Dancing with Elephants: Mindfulness Training For Those Living With Dementia, Chronic Illness or an Aging Brain

Dancing with Elephants: Mindfulness Training For Those Living With Dementia, Chronic Illness or an Aging Brain

by Jarem Sawatsky


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Dancing with Elephants: Mindfulness Training For Those Living With Dementia, Chronic Illness or an Aging Brain by Jarem Sawatsky


Praise for Dancing with Elephants:

"If you need some encouragement in living with joy, read this book. It will change your perspective on everything." —Lana Philips

"Sawatsky beautifully models a way to dance in the gale of full catastrophe, to celebrate life, to laugh with it and at himself." —Jon Kabat-Zinn, national bestselling author of Full Catastrophe Living

"...beautiful and inspiring book...full of humor and wisdom about the pain of loss in our life, by someone living with a debilitating disease." —Jean Vanier, national bestselling author of Becoming Human

Want to enjoy the life you are living, even as you face major life challenges?

Is your mind succumbing to age? Is your body failing you? Can you ever find joy, peace, or fulfillment in these challenging conditions? The answer is a resounding YES.

Author Jarem Sawatsky saw the countless guides out there for those caring for the ill and healing the curable, but when he was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease he found there was nothing for those living with incurable illness. He quit his job as a professor and devoted his life to exploring the possibilities of living with chronic conditions. Now he’s bringing his findings and insights to you in this empowering mindfulness guide.

In Dancing With Elephants you’ll discover:

  • Simple practices to bring healing to your heart and life to your new outlook
  • Humorous (and occasionally heart-wrenching) stories of Sawatsky’s own journey of self-discovery and surprising family caregiving
  • Multiple ways to build confidence in yourself, even when you’ve been shaken to the core
  • A new perspective to transform your pain and renew your spirit
  • Practical tools to face your seemingly inescapable fears, and much, much more!

Based on the popular blog of the same name, Dancing With Elephants includes insightful interviews with compassion experts Jon Kabat-Zinn, Lucy Kalanithi, and Patch Adams. Sawatsky’s landmark book provides support that only a fellow traveler down this road can offer.

If you like touching stories, mindful wisdom, and a touch of irreverent humor, then you’ll love Sawatsky’s life-changing book.

Buy Dancing With Elephants today to discover a new way to live with joy!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780995324206
Publisher: Manitoba Limited
Publication date: 03/06/2017
Series: How to Die Smiling Series , #1
Pages: 222
Sales rank: 102,684
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

Jarem Sawatsky, PhD, is internationally known for his work as a peacebuilder, writer, and teacher working to bring an engaged mindfulness for those interested in wellness, resilience and transformation. He is Professor Emeritus of Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies at Canadian Mennonite University and author of numerous books and articles on healing justice, peacebuilding, and restorative justice. . Since his diagnosis with a terminal disease, he has been blogging at Dancing with Elephants, exploring how peacebuilding and mindfulness insights might help those facing chronic illness, dementia and aging.

His influences include writers such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Paul Kalanithi, Anne Lamot, Atul Gawande, John Paul Lederach, Jean Vanier and Lisa Genova and singers like Leonard Cohen, Passenger, Norah Jones, and Adele.

He can be contacted in the following ways:
You can download a free resources of his at http://www.jaremsawatsky.com

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - Facing Elephants

Part I Reverence for Life

Chapter 2 - Embracing the Hard Things

Chapter 3 - Replacing Fear with Love

Chapter 4 - Letting Go

Chapter 5 - Celebrating Everything

Chapter 6 - Living the Life You’ve Got with Jon Kabat-Zinn

Part II True Happiness

Chapter 7 - Living Beauty Awake

Chapter 8 - Embracing Dustness

Chapter 9 - Walking the Urban Pilgrimage

Chapter 10 - Loving a Puppy

Chapter 11 - Diving into an Ocean of Gratitude with Patch Adams

Part III True Love

Chapter 12 - Responding to a Disease with a Circle

Chapter 13 - Dying and Mourning with Love

Chapter 14 - Loving Our Ancestors

Chapter 15 - Playing with Children

Chapter 16 - Being Disarmed by Joy with Lucy Kalanithi

Part IV Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Chapter 17 - Refusing to Battle My Disease

Chapter 18 - Naming Your Own Way

Chapter 19 - Making Friends with Darkness

Chapter 20 - Remembering Forgetting Is OK

Chapter 21 - Breathing Anger

Chapter 22 - Practicing Awe During Winter’s Creep with John Paul Lederach

Part V Nourishment and Healing

Chapter 23 - Embracing Weakness

Chapter 24 - Falling Mindfully

Chapter 25 - Valuing Your Life

Chapter 26 - Eating like a Buddha

Chapter 27 - Developing a Family Health Plan.

Chapter 28 - Mandela Gardening

Chapter 29 - Practicing Self-Compassion with Toni Bernhard

Chapter 30 - Last Words

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Dancing with Elephants: Mindfulness Training For Those Living With Dementia, Chronic Illness or an Aging Brain 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charming and very positive!
Docbobm More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC copy of this book. What follows is an honest review. The author has Huntington's disease. As the disease progresses in a human body the person loses control over their movements. Some have likened the lack of control to that of an elephant dancing, hence we have the name of the book. When faced with a disease like Huntington's of which there is no cure, one has to decide what they will do with their life and what remains. Many will try to fight it, some, like the author will embrace it. This does not mean they will not hold on to every bit of life they can, but that they will live a life where there will not be a lot of drama. Decisions will be made before they need to be, arrangements made that need to be done. That is the thrust of this book. One needs to get support not just for the person, but to their love ones as well. In this book, the author suggests making circles of people from all walks of life, that can treat each part of you, not just the medical ones the doctors can. It is a well written book. I would recommend it to any going through a terminal illness, of their own or a loved one. I also found many inspirational moments in the book as well. While I have cancer, it is a slow moving one so I do not have the same trauma that many do. Still I think many just going through life could gain from this as well.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite Dancing with Elephants: Mindfulness Training For Those Living With Dementia, Chronic Illness or an Aging Brain (How to Die Smiling Book 1) by Jarem Sawatsky is a non-fiction grief/hardship book. This is a book that would appeal most to an adult audience of those who suffer from memory disorders, caregivers of those with mental disorders, and people who are close to an age where they might begin to experience memory problems. This book is designed to teach the reader how to live their life to the fullest, regardless of their mental/memory problems. Jarem Sawatsky teaches about how to continue living life even when diagnosed with an incurable illness through healing practices, real life stories, perspective changes, and practical tools. Dancing with Elephants by Jarem Sawatsky pulled me in as soon as I saw the cover; not only was the cover image of the two elephants beautiful, but it also had a sub title that explained the whole purpose of the book in an easy to understand and concise manner. My grandfather has dementia and this is the first time I have come across a book that focused on living with it and living well, instead of just coping techniques. As a psychology student, I found the idea of changing one's perspective towards the condition to be an interesting idea that I would love to explore in the future. I really liked the way that the author avoided the use of medical jargon and instead wrote the book in a manner that anyone could understand.