mindfulness. King is no preachy Pollyanna; instead, she acknowledges her own pull toward “monkey mind” as well as the challenges in often having to go to the edge of one’s comfort zone to transform. While her exercises may seem a bit repetitive at times, they also underscore the important core elements of effective meditation practice, and her sequence of activities provides a helpful road map by which to foster self-awareness and growth.
Inspiring and practical meditation primer.