The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion:
Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions

by Christopher Germer

Book review by Bill Cattey

I had reached the point in my personal and professional development where I noticed I was giving a lot of energy to "beating myself up" about stuff -- goals unmet, decisions regretted, actions not taken. It had gotten to the point where I realized a lot of my energy going to waste doing so.

After having read, "Mindset" by Carol Dweck, (more on that book in another review) I was actively seeking new ways to set and meet higher expectations for myself in a constructive and supportive way.

Christopher Germer's mindfulness and loving kindness meditations turned out to be the right recipes for me. The meditations enabled me to replace my old habits of bringing myself down or catastrophizing failure with new habits of giving myself kindness while I worked, and when I suffered setbacks either from outside circumstance or from my own limitations.

Sometimes books about meditation are presented in a framework set by some particular religion. Germer's presentation is simple and factual. Germer uses Budhism, but he keeps religiosity out of it. He focuses on connecting one's self with our fellow human beings in a way that can be comfortably read by people of various faiths, those who are agnostic or those who consider themselves apart from a faith or religious tradition.

The only negative criticism I would make is that sometimes Germer's sentence structure obscures the point he is trying to make. I think the editors at The Guilford Press should have more aggressively asked him to recast and clarify throughout the book. Although you may find yourself rereading a sentence every so often to make sure you understand, the overal value and importance of this book remains.

Anyone who has come from a high pressure professional, personal or family history will find this book a valuable help.

Commons License
This work by William D. Cattey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Last updated: 22 September 2010