Categories: Entertainment

New book touts simplicity of wakeful living

Do you feel like you’re not accomplishing everything that you’ve always wanted to and you’re simply not enjoying life like you should?

Laurel Vespi might just have the answers for you. The local life coach with Stone Circle Coaching has a new book on mindfulness that offers some of her principles for living.

“All of the things that I become interested in writing about … come out of the contexts that I have with my clients or when I go to speaking engagements,” she said.

“There seem to be themes. This theme really came out of the awareness of people’s tendency to be sleepwalking in life, just not paying attention and being so busy and running around. As a consequence, time just slips through their fingers or you’re just not paying attention.”

In her profession, people come to her for help because they are experiencing a profound dissatisfaction. It isn’t necessarily that they aren’t happy with their lives “but a feeling that there’s something missing, or there’s something more, or it may even be that life is pretty good but they’re just wanting a greater richness.”

And no, this doesn’t just affect people in the middle of their lives, she clarified. She has seen this kind of malaise with those in their 30s and younger too. She said there’s no specific age for when people start to ask what life is all about.

Her own practical education on mindfulness started, like so many others, on a trip to India. According to the book’s introduction, the crack of a cricket bat heralded her age of becoming awake.

She was hit in the head by a very fast – but thankfully not very hard – ball. The next day, while everyone else went on with their day-to-day routines, she rested, which provided her the rare opportunity to do nothing but sit in quiet reflection.

“Many passing thoughts entered my mind, not the least of which was to feel extreme gratitude for rubber balls and for having only a minor injury. It certainly could have been much worse. But the predominant reflection was the crystal clear understanding that everything can change in an instant,” she wrote.

Vespi’s book features a series of seven principles on guiding readers toward greater mindfulness and living with more authenticity. It’s an excellent primer for those who don’t generally read these kinds of books. For people who have more than one related book already on their bookshelves, it’s a fine addition. Vespi has a gentle and relaxed style of writing. She offers some excellent real-life examples to help make her concepts more relatable. To Be Awake is an easy read and it makes mindfulness seem more approachable as a way of life.

She wanted it to have that friendly appeal in order for people to have a smoother time picking up these common-sense lessons.

“People think it’s much more complicated than it is. It’s not complicated. When people can begin to understand that having what it is that you want in your life is not complicated. It’s actually very simple. Simple doesn’t necessarily equate to easy …” she clarified, “but it is quite simple what we need to do. I think that’s one of the big reasons why they don’t do it: because they think it’s really complicated.”

To celebrate the new book and give readers a bit of a pep talk at the same time, she will be hosting a launch in a few weeks. It will be hosted by Kim Duke, the founder of Sales Divas and the Sales School for Women. Sharon Carne, founder of Sound Wellness, will be the special musical guest. She will be performing a new version of Imagine for the audience’s enjoyment.

Book Launch

To Be Awake
By Laurel Vespi
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 2 to 4 p.m.
San Remo Bistro, 10A Perron St.
Host: Kim Duke
Special Musical Guest: Sharon Carne
There will be a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception.
All net proceeds from the launch will go to support the St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village.

Tickets are $50 (includes a copy of the book) and can be purchased online at www.stonecirclecoaching.com.

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.