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Thursday
Dec182014

New Life Stories - Journeys of Recovery in a Mindful Community

By Hilary H. Carter -  Review by Colin Whitby

I believe this book works on a number of levels, each one will find a home in you for different reasons. Perhaps you found this review through searching the internet for answers to a question, perhaps you read reviews before purchasing books to see what others have to say and maybe you have an unresolved issue that seems to be stuck with seemingly no way out.

There’s another level that Hilary is working with too, and that is following her inner knowing and writing from the heart about something that has quite clearly had a big impact on her.

As you read the stories you will soon become aware of the desperate situations that the people she met at the New Life Foundation in Thailand have been through, their descriptions are frank and open and leave nothing to the imagination.

So often our society discards people with problems, especially when they do not seem to be able to pick themselves up out of them (we judge so readily – they aught to…)

So it is heart-warming to know that out there somewhere is a place where people can go to learn they are loved and that there are ways of helping and being helped that can bring them out of their current situations. 

Rather than describe the situations themselves I’d like to skip to the end of some of the stories to find the beautiful nugget of hope, the flowering of something new, encouraged and nurtured by this unique environment.

‘There’s a lot going on in my life at the moment, lots of difficult and challenging stuff. All that I have learned about mindfulness is helping me through it though. I try to remain present. Sitting with fear and anger instead of letting it spin out of control. I’m rolling with the punches with a slight Buddha smile. I still see 11:11 and every time I see it I smile because I know it is a wink from God’.

‘The biggest thing, the most important thing is what goes on inside us, not what’s going on outside. I have the power to change what goes on inside me. Looking at emotions in meditation and accepting them actually takes the power out of them. That’s the thing I’m learning here’.

‘I have learned so much about myself here at New Life. The main thing I have learned is that we are all looking for love but all we need to do is to break down the barriers that we build against it. The love is already there. I am now open to love and I’m not going to deny myself love. Despite the pain of the loss that I have experienced, I know that my blocks have been released so now I can love again’.

‘Alcohol had power over me. I realize that. I haven’t touched anything for 100 days, the longest I have ever done. I have reached this point and it’s a watershed moment. I can’t be complacent about it though. Complacency is my biggest obstacle, my biggest enemy. I need to stop myself going out and having a drink to celebrate the fact that I haven’t drunk for so long…’

At the end of the book are some simple exercises that describe Mindfullness and some techniques for clearing the mind which I found demystified meditation so that it is easy to understand.

The great thing is that Hilary is offering the profits from this book to the New Life Foundation to help them continue this wonderful work, so let’s all make this a best seller, order your copy today.

With Love,

Colin.