Synopses & Reviews
"Most people think of love as a feeling," says David Richo, "but love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present." In this book, Richo offers a fresh perspective on love and relationships—one that focuses not on finding an ideal mate, but on becoming a more loving and courageous person. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, How to Be an Adult in Relationships
explores five hallmarks of mindful loving and how they play a key role in our relationships throughout life:
• Attention to the present moment; observing, listening, and noticing all the feelings at play in our relationships.
• Acceptance of ourselves and others just as we are.
• Appreciation of all our gifts, our limits, our longings, and our poignant human predicament.
• Affection shown through holding and touching in respectful ways.
• Allowing life and love to be just as they are, with all their ecstasy and ache, without trying to take control.
When properly understood and applied, these five simple concepts—what Richo calls the five A's—form the basis of mature love. They help us to move away from judgment, fear, and blame to a position of openness, compassion, and realism about life and relationships. By focusing on the Five A's, relationships become deeper and more meaningful, and they become a ground for personal transformation. Richo encourages us to work on relationships using two basic approaches. First, we can explore our relationships from the point of view of Western psychotherapy, which means identifying any self-defeating patterns and uncovering their sources. This usually involves acknowledging and exploring any emotional wounds we may have experienced in childhood. Second, we can make a commitment to cultivate mindfulness—with the goal of learning to be with life just as it is. Taken together, these two approaches create a perfect balance between working on ourselves and developing a deep acceptance of ourselves and others.
This audiobook provides deep insight on many practical topics, including how to move beyond a painful childhood, how to look for an appropriate partner, how to attract and recognize adult love, how to negotiate conflicts, how to maintain personal boundaries, how to break up mindfully, and how to get over a breakup. Each chapter also concludes with useful exercises for putting the five A's into practice. 8 CDs, abridged. Running time 9 1/2 hours.
About the Author
David Richo, PhD, is a psychotherapist, teacher, writer, and workshop leader whose work emphasizes the benefits of mindfulness and loving-kindness in personal growth and emotional well-being. He is the author of numerous books, including How to Be an Adult in Relationships and The Five Things We Cannot Change. He lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California.