The Mindful Addict

Let me be direct.  You have to read this book.

If you have any inclination at all toward learning how to be more mindful or to change your life through any sort of meditative practice, you must read this book.

The Mindful Addict:  A Memoir of the Awakening of a Spirit.

Good news:  You don’t have to be an addict to enjoy the book.

There is a man named Tom who, more than 40 years ago, lived a dream-like existence.  He lived and surfed in 1960s Hawaii when free love and drugs flowed in equal abundance.

Tom excelled at being a surfer and a drug user, so much so that his world eventually became controlled by drugs and he crossed that invisible line many of us know so well.  The line between user and addict.

Many of you know that I too am a person in recovery; you may also know that while I never want to forget the person I was and the things I did when active in my addiction, my preference is to focus on recovery and the present moment.

Tom and I have that in common.  He wrote The Mindful Addict:  A Memoir of the Awakening of a Spirit as a means of sharing his journey.  Tom’s gift helps me keep this thought uppermost in mind (taken from his preface), “We just have to be present and constantly give of ourselves as we walk through our lives.  That’s how we truly discover that our serenity is only and always a breath away.”

I read his book months ago, although I can’t recall how I came across the title.  I’m a book pursuer of the hopeless variety (just as Tom says he is an addict of the hopeless variety) so there is no telling how the book came to me.

I’m pretty sure it was a spiritual gift.

I was intrigued the moment I began to read.  There are many differences in Tom’s path and mine (in terms of how we reached the point of sobriety) but from the beginning, he hooked me.

While it’s true that Tom writes beautifully from breath-taking locales (which makes my writer knees grow weak with appreciation), he also speaks in the language that is so familiar to another recovering person.  We call it the language of the heart, one drunk or addict to another.

But that’s not why I finished reading the book.  It’s also not why I’m recommending the book to all my non-recovering friends.

The reason I ask you to head to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or even Target is because, “I define sanity as living in a place of love, living in the present moment.”

Those are Tom’s words and could be written for any one of us.

Living in the present moment is the basis of B Here Today.

Being present to each moment, each mindful moment, is a spiritual practice that Tom chronicles beautifully.

One message is clear:  it makes no difference your age, race or any of your social preferences, if you desire a mindful way of life, it is yours for the taking.

To my way of thinking, is there a better gift we can give ourselves?

Which takes me back to the spiritual gift of The Mindful Addict coming to me.

Some time after I finished the book, a work colleague asked our staff to keep an eye out for any recovery-related books for possible inclusion in an upcoming podcast series.  I immediately zipped off an email recommending The Mindful Addict.

Our folks contacted the publisher, who located Tom, and I was asked to work with him in shaping the podcast.  We’ve begun a Facebook friendship and my life is enriched.

I wish the same for you.  Buy one for yourself and for your mindful friends;  maybe even your not-so-mindful friends.  And please let me know what you think.  I’ll pass the word on to Tom.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Beth,

    Sounds interesting – will add it to my list. His quotes are beautiful, so I’m curious to read more.

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