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Book Review: The Mindful Woman by Suo Patton Thoele

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Mindfulness — it seems to be a buzzword these days. But what is it and what can it actually do for you? Sue Patton Thoele explores the changes that can happen in a person's life when they become more mindful and aware. She explains that everyone has the ability to practice mindfulness, they just need to know what the tools are and how to use them effectively. This book is geared toward women because Thoele believes that women are uniquely equipped to practice mindfulness due to their inherent sensitive nature and their ability to be observant of many different pieces of a situation all at once. And Thoele especially writes with busy women in mind as she's designed the practices in the book around "a core of small, doable steps".

Thoele's book is divided into 3 sections. The first part of the book describes the basics of mindfulness: what it is, how it is practiced and why we should want to learn it in order to find calm and balance in life. This part goes into brief detail about the basic techniques that make up mindfulness and also dismisses the myths about what mindfulness is and is not. The second, and longest, section of the book is dedicated to a variety of mindfulness practices. These brief exercises begin with simple breathing exercises and walk the reader through various ways of practicing mindfulness through other techniques as well. Each exercise begins with a different intention that allows the reader to practice a variety of tasks such as quieting the mind, being comfortable in the current moment and teaching oneself to expect good in their life. The final portion of the book briefly touches on the positive outcomes of mindfulness. Thoele points out that while mindfulness effects each practitioner's life differently, it always effects their life in some way. "It corrects the mind's natural tendency toward dispersion, diffusion, and agitation, redeploying mental energy toward insight, clarity, and well-being".

It can be easy to dismiss Thoele's idea of mindfulness as just another fad, but the truth is, being mindful actually can help the practitioner learn to be calm and present both in daily life and in times of stress. Thoele's book is an excellent primer on mindfulness and allows the reader to learn at their own pace.

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