Eric Maisel is a creativity coach and author of more than 30 books. He believes that we can enrich our lives through three simple spiritual practices: joy, mindfulness, and connection. We have lost joy in the rat race, mindfulness in multitasking, and connection in endless chatter on cell phones. He suggests: "Create your day as you might set your table, adding a bouquet of joy, a candle of mindfulness, and a stunning centerpiece of connections." This beautifully designed book contains 30 suggestions each for adding more of these three qualities to your daily life.
Joy is an attitude, says Maisel, a decision to side with life, and wonder is a doorway into this way of being. Friendship, play, and exploration are avenues leading to a joyous presence. So is mystery:
"Life's mysteries prompt many feelings.
Awe, surprise, even fear.
And, to the ready heart, profound joy.
"Grow joyful by opening to mystery.
"Get ready for the night. When it's dark outside, find a spot where you can see the sky. There are no questions to pose or answers to receive. Just let the mystery course through you like a wave."
Maisel identifies silence, breath awareness, focused attention, a meditative attitude, detachment, keen observation, and structured practice as pathways to mindfulness. In the last section of the book, the author suggests 30 practices that can foster new connections to other people, nature, community, work, family, and friends. Here is one of them:
"Separation is an idea.
Alienation is a concept.
Connection is an option.
"Grow connected through right thinking.
"Get a grip on your mind. Decide that you would rather make connections than live a lonely, isolate life. Argue well and convince yourself."