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Emotional Chaos to Clarity: How to Live More Skillfully, Make Better Decisions, and Find Purpose in Life

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This inspiring and prescriptive book leads us from the emotional chaos of the reactive mind to the clarity of the responsive mind

As Founder of the Life Balance Institute, Phillip Moffitt has observed that most people lack clarity about their life's direction and the ability to cope with its inevitable challenges. Now, in Emotional Chaos to Clarity, he provides the antidote by showing us the path of skillful living. Grounded in Western psychology and Buddhist philosophy, each ...

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Emotional Chaos to Clarity: Move from the Chaos of the Reactive Mind to the Clarity of the Responsive Mind

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Overview

This inspiring and prescriptive book leads us from the emotional chaos of the reactive mind to the clarity of the responsive mind

As Founder of the Life Balance Institute, Phillip Moffitt has observed that most people lack clarity about their life's direction and the ability to cope with its inevitable challenges. Now, in Emotional Chaos to Clarity, he provides the antidote by showing us the path of skillful living. Grounded in Western psychology and Buddhist philosophy, each chapter introduces a mind state that prevents us from living skillfully, narrates stories from Moffitt's hundreds of students and clients, and provides step-by-step exercises for readers to find clarity in their own lives. Among the many benefits of skillful living are being able to gain wisdom from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences and having an inner life which can flourish, even if our outer life is filled with difficulty.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At age 40, Moffitt, owner and editor-in-chief of Esquire, left to “explore the inner life.” After drifting with no clear direction, he moved from New York to California, went on meditation retreats, underwent Jungian analysis, and founded the Life Balance Institute. Moffitt summarizes the philosophy underlying his work in this guidebook for navigating through confusion, disappointment, and tough decision making. Part one, “Practices That Empower You to Achieve Clarity,” helps the reader connect with what matters most. The second section, “Developing Skillful Behaviors,” focuses on goals that enable one to confront life more effectively and authentically. The third part, “Removing the Sources of Chaos,” examines why people behave unskillfully and cause suffering for themselves and others. Each chapter, dealing with issues such as developing loving-kindness and recognizing personal boundaries, is followed by a self-assessment exercise, such as the Compassion Practice meditation with a repetition of phrases: “I can feel your suffering. May your suffering cease.” Though rife with buzzwords like “mindfulness” and “authenticity,” and the less elegant “imaginative possible,” the book still delivers valuable tools for psychological self-development and a more harmonious relationship with life. Agent: Stephanie Tade, Stephanie Tade Agency. (May 10)
Library Journal
Moffitt (former editor in chief, Esquire; founder, Life Balance Inst.) describes emotional chaos as a reaction to negative life situations rather than an honest and clear response. He shows how a proactive response, using the skills of mindfulness and intention, can transform life's challenges into opportunities for growth. Through Moffitt's explanations, exercises, and assessments, readers can cultivate the practices of "skillful living," e.g., learning to let go of expectations, ending the cycle of self-violence, and living life with gratitude. VERDICT Moffitt includes case studies and psychological insights geared toward general readers. A helpful book for those who need a clear focus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594630927
  • Publisher: Hudson Street Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Former Esquire magazine CEO and editor in chief, Phillip Moffitt left his successful publishing career at the age of forty to embark on a path that led him to become a Buddhist meditation teacher and found the Life Balance Institute, where he trains executives and individuals in skillful living. He is co-guiding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Northern California and the author of Dancing with Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in Everyday Life.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

A Note on the Cover xi

Introduction: Emotional Chaos to Clarity xiii

Part I Practices That Empower You to Achieve Clarity

Chapter 1 Beginning Your Journey to Clarity 3

Chapter 2 Getting to Know the Real You 15

Chapter 3 Living an Intentional Life 33

Chapter 4 Starting Over 43

Chapter 5 Letting Go of Expectations 57

Chapter 6 Balancing Priorities 67

Part II Developing Skillful Behaviors

Chapter 7 Starting Your Day with Clarity 83

Chapter 8 Knowing What's Really Happening 93

Chapter 9 Making Skillful Decisions 104

Chapter 10 Cultivating the Qualities of Loving-Kindness and Compassion 118

Chapter 11 Living into Life through Gratitude 130

Chapter 12 Overcoming Attachments through Generosity 143

Chapter 13 Doing the Right Thing 155

Chapter 14 Bringing Mindfulness to Making Major Life Changes 165

Part III Removing the Sources of Chaos

Chapter 15 Keeping Boundaries 179

Chapter 16 Ending the Cycle of Self-Violence 191

Chapter 17 Practicing Self-Restraint 202

Chapter 18 Overcoming Ordinary Compulsiveness 213

Chapter 19 Living Skillfully with the Difficult 227

Chapter 20 Practicing Forgiveness and Reconciliation 247

Epilogue: What Next? 262

Online Resources 269

Index 271

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