Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People (Paperback)
Pulling a raisin out of a two-year-old’s nose probably wasn’t on Buddha’s path toward enlightenment, but it was one of the obstacles for author Polly Campbell. For many, stuck raisins and other real-life moments provide sometimes the only opportunity for spiritual growth in a day. Imperfect Spirituality shows readers how to integrate those every-day moments with traditional spiritual techniques to experience personal growth and greater well-being all in the course of your regular routine. Any activity can be transformed into a spiritual practice. Don’t have a half-hour to meditate? Can't drop everything à la Elizabeth Gilbert and trek to Italy or India? Do a mini-meditation while stopped at a red light. Working to be mindful and present? Start by brushing your teeth.
Imperfect Spirituality is filled with practical tips and dozens of examples like these, as well as anecdotes from real people who are striving to grow both spiritually and personally. Each chapter features fascinating research about how the mind body spirit connection really works as well as illuminating quotes, and informative, easy-to-do takeaways from leading-edge academic and spiritual experts who both study and practice the techniques explored in the book.
About the Author
Polly Campbell is a writer and speaker specializing in personal development and spirituality topics. Her work appears regularly in national publications, and she is a blogger with Psychology Today, teacher for Daily Om, and at Imperfect Spirituality. For more than two decades, Polly has studied and applied the techniques she writes and speaks about to her own life. Polly and her family live in Beaverton, OR.
"Even if we wanted to, most of us will never retreat to a Tibetan monastery or Indian ashram to cultivate a spiritual practice. The majority of us live ordinary lives, largely preoccupied with routine matters. The humorous and candid narrative in this book delivers lighthearted yet significant direction for integrating traditional spiritual techniques with the imperfections that characterize daily life. Campbell calls this choosing a path of imperfection, [which] connects you more deeply with yourself and fills those chaotic, confusing, and stressful moments with possibility and meaning.” Compelling anecdotes from ordinary spiritual seekers and informative research help to illuminate this path of imperfect spirituality, which begins when we stop trying to hide our flaws and instead pay attention to what’s going on: to what’s working and what’s not.” Practical tips for turning ordinary moments into opportunities for spiritual growth, many of which can be squeezed in while brushing your teeth or waiting for the bus, punctuate this clear and affable spiritual guide for the rest of us."
"Her message is that we can develop our spirituality while waiting in line at the grocery store or taking a shower. Realistic, inspired, the answers lie within these pages."
Imperfect Spirituality shows readers how to integrate those every-day moments with traditional spiritual techniques to experience personal growth and greater well-being all in the course of your regular routine. Any activity can be transformed into a spiritual practice. Don’t have a half-hour to meditate? Can't drop everything à la Elizabeth Gilbert and trek to Italy or India? Do a mini-meditation while stopped at a red light. Working to be mindful and present? Start by brushing your teeth.
Reading Room Book Reviews
"Campbell describes learning more about spirituality, applying it, and accommodating it for her lifestyle, all the while dodging raisins flying out of her kid’s nose, doing sing-song rhymes, and dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The traditional spirituality discussed may not be groundbreaking for the more experienced, but Campbell’s unique perspective makes Imperfect Spirituality” perfect for beginning seekers and seasoned travelers."
The Magical Buffet
"We can learn a lesson or two from those who are able to take failure or imperfection as creating an opportunity to do a new thing or head off in a new direction. A bad situation can be a spiritual teacher for us. Throughout Imperfect Spirituality, [Polly] Campbell shares spiritual practices which enable us to express our emotions, put our courage to the test, connect with self-compassion, build optimism, relate to the imperfection of others, and live a values-driven life."
--Spirituality & Practice
"You don't have to be the Dalai Lama to find spiritual peace. Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People is a spiritual guide for the not so spiritual. Polly Campbell presents how to approach the ideas of enlightenment in an everyday context, and find one's purpose and live up to one's goals in the process. "Imperfect Spirituality" is a must for those who want to have that peace they seek but can't even get the brief moment of meditation right, highly recommended."
Midwest Book Review
"Imperfect Spirituality presumes you know your relationship to the Divine and shines light on your relationship with Yourself. Polly hooked me at don’t put any more raisins up your nose.” While Campbell references a buffet of respected sources, the path is her own. It’s funny, functional guidance in the accessible voice of a good friend. Read from start to finish, or opened any where for a dip, her words reach out...and touch your heart."
Mary Anne Radmacher, author of Live Boldly
"Grounded in Campbell's life as a wife and mother, Imperfect Spirituality left me smiling and nodding my head. This book will help any reader embrace imperfection, love more completely, and live with compassion, creativity and courage."
--Kate Hopper, Author of Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers
"Polly Campbell's Imperfect Spirituality is a welcome addition to the field of self-help and spiritual living--because her book is, above all, practical. No lofty, from-the-mountaintop sermonizing here; this is a woman who found an opportunity for spiritual practice while dealing with a raisin up her child's nose! As Polly reminds us, our ability to connect with the Divine is always possible, and in everyday occurrences--and her book is full of helpful stories, reflections and exercises for doing exactly that. There may be no such thing as perfection, in spirituality or anything else, but Polly Campbell has given us a truly wonderful resource for living our lives with more connection, compassion and calm."
Maggie Oman Shannon, author of Crafting Calm and Prayers for Healing
"Imperfect Spirituality doesn’t shy away from the messiness of life, but embraces it by giving mothers (and others) a much-needed dose of reassuring comfort, courage, self-kindness, and self-compassion. Campbell’s touching and humorous stories from the edge of real life are filled with the kind of wisdom that can only come from a mother’s heart. No matter how hard you may have been on yourself yesterday, this book will help you find an easier, gentler, more forgiving, and better way to live today.”
Donald Altman, M.A., LPC, author, The Joy Compass and One-Minute Mindfulness
"Imagine sitting over coffee with your best friend finally getting the whole perfectionist/inner critic demon tamed while laughing so hard you snort. Polly with Imperfect Spirituality will gently disarm those old voices and welcome you into a new world of ease and time-friendly practices you can use right now. Polly writes the kind of book you'll be carrying around to read out loud to those you care about. I highly recommend you dive into it right now."
Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D., Co-author of the bestselling Conscious Loving
"Congrats to Polly Campbell for keeping it real! Her honest, frank, and often hilarious view of the challenges we create when we try to run from who we are is very empowering. You're sure to laugh along the way as author Polly Campbell shares her own insights, stresses, and stories en route to a more authentic life."
Dr. Judith Wright, lifestyles expert and best-selling author of The Soft Addiction Solution and The One Decision
"Imperfect Spirituality is a beautiful, inspiring journey to self-acceptance through the lens of spirituality. Campbell quiets the mind and feeds the soul so you can powerfully embrace who and how you are and liberate yourself from standards that actually limit rather than inspire you. When Campbell guides us in embracing our imperfection what she is most telling us is to relish our extraordinary uniqueness. This luminous work will leave you resolved and new."
Rosie Molinary, author of Beautiful You : A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance
"Is there a more perfect word for spirituality than imperfect? I think not. Perfection is hoisted as the great and mighty goal, but none of us (aside from a few mystics and saints) are there yet. But thanks to Polly Campbell and this delicious treatise on the totally perfect state of imperfection, we can be at peace with where we arein our lives, in our messes, in our moments. And guess what? That’s where perfection lies. Bless you, Polly, for showing us the crooked road."
Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul, My Soul Pages, The Lotus and The Lily
"In Imperfect Spirituality Polly Campbell reminds us that the path to enlightenment begins exactly where you are right now. Every moment of our lives is a sacred opportunity to be present and deepen an expand our capacity to give and receive love. Open this book to any page and allow the stories and practical tips to illuminate your path to enlightenment."
Susyn Reeve, author The Inspired Life
"Powerful and well-written."
The Daily OM
"The world needs good work from good people on topics that really matter."
Judith Wright, author of The Soft Addiction Solution
"Polly Campbell is doing great work."
Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain
"Polly Campbell is the private chef of journalism. Everything she creates is good for you filled with healthy, practical information that Polly serves in her own masterful, entertaining style so you not only enjoy every moment reading Polly's work, you feel better for having done so."
Kirsten Longnecker, Gaiam