Book Review: Mrs D is Going Within, by Lotta Dann

Available from bookshops nationwide.

cv_mrs_dann_is_going_within.jpgLotta Dann is the wife of TV One’s political commentator Corin Dann. She came out publicly 3 years ago about her drinking problem. Her first book – Mrs D is Going Without was a personal journey of her struggle with alcoholism. This second book – Mrs D is Going Within, examines her personal struggle three years sober with life’s balance. Trying to manage a busy life of a husband, three boys, writing and monitoring two blogs with her mind and body often coming off second best. I loved her comment that her mind whirls around at the speed of a Ferrari – trying to process “stuff”.

Lotta explores the idea of mindfulness and how to still her whirring brain – just to sit and clear the brain – not the easiest thing to do when you lead a busy life. The concept of mindfulness reminded me of the trend of transcendental meditation that swept the country (and the world) in the 1970s and 80s – it always intrigued me, but not enough to make me try it! I think mindfulness is the new millennium’s answer to trying to get your head around everyday stress that life tends to chuck at us with gay abandon.

I laughed out loud about Lotta’s attempts at yoga. Exercise is not everybody’s cup of tea and going along with friends to get them off your case is often a hard thing to refuse but the ballsy attempt bought back memories of my rather weak attempts at so called “easy” classes. Finding the right class makes life so much better with like-minded people – Lotta finds one that takes her to a happy place.

Whether you are a recovering alcoholic or just struggling with everyday life’s balance this is a great read from a very funny lady.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Mrs D is Going Within
by Lotta Dann
Published by Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781877505867

Book Review: The Art of Mindful Origami, by Dr Richard Chambers

cv_the_art_of_mindful_origamiAvailable in bookshops nationwide.

Dr. Richard Chambers, a clinical psychologist, has produced a book that is as restful and emotionally satisfying as a beautiful piece of music or a well written poem.

The Art of Mindful Origami contains the instructions needed to fold intricate designs along with perforated sheets of patterned paper the reader can use to create the origami project. Also included are pages of designs that can be coloured in to customise one’s own models.

Dr. Chambers has written about the book’s purpose: “Just folding the models is an excellent mindfulness practice in itself. However, for those wanting to take their mindfulness to the next level, I have also included additional exercises that you can do with each of the models. These involve engaging more fully with the world around you and cultivating qualities of mindfulness such as curiosity and generosity.”

This is more than a book. It is a many-layered offering from a person who has put a great deal of thought and care into something he obviously feels deeply about. I found, in my own case, on reading through it in increasing delight, that the anticipation for working with the paper and the designs was every bit as enjoyable as doing the actual work. Friends and family were as equally enamoured of the contents, a fact that means that the book will make a well-received gift.

Reviewed by Lesley Vliestra

The Art of Mindful Origami
by Dr Richard Chambers
Published by Exisle Publishing
ISBN 9781925335293