Full Catastrophe Living

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York: Random House Audio, 2008.

Let’s start with the bad news. I listened to this on audio while driving to and from work. Not a good idea. When the cd would finish and start again at track one I wouldn’t notice for a few moments. I wouldn’t notice for two reasons. One, there was nothing in the way of a fictional plot to make me say, “hey, I’ve heard this before” and two, the book was so repetitious I wasn’t sure if the cd was starting over again or if Kabat-Zinn was just repeating himself again. The other reason why I shouldn’t have listened to this on cd is the fact I wasn’t paying full attention to his words. Pretty ironic since that’s what his whole premise is about, being mindful of everything you do. I couldn’t be 100% mindful of what I was listening to without giving some attention to the automobile I was operating. The good news is this – I learned something. I took away huge chunks of Kabat-Zinn’s lessons. There are two parts that really resonated with me: seeing your mind as an ocean. On the surface the waves are choppy, chaotic and stressful. But, if you drill down to your very essence you will find a calmness, a serenity that should be tapped into each and everyday. Kabat-Zinn’s parallel example is the ways in which we used to live by nature’s rhythm. Before electricity we rose with the sun and worked for as long as there was natural light. We slept when it was dark. Modern conveniences have pushed us out of those rhythms, allowing us to keep working long past dark. The second ah-ha moment was the connection to food. I never thought about the what, where, when, why, how, and with whom aspect of eating. The psychological attachments to what we eat, when we eat, why we eat, how we eat and with whom we eat is profound and I never thought about it that way before. It changes my relationship with food. All in all, despite the repetitive nature of the book I enjoyed Full Catastrophe Living. Next time I will read the book!

Reason Read: Jon Kabat-Zinn was born in June.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Help Yourself” (p 110).



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