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Make Peace with Your Mind

The voice of the Inner Critic is pervasive. It is perhaps the number one source of unhappiness and suffering in the modern world. The good news is you can do something about this tyrant who threatens to torment you on every step of your life journey. With the concrete and proven tools presented in You Are Not Your Fault, you can develop the awareness and compassion necessary to take control of your inner judge and create a more peaceful, joyful existence. At its worst, the Inner Critic urges us to buy into a twisted version of reality, one in which we are never good enough, we aren't worthy, and we can never atone for our mistakes or forgive those of others. It won't let you forget that you messed upwhether you made a wrong turn, bet on a losing stock, or chose the crazy person to date. Unable to forgive ourselves, we also find ourselves lacking the ability to truly forgive others. Sometimes the Critic takes on a friendlier tone, yet this can prove just as insidious. The tyrant disguises itself as a helpful coach who says things like you really should try harder and you can do better. But these messages undermine our wellbeing and self-esteem. The Critic also drives the habit of comparing, reminding us there is always someone smarter, younger, thinner, kinder, wealthier, more talented and more successful out there. What gives the Inner Critic its power is the way it tunes into our inner world, attacking who we are at our essence. Driven by its intimate knowledge of our weaknesses and insecurities, we end up in a bitter, panicked, and endless quest to get more and be moreof anything and everything: grander houses, higher salaries, more cars, bigger 401Ks, and more and more stuff. The Critic tells us to lose weight, get fit, be prettier, have a better relationship, raise more perfect children, and make more of an impact on the world. Beaten down into depression or struggling to find relief from the constant turmoil of anxiety and insomnia this voice creates, we end up suffering from eating disorders, workaholism, anger management problems, addiction, and engaging in many other forms of self-harm. Thankfully, you don't have to let this tyrant rule your inner world. You can make a conscious choice to live differently. With the simple gifts of mindfulness and compassion, and by practicing the behaviors presented in You Are Not Your Fault, you can discover a whole new way of being in the world. You can let go of harsh judgments of self and others. You can open your eyes to the truth that you are already more than enough. You can come to rest in a peaceful place of love, understanding and forgiveness. You Are Not Your Fault draws upon Mark Coleman's deep well of personal and professional experience, synthesizing the wisdom he have gained in a way that everyday people can relate to on a heart level. For the past 15 years, he have traveled the world teaching mindfulness and compassion, leading meditation retreats, and coaching executives in overcoming this harmful internal voice. As the founder of The Mindfulness Institute, he have served as a consultant and executive coach at Fortune 500 companies across North America and Europe, including Facebook, Seagate, US Bank, the Gap, Comcast, Gucci, and Proctor and Gamble. He also works as a master trainer for the Search Inside Yourself mindfulness and emotional intelligence program, initially developed at Google and now being offered at multi-billion dollar corporations across the globe. People everywhere, from all walks of life, suffer as a result of the Inner Critic. No one is immune to its impact. Almost all of us have a sense that whatever we do, whatever we areit is simply not enough. Professors at Harvard don't think they are smart enough. Successful Wall Street traders can't stay sharp enough. Life-long palliative care nurses don't feel caring enough. Priests don't believe they are spiritual enough. Writers are convinced they're not eloquent enough. Professional cyclists fail to train hard enough. And this is a problemfor individuals as well as society as a wholebecause with not enough" as our mantra, there is no stopping, no firm ground on which to rest, no time in which to enjoy a natural state of contentment. The Inner Critic leads to restlessness, a constant itch, a never-ending search for more. It is a hunger that can't be satiated. When we listen to the voice of the Inner Critic with discernment and compassion, on the other hand, we create space for everything that is bigger than it. We understand that a happy life and successful relationshipswith ourselves as well as with othersshould be based on love, kindness, and forgiveness rather than negativity, faultfinding, and judgment. This doesn't necessarily mean that we can escape completely from our Inner Critic, but it does allow us to no longer be defined by what's lacking, what's not good enough." Whatever we become aware of through mindfulness, and approach from then on with compassion, can change. We can free ourselves from the true cause of our suffering, which is not our shortfalls" or mistakes," but rather our private judge who beats us up with its relentless insistence on perfection. You can approach this book as a roadmap, a guide to exploring the jungles and thickets of your psyche. We will discover what the Inner Critic is, how it manifests, where it comes from and why, as well as what strengthens and weakens it. You Are Not Your Fault is a practical manual revealing how to skillfully and effectively work with the internal tyrant so that it no longer causes the pain we've become so accustomed to bearing in our everyday lives. So, what is in You Are Not Your Fault, and why is the book so helpful? In order to take power back from the Inner Critic, you need two essential skills. They are like the wings of a bird, without which flight is impossible. These are: awareness and compassion. Awareness comes through the practice of mindfulness. Compassion comes through the practice of metta, or loving-kindness, and turning toward pain with caring attention. Mindfulness meditation gives you the awareness to see what is happening in your mind and body with focused clarity. It helps you realize that your disparaging mental voices are profound sources of suffering. Once you have seen this truth, then you can work to free yourself from the Inner Critic's reign. What you can discover through mindfulness mediation is far superior to any pill, philosophy or panacea. And it works much raging against the machine. The next groundbreaking shift comes by taking up the meditation practice known as metta, which means friendliness or unconditional care. Through this technique, you learn the radical act of turning toward myself with loving-kindness. So rarely do we treat ourselves with anywhere near the compassion and understanding that we do another person, even a stranger! This practice asks you to hold yourself with the same positive regard with which you would approach a dearly beloved friend or an innocent child, offering healing words and genuine wishes of happiness. As a way of being, it is wildly contrary to how we usually go about life in the modern world. The originator of these practices, the Buddha, was in essence one of the world's earliest neuroscientists. He looked intensively at the empirical data of his own mind, studying it with a concentrated lens refined by years of arduous meditation. Today, his discoverythat the mind can change and grow depending on what and how it pays attention to thingshas been confirmed by researchers studying neuroplasticity. Our brains are not computers running a fixed, unalterable program. On the contrary, they are dynamic and responsive, capable of shifting, allowing us to develop new, healthy habits that support our inner peace. You Are Not Your Fault will inspire readers of all ages, whether confronting crises in their life, dealing with depression or anxiety or addiction, struggling to find relief from the treadmill of always needing to be and do more, or simply looking to be more fully present in everyday life. In all these cases, people will find comfort in the book's pages. Like the perennial favorites Radical Acceptance and The Road Less Travelled, this wisdom book will appeal to a broad general audience by shedding light on fundamental insights into transforming our suffering so that we can better appreciate and enjoy the gift of our existence. In each chapter of You Are Not Your Fault, Mark Coleman offers easily digestible insights into what creates, drives, and disarms the Critic, as well as examples from real people's journeys to which every reader can relate. Chapters conclude with a simple meditation practice to put prescriptions into practice. Each chapter stands alone, opening a doorway to transformation. Taken as a whole, the text leads readers into another dimension of love and compassion for themselves and others. It enables us to tap into the strength, courage, and wisdom that all of us already possess within ourselves. It shows the way to discover new levels of inner freedom. It reveals how we can form a whole new relationship with life.
Product Details

About the Author

Mark Coleman is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, an executive coach, and the founder of the Mindfulness Institute, which brings mindfulness training to organizations worldwide.


"This book is a rare combination of practical help, emotional support, compelling personal story, scientific foundations, and spiritual insight. Mark Coleman shows us how to let go of feeling pressured, inadequate, or afraid to express ourselves fully -- and instead feel strong, confident, and worthy. A beautiful, soulful, enormously useful book." -- Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom "What I most love about Make Peace with Your Mind is the range of accessible practices it offers. From his own experience over many years, Mark Coleman has distilled powerful, creative strategies for relating with and transforming your inner critic. It's a wonderful, delightful, and deeply touching book." -- Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness "Both insightful and helpful, with gifts of wisdom and many practical tools to work with your own mind and heart." -- Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart and cofounding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, California "When I first met Mark Coleman at a retreat at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, I immediately appreciated the clarity he brought to his teachings. This book is written in the same clear voice, providing an easy-to-follow road map to understanding and defeating our inner critic." -- Troy Aikman, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and Fox Sports broadcaster "Mark Coleman has written a wonderful and important book. If we can make friends with ourselves we activate the place inside that has always truly wanted our well-being. Transforming the mind from inner critic to best friend is the key to a more fulfilling life. Make Peace with Your Mind is the perfect guidebook to help us do just that. An excellent offering!" -- James Baraz, coauthor of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness and cofounding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, California "Mark Coleman's Make Peace with Your Mind is a great read for all those looking to mindfulness to help them live their best life. Sometimes when life speeds up, it is best to take a few moments to slow down! The benefits of these practices are real and wide-ranging, and it is never too late to start." -- Congressman Tim Ryan "Most of us wait for some champion to show up in our life who supports our dreams, calms our fears, and provides a vision for our future. Mark Coleman reminds us we can be our own champion by building a healthier relationship with our judgmental mind with clear and practical steps. This book can change your life." -- Chip Conley, New York Times-bestselling author of Emotional Equations and Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy at Airbnb "Of the many recent books on mindfulness, some have discussed the practice as a tool in one's life or career, but Coleman focuses squarely on the goal of achieving inner peace and practicing compassion toward oneself and others. For self-improvement enthusiasts searching for ways to calm a stressed mind, this book is sure to help." -- Publishers Weekly " 'Inner critic' here is not just a tool for marketing a generic meditation book. Coleman takes apart the critic and assesses its origins, its pros, and its cons with curiosity and insight. He unravels it and makes it possible to see it not as a big, bad monster, but simply as human intelligence run amok." -- Mindful magazine "In his new book, Make Peace with Your Mind, Mark Coleman shares his own deep understanding of the often pervasive inner critic, and he offers many tools and methods for freeing ourselves from this common habit of mind. His clear style and compassionate wisdom combine to make this book a valuable support on our journey to freedom." -- Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening "In this well-written book, Mark Coleman presents his personal reflections on how to free yourself from harsh self-criticism, based on his experience as a meditation teacher, coach, and therapist. With pragmatic exercises designed to help you better understand your own inner critic, this is a truly worthwhile read." -- Kristin Neff, associate professor at UT Austin and author of Self-Compassion "Mark Coleman has written a wonderfully original book, addressing the inner critic that keeps us from our most creative work. He understands that it is often buried deep, and he gives us a wide range of excavation tools, all of which are kind and helpful. Useful for anyone, I will use it especially with college students and young artists and professionals, whose external lives are full of judgments, as well as activists, who feel they can never do enough. This book is a great gift." -- Mirabai Bush, senior fellow at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, author of Contemplative Practices for Higher Education, and coauthor (with Ram Dass) of Compassion in Action "A beautiful guide to liberating our minds from endless cycles of self-criticism and creating the inner peace that leads to an exemplary life." -- Stephen Dinan, bestselling author of Sacred America, Sacred World and CEO of the Shift Network "In clear and powerful and terms, Mark Coleman offers readers highly practical tools to cultivate lasting calm, contentment, and happiness in any life circumstance. The tools outlined in this book will help readers confront one of the most persistent sources of difficulty anyone may encounter: one's own negative mind states. Make Peace with Your Mind is a uniquely transformational work offered to us by one of the world's preeminent mindfulness and meditation teachers. It is a must-read for anyone interested in meaningful personal growth and fulfillment." -- Rich Fernandez, PhD, cofounder of Wisdom Labs "As we now know, the world inside and the world outside are not so different -- and the sneakily destructive inner critic can make a mess of self, other, and the whole world. In Make Peace with Your Mind, therapist, consultant, and Buddhist teacher Mark Coleman does as good a job as I have seen of explaining, deconstructing, and working with the inner critic, until she or he becomes an ally. The book includes many useful exercises for putting its important message into practice: that you need not go on with this misery any longer." -- Norman Fischer, Zen priest and author of What Is Zen: Plain Talk for a Beginner's Mind and Experience: Thinking, Writing, Language & Religion "Mark Coleman, an experienced therapist and a profound practitioner and teacher of meditation, has crafted an exquisite path toward peace and freedom with one of the most troubling aspects of our humanity: our inner critic. Drawing upon ancient wisdom traditions, contemporary psychological breakthroughs, and many other sources, Mark weaves these wisdom strands together into a fully accessible practical approach, illustrated with many examples and supported with practices that can build insight and competence. A marvelous guidebook brought to life by a warm, compassionate friend." -- James Flaherty, author of Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others andfounder of New Ventures West and Integral Leadership "Drawing on decades of experience of freeing himself and others from the inner critic, Mark Coleman has written a beautiful, inspiring, and practical book for all who wish to find a way out from under the weight of their inner critic. Filled with wisdom and compassion, this book is a warmhearted guide for applying mindfulness and common sense to alleviate the burden of the inner critic." -- Gil Fronsdal, guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Center and translator of The Dhammapada "The inner critic stops all growth, diminishes our life force, and crushes our soul. With kindness and clarity, Mark Coleman gives us proven practices to tame the critic's wild ways and access the more reliable guidance of true wisdom. Everybody's got an inner critic, so everybody needs a wise book like this one." -- Frank Ostaseski, author of Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach about Living Fully "In Make Peace with Your Mind, Mark Coleman gently guides us to work with the ubiquitous demon of self-judgment. His kind and clear writing style invites us to see and skillfully relate to this familiar human habit. Through teaching, story, and guided exercises, he inspires us to develop keen and compassionate relationships to the parts of ourselves that often seek to demean or even destroy our self-worth. He offers us the possibility of not only hope but genuine healing. This book on the critic will support anyone who desires stopping the inner war and developing holistic integration with all parts of themselves." -- Sarah Powers, author of Insight Yoga "Make Peace with Your Mind is a beautiful book that can help free you from the limited definitions of self-loathing and pain. I have known Mark Coleman for many years, and he is humble and wise and lives with an open heart -- one who truly walks his talk. Mark's guidance is both wise and compassionate to support deep healing." -- Bob Stahl, PhD, coauthor of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook and MBSR Everyday "Through Mark Coleman's decades of experience in mindfulness practices, he's unearthed tools that can help us with our inner critic -- the voice that whispers to us and keeps us lost in self-doubt and old thought patterns. This book is a breath of fresh air, a path out of these cycles, and a way to help liberate us from our suffering in self-doubt." -- Janet Stone, founder of Janet Stone Yoga "This immensely practical book by meditation teacher and therapist Mark Coleman is a thorough and compassionate guide to working with the often relentless inner critic. Filled with stories from his own experience and the hundreds of people he has worked with over three decades, Mark brings wisdom, humor, kindness, and a vast repertoire of exercises that can change your life now!" -- Diana Winston, director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and author of Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness "Mark Coleman beautifully integrates the wisdom of reflection and the effectiveness of years of clinical practice into this insightful and accessible book. The wealth of ideas and practices shared in this illuminating work have the power to transform our individual and collective lives. -- Shauna Shapiro, PhD, professor at Santa Clara University and coauthor of Mindful Discipline and The Art and Science of Mindfulness

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