by Olivia Cecchettini
by Pema Chodron
Summary: Start Where You Are is a handbook for awakening a compassionate heart and choosing love over fear. Beginning the healing process from the inside out, Pema Chodron offers an easily accessible shift in perspective. By starting where we are right now, we can begin accepting rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives. Chodron frames her teachings with traditional Buddhist slogans, such as: “always meditate on whatever provokes resentment,” and “always apply only a joyful state of mind.” Using these slogans as mental mantras, combined with meditation, we can all develop the courage to sit and work with our inner pain and discover the joy and confidence that already lies within.
Why I love It: I love this book because the teachings are simple and Chodron’s writing reflects her light-hearted and humorous approach to life. As I read, I became more aware of my mental patterns, and within that awareness healing began to occur as I shifted from negative self talk to kind and supportive ways of thinking. I found a new way of being within myself and in the world. I love this book because its practices brought more joy, fearlessness, and self love into my life and that’s what inspired me to share it with you!
Recommended For: Everyone – I believe we can ALL use more compassion in our lives. Whether things are great at the moment or you’re going through something that feels too big to handle, compassion helps us find ease within ourselves and as we move through the world. It begins within. Start where you are. Choose love over fear. Simple. Wise. True. This book is all of these things and more. I invite you to explore its teachings and see how they resonate with you. Begin with an open heart and see where it takes you. Enjoy!
“Start Where You Are is a short book, but one worth taking your time with and chewing on. It’s also worth re-reading. It’s a great introduction to traditional Buddhist slogans or lojong, yet accessible and relevant whatever your other beliefs may be.”
– Elephant Journal
Olivia is a yoga teacher based out of San Diego. With a love for people, life, spirituality, reading, and, of course, yoga she spends her days connecting with students and nature. Getting outside whenever she can to enjoy all the beauty this life has to offer.