Fully Present Book Summary By Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston

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Fully Present is a must-have book for anyone interested in maximizing the power of mindfulness.

Written by two of today's top researchers, this comprehensive guide offers sound advice on how to use this powerful ancient practice in our modern world.

It provides an accessible exploration of both the science and art of meditation, giving readers actionable tips to start integrating mindfulness into their everyday life.

Through detailed instructions and wisdom from experienced teachers, the reader learns how to create rich experiences through even mundane activities.

Get your copy of Fully Present today!

Fully Present Book

Book Name: Fully Present (The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness)

Author(s): Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 21 Minutes

Categories: Mindfulness & Happiness

Author Bio

Fully Present is written by two renowned experts in the field of mindfulness: Susan L.

Smalley and Diana Winston.


Smalley is the founder and leader of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA and a professor of psychiatry, with her research centered around the benefits of mindfulness.

Meanwhile, Ms.

Winston is well-known for her teachings on mindfulness throughout the United States and Asia, as well as heading up the Mindfulness Education Department at UCLA.

Together, they bring their formidable knowledge to bear to create this book which focuses on the importance of living fully in each moment and embracing our experiences with self-compassion and presence.

How To Use Meditation To Relieve Stress And Anxiety In Your Everyday Life


In Fully Present, Susan Smalley and Diana Winston provide us with all the tips we need to begin mastering mindfulness for ourselves.

The most important tip is to just start – taking even a few minutes to practice yoga, meditate or even simply focus on your breathing can have a huge positive impact.

Additionally, they suggest recognizing that occasional pain doesn’t have to mean constant suffering and using the metaphor of a grape – observing it in its entirety and noticing how each one contains the same elements, but none look completely alike – as a way of understanding how life itself is an ever-changing experience.

They also recommend attending kids’ playgrounds as an opportunity to practise mindfulness – being aware of both yourself in your environment, while being mindful of your thoughts and emotions.

With these top tips, anyone can learn how to be more mindful in their everyday lives.

Experience The Power Of Mindful Eating To Reconnect With Mother Nature

Eating mindfully is one of the best ways to truly appreciate food.

It’s about focusing your attention on the present moment, rather than just shoveling food in your mouth.

With Natures Nutrition‘s Fully Present book, you’ll learn how to practice mindful eating, even with something as simple as a single grape.

Take a grape and make yourself comfortable.

Sit down and close your eyes.

Picture where that grape came from – its journey from seed, sprout, vine and finally mature fruit boxed in bunches before arriving at the supermarket!

Then notice the details of your single grape- its color, texture and light reflection.

Once you’ve pondered the journey of your grapes and beheld it with an impressed gaze, reflect on whether you really want to eat it or not.

If so, take a bite of it – chew slowly and savor each flavor note that makes an impression on your palate.

You might find that this is one of the most delicious grapes you’ve ever eaten!

Mindful eating helps attune us to both what we’re eating and why; it lets us truly appreciate our food for all the connections that made it possible for us to enjoy this very snack today!

Create An Environment Where Mindfulness Can Thrive For Lasting Change

Changing your habits can be tough, but it’s definitely not impossible.

That’s the message from economists Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, who point to a famous case study at Cedars Sinai Hospital in California to illustrate how incentives and consequences come into play when trying to establish good behaviors.

At Cedars Sinai, staff members were only washing their hands in nine percent of cases where hospital regulations demanded it.

Researchers realized that the problem was not just lack of knowledge about proper hand-washing protocol; the hospital administration had failed to give any motivation or consequence for rule-abiding or rule-breaking behavior.

When the hospital put up signs reminding staff of the importance of hand washing, increased their supply of hand sanitizer and offered rewards for those who followed regulations, medical staff quickly returned to following protocols – demonstrating that incentivizing change can be a useful tool when trying to form healthier habits.

The same principle applies when striving for long-term change with practices like mindfulness.

Setting small goals is often more achievable than expecting too much too soon – perhaps try a goal of meditating for five minutes each day – or create an emotionally supportive environment such as a room free from electronic distractions to start your journey towards mindful living.

And don’t forget all about feedback loops: compare how you feel after meditation versus skipping it changing your habits isn’t easy, but it is more manageable with some strategies like these!

How Mindful Breathing Can Help Calm You Down And Increase Your Concentration

Mindful Breathing

Focusing on your breathing is a great way to become more mindful and beat stress.

We’ve all been in situations where our stress levels seem to be soaring through the sky, so having a simple practice that helps you stay present can quickly defuse any situation.

When it starts to feel like every stressful thing around you is piling up, try taking a few quiet minutes to focus solely on your breathing.

Close your eyes, get comfortable, and concentrate on how each breath feels – from your stomach to chest and ribcage then finally noticing the air movement as it enters and leaves your nostrils.

By focusing on each breath one by one, rather than trying to multi-task or overthink things, you can relax yourself back into the present moment without being overwhelmed.

Mindful breathing allows us to take a “time-out” from a hectic day – bringing ourselves back into the moment – while also boosting our ability to concentrate.

It’s definitely something worth incorporating into your regular routine if you’re looking for an easy way to manage stress and remain focused!

How Mindfulness Can Make The Mundane Memorable

Meditation can help transform mundane moments into extraordinary experiences.

It helps you to really focus on the present and become more mindful of your surroundings, heightening your awareness and understanding of what’s going on in that moment.

One way to do this is through walking meditation.

This involves focusing on the physical sensations of your body such as your feet lifting off the ground and firmly returning to it one step at a time.

You can also explore different speeds in order to determine which speed helps you best concentrate on movements and staying within the present moment.

The body scan meditation technique is another great way to make an everyday moment more meaningful – it starts by finding a comfortable position and then scanning each part of your body in detail, noticing sensations without judgement or negative emotions clouding your thoughts.

By practicing mindfulness with these two meditations, those seemingly mundane moments can be remembered for their enlightening beauty that only meditation can bring.

Mindfulness: An Effective Way To Separate Pain And Suffering

Many of us mistakenly believe that because pain is unavoidable, so must its accompanying suffering necessarily be.

It’s not true though – while it’s true that pain can’t be avoided, there are different ways we can react to it and our response often leads to even more suffering.

Take Rachel for example.

She has chronic fatigue syndrome; an incredibly uncomfortable and painful condition.

Despite this, the way she responds to the situation makes all the difference in the world – when she first met the author, her reaction was judgemental and full of anger instead of acceptance.

This only made her suffer far beyond what was necessary.

Fortunately, mindfulness exercises like mindful breathing meditations can help us in relieving our unnecessary mental stress and physical tension by emptying our minds of any thoughts which lead us to make our unavoidable pains even worse than they are.

We often make pain worse than it is with our reactions—but through mindfulness, we become aware of this cycle and can learn how to soothe our suffering.

Learning To Deal With Negative Emotions Through Mindfulness Meditation

Negative Emotions

Mindfulness meditation can be a powerful tool to support health emotions.

It can help us recognise and understand our psychological states, and provide us with insights into how we react in difficult situations.

When faced with an emotion like anger or fear, mindfulness encourages us to try and identify the feeling by giving it a name.

We then learn to accept it, rather than letting it dictate our actions or feelings towards others.

Once accepted, we can move our focus onto the physical sensations associated with the emotion – like pain or tension in our body – with the aim of alleviating any symptoms.

Through this practice of acknowledging and exploring emotions we start to develop a healthier relationship and understanding of them over time.

By bringing mindful awareness to experiences involving negative emotions, we become better equipped to cope with them in better ways.

Mindfulness can help us accept any tough emotional states without acting on them in ways that cause further harm down the line.

Rediscovering Self-Worth Through Loving-Kindness: How To Cultivate Positive Feelings For Yourself And The World Around You

It’s no secret that many of today’s society members struggle with self-hatred and self-doubt, even when they are otherwise successful.

In fact, even the legendary Meryl Streep had to resort to loving-kindness meditation to get rid of the doubt that she experienced about her skills as an actress!

So what is loving-kindness? Well, it’s a form of meditation that draws upon Buddhist practices and works by connecting you with feelings of love towards yourself.

To achieve this, you should start by picturing someone you love deeply and then reflecting on the positive feelings associated with them.

Then use those feelings of love to radiate outwards towards your own self.

If this doesn’t seem to work (which often happens), you can try picturing yourself as a child which helps us instinctively show more compassion towards others.

Moreover, this practice isn’t just good for regaining a sense of one’s self worth; but it also helps in rediscovering positive feelings toward the world around us.

This is done by sending out positive thoughts to other people we care about including friends, strangers or even acquaintances whom we don’t especially like in everyday life.

With regular practice, any individual can make great strides in channeling positivity both into themselves and into the world around them!

Understanding The Different Types Of Mindfulness And How To Apply Them In Everyday Life


Learning how to use different meditation practices can help you develop different types of mindfulness.

The two basic types are focused mindfulness, which is all about concentrating on one particular thing, and open mindfulness, where you take in the sensory experiences around you.

For example, if trying to focus on your breathing in a noisy playground isn’t your thing, then you can practice open mindfulness instead and enjoy all the sights, smells and sounds without getting overwhelmed.

The key is to recognize when it’s time to switch between these techniques according to the situation.

If you have an important task that needs finishing then it’s probably best to use focused meditation as it encourages concentration.

If on the other hand creativity is what you’re after, then open mediation offers an avenue of exploration through sound or breath awareness.

No matter which type of meditative practice you choose though, be sure to start off gradually and steadily increase from there.

That way it will become a part of your regular routine more easily!

Wrap Up

The Fully Present book offers an excellent introduction to mindfulness, with all the benefits it can bring.

Through simple yet effective exercises that are easy to incorporate into your daily life and routine, you can learn how to focus on your breathing, savor every bite you eat and really pay attention to how you feel.

All of this leads to emotional balance, more self-worth and less suffering.

On top of that, mindfulness encourages you to cherish those moments of calm and pleasure amidst the chaos of life.

As a final summary, one helpful tip is to give yourself mindfulness cues.

As it’s often hard for us busy people to remember our commitment to mindful living, setting up reminders for ourselves through everyday objects can help us stick with it.

Whether it be a plate or a pen, having cues helps us keep mindful habits firmly entrenched in our routines.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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