In this slim volume, author Julie Potiker has compiled a guidebook of strategies to promote mindfulness. With these practices, Potiker encourages readers to develop emotional resilience, methods of self-care, and a loving and compassionate approach to people and events that will empower the reader to meet the challenges she or he encounters in life.
Potiker is at her best when she describes particular methods, breaking them down into clear steps, coaching her readers through each approach. Potiker has organized the book so that each chapter highlights a particular set of practices, making it easy for readers to return to those they find most engaging, and allowing readers to choose where to begin their mindfulness practice. The book seems geared toward novices, and Potiker has included an excellent set of references for those who would like to take their study further.
Potiker makes unapologetic judgments about some of the behavior she describes in her anecdotes. Her writing style, especially in her choice of anecdotes, can be somewhat hyperbolic. The exception is when she is speaking about her own family: she portrays her parenting struggles, large and small, in the most sensitive and nuanced way.
Readers who would like a more in-depth study of mindfulness techniques and their long-term application will want to consult additional sources. However, for those looking for an easy-to-follow introduction to the teachings of mindfulness, Potiker offers a quick and clear volume whose lessons can be put to immediate use.
Deborah Miller received rabbinical ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter, where she serves as a hospice chaplain and teacher.