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  • 7
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  • 11
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  • Self-Compassion

  • The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
  • By: Kristin Neff
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,303
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109

The relentless pursuit of high self-esteem has become a virtual religion - and a tyrannical one at that. Our ultracompetitive culture tells us we need to be constantly above average to feel good about ourselves, but there is always someone more attractive, successful, or intelligent than we are. And even when we do manage to grab hold of high self-esteem for a brief moment, we can't seem to keep it. Our sense of self-worth goes up and down like a ping-pong ball, rising and falling in lockstep with our latest success or failure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Learning self-compassion is transforming my life.

  • By Erika on 03-28-13

Eye and Heart Opening...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-19-18

This is an absolutely wonderful book. Kristin Neff is THE expert in the subject of self-compassion and I finally took the time to listen/read her book first-hand. It is so good that I bought the paperback so that I could really study her ideas and have bought another copy for a friend going through a very dark time.

My personal and professional experience is that we talk to ourselves in ways that we would never talk to another person. The inner critic is always there, judging, criticizing, dismissing, diminishing who we are and how we are in the world. This incessant negativity stresses our bodies, dulls our experience, discourages exploration and risk taking, and colors our perceptions. It is also contagious. Self-compassion is the art of being your own friend and advocate. It is not about excusing bad behavior or laziness, it is about "giving yourself a break," taking a deep breath and then operating from a position of your wiser self. This can become a habit of mind that can significantly impact the quality of your life - both inside and out.

  • Love the Home You Have

  • Simple Ways to...Embrace Your Style, Get Organized, Delight in Where You Are
  • By: Melissa Michaels
  • Narrated by: Randye Kaye
  • Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

What if the house of your dreams is the home you have? Meet Melissa Michaels, creator of the popular blog The Inspired Room and the best contentment coach you'll ever meet. With humor and candor, Melissa reveals how to transform your rooms (and your life) from plainly livable to fabulously lovable.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book is a gift

  • By C. Frazier on 08-15-18

If you are married with family ... probably OK

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-19-18

I was disappointed in this book. If you are a young married woman with kids, I would recommend this book to you. However, for the rest of us, including an older widow like me, this book left me feeling like an outsider. The author is sharing what she knows and she knows her life as a Pastor's wife with a growing family. She tells that part of her story well and I think she has many good thoughts and recommendations. However, Michaels doesn't seem to be able to find language and a sense of inclusiveness to expand beyond her narrow demographic. Too bad, because the core theme of making a home/nest/refuge from a place of sufficiency and creativity is a powerful and deserves "air time."

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Your Life Design Blueprint

  • How to Create the Blueprint for the Life you Want to Live
  • By: Albert Polanco
  • Narrated by: Albert Polanco
  • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Are you a dreamer? Do you ever look at your life and wonder how to make it more like you imagined it could be? Have you ever had goals that you had no idea how to achieve or even where to start? This insightful and practical book not only answers some burning questions about how to get what you want from life and create the life of your dreams, this book offers a step-by-step system to follow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A practical, useful, and powerful tool to organize your life

  • By Jlcjesse on 08-12-17

Reading Maybe - Definitely Not Audible

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-05-18

The author, Albert Polanco, is a self-development junkie, as am I. His intent is to share a highly structured, goals-based planning methodology which he has developed and has used for a very brief period of time (i.e., for his most productive year ever). He draws from some of the classic writers in self-improvement, such as Jim Rohn, Stephen R. Covey, Tony Robbins, and David Allen. I have read many of the books he cites. His intent is to take a lot of complex materials and make them useful for real people. I admire this goal, because it is something that I strive to do as well. I bought this as an Audible book for a long drive. About 90 minutes into it, I had to turn it off after Polanco stated the url to his website for what seemed like the 12th time in as many minutes. The planning approach, with its tabbed 3-ring binder (yes, you need a notebook, paper, and printer to use this approach), is highly visual. It does not l translate into a verbal format. I also object to Polanco's gratuitous profanity. It is unnecessary within the context of this particular book. "Getting shxx done" is fine. "Fuxx, fuxx, fuxx" is not. It steps over a line for me in a audible book which may not be solo listening experience. I often buy the print book if I like the audio, because some topics and ideas really merit a deeper look, but this is definitely not one of them. If you are looking for a good book on self-management, recommend reading David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD), much of what Polanco suggests comes from the GTD approach. If you are interested in Life Design, I love Barnett and Evans' Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. The Barnett and Evans' book is particularly well-suited for listening, although I own the hard copy and Kindle versions as well.

  • The Heart of Centering Prayer

  • Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice
  • By: Cynthia Bourgeault
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87

Centering prayer is the path to a wonderful and radical new way of seeing the world. It is not, as is sometimes thought, simply an act of devotional piety, nor is it a Christianized form of other meditation methods. Cynthia Bourgeault here cuts through the misconceptions to show that centering prayer is in fact a pioneering development within the Christian contemplative tradition.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A gift for the centering prayer movement

  • By John Thomson on 09-13-17

Some 5-Star Content and Some Not

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-06-17

I wanted to learn more about the Centering Prayer and Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault is a genuine expert and scholar. This book often shows up on my "recommended for you" list in both Audible and Kindle.

Like all "movements" there are different schools of the Centering Prayer practice and there is that underlying narrative of institutional comparison and critique which rises to the surface at places. All books are written from within a social and intellectual frame of reference and this one is no different.

The first part of the book is instructive and seems targeted for the seeker. However, in the later sections of the book, the tone decidedly changes to that of a academic apologetic. Reverend Bourgeault delves into the Cloud of Unknowing and writes a brilliant critique of various translations, as she herself translates from Middle English. While I admire the scholarship, this is not why I bought the book. It felt like two books - one for the seeker and one for the institutional practitioner/philosopher.

The second order effect of this academic excursion is that as I listened to the discussion of the translations and the literal words of the original Cloud of Unknowing author, what seemed originally to me as a call to a deeper way of prayer and worship, now feels like a rabbit trail off into something so esoteric and obscure that I am going to search elsewhere in the contemplative movement. For me, I find the work of Fathers Richard Rohr and Thomas Merton more accessible, inspiring, and while challenging, implementable.

The other critique of the book has to do with the quality of the audio recording. While Gabra Zackman is a superb reader, the audio itself has places where her voice is tinny, dragging, and mechanical sounding. It doesn't happen everywhere but it is very annoying and the first time I have had this problem on any audible book.

All in all, I don't know if I would recommend spending money on this book, especially with the poor recording quality.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Modern Mindfulness

  • How to Be More Relaxed, Focused, and Kind While Living in a Fast, Digital, Always-On World
  • By: Rohan Gunatillake
  • Narrated by: Rohan Gunatillake
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

In Modern Mindfulness, Rohan Gunatillake argues that to lead more mindful, calm, and happy lives, switching off is the last thing we need to do. Instead he gives listeners ideas, principles, and techniques to bring awareness, composure, and kindness to whatever they are doing. Filled with over 60 practical exercises, the author's mobile mindfulness approach gives the benefits of meditation to even the busiest of lives.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For newbies

  • By Brittney on 08-02-17

Terrific Listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-17

Any additional comments?

I loved this audiobook and just ordered the paperback as well so that I can better capture the structure of his approach which is never easy in an audiobook without chapter headings. Listening to Rohan Gnatilake is a pleasure in and of itself. I could listen to him all day - which in fact I did on a long and stressful road trip.

Gnatilake's approach is different in that he doesn't believe that mindfulness practice needs to be limited to sitting meditation, to be expressly linked to a spiritual tradition, or only the purview of those with a lot of time or access to some exotic nature setting. He writes for those of us to live and work in the modern, high-demand, fast-paced, and technology-connected world. Gnatilake also strikes a balance in his approach to technology - suggesting ways of using it to support mindfulness without turning a blind eye to its dark and sometimes additive nature.

One of Gnatilake's stated goals is to make mindfulness practice attractive to those without an orientation to spiritual practices. He does this very well and, by not framing this within a spiritual tradition per se, makes the presentation of the information non-threatening to those who are uncomfortable moving outside of their own religious belief-system.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about mindfulness and its application in daily life.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How to Have a Good Day

  • Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life
  • By: Caroline Webb
  • Narrated by: Caroline Webb
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 300
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 263
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 256

In How to Have a Good Day, economist and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb shows listeners how to use recent findings from behavioral economics, psychology, and neuroscience to transform their approaches to everyday working life. Advances in these behavioral sciences are giving us ever better understanding of how our brains work, why we make the choices we do, and what it takes for us to be at our best.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who Doesn't Want to Have a Good Day?

  • By Ariel on 02-04-16

Want a Better Day and a Better Life - Start Here!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-03-17

Any additional comments?

This is the best written and most useful book I have found in years. I have listened to the audio version twice, have it in Kindle, and have bought two copies of the hardback. I read widely and deeply in the personal development literature - both popular and academic, and I have not found another author who has taken the complex findings in the areas of neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics and made them practically useful for the person who aspires to live life well. I have read many of the source books/studies which Caroline writes about and find that she has a gift for making an exciting, but complex subject, human intelligible. The Audible version of the book is very well done and for me as an American, I particularly enjoy hearing Caroline's British accent and superb delivery. It is really quite good. Not only am I using the insights in this book personally, I am using using them as the basis for workshops and seminars (with attribution of course!). If you want to have a better day and a better life, I recommend you invest in and do a "deep dive" into this book.

  • Big Magic

  • Creative Living Beyond Fear
  • By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,091
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,235
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,151

Readers and listeners of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Biggest Inspiration In a Long Time

  • By Gillian on 09-23-15

eat...pray...love > Create - Sanely!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-04-15

If you could sum up Big Magic in three words, what would they be?

Inspiring. Pragmatic. Interesting. Liz Gilbert is a master story teller and she communicates her very different views on creative practice through stories of her own life experiences and those of others. In this book Liz offers straight forward advice about doing the work, following the light, being open to ideas and interests and, perhaps most wisely avoiding the drama.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love the story of a women in her 90's who decided in her early 80's that she was interested in some historical topic. The lady invested a decade in study which included travel, research, exhibitions -- real study and engagement. The lady is now an acknowledged expert and people come to her for advice. This is totally inspiring to me.

Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Gilbert – was your favorite?

I love Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love which I had on CD and played repeatedly. Hearing her narrate this book was like once again setting down with a friend. I love her writing and her reading.

Any additional comments?

If you are "a creative" or just want to live a more creative life, I would recommend this book. I would also recommend this book to anyone who is or who aspires to write professionally. There is just a lot of solid, practical advice.

  • The Icarus Deception

  • How High Will You Fly?
  • By: Seth Godin
  • Narrated by: Seth Godin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,259
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,100
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,097

In his bravest and most challenging book yet, Seth Godin shows how we can thrive in an economy that rewards art, not compliance. He explains why true innovators focus on trust, remarkability, leadership, and stories that spread. And he makes a passionate argument for why you should be treating your work as art. Art is not a gene or a specific talent. It's an attitude, available to anyone who has a vision that others don't, and the guts to do something about it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Needed Perspective for the New Connected Economy

  • By Kim on 06-06-13

A Disturbing Book - and That Isn't All Bad

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-18-15

What did you love best about The Icarus Deception?

The Icarus Deception is an intellectual roller coaster, especially when listening to it, not reading it. There were perspectives that I so totally agreed with that the words that could have been my own and there were those which were absolutely counter to my world view. This is both a troubling and an inspiring book - and I suspect that is Seth Godin's intent.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Icarus Deception?

What three words best describe Seth Godin’s voice?

This is a long, long, audio book and I had sometimes to just take a break from Godin's intense, in-your-face, style. This may be one of those books that are easier to read, when the voice in your head is your own.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

There are several key ideas that I have taken from this book. First is the idea of resistance which is built upon Steven Pressfield's War of Art. So many times I feel that reluctance to get past the busy work of emails, voice-mails, meetings and chit chat to sit down and engage in substantive work that means something. Godin captures this dynamic so well. In like vein is Godin's idea of "shipping." This is placing our work product, our art, out into the world. Ship. Go. I hear his voice in my head and that is good. Finally, I appreciated the treatise on not being held captive to people's opinion and response to newly shipped "art" in the world. On the flip side, I think that Godin sets up a false dichotomy between the "industrialist" and the "artist." I personally think a world where everyone was an iconoclast would be just as dysfunctional as a world where everyone focused solely on the bottom line, quality standards, compliance, conformity, evolutionary development etc. In some places Godin seems to suggest that a person is either an industrialist drone or an artist. There is a lot of discussion about "the Industrialist"which sounds more like a political treatise than a motivational or intellectual one. In other places he suggests that both personas can coexist within us and the challenge is to be an artist and ship our work, work that is meaningful and connects.

Any additional comments?

All in all, if you are up for some serious intellectual engagement, listen to this book. If you want fluff, look elsewhere. Listening to and understanding this book takes effort.

  • Playing Big

  • Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message
  • By: Tara Mohr
  • Narrated by: Tara Mohr
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 410
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 360
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 358

A groundbreaking women's leadership expert and popular conference speaker gives women the practical skills to voice and implement the changes they want to see - in themselves and in the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Life-altering in all the good ways

  • By Natasha on 06-16-15

Worth a Second Listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-10-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Playing Big to be better than the print version?

The audio book is so good, that I bought the Kindle book so I could reread, reconsider, and reflect on those points that were most relevant to me. This is a book that I will come back to as a reminder to the call to a fuller, more rewarding life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Playing Big?

There are two "voices" that the author introduces in this book - the Inner Critic and the Inner Mentor. I know that critic well, but that older, wiser inner voice is a whisper. Mohr offers a visualization exercise (which can also be found on her website) that helped me envision this persona of me 20 years into the future. Powerful and inspiring.

Have you listened to any of Tara Mohr’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first Tara Mohr book, however, I had heard interviewed on Todd Henry's podcast, The Accidental Creative, and that is what led me to buy the audiobook.

Any additional comments?

This book is relevant to any woman who regardless of age and circumstance. I am 65, twice retired, working full time for a non-profit, and am considering how to contribute as an elder.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful