A Unified Theory of Happiness: An East-Meets-West Approach to Fully Loving Your Life

Andrea F. Polard. Sounds True (Ingram, dist.), $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1604077889
In this comprehensive and well-written guide to a life of happiness, Polard, a clinical psychologist, proposes a blending of Western and Eastern philosophies by focusing on balancing "the two modes of consciousness:" Basic Mode, wherein one "actively relate[s] to the so-called objective world;" and Supreme Mode, wherein one "focus[es] on Being." After explaining the two modes, Polard provides a useful questionnaire to help readers determine which chapters would be most relevant to their unique circumstances. The rest of the book is divided into distinct discussions of the two modes, with chapters dedicated to aspects of each. Under the auspices of the Basic Mode, Polard discusses ambition, competence, connection, and confidence, and provides practical exercises, such as drafting a "personal competency chart" and even watching movies like Billy Elliot or Dead Poets Society. For the Supreme Mode, Polard discourses on receptivity, tranquility, reliance, and lightheartedness; for the latter she suggests being a little silly, even if it feels uncomfortable—sing in a karaoke contest, or play on the floor with the dogs. Though she introduces the modes separately, she maintains that a synthesis of the two is ideal, and negative experiences will always be a part of the equation. By balancing new-age spirituality with relevant research and useful tips, Polard's approach will appeal to a wide range of readers. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/28/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-60407-818-3
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