In her new masterpiece, the author of the bestselling phenomenon Quiet reveals the power of a bittersweet outlook on life, and why we’ve been so blind to its value.
With Quiet, Susan Cain urged our society to cultivate space for the undervalued, indispensable introverts among us, thereby revealing an untapped power hidden in plain sight. Now she employs the same mix of research, storytelling, and memoir to explore why we experience sorrow and longing, and the surprising lessons these states of mind teach us about creativity, compassion, leadership, spirituality, mortality, and love.
Bittersweetness is a tendency to states of longing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy when beholding beauty. It recognizes that light and dark, birth and death—bitter and sweet—are forever paired. A song in a minor key, an elegiac poem, or even a touching television commercial all can bring us to this sublime, even holy, state of mind—and, ultimately, to greater kinship with our fellow humans.
But bittersweetness is not, as we tend to think, just a momentary feeling or event. It’s also a way of being, a storied heritage. Our artistic and spiritual traditions—amplified by recent scientific and management research—teach us its power.
Cain shows how a bittersweet state of mind is the quiet force that helps us transcend our personal and collective pain. If we don’t acknowledge our own sorrows and longings, she says, we can end up inflicting them on others via abuse, domination, or neglect. But if we realize that all humans know—or will know—loss and suffering, we can turn toward each other. And we can learn to transform our own pain into creativity, transcendence, and connection.
At a time of profound discord and personal anxiety, Bittersweet brings us together in deep and unexpected ways.
“Stressed-out readers will find her advice a salve in an overly hurried and critical world.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Jessie Asya Kanzer is like a Taoist Anne Lamott, and she’s written a practical and actionable guide.” —Joel Fotinos, author of The Prosperity Principles
Here are 47 inspirational pieces that are smart, hip, accessible, and rich with insight; Jessie Asya Kanzer’s bite-sized stories of struggle, triumph, and contemplation provide a quick burst of mindfulness. Each chapter begins with a verse from the Tao, followed by sharp observations and anecdotes from her own life that give the teachings of Lao Tzu applicability to contemporary life. And each chapter concludes with a “Do Your Tao” section that offers an actionable step, leaving the reader with a sense of grounding and fluidity.
Chapters include: “Success Sucks (Sometimes),” “F*ck This, I’m Water,” “I Love You, I Not Love You,” “The Tao of Babushka,” and “Mystics Wear Leggings”.
How can you find true peace of mind and contentment, even when the going gets tough? This portable pick-me-up will show you how—all in just five good minutes.
In difficult or stressful times, peace of mind can be hard to come by. That’s why you need a quick antidote to help you find calm and serenity—no matter what the world throws your way. Using the proven-effective mindfulness practices in this use-anywhere guide, you’ll learn how to slow down, relax, and appreciate what’s good in your life—all in just moments a day.
In Five Good Minutes of Mindfulness, Dr. Jeffrey Brantley—founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke Integrative Medicine—shows us that true serenity and happiness are within our reach, even when we feel like all is lost. Using the quick and easy mindfulness practices in this guide, you’ll find tons of ways to take stock of what matters to you, stay present in the moment, and soothe stress before it takes over. Whether you’re at home, at work, or simply at your wit’s end, five good minutes can be found in actions as simple as stretching your body, savoring a delicious meal with your loved ones, or jotting down your thoughts in a gratitude journal.
If you’re ready to harness the amazing benefits of mindfulness in just minutes a day, this little guide offers small mindful practices for finding your own joy amidst the chaos of our modern world. Isn’t it time you took five good minutes?
Madeleine Dore has long felt a pressure to be productive. In the pursuit of getting things done, she tried every way to optimize her day, only to keep falling short and feeling behind. She turned to interviewing hundreds of creative thinkers and experts to find the secret to productivity. What she discovered instead was far more enriching: There is more to value in each day than what we did or didn’t do.
I Didn’t Do the Thing Today is a reprieve from our doing obsession. Designed as a companion for the days that go off track, the book’s chapters explore the various ways we encounter productivity guilt–including comparison to others, striving for perfection, and our great expectations–to point to how a day doesn’t have to be optimized, but simply occupied. When we take away judgment from how moments unfold, we can find our way out of the productivity spiral and step fully into our lives.
For anyone who has struggled with worrying about wasted time or felt caught in the busyness trap or stifled by indecision, I Didn’t Do the Thing Today shares how to take productivity off its pedestal and find more connection, creativity, and curiosity in its place.
If you or someone you love suffers from excessive worry, anxiety, panic, OCD, or phobias, you know how crippling it can be. Of course, worry can be an important asset when it forces our attention on problem-solving. But anxious worrying can cause us to unnecessarily focus on a threat, to retreat and avoid, and to seek reassurance and safety—which is no way to foster a life of growth and excitement.
In his fifth published book, Dr. Reid Wilson proposes a groundbreaking, paradoxical approach to overcoming anxiety, worry, OCD, panic, and phobias by moving away from comfort, confidence, and security and willingly moving toward uncertainty, distress and discomfort. Through the use of unconventional strategies, readers will learn how to confront anxiety head-on and step forward into the face of threat. Drawing on a range of sources—from firefighters and fitness instructors to Sir Isaac Newton and Muhammad Ali—Stopping the Noise in Your Head: The New Way to Overcome Anxiety and Worry demonstrates the importance of shifting our perspective and stepping toward our challenges in order to regain control of our lives.