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Ezra Bayda
Skating on Thin Ice
Ezra Bayda, author
Proposed Future copy for Amazon As we skate on the thin ice of life - feeling the vulnerability and uncertainty that we all share as human beings – how do we overcome the anxiety and confusion of this state of uncertainty? Award winning author Ezra Bayda encourages us, in clear practical language, to learn how to transform our difficult experiences into life-affirming ones – living increasingly from gratitude, kindness and love. What you can learn from this book: Inner Stillness: how to move from an anxious state to feeling calm and at home in our body. Clear seeing: techniques to clarify our hidden beliefs and conditioned strategies – freeing us from our harmful emotional reactivity. Willingness: how to acknowledge and embrace whatever life presents – including anger, fear, shame and confusion – as the path of self-realization. Presence: through meditation, learn how to be present as often as possible; and stay present for as long as possible. Loving kindness: cultivating loving kindness and compassion, helping to undercut our self-judgmental mind – the mind that tells us we are unworthy. Gratitude: through increasing awareness that we don’t have endless time, learning to be grateful for what we have. Perseverance: learn how to stay with and learn from all the inevitable ups and downs of our lives.
“[O]ur difficulties are not obstacles on the path of self-realization — they are the path itself,” writes meditation instructor Bayda (Aging for Beginners) in this well-informed guide. Rather than avoid life’s difficulties, Bayda urges readers to welcome them as opportunities to become more self-observant and soak up “the sweetness of the moment.” He argues that the fundamental issue behind discontent is expecting problems to go away. The solution, according to Bayda, is to stop trying to control our circumstances and instead cultivate a passion for staying present and aware, even in the most painful of situations. To that end, he offers practical tips and hands-on exercises, as well as a profound exploration of just what self-realization looks like.

There is a definitive clash between “what we want and what is,” Bayda argues, and people’s tendency to feel entitled to happiness is a major stumbling block in accepting “what is.” But that acceptance is crucial for true contentment, he writes, and his suggestions to achieve it are as easy-to-grasp as they are enlightening. From his ten steps to contentment,” (“get out of your head” and “practice forgiveness” are particularly enriching) to his three main detours we often take to dodge uncomfortable circumstances—analyzing, blaming, and judging—Bayda offers a wealth of fresh, practical information. He explores several common emotions that can stymie our efforts at self-actualization, covering such heavy hitters as grief, depression, and fear, and though some of his advice may sound unconventional (to live authentically, he writes, we must stop “indulging the stories of depression”), they make sense in the context of his work.

Whether readers are just beginning their journey or are experienced in the pursuit of self-realization, Bayda’s winning combination of thoughtful analysis and down-to-earth practice will hit home. He closes with a summary of “essential reminders” and wisely reminds readers “We are truly living when we can experience the…quiet texture of simply being.”

Takeaway: Sensible guidance and practical tips on achieving self-realization.

Comparable Titles: Alex Lickerman’s The Undefeated Mind, Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston’s Fully Present.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A