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Archive for the ‘Eckhart Tolle’ Category

Make Time for Reading With This Discounted Book Summary Library –

Posted: December 28, 2020 at 1:49 pm

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Trends suggest Americans spend less time reading overall. But if that describes you, itprobably doesn't mean you hate to read. More often than not, we don't make time for reading because there are so many things that compete for our attention on any given day.

And that's a shame because even if you can't read for pleasure, there are so many things that today's nonfiction authors have to teach us. Luckily, there's a new service aimed at those whose minds are too curious for their busy lifestyle.Four Minute Books summarizes hundreds of books and contains resources to make you a better reader, help you retain what you read, and leave your brain hungry for more.

Each month, Four Minute Books adds 12 new titles to its aptly named library of summaries. These condensed versions of popular business and self-help titles are designed so you can understand the core concepts and important takeaways without all the filler. The library already includes bestsellers like Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and hundreds more, all available as PDF files (and many of which can be listened to as audiobooks).

You've got complete freedom to read these life-changing books however and whenever you want: Download them to a dedicated Dropbox for offline perusal or play audiobooks via any major podcast app. Subscribers even get access to 10 reading and self-improvement handbooks, including The Complete Guide to Remembering What You Read, as well as a customizable Evernote notebook.

PCMag readers can sign up for lifetime access to Four Minute Books for $39.9990 percent off the MSRP.

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The most important thing to do this holiday season – Houston Chronicle

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We all have a lot to do.

Then when you add the holidays in, typical to-do lists easily double even this year.

Its natural to feel some pressure, and to get caught up in all the doing, but when that happens, we overlook something important.

I caught this in myself recently.

My almost 3-year-old daughter is developmentally delayed and has a host of congenital issues that have required eight surgeries so far and very diligent medical care. That said, shes a feisty and opinionated little person who continues to make unbelievable progress in her own time.

MORE FEELING MATTERS: Its time to give yourself more credit

She is a tough cookie, and while I cringe at how this sounds, Im an aggressive mom. Our girl literally averages about 15 appointments per week, between therapy and doctors visits. And when Im not chauffeuring between sessions, Im doing as much as I can to make learning a constant at home.

Ive considered this to be my job. I believe moms should busily take care of all their kids needs, all while talking, engaging and teaching at every opportunity.

But Ive recently realized that while being focused on this, I am actually, ever so slightly, missing something.

Ive considered quality time with my baby shark, as we call her, to be singing songs that teach her new words, or practicing colors, or pointing out body parts, or learning to work with Legos or playing ball.

But while rereading one of my favorite books, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, it occurred to me that while that stuff is great, doing something at all times is not necessary or even ideal. More is needed. Something different is needed.

Its simple, but so easy to miss: she needs me to put down my perpetual agenda and meet her where she is.

It requires me to step out of autopilot and join her with no ulterior motivesolely with the intention to be together, on her level, and her terms, however that looks right then.

Again, its simple, but shockingly not easy.

MORE FEELING MATTERS: Why its good to have friends who scare you (in the right way)

Aiming to do this the other day, I joined her underneath a blanket on the couch, where she likes to chill. It was sweet and cozy, and while cuddling, I found myself filling the space with my usual semi-mindless yammering: How are you, honey? Are you good!? Can you say good!?

She didnt dignify any of this with a response, so I kept going.

Good, good, good. This little girl is good, good, good.

Blah, blah, blah.

To reiterate, theres nothing wrong with this, and of course, it is good to talk to your kids! This is extremely subtle, but it seems that plainly meeting her, without asking 20 questions or prodding her to learn or perform, is tricky for me. Im constantly poking!

The good news is that awareness helps turn things around.

That day on the couch, I caught myself. I stopped trying to take over her moment and snuggled in a little more.

She was lightly stroking the blanket and seemed to be appreciating the warm light under our makeshift tent. I stopped and joined in. Basically, we just sat there together.

Nothing extraordinary happened, and it was only for a few minutes, but it was sweet and a tender enough moment that it stands out to me even a few weeks later. Its now on my radar as just as important as engaging her and working.

I bring this up because its worth remembering if youre around kids a lot. And, its worth remembering if you find yourself pushing, getting stressed, encountering resistance, or just going, going, doing, doing, especially this time of year. Maybe theres an opportunity to pause all that, recognize the moment, and join it.

Even just brief moments of this offers something sweet.

These holidays are undoubtedly different from usual, but the beauty is still right there.

Marci Izard Sharif is an author, yoga teacher, meditation facilitator and mother. In Feeling Matters, she writes about self-love, sharing self-care tools, stories and resources that center around knowing and being kind to yourself. For her classes and more, go to

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4 Crucial Lessons I Learned While Recovering From COVID-19 –

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Even after most of my symptoms had subsided, I continued to have a hard time getting out of bed. Then I was introduced to a new morning routine (inspired by Hal Elrod's book Miracle Mornings), which involves meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and journaling. It helped me refocus my thoughts, and became a great kick-start to a better daily mindset.

I also embraced other types of self-love, like playing music during the day that would get me dancing and in a great state of mind.

During my journey, I also noticed one thing getting in the way of recovery: My mind wanted to resist my COVID-19 diagnosis. This resistance got in the way of me being able to truly rest. I would lie down, but my mind wasn't at peace, so my body wasn't relaxing. The same is probably true for a lot of people who are having a hard time accepting that we're still in a pandemic. Eckhart Tolle's thesis to life mastery is "resist nothing"that can be easier said than done, but it's especially key to facing COVID-19 with any kind of grace and acceptance.

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Anushka Sharma’s powerful post on having male child: Don’t think of it as a PRIVILEGE – India TV News

Posted: October 3, 2020 at 5:58 am

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Anushka Sharma's powerful post on having male child: Don't think of it as a PRIVILEGE

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma shared a powerful post on Friday reacting to the recent happenings in the country. The actress penned down how gender equality plays a role in these situations and about the privilege of having a male child. The actress wrote, "In our society having a male child is seen as a 'privilege.' Of course, it's no more privilege than having a girl child but the fact is that this so-called privilege has been viewed incorrectly and with an extremely myopic view. The only 'privilege' is that one has the opportunity to raise a boy in a way that he respects a girl. That's your DUTY as a parent to society. So, don't think of it as a PRIVILEGE."

Anushka Sharma added, "The gender of the child doesn't make you privileged but it is actually the responsibility you owe to society to raise a boy so well that women feel safe and protected."


Anushka Sharma's powerful post on having male child

After the Hathras rape caser, the country witnessed another blow when a 22 years old girl was allegedly raped. Many Bollywood celebrities reacted to the horrific incident and slammed those who consider women as women. Anushka has also expressed her anger about the same and had written, "Barely any time has passed and we are hearing of another brutal rape!?! In which world do such monsters think they can do this to a young life. This is beyond comprehension, so distressing! Is there any fear in the minds of such men? How do we as a society put fear in them and protect our women?"

On a related note, Anushka Sharma is currently spending time with her husband, cricketer Virat Kohli, in the UAE, where the latest edition of Indian Premier League is being held. Last month, Anushka and Virat had announced that they are set to be parents for the first time. They will welcome their first born in January 2021.

Recently, Anushka Sharma treated fans with a new picture. In the Instagram image, Anushka, who is pregnant, flaunted her baby bump in black swimwear standing in a pool. "Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance' - Eckhart Tolle. Gratitude to all those who showed me kindness and made me believe in goodness in this world, opening my heart enough to practice the same with the hope to pay it forward. Because... After all, we are all just walking each other home - Ram Dass #worldgratitudeday (sic)," Anushka captioned the image.

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Anushka Sharma's powerful post on having male child: Don't think of it as a PRIVILEGE - India TV News

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October 3rd, 2020 at 5:58 am

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Sofa Reyes on the Last Time She Was Starstruck and the Last Thing She Watched on Netflix – POPSUGAR

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In our Q&A series Last Call, we get down to the bottom of every last thing with some of our favorite celebs from the last thing they texted to the last thing they binge-watched. This week, Mexican singer Sofa Reyes takes our call.

While most of us were staying home the past few months binge-watching new TV shows or baking bread, Mexican singer-songwriter Sofa Reyes has been hard at work, recording not one but two new songs: "Cuando Ests Tu," which she released back in June, and her latest single, "chalo Pa'Ca." To celebrate her new music, we chatted with Sofa about recording the tracks, the last piece of advice that changed her life, and more!

What was the last day recording "chalo Pa'Ca" like?

I mean, recording the song took a couple months because I was waiting for Lalo [Ebratt] and Darell to record their vocals, and I couldn't be more excited! I'm very grateful. Having them on my song is a big blessing.

Last piece of advice you received that changed your life?

"Live in the NOW." Life is now, and it's for real the key for me.

Last thing you texted?

The last thing I texted was to my mom of how much I miss [her].

Last thing you watched on Netflix?

Anne With an E.

Last photo on your camera roll?

It's a screenshot of a Bible verse.

Last thing you do before going to bed?

The last thing I do before going to bed is read. I'm reading a book called Permission to Feel [by Marc Brackett].

Last gift you received?

A watch [from] my friend that says "NOW." It's very meaningful because every time [we] would be on the phone or stressed out, he would go, "What time is it??"

Last workout?

My last workout was in 2018. Just kidding. I've been hiking every week; I hiked about three days ago at Runyon Canyon.

Last book you read?

The Power of Now [by Eckhart Tolle].

Last album you listened to?

In the Real World by Alex Serra.

Last time you were star-struck?

The last time I was starstruck was with Alan Menken. Thalia took us to his house/studio, and he played songs for us on the piano. Every Disney song that I grew up with are his, and that was mind-blowing. I touched his Oscars [laughs], especially the "Under the Sea" one.

Last song you sang in the shower?

"Can't Help Falling in Love" [by Elvis Presley].

Check out Sofia's latest single "Echalo Pa' Ca," out now!

Image Source: Sofa Reyes

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October 3rd, 2020 at 5:58 am

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Indian dance classes on Zoom lifted the heaviness Id been carrying – The Guardian

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In February, I learned that musician Kedaar Kumar, son of my long-ago Indian classical dance teacher, Rathna Kumar, had died suddenly of heart failure at 38. My heart sank. I reached out to Rathna Auntie with condolences. I had also wanted to send her a copy of my memoir, This Is One Way to Dance, which would be published in June; dance had played an important role in my life and I included her in my acknowledgments.

Glue and scissors: how I rediscovered my teenage hobby amid the pandemic

Our reconnection was fortuitous; two months later I found myself studying with her once again, after three decades this time on Zoom. It was the antidote to pandemic grief I hadnt known I needed.

In the 1980s, an article about Rathna Kumar, a Houston-based professional dancer, appeared in India Abroad. She was our local teachers childhood friend from Chennai, and she visited Rochester, New York, during our school breaks, offering advanced workshops. We spent hours learning Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniyattam dances, interspersed with stories of Rathna Aunties sons and husband, and tales of Shiva and Parvati, Krishna and Radha, from Hindu mythology. Four of us had arangetrams, solo classical dance debuts, in which the guru presents the pupil to the community. I had not seen Rathna Auntie since mine, 30 years ago.

Dance is a kind of prayer, a way to celebrate and move through something, and also to mourn.

Rathna Auntie needed to keep dancing through her grief. In April, she added me to a WhatsApp group named Vintage Kuchipudi Divas. We, the divas, are in our 40s and 50s. A few are my childhood friends; a few I had not met. But now we have danced and talked and laughed together, remotely, several times on Wednesday evenings.

I had my own grief atop the pandemic: my fathers fast-growing cancer and chemo, evaporating events and a tour for a book that had taken 20 years to write. There was a day when everything was stuck. I was stuck. I grabbed my laptop and set up in our first-floor living room in front of a mirrored purple tapestry from Chennai, and logged on to Rathna Aunties Zoom class. That evening, she was the same as ever, telling stories about her childhood, about her dance teacher, asking us questions, making us laugh, demonstrating sequences. Then, we danced.

Something about moving together so many years later transported me: a reunion, but each of us in different homes and time zones, kids crouching on couches in the background. I was 16 again, laughing and dancing, absorbed in duplicating her steps, mirroring her hand gestures. My Tamilian husband walked by. Rathna Auntie wanted to meet him. I am not South Indian, but their culture feels familiar, from years of listening to Carnatic music, dancing for Onam, hearing the lilting cadences of friends parents and Rathna Auntie speaking Telegu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam.

Dancing together lifted the heaviness Id been carrying. Somehow, in the percussive, rhythmic footwork and pounding steps, the vigorous movement in our creaky bodies, a weight shifted. After Rathna Aunties class, I played music at midnight and turned the camera on myself. I danced. No makeup, my hair escaping a messy bun, I wore a kurta and shot two videos of me dancing to vintage songs: CeCe Penistons Finally and Suzanne Vegas Left of Center posting them later to Instagram. It was May and I hadnt been able to dance in months. Sculpting my arms into tree branches, the motion loosened something in me. Bending my torso, stomping my feet, using more of my body than just my fingers and eyes, awoke parts of my brain that had been dormant. My videos garnered over 400 views; this surprised me. I felt happy dancing by myself and found a simple pleasure in sharing the dances. In comments, friends noted their own joy in witnessing my dancing.

Dancing with those women, something clicked. To hear Rathna Auntie, who had lost her son, not lose heart, but keep moving, even laughing. To connect! Dancing with my guru again, 30 years after I last saw her, is an astonishing gift of the pandemic. After hours disembodied before a blue-lit screen, I have to remind myself, we need to move more than fingers and eyes. We need community.

Rathna Auntie features this quote in the about section on her Facebook page: Life is the dancer and you are the dance Eckhart Tolle, followed by her own words: Dance is my raison dtre, my greatest solace. I appreciate that Rathna Auntie told us she needed to keep dancing while grieving. Sharing her dance with her students, she is still teaching us: here is a way to move through sorrow.

Sejal Shah is the author of This Is One Way to Dance, essays on race, place and belonging (University of Georgia Press, 2020). She lives in Rochester, New York

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17 celebrities who are expecting babies in 2021: from wildlings to royals – The National

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As 2020 didnt work out to be quite as much fun as everyone expected, many of us are already looking forward to the New Year, and many celebrities will be welcoming new babies in 2021.

From Game of Thrones Rose Leslie to High School Musicals Ashley Tisdale, here are 18 stars being kept busy decorating the nursery, ready to welcome new bundles of joy in 2021.

Just short of two years after her Windsor castle wedding in October 2018, Princess Eugenie announced that she is expecting her first child with husband, Jack Brooksbank. The 30-year-old took to Instagram to share a photo of a cute pair of booties. The baby girl or boy will be the 11th in line to the throne.

This is Us actress Mandy Moore will become a first-time mum when she and husband Taylor Goldsmith welcome their first child together next year. Sharing a sweet black and white photo, 36-year-old Moore wrote, Baby Boy Goldsmith coming early 2021.

A super excited Ashley Tisdale took to Instagram to announce IM PREGNANT!!!! before writing on her blog to share details of her first few months.

It hasnt been an easy first trimester, but everyone is different and I know there are people whove had it way worse, wrote the 35-year-old High School Musical star. I definitely fall somewhere in the middle where I didnt just have nausea, but threw up a couple of times and felt like Ive had stomach flu for three months (Lol!). Tisdale married musician Christopher French in September 2014.

Following six rounds of IVF, the British Cry Baby singer announced she was expecting her second child with Leyman Lahcine, with whom she has a three-year-old daughter.

The 22-year-old conservationist took to Instagram to reveal shes expecting a girl in 2021, writing: Our beautiful daughter is now about the same size as a hatchling Aldabra tortoise and is as healthy as can be. We cant wait for her arrival next year. While her husband, Chandler Powell, 23, added, Our little girl and my beautiful wife are my entire world.

The Game of Thrones star is expecting her first child with her former co-star and husband, Kit Harrington. And the 33-year-old celebrated by taking part in a special photoshoot for UK magazine Make, to debut her bump.

Gossip Girl actress Jessica Szohr is looking forward to becoming a first-time mum next year as she gets set to welcome a baby with her professional hockey player man, Brad Richardson. And the 35-year-old captioned her smiling baby bump pic: Full of joy!

Full of joy!

8. Lesley Anne Murphy

The Bachelor star, 33, shared shes expecting her first child with her fiance, Alex Kavanagh, announcing her news by dancing in the kitchen to the classic song, Be My Baby.

The 32-year-old Jab Tak Hai Jaan star is expecting her first child next year with her cricketer husband, Virat Kohli. Taking to Instagram to share a sweet bump snap, the actress wrote: Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance' - Eckhart Tolle.

The Hollywood actress is getting set to welcome baby number two next year with her partner of four years, Jamie Linden. But the 41-year-old Canadian is staying tight-lipped about all things baby related, having said about her son back in 2018: I want to keep his life private, even if mine isn't.

Just a few months after getting married in February, the Malcolm in the Middle actor has revealed hes expecting his first child with wife, Paige Price. Nothing quite compares to the first time hearing your little ones heartbeat, said the 34-year-old in a video on their YouTube channel. We felt like we were living and experiencing a real-life miracle for the first time.

Twilight star Kellan Lutz and his wife Brittany revealed theyre set to become first-time parents in 2021, with the 35-year-old actor saying: Were so excited.

Fashion-meets-the race track as Victorias Secret model, Jessica Hart gets ready steady to welcome her first child with her Nascar racer boyfriend, James Kirkham. Were so super duper excited about this awesome news, especially at this time and amongst the mainly bleak news out there, said the 34-year-old Australian.

The Blurred Lines singer, 43, and his 26-year-old fiancee April Love Geary are expecting their third child together, the singers fourth, next year. The new addition will be a sibling to the couples two daughters Mia and Lola, and step-sibling to Julian, Thicke's son with ex-wife, actress Paula Patton.

The 41-year-old Yeah! singer will be welcoming his third child in the New Year, his first with record executive Jenn Goicoechea.

Her twin sister, Khloe Kardashians best friend Malika, recently gave birth to her first child, but shes got some catching up to do as Khadijah is getting set to have her third child with her former NFL player husband, Bobby McCray.

The Irish actor best known for playing Seamus Finnigan in the Harry Potter film series is set to become a first-time dad when his girlfriend Shannon McCaffrey Quinn welcomes a baby in January 2021.


Read more

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Updated: October 1, 2020 08:35 AM

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17 celebrities who are expecting babies in 2021: from wildlings to royals - The National

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Anushka Sharma to Amy Jackson: Actresses who showed off their baby bumps in swimsuits – Times of India

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Embracing motherhood is an extremely beautiful moment for every woman in the world. Likewise our B-town actresses have also experienced this amazing feeling with utmost grace. Apart from sharing their experiences, actresses also share adorable pictures from their pregnancy photoshoots. A trend of sporting bikinis and showing off the baby bump has become the new cool. From Anushka Sharma to Amy Jackson, heres taking a look at the actresses who rocked their baby bump in stunning swimsuits:

Image Credit: Anushka Sharma and Amy Jackson Instagram

Recently, Anushka Sharma announced the news of her pregnancy and took the internet by storm. She posted a picture with Virat Kohli where she was seen with a cute baby bump. Soon after that, the actress posted a gorgeous picture of herself enjoying in the pool. Sporting a black monokini, she was seen showing off her baby bump. She looked like an angel in the picture. Along with the picture, she wrote, Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance - Eckhart Tolle Gratitude to all those who showed me kindness and made me believe in goodness in this world , opening my heart enough to practice the same with the hope to pay it forward Because ... " After all , we are all just walking each other home " - Ram Dass

Image Credit: Anushka Sharma Instagram

Back in 2017, Celina Jaitley stunned everyone with her bikini photoshoot while she was expecting her twins. She had shared a picture on her Instagram handle where she was seen gracefully posing in a printed bikini on a beach. In an interview in 2017, the actress also spoke about how motherhood helped her discover a lot about herself and made her "more patient, complete and sexier than ever".

Image Credit: Celina Jaitley Instagram

Actress Kalki Koechlin, who embraced motherhood recently, had shared a beautiful picture of herself sporting a bikini while showing off her baby bump. After entering her third trimester, she shared a few pictures on social media. The actress welcomed her baby girl in February 2020.

Image Credit: Kalki Koechlin Instagram

After getting married to boyfriend Dino Lalvani in 2016, Lisa Haydon was blessed with her first child in 2017. The actress announced her pregnancy through a social media post. In the picture, she was seen sporting a navy blue swimsuit while showing off her baby bump. Along with the picture, she had written, Humble beginnings. She looked absolutely stunning in the picture and her pregnancy glow added more to it.

Image Credit: Lisa Hadyon Instagram

Last year, Sameera Reddy amazed everyone with her underwater photoshoot. She showed off her baby bump underwater by wearing vibrant swimsuits. She had shared a picture on her Instagram handle where she was seen striking a pose in a pool as the photographer clicked her. Along with the sweet picture, she had written, I wanted to celebrate the beauty of the bump in my 9th month . At a time when we feel the most vulnerable, tired, scared, excited and at our biggest and most beautiful! I look forward to sharing it with you guys and I know the positivity will resonate because we all are at different phases of our lives with unique sizes and we need to love and accept ourselves at every level #imperfectlyperfect.

Image Credit: Sameera Reddy Instagram

Before welcoming her baby boy, Amy Jackson had also shared a sweet video where she was seen showing off her baby bump. In the video, she was seen wearing a black swimsuit paired with printed shrug. She looked breathtakingly stunning in it.

Image Credit: Amy Jackson Instagram

Anushka Sharma to Amy Jackson: Actresses who showed off their baby bumps in swimsuits - Times of India

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October 3rd, 2020 at 5:58 am

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Watch: Anushka Sharma satisfies her pregnancy cravings with some french fries – Times of India

Posted: September 24, 2020 at 3:59 pm

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Anushka Sharma and hubby Virat Kohli are currently in Dubai. The stars keep sharing pictures and videos from UAE to keep fans updated about their routine. Recently, the 'Pari' actress took to her Instagram handle to give us a sneak-peek into the best phase of her life. In the video, the star is seen dipping some french fries in a dip. At the ends, she gives a thumbs up for it. Recently, the actress was making headlines as she shared a picture showing off her baby bump in a monokini. She captioned the post using Ram Dass and Eckhart Tolle's quotes. 'Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance - Eckhart Tolle Gratitude to all those who showed me kindness and made me believe in goodness in this world , opening my heart enough to practice the same with the hope to pay it forward Because ... " After all , we are all just walking each other home - Ram Dass #worldgratitudeday '', she wrote. Check out her posts here: Meanwhile, on the work front, she was last seen in 'Zero' with Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. Helmed by Aanand L. Rai, the film was released in 2018. The actress did not announce any movie since then.

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Watch: Anushka Sharma satisfies her pregnancy cravings with some french fries - Times of India

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September 24th, 2020 at 3:59 pm

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Why I’m addicted to self-help books – The Guardian

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The first self-help-adjacent book I ever read was called Every Girls Handbook. My mother bought it for me when I was 12 (coincidentally, at exactly the same time that I discovered Agatha Christie) and it was packed full of useful information about makeup and what star signs I might be compatible with for both friendship and romance. I loved that book, loved in particular the idea of a book designed to help me, and studied it with great passion and commitment night after night. I did not, however, become a regular reader of self-help books at that point in my life after all, I had all of Christie to read, and then Ruth Rendell. I devoted most of my next two reading decades to crime fiction.

I might never have returned to the self-help genre, or become an avid fan of it, were it not for an experience I had in Crete in 2003. I had agreed to teach a creative writing course in Loutro, a rocky village on the Libyan sea, for a company called World Spirit. In those days I would have described World Spirit as a new agey outfit. There was another course running at the same time as mine, and its tutor was a guru. Other people called him that and it was also how he described himself. I caught a ferry with him on the way home. He was fascinating, and spent the ferry ride explaining in the most charming and entertaining way that everything I had ever believed and the entire way I viewed the world were wrong. Meeting him inspired me to read his book, which proved far too new agey for me. Despite coming to this conclusion, I was fascinated by the guru and what he represented. And people were talking, at the time, about another spiritual book called The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, so I thought Id give it a try.

Oliver Burkeman interviews Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now

Its no exaggeration to say that The Power of Now changed my life. Like the Ferry Gurus book, it was definitely new agey, but if you took away the spiritual stuff (I wanted to do this at the time; I wouldnt want to now), what remained was a radical new way of looking at the world. Thanks to Tolle, I learned that I would be entirely mistaken if I were to judge, for example, my friend Zeldas recent actions negatively and imagine Im a better person than her. As Tolle puts it: If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realisation comes forgiveness, compassion and peace. (I later wrote a self-help book of my own, called How to Hold a Grudge, that is aimed at solving the conundrum of other people still massively annoying us even once we know that theyre doing their best and that we are in no way superior to them.)

Another vital lesson I learned from Tolle was that its the stories we tell ourselves about events that cause all our pain and suffering, not the events themselves. All happenings and events and facts are neither good nor bad, neither happy nor unhappy, Tolle argues. For instance, if your husband fails to turn up for your 20th wedding anniversary dinner, you might tell yourself the story: He doesnt care. He doesnt love me any more. I dont matter to him. And if you believed that, youd feel terrible. Tolle points out that if we eschewed interpretations and instead stuck to the simple facts, the only truth would be: A woman arrived at a restaurant at 7pm, and a man did not and theres nothing upsetting about that statement.

I found myself thinking about everything differently and creating much less suffering for myself, and I wondered what other books might seriously help me improve my life. Soon I was reading every self-help book I could get my hands on. I learned about emotional incest syndrome which can happen when a parent enmeshes mentally with their child and trains him or her to feel responsible for the parents emotional state and wellbeing. I had encountered many instances of this in real life (havent we all?) but I had never heard it named or anatomised before. I read a fascinating book by Patricia Evans called Controlling People on a plane to New York. Evidently the subtitle How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You was too small to be visible to my fellow passenger, who leaned across the aisle and said: Hey, is that good? Id love to be able to control people! Does it teach you to do that?

I gulped down books about narcissism (Oh, so thats whats wrong with Fred/Bill/Gordon now it all makes sense!), toxic partners, spouses, bosses, siblings, parents, children and hairdressers. I read all about verbally and emotionally abusive relationships, psychological vampires, energy predators, women who love too much, men who wipe down kitchen work surfaces too infrequently, and how and when to care less. I read a book by Caroline Myss called Why People Dont Heal and How They Can, and many other books about the connection between physical symptoms and psychological states. For a few weeks I stalked around the house muttering: Aha! So that sore throat I had yesterday was caused by my inability to stick up for myself when Lucinda was having a go at me!

Many of these books, including The Power of Now, have a lot to say about how our egos always want to be right and yes, thats obviously true to an extent, but personally I find nothing more exciting than discovering that Ive been massively wrong in some aspect of my thinking, and that I can start to think in the opposite way and achieve an opposite and preferable result. Whenever I have these moments, they land on me with the force of an amazing and delightful twist in a crime novel. If I were Zelda (not her real name, by the way), exactly as she is, I would behave as Zelda does. I would be unable to choose to do otherwise. Amazing! My thoughts and beliefs, not anyone elses behaviour or actions, cause my feelings, and I can always change my thoughts if I want to. Eureka!

I fully understood that there was a strong chance that some of the books I read might be nonsense, but that only made my adventures in self-help all the more exciting. With each new book I thought, either this book will be right and Ill learn something amazing and life-changing, or itll be dead wrong and Ill be able to prove it and still learn something, only in a different way. I treated each book I read as if it was full of clues and as someone who also loved mysteries and Agatha Christie, I loved clues and solving mysteries more than anything.

I started to buy self-help books I had no need for: How to Stop Binge-Drinking Vodka and Healing Emotionally After Being Crushed By a Falling Hippo. It turned out some of the concepts that are key to giving up vodka are also helpful if what you want to give up is smoking that was definitely a problem I had in my 20s, and one that I have chosen to reintroduce into my life many times since. I think the last time was ahem, two days ago. Self-help book addicts understand, you see, that not all problems get solved or stay solved, and that this, crucially, does not mean we shouldnt bother with self-help books. On the contrary: it means we should read more of them, and different ones, and examine all the problems from every possible angle. Lets face it, if the troublesome issues created by our human brains (the only culprit, always) are sticking around, then of course we need a constant supply of suggestions about how to deal with them.

Two years ago, I discovered the best and most helpful self-help content of my life so far: American life coach Brooke Castillos Self-Coaching Scholars programme, and Castillos book Self Coaching 101. Castillo, and her organisation, The Life Coach School, teaches that all circumstances are neutral neither good nor bad and that its never a circumstance but always a thought that creates our feelings and therefore our actions and our life experience. And the good news is: we can always choose what thoughts we want to think, on purpose and keeping in mind a particular feeling or result that wed like to aim for.

This has worked brilliantly for me so brilliantly that Im now evangelical about Castillos approach. For example, I used to be resentful of the teacher who told my son, I dont care if you pass or fail your GCSE, having first threatened to expel him from the same GCSE course after he missed an end-of-year exam that no one knew anything about because the school had sent out a timetable on which that exam did not appear. Now, whenever I think about that teacher, I grin and feel proud because what first springs to mind is the massive breakthrough I made when I realised that what I wanted more than anything, in relation to her, was to return her model and not be affected by it. (If you dont know what that means, then youd probably benefit as much as I have from joining The Life Coach Schools self-coaching scholars programme.)

Now, to return to my copy of How to Stop Binge-Drinking Vodka. Obviously I cant and wont buy or read a book about giving up smoking because I dont really smoke. Just every now and again. Look, stop judging me, OK? Or actually, judge me all you like, because Ive just bought a fascinating book called What You Think of Me Is None of My Business

Happiness, a Mystery: And 66 Attempts to Solve It by Sophie Hannah is published by Profile/Wellcome Collection. To order a copy go to Delivery charges may apply.

See original here:
Why I'm addicted to self-help books - The Guardian

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September 24th, 2020 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Eckhart Tolle

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