Your Way There (To Being Fully Alive): Concepts and Tools for Mindful Transformation

Gretta Keene

Publisher: Wise Ink Pages: 233 Price: (hardcover) $28.95 ISBN: 9781634895057 Reviewed: January, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

From her clinical practice and personal life as a daughter, wife, and mother, psychotherapist Gretta Keene provides valuable tools and an instruction manual to construct an authentic, fulfilling life.

Keene uses several profound questions to help the reader, as she’s helped herself and her patients, find reasons for and ways out of devastating circumstances: “How do we connect with our inner experience?… With whom do we feel those strong emotional connections we call love? What is it about those connections that leaves us feeling fully alive—or not so much?”

She skillfully explains how we were all shaped by our earliest caretakers and that those “Judging” or “Nurturing Parents” live in us still. She presents the “Full Spectrum”: a pie chart of all the human emotions that, when seen in its entirety by a “watching, wise Whole Self… in the center of the circle,” allows for negative feelings to be acknowledged and healed by more positive feelings. With this, we can quiet the scold and nurture ourselves toward a happier place. The goal is to live life “As-Is” rather than as “Should-Be.”

Other tools Keene offers are the “Inner” and “Outer Camera”; the “Speaker-Listener” and “Yes…And…” modes of communication; and the Pause. She also encourages the use of traditional Buddhist practices such as compassion and meditation.

Keene creatively and concisely presents her concepts and tools with the help of her husband’s whimsical watercolor-and-ink illustrations. Callouts in playful calligraphy reinforce the salient points. A 38-page toolbox at the back of the book summarizes each chapter’s information succinctly.

The author relates her clients’ experiences with respect and tells her own stories of love, loss and dealing with serious illness gently and candidly. Anyone hoping for a gratifying life of less turmoil and more resilience will find a firm, kind guide here. Her book is richer and more original than much of the standard literature on self-actualization currently available.

Author's Current Residence
Stillwater, New York
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