A big idea book in the spirit of Brene Brown, Susan Cain, and Angela Duckworth
WHAT YOU PRACTICE GROWS STRONGER:
The Power of Mindfulness and Compassion for Personal Growth and Transformation
by Shauna Shapiro, PhD
Agent: John Maas and Celeste Fine (Sterling Lord Literistic)
Dr. Shapiro is a professor at Santa Clara University and studies the intersection of neuroscience and mindfulness. She works with veterans suffering from PTSD, patients going through breast cancer treatment, and high-power executives obsessed with performance. She has published 100+ peer-reviewed papers and was the co-recipient of a $1.6 mil NIH grant in 2016. Besides having been published widely and featured in popular press, she has personal connections to Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Ariana Huffington, Dr. Tara Brach, and many other luminaries. Now, in her first trade book, Dr. Shapiro will explore the connection between neuroplasticity and change, growth, and resilience. Our minds have 50-70K thoughts/day—many of them filled with self-judgment, criticism, and shame. Research shows that these thoughts affect our brain’s ability to change by robbing it of resources, preventing us from performing at our best. By contrast, a mindful practice of self-compassion bathes our system with dopamine, turning on the learning centers of our brain, providing motivation, and triggering the resources we need to achieve true personal transformation.
In our culture of Grit and Tiger Moms, so many people think that success goes to whomever pushes hardest. But research increasingly suggests that self-compassion can be a more powerful force than grit, willpower, or focus when it comes to excellence. We need self-compassion most during our darkest times: when we are grieving; when we are trying to forgive others or ourselves; when we are facing unimaginable challenges such as illness or divorce. Mindful self-compassion gives us the tools to be with our mistakes, fears, and pain, instead of papering over them with a happy façade. Best of all, when we practice self-compassion in ourselves, we create a measurably kinder, better world around us. Research shows that practicing self-compassion creates better relationships and leads to more empathetic, altruistic decisions, in ourselves and others.
Think of Dr. Shapiro’s book as a big idea book about performance, personal growth, and culture in the vein of NYT bestsellers by Brene Brown, Susan Cain, and Angela Duckworth, on the mindfulness subject that is working so well on the bookshelf these days.