In the Moment: Celebrating the Everyday

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9780060199685: In the Moment: Celebrating the Everyday

In this enlightening work, popular psychoanalyst Harvey Rich offers a philosophy for living that transforms the flow of everyday moments into a celebrated life. Most of us recognize celebration as an event, but as Rich describes it, celebration is much deeper; it is the internal experience of ourselves in the moment that leaves a long-lasting imprint on our psyche. Whether we are experiencing the beauty of a sunset, the pain of loss, the chemistry of love, the sting of harsh words, soul-crushing boredom, or the thrill of accomplishment, what we learn when we fully engage ourselves in the experience of a moment can affect us forever.

Rich describes a celebratory process that unfolds when we recognize a moment as special, and open ourselves to the fullest sensory experience of it. In this deliberate engagement we enrich our understanding of ourselves and our lives in the context of family, friendship, love relationships, and work. Celebration carries us through the joys and adversities of life, and connects us to our spiritual center.

Drawing upon his own life experience, family history, and his training in theology, art, literature, medicine, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis, Rich shows us how we can capture the moments of our lives and bring our own histories and aspirations to bear upon those moments -- a celebration that is the antidote to the blur of our often high-tech, fast-paced lives.

Celebrating the daily moments of our lives serves as a means of including ourselves in the fullest experience of life -- our profound inner life, our spiritual dimension, the life of our culture, and the history of humankind.

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About the Author:

Harvey Rich, M.D., has been a clinical psychiatrist/psychoanalyst, psychoanalytic teacher, and lecturer for more than thirty years. He was the founder and first president of the American Psychoanalytic Foundation through which he lectures widely and frequently on the subjects covered in this book. He has written for the Washington Post, has been quoted in the Science section of the New York Times, and has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio.

From Publishers Weekly:

Clinical psychiatrist and lecturer Rich started working on this book, which deals with being aware of life's daily moments, prior to September 11. After the attacks, he reconsidered his premise, thinking it trivial, but decided "celebrating life's moments is an important antidote to what is poisoning our very humanity." Rich opens the book with remembrances of his mother, a woman who saw merit in everyone's lives. Drawing on her lessons, Rich posits that taking this approach to life allows one to live in the present while feeling "grounded in the scheme of life and history." This popular view certainly has its merit, but Rich's statement, "The more we use conveniences that eliminate our need for one another, the more limited become our opportunities to know ourselves in relation to others in a way that brings meaning to their lives and to our own" may rankle some. (Buying groceries online-an example Rich himself cites-does not necessarily mean the end of human contact.) Still, his basic premise is valuable and his examples are appropriate. There's the story of Wanda, whose mother's inattention to her childhood accomplishments caused her suffering later in life; Marvin, who comes to celebrate his own gift; and Eleanor, a divorcee who finally learns to recognize the value of adversity. Although he uses the word "celebration," Rich's counsel often hinges on the concept of "awareness." Indeed, reveling in the triumphs and travails of everyday life can help anyone gain new perspective.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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