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Publisher's Summary

Despite our best-laid plans, life can often be difficult, disappointing, and stressful. Consequently, when things don’t go right, we are often left in a state of emotional chaos, dealing with feelings like anger, anxiety, frustration, and doubt, which can cloud our perspective and negatively affect the way we live our lives. But in this inspiring book, Phillip Moffitt shows us that we need not be at the mercy of our emotions. By cultivating a responsive mind rather than a reactive one, we can achieve a state of emotional clarity that allows us to live skillfully and act with wisdom even in the face of obstacles or unhappiness.

Moffitt writes from a perspective that is grounded in both Western psychology and Buddhist philosophy. He leads us on a path that takes us from being caught in old, self-defeating habits of mind to a place of clarity where we can act from the wisdom of our intentions. Moffitt offers step-by-step exercises for abandoning unskillful behaviors and describes essential life skills that anyone can develop.

Some of the benefits of skillful living are:

  • Knowing and acting from our core values at all times
  • Gaining wisdom from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences
  • Having an inner life in which love can flourish, even if our outer life is filled with challenges
  • Learning to speak only what is true, useful, and timely, even during moments of anger or outrage
  • Freeing ourselves from the past
  • Being able to soothe ourselves when we feel disappointed or overwhelmed by life

Elegantly written with both precision and compassion, Emotional Chaos to Clarity is an indispensable guide for those wishing to move through life’s challenges with a calm, clear mind and a peaceful, loving heart.

©2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.; 2012 Phillip Moffitt

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You Are Not Your Emotions

A really excellent book that I return to often and like to listen to at bedtime. Positive, uplifting, and life affirming. Really helps sort out what is important in your world and thinking and what isn't you and needs to be let go of. Highly recommended as a life changing listen.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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'Dancing's' Practical Companion

I found Phillip Moffitt's 'Dancing with Life' exceptional, so I sprung for this audiobook, his second title. Where 'Dancing' is the theoretical framework, 'Chaos' is the practical application of this framework in a wide variety of contexts. Moffitt walks through different manners in which the reader can be deceived by their own ego, and various means in which the reader can learn and grow with a Buddhist-based mindset. Numerous critical thinking exercises and questionnaires for the reader are throughout, all of high quality.

Unlike 'Dancing', 'Chaos' talks very little about Buddhism proper. I found 'Chaos' to be engaging, sincere and helpful in my own journey of understanding myself and others. This book is worth a second read, and is easily worth the credit. My chicken-scratch notes below (tl;dr) for future reference.

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- Who are you? You are neither your emotions, nor your responsibilities nor your achievements. Your core values are who you are.
- Core values temper how you see and react to what you see.
- Goals are important, they are the summits to which we all climb. But core values are what ensure you enjoy every step, and are not disappointed if the summit is covered in fog.
- 'Just Start Over' attitude. Forgive the failures of yourself and others.
- The 'And' Method: 'I am upset, -and- I am going to [positive action]'
- Expectations are trapped in the past and future. Potential exists only in the now. Everyone has expectations; anyone who says they do not is most likely fooling themselves with their own hidden agendas. Find your own hidden agendas, and work to remove them.
- Staying mindful of your core values allow you to be proactively responsive, versus reactive
- Priorities: What are your top three internal? Top three external? Keep the list simple. Be honest with yourself, then prune the activities of your life accordingly. Do not allow for disconnects.
- Focus on actions and intentions, not results.
- Identify stories about yourself, and recognize they are just stories. Understand the difference between experience and interpreting your experience.
- Do not demand a different/better past.
- Focus on gratitude on what is working in your life. Understand that gratitude is not conditional on circumstance.
- Do not identify with being right or being wrong. This leads to agendas and martyrdom.
- Big changes should not be done on impulse. 'With increased awareness comes increased responsibility.' - Carl Jung
- 'You must have a self before you can go beyond yourself.'
- Time constraints, being busy and stress are forms of self-violence.
- Renounce self-righteousness. God is not whispering in your ear.
- Renounce measuring your life by success.
- Renounce being the star of your own movie.
- Moments of time are weightless. It is only delusion that gives them weight.
- Compulsions stem from unmet needs, that are independent of your core values. Meet compulsions with compassionate curiosity.
- Living with the difficult: understand that pain is a part of life, but it does not define you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • Santa Barbara, CA, United States
  • 06-18-12

Excellent Content

Would you listen to Emotional Chaos to Clarity again? Why?

Yes. The author understands human emotion and how emotions affect our lives. He outlines what is happening to you when you are out of emotional balance and what you can do to regain balance. Psychology is Western society's response to overwhelming or troubling emotions but it seeks to explore root causes of the discomfort which can be a long and laborious process. Sometimes, the root cause is just unknown or finding it does little to stop the emotional chaos. Moffit's approach follows the Buddhist tradition of being present with the emotion in the moment. Rather than fear the emotion or try to chase it away, Moffitt teaches one to be aware of it and make peace with it. Once one begins to becomes aware of what they are feeling through mindfulness, they are better able to tolerate the emotions and live more skillfully. Moffit does a good job of explaining this process and also how to reduce emotional chaos by making sure your intentions and your goals are aligned.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The book would have been better if it was read by Moffit himself. The narrator has a stereotypical narrator's voice. I would have much preferred to hear Moffit himself as the messages and stories are powerful but lose something being communicated through a third party who does not necessarily understand these things himself.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Emotional Chaos to Clarity?

Emotions are emotions, passing states of mind, but they are not you!

Any additional comments?

There is so much information it can be a bit hard to digest. I advise taking it slow, stopping the track frequently to think about what he is saying and how it applies to your life.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Exceptionally Good Book!

Phillip Moffitt is a man who wants to share his wisdom about life--and what he writes is very inspirational.

I have read his other book, and listened to talks he has given over the years, and he has provided enormous insight into how to live one's life with an approach that dignifies all living things. His Buddhist approach clearly underscores his philosophy for living, but at times, it is also possible to feel and detect the other great influence in his life--Jungian psychology.

This book is perhaps his best work so far. I simply do not know how to speak highly enough about it. He provides guidelines for making wise decisions in one's life that, if utilized, surely improve the quality of our lives--and our relationships with everything we encounter.

Although Fred Stella has done an excellent job at narrating this book, I am sad that Mr. Moffitt did not read it himself, since I have listened to so many of his talks that his voice is what I expected to hear. Otherwise, I can only say, I wish I could offer this 6 stars.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim Lee
  • OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, US
  • 10-29-12

This Book Was Right on Target for Me!

What made the experience of listening to Emotional Chaos to Clarity the most enjoyable?

This book defined may of the things that have been happening in my own life. It has help me put so many of them into prospective. Mofitt really seems to understand his subject and better yet offers guidance. This is one of those books I will listen too over and over again.

What did you like best about this story?

It wasn't so much a story as principles and guidelines accompanied by creative solutions.

What about Fred Stella’s performance did you like?

I really enjoyed the timbre of his voice. It was easy to listen too and had a certain compelling command to it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I actually did listen to this book in one sitting. I plugged in on a business road trip and finished on the drive. But this is book that is best absorbed by listening to it over and over again, taking the time to listen to just passages more than once.

Any additional comments?

This is a great book for those searching. I have begun a search that I think is leading me down a path towards Buddhism and an enlighten path. Mofitt makes several references to the Buddha. That certainly wasn't the path I thought I was seeking but more and more I find it so. I think everyone should listen to what this man has to say.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Great Stuff!

Would you consider the audio edition of Emotional Chaos to Clarity to be better than the print version?

This book provides an excellent alternative to the more traditional 'self-help' manuscript. Moffit does an excellent job of explaining how and why we often interpret situations in manners that are detrimental, and explains how we may separate our identity from the chaos that often consumes our minds.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like to have more clarity and balance in their life, with or without actually making any outward changes.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A lodestar.

Great resource on a continuing basis. Hard won wisdom so conveniently available. I will refer toit for many years.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Case study journal

May resonate for others, but for me, I feel probably 2-3 hrs could have been shaved. Definitely will want to listen on 1.25. I struggled through the last 3-4 chapters, but did listen to chapter 2 again as recommended after completing. The "mindfulness" movement is, I feel, the next "green" movement or doing yoga for the sake of being able to say "I do yoga to". Unless you know why you do or want to, you'll wind up right where you started. Ahhhhh, which brings to "mind"; "wherever you go, there you are". Much better choice. Although if you are just beginning to stir, this could be a good start. Godspeed

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Title sounds ominous

this was an unexpected glimpse to meditation, and a Buda introduction. I am now intrested, where I wasn't before.

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  • JM
  • Sunnyvale, CA United States
  • 04-22-16

Awesome Wisdom and Practice

The tools provided in the practice section of this book will help you be more skillful to resolve life challenges and events.